When we choose the next book to read, it’s because we want an experience—to feel something when we are done. Books have the power to change the way you feel. So here are my five suggestions for books so happy, you’ll forget about all about the rest of the world.
1. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (Berkley)
Helen Hoang’s sophomore novel proves she’s here to stay and a new auto-buy author for me. The Bride Test introduces us to Khai, an autistic businessman who doesn’t think he can love until his mom convinces a Vietnamese woman with secrets, Esme, to come to the US and win his heart (and maybe give her grandchildren). A welcome new addition to romance, the novel is full of misunderstandings, complex characters, and a boisterous family who noses into everything. You’ll be smiling through your tears at the end.
2. The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick (Park Row)
All of Phaedra Patrick’s books give me the warm fuzzies, and her latest is no different. This novel is literally about finding joy with a book. Martha has spent her life caring for others, sacrificing her own happiness in the process, until a mysterious book from her supposedly dead grandmother appears. She has to follow the clues. Charming and satisfying, you’ll be cheering on Martha’s journey to set her life back on track.
3. The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo (Gallery)
I love novels about female relationships and The Key to Happily Ever After introduces readers to the de la Rosa sisters who manage a wedding planning business together, butting heads along the way. With weddings, family, romance, and all the drama that goes with it, Tif Marcelo’s charming novel with have you smiling all the way down the aisle.
4. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (Gallery)
The latest novel from the fantastic writing duo, Christina Lauren, has a hilarious wedding reception debacle due to a seafood buffet, a swoony hate-to-love romance, and a fake honeymoon in Maui. Do you really need more information to convince you? You’ll be laughing all the way to the happy ever after.
5. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim (Berkley)
Natalie Tan returns to her childhood neighborhood after her mother’s death and decides to reopen her grandmother’s restaurant. This novel contains pages of amazing food, especially dumplings. That alone makes me happy, but I also adored exploring complicated mother/daughter relationships, the quirky Chinatown neighbors, and Roselle Lim’s vivid writing with a touch of magic and romance. You’ll want to move in next door by the end of the book.
Bonus Happy: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms (Lake Union)
Overworked mom Amy, gets an unexpected vacation when her ex-husband takes their kids for the summer. Kelly Harms tackles modern single motherhood with flair, swoons, and the most perfect date ever written. Readers will connect with the titular character’s unexpected journey of freedom and self-discovery, humor, and heart. Smiles are included.