What To Read After Hopeless

by Maryse on February 3, 2013 · 50 comments

in Colleen Hoover, My Favorites

It’s time for another “What to Read After…” list, and this one has some of my absolute forever-favorites! This list could easily have been called…

“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:

  1. That other title would have been too long.
  2. ’cause of how much I love all of this author’s work, and
  3. 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!!!

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine February 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Maryse, thank you so much for this list… it’s exactly what I was looking for, I’ve read a few of these, however i intend to read every single one on this list.. I am also reading both your top favorites of 2011 and 2012. I have not been disappointed yet. I am very grateful i found your blog… I had never read such fantastic books!!! Thanks again Maryse you rock!!

LucyLou February 3, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Great List Maryse!!! Thank you soooo much!!! There are several on here that I haven’t read. And the ones that I have read are perfect for the list. You GO GIRL!!! :)
Your top 3 are some of my all time favorite books. And I read “Me Before You” weeks ago and still have a hard time thinking about it without getting choked up. ***Sniff*** **Sniff**

Maryse February 3, 2013 at 9:14 PM

OMG Me Before You… help me now. That one… WHOOOO!!! I agonized.

Maryse February 3, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I’m SO happy that this helps, Catherine!! I love making these lists because I get to consolidate my favorites in “genres” and readers send me so many suggestions, too.

Nothing better though, than knowing others are looking to read the same things I am. So fun. We’re all in this together! :D

Stacey C February 3, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Love this list! I’ve read most of these, and they’re all pretty great. “Back to you” and “heart on a chain” look good, adding them to my reading list for next week!!

Your blog is what sucked me into a reading frenzy after reading “beautiful disaster” last year, and searched for what to read after…your blog popped up, and I’ve been making my way threw all your recommendations since. You’re pretty awesome, Maryse ;-)

Emely February 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM

There are only three books I haven’t read yet from list, now they are on my TBR list, Thank you!

Melissa February 3, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Thanks for the list. I’ve read nearly everything you have suggested/ reviewed and have never been disappointed. I love your blog and am so happy I found it! I’m waiting to fall in love with my next book.

Johanna February 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Thanks Maryse for this great list :-) I’ve been lucky enough to read most of the books you’ve mentioned, and they were all great. But, would you consider doing a similar list for a darker genre (dark read)? For example, something along the lines of Seduced in the Dark & Captive in the dark? I tend to like my reads a lil bit darker ;)

Avery February 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM

I need to read Hopeless still- already bought it and just haven’t started yet. Absolutely loved Edge of Never and The Sea of Tranquility -I read them back to back. Thanks again for all your recommendations!

Joanne Bustamante February 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

You forgot to put Vain by Amelie Fisher

Jessica Z February 3, 2013 at 10:18 PM

There’s only 3 books on this list I haven’t read. Well 3 is better the none. :) thanks for this!!!

Izabella D February 4, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Although not dark, I highly *highly* recommend Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. I giggled like crazy and I think EVERY woman can relate to this story. It’s young, modern, and completely sarcastic. The humor.. You’ll laugh.. you’ll cry.. you’ll cry from laughing. It’s really that great.

Barbara February 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM

I just finished The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred. I loved this book, I’m so glad you added it to this list! I highly recommed it if you loved Hopeless you’ll love this one!

Yvonne February 4, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Awesome list. I have 3 on here I haven’t read and can’t wait to purchase. These are exactly the style of book I love so much. I would have added “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”, other than that, you pretty much nailed it again.

Michelle McKinley February 4, 2013 at 2:05 AM

Thank you for this. I was seriously trying to figure out what to read next as I’ve read each of the first three multiple times lol. Many on the list I have read but there are a few I haven’t gotten to. So thanks again. :)

Lisa Farhana February 4, 2013 at 4:05 AM

Marked these books on Goodreads! Totally love The Sea of Tranquility, and Edge of Never is a great read too. Flat-Out Love is a must read, very sweet and funny.

Thank you for the great list, Maryse! Ahh, so many books to read, so little time.

Nic February 4, 2013 at 5:06 AM

Love this list – I’ve read all but 2 of them. Your taste is so in line with mine (and a bazillion others obviously!), so I love checking out your recommendations.
I just finished reading a gorgeous book called ‘Feels Like the First Time’ by Shawn Inmon. It’s actually a true story which made it all the more delicious. I stumbled across it and completely adored it. Definitely worth checking out. I gave it 5 stars on GR. I can’t get it out of my head. :)

Maryellen February 4, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Awesome list! Thank you!

Heather February 4, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Hi love the list read most but there’s a couple I’ll have download to read thanks! I also read Tasting never and Finding Never and its a little darker but was kinda on the same page and absolutely loved them! The next one in the series comes out march 2 so not long to wait! Just thought I’d share! Thanks for all your reviews!

Minha (BrazilianGirl) February 4, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Thank you Maryse!!! :)

Linda F February 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Maryse, thank you for this amazing list!

I’ve read several of these wonderful books, including Slammed and Point of Retreat, two of my favorite books ever. The Edge of Never caused me to sob like crazy too! Some are on my TBR list. I will never forget these books.

Thanks again for sharing!

Amanda February 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I’ve read all of those wonderful books…Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia is one of my fav reads after Hopeless.

Erika February 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Great list! I have loved many of these and have a bunch waiting for me on my Kindle! I’ll have to get to them soon. Also thanks for the introduction to a few others like The Gum Tree and Butterfly Weeds! I’d also add The Secret of Ella and Micha and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden to that list and maybe Crash/Clash. Maybe not as emotional but still pretty emotional. Thanks again!

Kimberly February 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I have all these books read most but still have a few need to moved them up

Catherine February 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I second Johanna, i love this list and looking forward to reading the books i havent read yet. However, would absolutely love a list of darker reads like ” CITD and SITD” and “Truth and Consequences” truly my favorite reads lately. Thanks again Marise!!

