“What to read after Hopeless/The Sea of Tranquility/Edge of Never…”
I have been asked over and over again for some suggestions, and I’ve found with many of our fellow readers, if you loved one of ’em, you’ll love ’em all.
I’m choosing to name it “What to Read After Hopeless” though, ’cause:
- That other title would have been too long.
- ’cause of how much I love all of this author’s work, and
- because Hopeless is rocking the New York Times Best Sellers list right now, and has been for weeks! It keeps coming up in reading conversations. Readers can’t get enough of it!
This “suggestions” request is always easy for me to answer, but why not make it official, right? I can only hope to come across more poignant reads like these, and maybe you guys will have some awesome suggestions for me. These are equal to me in terms of how much I love them and how adamantly I recommend them. How deeply they affected me. And how often I’m asked… what to read next?
Christine: I finished reading Hopeless last week and it was by far my favorite. Any suggestions on What to Read After Hopeless?
Jill: Any recommendations for what to read after THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY? I am so sad it’s over!!!!
Melodie: Can you please make an article about “What to Read After the Edge of Never” like the ones you did with BD, FSOG, and Thoughtless! Please please please!
Haha!! See what I mean? These are just a few of the same requests I’ve received over and over for each of these books. I get you. I’m hooked on this “genre”, too.
Those deeeeeep, angsty, emotional reads. But what makes these different from our other angsty favorites? There is a meaningful intensity behind that angst. Darker and uncomfortable subject matters hurting the very characters that we’ll fall in love with. The pain is not just about “misunderstandings” or “miscommunication”. The tale they tell is about a dark past (or present) that is almost predetermining their future. One that could break them. Or already has.
The books listed below have that… “feeling”. The eloquent writing, detailed imagery, and a depth in the tale as it is told. Emotionally (and often physically) damaged heroines, that are on a quest to save themselves. Find themselves. Or lose themselves. Whichever comes first.
The attention to detail and care in the story as it unfolds is what makes these books come alive. Makes these characters real, and makes me forget I am reading. They have a knack for catching me off guard, and shocking me physically into tears, and uncontrollable trembling. I’ve found myself grinning with joy and sobbing with relief. And I’ve broken down and grieved, too.
If you’ve read one, you have an idea of what you’re getting into (emotionally) by picking up another off this list, but fear not!! Each one is unique. Sure, the “feeling” is similar and they affect us in “that” way… but each story is it’s own. With twists and turns, and clever reveals that we didn’t see coming. Okay, sure, some of you and *did* see it coming at a certain point but admit it. It still made you gasp and sit up straight in excitement (or worry). And I delight in that adrenaline rush. THAT is what I’m looking for as I read. I want to be so emotionally invested in the characters and their plight, and/or their accomplishments, that I forget where I am and react with abandon. That is my perfect read.
Oh and did I mention that each one has us falling head over heels in love? These aren’t just about a damaged soul and his or her pain. It’s about finding love and healing. Growing. Connecting.
And these “fit” each other, you know? There’s just something about them that you will never forget. A tale to be remembered, eagerly recounted and re-read. These are HUGE, people!!! HUGE!
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
This one had me guessing non-stop almost to the very end. And when I thought I had guessed it, I was only half-right. And when I finally figured it out, I was STILL missing something. I love when that happens. I loved it!! I fell in love, and wondered if maybe I shouldn’t. So many secrets… and reactions that had me worried. Memories that hurt. Things that could so obviously destroy these seemingly strong characters, and only time would tell. And still, with that dark cloud hovering, I laughed, and giggled with glee. The banter was hilarious, the connections, priceless. It is no wonder that this book remains at the top of the charts for weeks now! Check out my review.
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Sheer stroke of writing genius!! Gorgeous, deep, heartwarming, and very… normal. Relatable, despite the abnormal situation. These are people we can connect to, and fall in love with as they struggle with their “fight or flight” response to connecting with one another. Both have incredible stories and backgrounds, and to live with them as they come through to the other side is magical. Check out my review.
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
This one caused me to sob like mad, which peaked into full on shaking once I hit the end, and I had tremors for practically 24 hours thereafter. That was the most forceful physical reaction I have ever had to a story, and I will NEVER forget it. Pure bliss and pure agony in equal measures (I won’t tell you in what order), and yet, I wouldn’t trade a THING about having read this book, and have experienced it the way I did. What a love story!! And what a punch to the gut. Or was it to the heart? Regardless, it’s a must read! Check out my review.
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
This one too!! It has that feel, and is the perfect suggestion for this genre. A “new adult” and her teen sister on the run (and in hiding) to start their new lives together. Running from a painful past, and a scary situation. They find themselves amongst a group of misfits. And while the heroine resists all connections, the friendships that are made, will delight you. Comfort you and bring you joy, all the while knowing… something is just around the corner and about to scream “BOO!” Oh yes. Does. It. Ever. Another one that had me on the edge of my seat guessing and when it was revealed, my breath left me in a gust of shock. Check out my review.
Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
Talk about an unconventional “potential” love story (I say potential ’cause this one keeps you guessing). Still though, an elegant, painful, enlightening read. The subject matter was handled with such poise, and I felt it. Not the same “new adult” feel as the others listed above, but close. VERY close. I have a feeling if you loved those, you’ll love this. Beware of sobbing. Or as my friend Jackie said…”wailing”. *nods* Yep! Check out my review.
Reason to Breathe (The Breathing Series #1) by Rebecca Donovan
Another shocking story about a horrible homelife and a girl just trying to reach adulthood alive. Trying to hold onto who she is. Trying to make believe everything is okay for her friends. Keeping up appearances can be difficult though, when one is covered in bruises. And while she avoids close connections, there are a few that force their way in, and it;s just what she needs to make her feel normal. Human. Loved. But beware of cliffhanger. Once you’re done this one, reading #2 immediately, is a must!! Lucky for you, it’s out. Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series #2) Check out my review of book #1
VAIN by Amelie Fisher
While the heroine in this one didn’t necessarily suffer physical abuse or an extremely traumatic event in her past, she DID suffer from lack of parental attention and sabotaged herself in the process. Rich and spoiled with everything at her disposal except love, she becomes spiteful, hateful and… deep down, extremely sad. But this is where that “feel” comes in, when an incredible turn of events changes her mind, and her heart (and of course, there’s that one beautiful soul” to help complete her). Great story all around, with a lot of that feel good, enlightenment that helps disperse the original dark tone. Check out my review.
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
While this one isn’t “dark” in feel, it was just as all-consuming and stirring. A BEAUTIFUL story all around. No evil in this one, except for natural “life” revealing itself in it’s occasional, unfortunate state. Did I mention that delicious twist that will have you gasping practically form the start? Unputtdownable for me. I cried like crazy and soaked my pajama top. One of my all-time favorites forever. Check out my review and then once you’re done this one, you’ll want to experience book #2 (Point of Retreat) in all of it’s fulfilling glory.
Other poignant, sometimes difficult but always touching reads that I would highly recommend. Not always as agonizing (for me) as the ones above, but they certainly fit this “feel” and I enjoyed the heck out of ’em!:
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Gorgeous love story, and unconventional in it’s own right. LOVED it. A family struggling with a secret and friendships that develop despite of (or because of) it. Quirky, witty, and emotional. Quite the delightful twist in this one, and I swooned like mad. One of those “perfect & fulfilling” reads. Check out my review.
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
A gentle and sweet love story that starts when two children become best friends. Innocent and protective, an abused boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and his best girl friend who loves him, unconditionally. This one will tear your heart out. Check out my review.
Back to You by Priscilla Glenn
An intense romance, an intense break-up and two people who accidentally find each other again in the future. But can all that pain and anguish be forgotten? Forgiven? The things they learn about each other, and about themselves, makes their journey one we can connect to. Check out my review.
Butterfly Weeds by Laura Miller
What happens when you’re sure you and your soul mate will be together forever… and you still manage to lose each other along the way? Very angsty, it teased me a ton, and while I would have loved *more*, I cried like a baby anyway. Plus… the author says we’re getting more. Check out my review.
The Final Piece by Maggi Myers
Exquisite writing, a beautiful love story but extremely painful and so very dark at times. So dark (and occasionally painful to read). But in that darkness, there is light. The author’s writing captivated me. Sure, I wished for *more* of one thing and *less* of another, but it was good and it fits this list. Check out my review.
Okay now THESE READER RECOMMENDATIONS appear to fit the super-angsty painful/beautiful bill perfectly. After reading the adamant recommendations, and the synopsis of each book, I’m anxious to get to ’em (and I will continue to add your suggestions as we go):
Shanda: … “Sometimes Never” by Cheryl McIntyre. You know 2 of my top two books I read this year have been The Sea of Tranquility and The Edge of Never. Well this book has kind of “that” feel to me. Strong subject matter but soooo good. At times I just want to hold my breath….”
and Erin says: “This one is along the lines of Sea of Tranquility, Pushing the Limits, and Hopeless, it truly is an amazing read that brings light to a very serious problem through a beautifully told love story. The book is Sometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre. It is definitely one not to be missed!!”
Rene: “Not sure if you have read Heart on a Chain by Cindy Bennett but I highly recommend it. It was as good as Hopeless. Heartwrenching. I’m tired after being up all night reading it.”
Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters: Maryjo says: “Maryse, you have to read this book! It shows us a whole new kind of relationship and love. I haven’t read anything with this kind of subject matter, it was so deep and raw. I think you’ll love it. It was extremely emotional, but completely worth it! Clay and Maggie broke my heart and won me over…This one it absolutely worth the ride!”
I Love You to Death by Natalie Ward: Helen recommends this one! “I don’t know if you have read “I love you to death” by Natalie Ward but I think it fits in with your list of books to read after Hopeless (which I loved).”
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen – SO MANY of you said this one HAD to be on the list, so now I’m super curious! Laura: Don’t forget the coincidence of Callie and kayden on that list too!!!