It's 2018, and I think everyone can agree that real life is pretty hard lately. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is
escape into a good book. In books, you can be anything and go anywhere. You can let the problems of the real world melt away as you chase down answers in a heart-thumping plot. When you've got a good book in your hand, you can let your problems go for a little while, and make it through even the hardest of times.
And can we talk for a second about how straight-up relaxing it is to curl up with a book? Whether you're wrapped up in your favorite blanket, reading in the bath, or even cramming a few pages in while headed home on a crowded train, the physical act of reading is so dang soothing. Studies have shown that
reading greatly reduces stress — findings that any reader will greet with a great big "duh." Taking that time to pull away from life's chaos to immerse yourself in art can feel so good.
So, if life's got you tearing your hair out, take a break and let one of these fantastic reads whisk you away. And with any hope, by the time you reach the last page, your troubles will have washed away completely.
'The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue' by Mackenzi Lee
Hop aboard a wild romp through Europe with Henry “Monty” Montague, a born-and-bred gentleman who can't be tamed. As Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, seeking pleasure and following his vice wherever he goes, he's haunted by his father's harsh expectations and the crush he's nursing on his best friend.
Click here to buy. 'Saga' by Brian K. Vaughn
You're certain to get sucked into the wild, rampant world of this comic series immediately. New parents Marko and Alana come from opposite sides of a long and bitter intergalactic war — and both sides want them and their child dead. The young family fights for their survival in a universe that's filled with surprises at every turn.
Click here to buy. 'Mermaid' by Carolyn Turgeon
As the Disney song goes, "We've got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea!" In this spin-off of the classic tale
The Little Mermaid, Princess Margrethe witnesses a handsome young man being rescued by a mermaid. As she nurses him back to health, she learns that he is the son of her father's greatest rival. Click here to buy. 'The House of Spirits' by Isabel Allende
This classic from Isabel Allende will take your breath away. Allende follows the lives of three generations of the Trueba family, and the book is bursting with forbidden love.
Click here to buy. 'The Madwoman Upstairs' by Catherine Lowell
If you're a fan of the Brontë sisters, you'll love this literary mystery. Samantha is the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family. When she arrives for her first semester at Oxford, she winds up on an elaborate scavenger hunt, which might just reveal a long-lost family heirloom.
Click here to buy. 'The Living Infinite' by Chantel Acevedo
Based on the true story of the Spanish princess Eulalia of the Bourbon court, the book follows the princess as journeys to the New World on a secret mission to find a publisher for her scandalous autobiography.
Click here to buy. 'Ink and Ashes' by Valynne E. Maetani
Sometimes the best escape is a good mystery, and oh boy, will this one sweep you up. When a mysterious letter leads Claire to investigate her estranged father's past, she discovers that he was part of the Japanese mafia, and is led down a twisting, thrilling chase for the truth.
Click here to buy. 'The Fifth Season' by N.K. Jemisin
There's nothing that gets me like a good epic fantasy, and this book is an amazing ride. Set in a world in which apocalypse-level events happen with regularity and in which some people have the ability to harness the energy of the Earth, this series follows three women whose fates are intertwined with the chaos of the earth.
Click here to buy. 'The Princess Bride' by William Goldman
This classic is one of my personal faves — and if you've only seen the movie, you need to hop on the book pronto. A satirical parody of a fairy tale, interspersed with fake notes and abridgments, this book is filled with adventure, romance, and tons of ridiculous fun.
Click here to buy. 'The Enchantress of Florence' by Salman Rushdie
In this book, a stranger appears at court, claiming to be the daughter of a long-lost Mughal princess who was believed to possess magical powers. The people of the city are immediately mesmerized by her presence, which stirs up a slew of trouble.
Click here to buy. 'The Goose Girl' by Shannon Hale
This beloved YA fantasy is a great read, and an even better re-read. Ani is Crown Princess of Kildenree, has the ability talk to animals, and is much more comfortable with them than people. But when her lady-in-waiting commits a mutiny, Ani is stranded in a foreign land and must rely on her wits to survive.
Click here to buy.