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7 Books That Make You Feel Like a Main Character

Jana Li
March 22 2022
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Sometimes you might feel like you’re just the comic-relief sidekick in your best friend’s narrative—or, worse, a faceless figure in the pages of a stranger’s tale—but regardless of whether you actually play those roles, you are still the main character of your own story. It’s hard to remember that sometimes; however, if Adams Media’s How to Be the Main Character workbook doesn’t guide you toward living your best life, here are some immersive and fast-paced books that will make you feel like you’re the main character in a new world! You’ll easily be able to place yourself in these adventures!

The Recovery Agent
by Janet Evanovich

As a recovery agent, Gabriela Rose is used to helping others: she has reunited clients and companies with lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, and missing assets. But this time it’s her own family’s well-being that is at stake. As she navigates through the jungles of Peru, searching for the elusive Ring of Solomon with her ex-husband, you’ll start to feel the same drive for success that motivates Gabriela. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re the one who’s on the mission!

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The Recovery Agent
Janet Evanovich

#1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich returns with the launch of a blockbuster new series that blends wild adventure, hugely appealing characters, and pitch-perfect humor, proving once again why she’s “the most popular mystery writer alive” (The New York Times).

Lost something? Gabriela Rose knows how to get it back. As a recovery agent, she’s hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets of any kind. She’s reliable, cool under pressure, and well trained in weapons of all types. But Gabriela’s latest job isn’t for some bamboozled billionaire, it’s for her own family, whose home is going to be wiped off the map if they can’t come up with a lot of money fast.

Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Lima. But this particular job comes with a huge problem attached to it—Gabriela’s ex-husband, Rafer. It’s Rafer who has the map that possibly points the way to the treasure, and he’s not about to let Gabriela find it without him.

Rafer is as relaxed as Gabriela is driven, and he has a lifetime’s experience getting under his ex-wife’s skin. But when they aren’t bickering about old times the two make a formidable team, and it’s going to take a team to defeat the vicious drug lord who has also been searching for the fabled ring. A drug lord who doesn’t mind leaving a large body count behind him to get it.

The Recovery Agent marks the start of an irresistible new series that will have you clamoring for more and cheering for the unstoppable Gabriela Rose on every page.

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The Heights
by Louise Candlish

There’s a man standing atop a roof terrace—a man you thought you would never see again. Why? Because two years ago, you were the one who killed him. This psychological thriller follows Ellen Saint, who develops an all-consuming obsession after witnessing the impossible. The novel’s slow-burn suspense and deep dive into Ellen’s mind will capture your attention and keep you anxiously waiting—almost as if you are the real main character.

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The Heights
Louise Candlish

“Impossible to resist, impossible to predict, impossible to put down…this is an author at the top of her game.” —Erin Kelly, author of Watch Her Fall

The author of the “masterfully plotted, compulsive page-turner” (The Guardian) Our House takes you on a haunting and nail-biting journey of tragedy and revenge.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among warehouses in London. Its roof terrace is so discreet, you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there—a man you’d recognize anywhere. He may be older now, but it’s definitely him.

But that can’t be because he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.

With Louise Candlish’s signature dark and twisty prose, The Heights shows “the ferocity of maternal love” (Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You). It is a unputdownable thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page.

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The Appeal
by Janice Hallett

If you’ve ever likened yourself to a detective, you can live out that fantasy through THE APPEAL, a narrative that is told in snippets of clues and puzzles that allow for full “detective immersion.” When theater director Martin Hayward’s granddaughter is diagnosed with cancer, Martin’s castmates rally to raise money for experimental treatments. Tensions and suspicions arise, however, over the legitimacy of both the cancer treatment and the intentions of those involved, and, soon enough, a dead body is found. Get out your magnifying glass—there’s a killer to be uncovered and a mystery to be solved!

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The Appeal
Janice Hallett

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell, this “dazzlingly clever” (The Sunday Times) murder mystery follows a community rallying around a sick child—but when escalating lies lead to a dead body, everyone is a suspect.

The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play’s star. Their young granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental treatment costing a tremendous sum, their fellow castmates rally to raise the money to give her a chance at survival.

But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment’s efficacy—nor of the good intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material—emails, messages, letters—with a growing suspicion that a killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.

A wholly modern take on the epistolary novel, The Appeal is a “daring…clever, and funny” (The Times) debut for fans of Richard Osman and Lucy Foley.

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Stardust
by Joseph Kanon

Rich with atmosphere and period detail, STARDUST makes it easy to place yourself in Ben Collier’s shoes. Ben has just arrived in Hollywood in 1945 after escaping from war-torn Europe, only to find that his movie-star brother has died under mysterious circumstances. Uncovering secrets about his family’s past was difficult, but untangling the intricate web of deception surrounding his brother’s death proves to be a moral challenge more difficult than anything he has faced before.

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Stardust
Joseph Kanon

Ben arrives in Hollywood after the end of World War II and is shocked to discover that his successful brother has killed himself. But nothing is what it seems in the movie business, as Ben discovers, especially as the fear of communism casts a long shadow.

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The Sign for Home
by Blair Fell

Arlo Dilly is a deaf-blind Jehovah’s Witness who is living under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. Because of these factors, his chances of finding love seem slim, especially after the loss of the love of his life. Years after the heartbreak, however, a college writing assignment causes Arlo to revisit buried memories and suspect that some of the hearing people he believed he could trust have been lying to him all along. More important, though, there is a chance that his lost love could be found again. In this heartwarming story, told from the perspective of Arlo himself, you can sense only what he can sense, which makes for a truly unique and immersive reading experience.

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The Sign for Home
Blair Fell

When Arlo Dilly learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he takes it as a sign and embarks on a life-changing journey to find his great love—and his freedom.

Arlo Dilly is young, handsome and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.

And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.

Or so Arlo thought.

After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.

No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.

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Unraveling Oliver
by Liz Nugent

You may not have the perfect life, but Oliver Ryan definitely does. Or so it seemed. No one knows why he savagely assaulted his wife and left her for dead; they can only speculate. As revelations of his past come to light and his decades of careful deception are unraveled, Oliver discovers that he cannot fully outrun his demons. You’ll find that this suspense-filled psychological thriller not only keeps you waiting in anxious anticipation, but it also makes you feel like you’re the darkly secretive Oliver Ryan himself.

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Unraveling Oliver
Liz Nugent

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The Cipher
by Isabella Maldonado

Nina Guerrera holds two titles: an FBI Special Agent who brings criminals to justice, and “the one that got away” to a serial killer, the Cipher, who tried abducting her when she was sixteen. When a witness’s video of her defending herself against a mugger goes viral, the Cipher sees it and resolves to reclaim his lost prize, to lure her out by committing a grisly murder. As Nina tracks down the predator, clue by clue, you’ll definitely feel like you are in her world. After all, nothing makes you feel more like a main character than epic fighting scenes!

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The Cipher
Isabella Maldonado

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7 Books That Make You Feel Like a Main Character

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Photo credit: iStock / demaerre

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