Sometimes I want to read a book that I know will tear my heart out and leave me a weeping mess for days. Sometimes I want alpha heroes and strong heroines who have to save each other from burning buildings and psycho murderers. Sometimes I want to hear about families from start to finish, births, deaths, affairs and epic loves that last centuries. But that’s the beauty of reading; there’s always a book out there to satisfy whatever craving I’m having. And while I’m usually on board for a little angst, there are some days where I just want to feel happy.
It sounds easy, right? Most books make me happy on some level (even the really angsty ones) as I always enjoy the emotional process of reading. But there are very few books on my shelves that are just plain fun. You know what I mean: those books where no one important dies, where you laugh on every page, where you know you’re going to get a happy ending no matter what. They’re the reading equivalent of popcorn, but to call them simple would be a huge understatement. These books deliver complicated characters, strong love stories and prose that I just can’t seem to stop reading.
So whenever I’m down in the dumps, or I just need a pick-me-up, here are the three authors who I know will deliver those warm and fuzzy feelings:
Welcome to Temptation was my first Crusie book, and I was blown away by how witty, smart and sexy it is. I promptly read all the Crusie books I could get my hands on. Her stories are both sweet and sassy, with heroines I instantly root for and heroes who are worthy of them. She’s also laugh-out-loud funny, getting her characters into hilarious mix-ups (think: movie shoot-turned-amateur porn, or art dealers trying to hide their forgery pasts) and she always features a cute animal or kid. Sometimes both. If you want a quick, fun read, then pick up one of Crusie’s romance novels ASAP.
I usually like my Young Adult novels on the darker side, with teens fighting to save the world or having tortured love affairs with vampires. But when I want a lighter read, I always turn to Perkins’ sweet contemporary romances. She started with Anna and the French Kiss, an adorable (and only a tiny bit heart-wrenching) story about an American girl who attends boarding school in Paris. Her books have only gotten better since, featuring quirky characters, fun outfits and talented teens. Sure, there’s a little bit of angst here and there, but it’s the best kind, trust me. When you’re feeling blue, Perkins is a must-read.
While Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary might have defined the chic lit novel, Kinsella is the true backbone of the genre. Her bubble-gum titles are reliably hilarious, fun and just plain great reads. I love her popular Shopaholic series, but I’m even more into her hilarious and quirky standalone novels. Remember Me? might be my favorite, about a girl who takes a fall while clubbing one night and wakes up in the hospital with perfect teeth, a perfect husband and a seemingly perfect life. Only she can’t remember how she got there, or why this other handsome man keeps hanging around. It’s SO. GOOD. But then, all of Kinsella’s novels are, especially when you’re in the mood to feel a little (or a lot) happy.