Whether you're the kind of person who's aiming to read 200 books in 2018, or if you're more of a leisurely bibliophile, I'm willing to bet that we could all use some recommendations for the most inspiring winter reads to set our new year off on a positive note. Especially after the eventful year that was 2017, nothing sounds better to me than using these bitterly cold winter months to get swept up in some inspiring or just plain thrilling novels.
We've partnered with BookClubbish to put together a list of six of the best novels with protagonists so strong and engaging that they're practically guaranteed to restore your faith in the human spirit, one page at a time.
From can't-put-down historical fiction to suspense-filled psychological reads, we've found something for every kind of book lover below. And who knows? Maybe you'll even find something here that'll open your eyes to an entirely new genre to dive into in the new year. Read through our recommendations, then click through to purchase your faves so you can get started ASAP.
1The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff
This tragically beautiful World War II-era novel is proof positive that women are an unstoppable force. After 16-year-old Noa has been abandoned by her family when she becomes pregnant by a Nazi soldier, she's forced to give up her child and fend for herself. One day, as she's cleaning a rail station to earn her keep, Noa's life is changed forever when she happens upon an entire car of Jewish infants who are bound for a concentration camp. Instantly struck with with the memory of the child she was forced to give up, Noa takes one of the infants and flees the station forever. Now with a new life to take care of, and no shelter or family of her own, Noa is forced to confide in her rival-turned-best friend Astrid, whose own life is now in danger as she protects her friend's secret. The Orphan's Tale may be harrowing, but the bravery of these unforgettable characters will leave you feeling buoyant and hopeful. Plus, it's a perfect selection for book clubs!
2Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Ginny Moon centers around the indomitable title character, who's recently been adopted by parents who want nothing more than for Ginny to feel like she belongs. But when Ginny finds her biological mom on Facebook, she sets out on a dangerous journey to venture back to her and reclaim what's hers, no matter the cost. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll likely be overcome with the sudden need to rethink your own definition of "family."
3Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick
Just as the life he's built for himself has begun to fall apart before his eyes, Benedict Stone's teenage niece Gemma arrives at his home unexpectedly. As she inserts herself into Benedict's seemingly orderly world, he begins to realize that Gemma's presence could be the one thing he needs to jump-start his life, and even encourage a newfound connection with his estranged brother. Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone is a charming read that'll prime you to see new possibilities in your own life.
4My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari
If you're in the mood for your heartstrings to be tugged, then you definitely need to check out My Last Love Story. This poignant read tells the tale of 30-year-old Simi Desai and her husband, who is battling terminal cancer. Before he dies, her husband puts a plan in action to help Simi fall in love with their mutual best friend, allowing both of them to move on after his death. Tragic, brilliant, and a compelling page-turner.
5In This Moment by Karma Brown
As you might be able to glean from the title, In This Moment begins with a moment that instantly alters the course of Meg Pepper's once-peaceful life. When Meg stops her car to signal a pedestrian across the street, the boy is suddenly struck by a second oncoming car, sending him down a long road to recovery. As Meg is consumed with guilt and the unrelenting need to help the victim through their rehab, she slowly fades away from her own family and loved ones and begins to lose herself in what used to be a perfect stranger's wellbeing. A smart, engrossing story of self-forgiveness.
6Not A Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
Two years after a terrible accident leaves her deaf and with a serious case of depression that takes her away from her job and her family, Amelia Winn is finally ready to build her life back up. Just as she starts piecing her life together, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery when she happens upon the slain body of one of her friends. With her newly rebuilt life threatening to unravel for a second time, Amelia is more strongly determined than ever to bring her friend's killer to justice — and prevent her own life from falling apart yet again. Fans of thrillers won't be able to stop themselves from flying through the pages of this compelling psychological thriller.
This post is sponsored by BookClubbish.