For some of you it might come as a surprise that I’m actually an avid reader. I like to keep everyone on their toes and show them that I’m a little more than reality TV and celebrity gossip. Just kitten, I mostly read the literary version of dirty rom-com trash BUT every once and a while (usually each summer) I buckle down and try on a new book that everyone is buzzing about. I mostly do this so that I always have a more respectable title to throw out when someone asks me what I’ve been reading than “Dirty Thoughts: A Mechanics of Love Novel.” As it turns out, my reading list from this summer/fall shined a spotlight on female authors, so I will be giving you a chick lit rundown of must-reads. Feel free to lower your expectations for highbrow reading, as there’s only so much you can expect from a girl whose only bookmarks look like this:
1. Girl on the Train- Paula Hawkins.
This was my one adult-level read this past summer and I immediately forced several people around me to read it so I could relive it through them. It’s a mystery told in several different perspectives to keep the plot twist hard to guess until the end. The main narrator, Rachel, is a sloppy alcoholic who becomes fascinated with a couple in a nice neighborhood that she watches from the train every day on her commute. Then the woman she watches from the train suddenly disappears and Rachel tries to involve herself in the investigation. This book is a page-turner but also made me want to punch the main character in the face. She’s a hot mess express and you often are not on her side, which makes you question every piece of information she’s giving you. Also fun fact: it will be made into a movie. FTR you’ll see me write that after almost every book I review, because Hollywood is unoriginal and authors rule the world. (Also pretty sure 50% of this list was picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company. LADIES R00L THE WORLD.)
2. Who Do You Love- Jennifer Wiener.
I learned about this book because Jennifer Wiener is actually a die-hard Bachelor(ette) fan and often live tweets things far funnier than I could ever write in my recaps. The good news is that she’s actually a very talented writer unlike those on the set of ABC’s moneymaker reality show. This is a classic love story about Rachel and Andy who meet by chance when they’re children and then how their lives intersect through out the years as they grow up and make terrible decisions and how they always seem to find their way back to each other. It’s kind of sad and also a lot poetic about how each choice we make in our lives have consequences and how to find the right path in the end. I honestly think that’s the smartest and least sarcastic sentence I’ve ever written on The Salty Ju.
3. Luckiest Girl Alive- Jessica Knoll.
In a post Gone Girl world, every author is itching to release the next crazy-ass female driven story. Welp, this is it. Obviously it was outright compared to Gone Girl, giving it a little more clout and intrigue, but this book might have been more F’ed up than Gone Girl. Sure, Amy Dunne was the biggest psycho on this earth, but the twist in this story actually gave me nightmares the night after I read it. I ripped through the first half of the book, refusing to put it down until I saw the creepy secret past, then had terrifying dreams influenced by it, then finished the book as soon as I woke up in the morning. So yes, it’s vividly disturbing, but also clearly it was written well if I read it in less than 12 hours. Ani is an editor at a top fashion magazine and about to marry a WASPy finance guy, so she’s basically living the dream except for the fact that her past keeps sneaking up to haunt her perfect life. *To be made into a movie, obv. Unfortunately, the pictures in my mind of this book were graphic enough, so I really don’t ever need to see them played out on the big screen, especially with our country’s current state of gun violence. (Baby spoiler)
4. Why Not Me- Mindy Kaling.
For those who like a good series of funny stories and anecdotes from comedians, this is Mindy’s newest installment and just as good as her first (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me-And Other Concerns.) If you’re not a fan of Mindy’s candid tone and tendency to talk like a high schooler, this book is not for you. The book includes stories about her dating life, her weird AF relationship with BJ Novak, what a typical day looks like for her (which I found fascinating as a TV junkie) and even the speech she gave at Harvard Law School. What’s cool about Mindy is that everyone fixates on her being Indian and not stick skinny and she addresses both in this book by saying hey assholes I’m being myself and we don’t need to draw attention to these factors every day.
5. The Royal We- Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan.
This was a book I’ve been hearing about since the beginning of summer but when I finally cracked it open a week or two ago, I was not expecting an anthology. Save this read for a long week’s vacation or possibly an excuse to stay away from your family during the holidays. Written by the creators of Go Fug Yourself, it’s an American spin on the fascination all us commoners have with the Royals. Bex is a twin from Iowa who decides to do a semester at Oxford and happens to live in the same dorm as the heir to the crown, you know, literally every American girl’s dream when they study abroad in England. The story, told in 5 parts from Bex’s perspective, tells their love story and dramas from the very beginning all the way to the royal wedding. It’s fun because Bex is a tomboy who loves baseball, drinking, and not washing her hair and she snags a hot prince. Also it is loosely based on Will & Kate’s love story, with a slutty royal brother that strikes many resemblances to Prince Harry. It was announced recently that this will be made into movie magic, of course and Lauren Graham & Mae Whitman have already signed on. For those of you who have experienced the cinematic magic that is The Duff, you’ll understand why Mae is the perfect actress for this character.
Bonus: Wallbanger- Alice Clayton.
I’m sneaking this one on the list…it’s neither new nor a classy read by any means (the cover gives that away…don’t read in public without a book sock.) However, it’s one of my favorite books of all time and I would feel wrong not including it on a list of glowing recommendations. Caroline moves into a new apt and her hottie neighbor Simon invites a new chick over every night to bang one out, which would be fine except that their bedrooms share a wall and therefore she’s hearing a lot of sex and not participating in any of it. They hate each other and exchange some words until their separate groups of friends end up hanging out and suddenly they’re all a squad and everyone starts pairing off. Told from Caroline’s point of view it’s hilarious and well-written with sneak peeks of sexy times, AKA a book about sex with an actual story (I’m looking at you 50 Shades…) Even better news if you love the first, there’s 2 more books in the series.