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Recently my book club selected The House in the Cerulean Sea as our monthly pick. Because of the hype surrounding it, I admit that I was a little apprehensive about picking up on it. I have read hyped books before and have been deeply disappointed. That’s why I always proceed with caution. But whoever recommended it said it was like a “warm hug,” so we all jumped at it because we’re honest … after 2020 and the start of 2021, warm hug books are something we can all use.
And that description was absolutely accurate. As I read it, I felt this warm bubble of happiness dissolve in me. Everything about the book evoked all my emotions and I enjoyed every page
Everything about this book stayed with me. How Linus fully came to his own personality and realized that he was someone. The slowly burning romance between Linus and Arthur. And the development of the relationship between the children and him.
It warms my heart on so many levels when children instinctively hold my hand when they are scared. Linus was so protective of the kids before he even realized it was inspiring to read; This is one of the best-found family books I have ever read.
After reading the book, I had to think about what constitutes a comfortable read. Since this depends on the person, the definition can be fluid. For example, one of my closest friends is using horror for her comfort reading while I use it to be scared. So there is a lot that is right for everyone.
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For me, comfort readings are books that sit with me for a very long time. Not all of them are one hundred percent happy. In fact, most of them have a touch of bittersweet. However, that tends to make it more real, which only helps increase my love for them, which is why one of my recommended YA comfort readings is The Field Guide to the North American Teenagers.
Below are a few more books that come to mind when I think of an easy read. These books have stayed with me for a considerable time since I last closed them. They’re spread across a variety of genres and there’s no real rhyme or reason for them; They just made me smile back then and still do it when I think of them.
Stopover from Katrina Jackson
I’ve mentioned this before and I’m sure a lot of people are wondering how I can grow so poetically over what is essentially a novella. But the fact that I talk about it so much says enough. I found this book as a giveaway one night while flipping through Twitter. It was March 17th last year which means I was in the middle of my week off and was about to start a year when I would basically be closed in my apartment. And the premise just attracted me.
As I read it, I had experienced three consecutive deaths in my family: my aunt in November 2019, my father-in-law in January 2020, and my brother in early March. So I was dealing with a lot of sadness. It helped me to read how travel blogger Lena went through it and how she dealt with it. I also enjoyed the well-written wish between her and Tony. Although it was always present, it never completely took over the story as it seemed more about exploring her grief. And they had a very pleasant HFN. I will always recommend this book to others.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
It wasn’t just the slow romance friends that Rachel and Henry went through that fueled my love here. This book had all of the catnip for me. It takes place in a bookstore, it handles the grieving process very well, and it talks about the various doodles that people leave in books. I liked the idea of the stories behind people who own books, especially when they left notes. It doesn’t matter if it was someone else or yourself; It’s still a mystery that you can’t help but try to express yourself. I picked up this expecting to be entertained but fell head over heels in love with the story.
Fangirl from Rainbow Rowell
This is another one that has just worked its way into my heart and taken root. College is a scary place and it is very rare for the media to capture it. I also think that’s one of the reasons Buffy season four is one of my favorites because the first few episodes focus on what it feels like to move from high school to college and the uncertainty of where You fall down.
I’m not a big fan of Rowell’s other YA books, but this one was different. It’s likely to be in college – books like this are like catnip to me. I felt like Cath when I went to college, especially the time I was out with my roommate. Embarrassing. Alone. An outcast. And seeing how Cath slowly came out of her self-made cocoon and found her place was inspirational to read. Also, I would have loved to meet a Levi, my freshman year.
A prince on paper by Alyssa Cole
This is the final book in Alyssa’s Reluctant Royal series, and while the others in the series are amazing, this is my comfort reading. I think it has a lot to do with how much cinnamon bun Johan is and how ready he is to protect his brother. I’m not used to this kind of sibling love in romances. Most of the time it’s more of a controlling factor, while Johan really wants his brother to lead as normal a life as possible. I cheered when I read about Nya, who, after years of holding down, discovered her inner strength. And that these two will find their own happily ever after? It’s just great.
These are just a few of the books I read that I would class as consolation readings. Are some of these on your list or the ones you want to add?