Those of us who are no longer provided the luxury of a week vacation for Spring Break must seek out other forms of escape from the day to day. What better way to evade the tedious 9-5 than with a captivating new novel that will help your mind experience an entirely new environment while your body remains at home?
Each of these spellbinding books is equipped to do just that. So, find a quiet place (and maybe a glass of wine) and enjoy these mental retreats from reality.
1. Exit West by Moshin Hamid
Released earlier this month, Exit West is quickly becoming a best-selling fiction novel that readers cannot put down.
“In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.”
Get it on Amazon for $13.68
2. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Set to hit theaters later this month, The Zookeeper’s Wife is a historical novel set during WWII in Nazi-occupied Poland.
“After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became The House Under a Crazy Star.”
Get it on Amazon for $9.66
3. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
Andrea is a 39-year-old New Yorker navigating her way through the up’s and down’s of single life and she’s easily one of the most relatable protagonists we’ve ever met.
“Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters.”
Get it on Amazon for $15.00
4. A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
English novelist and essayist E. M. Forster is infamous for his unique perception of early 20th century British society. His novel, A Room With A View, revolves around a forbidden romance that will leave you glued to its pages.
“Written in 1908, A Room with a View is a social comedy set in Florence, Italy, and Surrey, England. Its heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, struggling against straitlaced Victorian attitudes of arrogance, narrow-mindedness and snobbery, falls in love-while on holiday in Italy-with the socially unsuitable George Emerson.”
Get it on Amazon for $14.95
5. Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn
In the spirit of spring and rejuvenation, Here Comes The Sun is a breath of fresh air we all could use. Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel tells an inspirational story of female independence in a conservative Jamaican village.
“At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman.”
Get it on Amazon for $16.23
6. The Circle by Dave Eggers
Another bestselling novel set to hit theaters this spring, The Circle is a captivating yet unnerving look at the future of technology and the price it comes with.
“When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.”
Get it on Amazon for $9.52
7. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
If you prefer your mental escape in the form of a spine-tingling mystery, The Couple Next Door is a must-read. As someone who enjoys my fair share of thrillers and suspense, I could not put this one down.
“Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.”
Get it on Amazon for $15.60
8. In Some Other World, Maybe by Shari Goldhagen
Shari Goldhagen’s in-depth look at the lives of three groups of teenagers growing up in modern day America is darkly comedic and unbelievably relatable, a guaranteed page turner.
“In December 1992, three groups of teenagers head to the theater to see the movie version of the famed Eons & Empires comic books. Over the next two decades, these unforgettable characters criss-cross the globe, becoming entwined by friendship, sex, ambition, fame and tragedy.”
Get it on Amazon for $6.62
9. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Soon to be a major motion picture, Everything, Everything is easily one of the most captivating forbidden romances of our time. Nicola Yoon will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions, all the while giving you a deep appreciation for the daily subtleties we take for granted.
“What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.”
Get it on Amazon for $11.17
10. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
A truly inspirational story about the power of standing up in the face of adversity, You’re Welcome, Universe is unlike any novel of its genre and gives a fresh voice to the world of Young Adult literature.
“When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.”
Get it on Amazon for $10.22
11. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
When the economy hits an all-time low, a social experiment offers couples the opportunity to have it all in exchange for spending every other month in prison together. Would you take the risk?
“Stan and Charmaine, a young urban couple, have been hit by job loss and bankruptcy in the midst of a nationwide economic collapse. Forced to live in their third-hand Honda, where they are vulnerable to roving gangs, they think the gated community of Consilience may be the answer to their prayers. If they sign a life contract, they’ll get a job and a lovely house . . . for six months out of the year.”
Get it on Amazon for $9.41