12 brilliant books for when the world can feel like a bit of a scary place
There's no denying that the world can feel like a bit of a scary place at the moment.
And with the coronavirus-related restrictions currently in place for Ireland, a lot more people are going to be spending time indoors in the coming weeks - and turning to various sources of entertainment to brighten the gloomy and lonely times.
This weekend, we have rounded up 12 brilliant books that will make you feel good when the world's feeling like a scary place.
The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Officially published on April 2, but the audiobook is available now.
Six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be. What would happen if they told the truth instead?
Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.
Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood café, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.
Little do they realize that such small acts of honesty hold the power to impact all those who discover the notebook and change their lives completely.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
American Royals by Katharine McGee
The Washingtons have ruled America for almost 250 years. They're gorgeous, fiercely famous and the beating heart of the most glorious royal court in the world.
But behind the glittering ballrooms, elegant gowns, and seemingly perfect public personas lie forbidden romances and scandalous secrets. Together four young women will navigate gossip, drama, and the eyes of the world upon them.
There's everything to play for - but there can only be one queen.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They've been together for almost a decade, and are just about to get married. But then, on Lydia's 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.
Then something unbelievable happens. Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. But what if there's someone in her new life who wants her to stay?
Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth
Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.
Could things get any worse? Her mother is on her doorstep with a suitcase, and Jenny is about to find out…
Adults is a novel about living online and trying to find yourself in real life; a hymn to the power of female friendship and an essential read for you and every woman you know.
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...
Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
They're a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it.
Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much....
Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets. In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?
So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter
IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .
Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.
AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?
Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.
And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…
The Neighbours by Nicola Gill
Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour…
Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?
Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends…
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.
Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him. If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.
Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again...
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.
Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he's tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal. The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance (They set the rules via email). Everyone can see they’re head over heels (They staged the photos). This must be true love (They’re faking it).
When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.
So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…