Maryse February 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You bet! Dark reads coming next. I’m slowly building my “dark reads” experience so it won’t necessarily be a very long list (yet) but I’ll add to it as I go. :)

Shannon February 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Love the list and I’m excited to find some I need to put on my to read list. I went threw my books and agree with that “The coincidence of Callie and Kayden” should be on the list, loved it so much! But also maybe “Collision Course” by S.C Stephens and “Almost” by Anna Eliot. Both remind me alittle of Reason to breath which is still one of my favs too.

LucyLou February 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

My Mom turned me on to this book years ago. “Love Story” by Erich Segal . It was a best seller in 1970, but you can get it on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Love-Story-ebook/dp/B005UCVVA6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
OMG… it is one of the best books I have ever read, but be prepared to cry. :)

Rae Blair February 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan. Look at the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Just finished it last week OMG what a story!

Mélodie February 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Thank you !I already bought Ten tiny breath, and can’t wait for Hopeless and The sea of Tranquility to be released on paperback !

bev February 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Amy & Rogers Epic Detour is a book that Tammara Webber mentioned in a blog post on Heroes and Heartbreakers. I picked it up on Sat from library and read it straight through. It was a really good book. Not really angsty or any big twists but still so good. Maybe more of a gentle read quiet but with humor. I just lost a parent as an adult and so could identify with the heroine. Really liked both main characters and wanted to keep reading when done. Love the road trip and the people they meet on their detour. Also some extras in the book that were fun such as their playlists, pics, and drawings. Really recomend this one.

Helen February 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

I would also recommend I love you to death by Natalie ward.

Andrea February 4, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Maryse- I LUV your lists!!!!!!! I go through each one, and usually download almost all of them. My faves last year were, Sea Of Tranquility, Ten Tiny Breaths, Edge of Never, and Slammed (POR)- amazing reads. I used to read only paranormal, and you have totally changed my reading palate. My kindle is definitely full all the time because of your blog. Thanks a million.

Rocky February 4, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Ok so I’m a newbie to your website but I have to say I’ve become completely addicted. This is a great list, I’ve read quite a few of these books (loved them all) and have placed the rest on my tbr list (who needs sleep right?) I have to agree with a previous post that “I love you to death” by Natalie Ward is one of my favourites and what got me hooked on this genre. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but so worth the trip!

Sally February 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Question ?? Need to know if the hero or heroine dies in the end because I cannot take another one of those. I still have not got over *Spoiler* I love a good tearjerker but with a HEA

Sally February 4, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Please Maryse say there is a HEA aka (neither h/H dies)?.

kristie February 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I love Heart on a Chain. Another great one on this list
would be Cross My Heart by Katie Klein. and Wishing for Someday Soon by Tiffany King. Both very much like this list…..

Fred LeBaron February 5, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Great list, Maryse, love seeing up and comers like Maggi Myers on it! You are the best book finder ever ♥!

Jen February 5, 2013 at 12:24 PM

This list is awesome! thank you for all your recommendations. If posible, as a suggestion, it would be a great idea to have a list of great “STANDALONE” books…that would be awesome…sometimes is difficult to keep up with series and trilogies. Also, it would be great to have a list of books similar to “Consequences” and “Truth”.
Thank you so much for your great blog. I visit everyday, and follow all your recommendations.

Beth B. February 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Me Before You – wowzers. Thank you for your list; I immediately downloaded each sample to my Kindle to peruse…
I’ve recently stumbled across your blog from a link Colleen Hoover posted on her FB page. Love your book reviews; thank you so much for doing what you do!! I am the kind of person that reads a book and it really sticks with me for days and weeks afterwards. Nice to know I’m not alone!

Yoyo February 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Love this list, Maryse! Just finished Hopeless and it was wonderful as are all Colleen Hoover’s books. Edge of Never was also one of my favorites. I think A. L. Jackson’s books fall into this category too, particularly When We Collide.

Justine February 6, 2013 at 10:55 PM

The coincidence of Callie and Kayden is a mist read. I couldn’t put it down and instantly became one of my favorites!

Christine February 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Thank you Thank you for making this list!! I just finished The Edge of Never at your suggestion and I LOVED it!!! Just like I like my books, it ripped my heart out, crushed it, put it back and healed it :)

Ruby March 24, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Falling into you by jasinda wilder is definitely a must read after the edge of never ! It has the same angst and intensity!

Mel July 12, 2013 at 5:09 AM

Awesome list! I love this genre. I think it’s missing Ruin Me & Ruin You by Carra McKenna. Ruin Me ends much the the same as Barely Breathing but the second book is there so no need to panic!

lian92 December 8, 2013 at 7:16 PM

out from the list i loved the coneqenec of callie and Keyden though i realy didnt like Redemption that much i aslo loved Twisted perfection and Della dark past and terrifiying conseqences left me in tears i felt abought thi book like you do abought thi reads and loved the emotional termoil a well a the mentally and phiicaly abused heroin abought rape i realy liked Jut liten though it i young adult i also herd Wait for you is good and i just started the ecret of Ella and Micha and the main charecter has an obviu tragedy and there are many heart braking moments

Linecia Matthee-Daniels December 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Thank you so much for these lists< have read most of them and my heart was torn out of my body! thanks to you i have read some amazing books!

Ang January 10, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I have been tracking the books you read and making lists of them for a while now but have never commented. I just want to thank you for recommending some of my FAVORITE books. If it weren’t for you I would’ve missed out on some real good ones. Thanks a million!

Neharika January 30, 2015 at 10:13 AM

You must read and add Left Drowning by Jessica parker to this list
I insist
You have to read this book please

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