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A Few Guilty Pleasures

As much as I love classic literature and profound contemporary novels, I also have a treasure trove of guilty pleasures that I love. You can only read so many Anna Karenina like novels before your head explodes! Enter, a light and fluffy romance novel, my secret to beating a reading slump and generally keeping a happy mood. They’re sure to re-inspire your reading after you’ve digested too much symbolism and hidden meanings, but they’re also filled with happiness and whimsy, something we could always use a little more of. It’s about time I read a proper romance and I’m looking for suggestions! I’ve heard the Stephanie Plum series is good, but I’m looking for something a little more romantic with a little less mystery. What would you recommend?

Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane

I found Caprice Crane browsing the library shelves in high school, and I’ve loved her ever since. Her novels are hysterically funny, romantic, and filled with quirky characters with relatable idiosyncrasies that you can’t help but love. Stupid and Contagious is my favorite, but Forget About It is just as good!

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

What girl can’t relate to Bridget Jones!? She’s messy and never really put together, always tripping into some kind of disaster, and yet perfectly adorable. I still haven’t brought myself to read the latest installment in the series – I’m just not ready to live in a world where Mark Darcy is gone. 😦

Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie

I absolutely LOVE the Psychic Eye series! Laurie, a psychic herself, writes Abby’s character perfectly – she’s not a goopy psychic you might find in the yellow pages, she comes off as a viable reader, with a feisty personality to boot. I just finished reading the latest installment, and it’s going to be a long wait for the next one (July is a long ways away!).

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Or anything by Meg Cabot, really. We’ve probably all read the Princess Diaries, but the Boy series, Queen of Babble, Avalon High, Insatiable…. they’re some of the best romances I’ve read. The perfect balance of humor, romance, and pop culture.  I’ve been reading her novels since middle school, and they’re still among some of my favorites. Plus, Cabot’s a sister Hoosier. Go IU!

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

This was a more recent suggestion from a friend.  I was a little slow on the uptake – I really didn’t want to ruin the Scarlet Pimpernel for myself. But I was so wrong. While some of the writing can be a little cheesy (and a little steamy), the series is packed with strong female characters and the perfect mix of history and romance. If you love Outlander, but are looking for something a little lighter – the Carnation series cannot be beat!

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is another staple among my guilty pleasures. My favorites are The Undomestic Goddess and Twenties Girl. Her characters are unsure and still in the process of figuring things out – just like me! And then bam, they figure it all out and live happily ever after. Her stories are hopeful and in a confusing world for a young adult, perfect almost-YA for a girl in her twenties.

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