Everyone has their guilty pleasures in life — and that includes reading books that you're embarrassed to admit you love. I'm not ashamed to admit that I love Bachelor in Paradise, Lone Star beer (Texas forever), and frozen mozzarella sticks. (This is a no-judgment zone.) But when it comes to books, I sometimes have a hard time shedding my ~serious~ persona. Whether or not I'm ready to admit it, the truth is that I've spent many a comforting afternoon in the company of the literary equivalent of freezer-to-oven snacks. There are plenty of books that critics wouldn't traditionally consider "good" or "well-written" or "worth the paper it's printed upon" that I've thoroughly and heartily enjoyed and would probably re-read, to be perfectly honest. Hey, that's why Kindles and smartphones exist, right?
I asked Whisper to pose the following question to anonymous book lovers on the site: "What book are you too embarrassed to admit you love? Why?" The answers definitely didn't disappoint. However, before you read through this list of 15 novels Whisper users are embarrassed to admit they love, consider the main takeaway of this experiment: read what you love, and never, ever be ashamed of what you honestly, sincerely enjoy reading.
1. The Fault In Our Stars By John Green
Love 'em or hate 'em, you'll still bawl like a baby when you learn the fate of Augustus and Hazel.
2. The Steps By Rachel Cohn
Growing up doesn't have to mean growing old. More and more adults are taking that mantra to heart and reading young adult and middle grade fiction.
3. Serial Killer Thrillers
You're definitely not alone. Might I suggest a few true crime books to satiate your craving for serial killer stories?
4. The Fifty Shades Series By E.L. James
You do you, and pick up one of these erotic books for 50 Shades of Grey fans.
5. A Child Called "It" By Dave Pelzer
A Child Called "It" is definitely a book that will change your perspective.
6. V.C. Andrews
V.C. Andrews' famous novel Flowers in the Attic controversially centers on one theme that's pretty hard to swallow: incest.
7. Candy Girl By Diablo Cody
Diablo Cody, the writer behind the acclaimed movie Juno, penned this memoir about her year-long experience as a stripper.
8. The Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein's poems contain many weird and fascinating truths that ring way true past childhood.
9. Divergent By Veronica Roth
Let's be real: there's nothing worse than a bad book-to-movie adaptation.
10. The Mortal Instruments Series By Cassandra Clare
Here's what I say about this: you're never too adult to enjoy young adult literature!
11. Paper Towns By John Green
Read what you want to read — especially if that includes lots and lots of John Green books.
12. The Vampire Academy Series By Richelle Mead
Vampires + high school drama? The Vampire Academy Series is far from lame.
13. The Chronicles Of Vladimir Tod By Heather Brewer
...or for people who love good vampire books.
14. The Twilight Series By Stephenie Meyer
Though Twilight is definitely problematic, it's beloved by many and served as the inspiration for countless YA authors.
15. The Host By Stephenie Meyer
Give this one a try if you like Meyer's writing, but can't stand vampire-human-werewolf love triangles.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Whisper