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Author Picks: 6 Irresistible Books Meant to Be Yours

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Hannah Orenstein is the author of Meant to Be Mine, Playing with MatchesLove at First Like, and Head Over Heels, and is the deputy editor of dating at Elite Daily. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen.com. She lives in Brooklyn.

Posting this recommendation list on Friday, June 24, 2022, feels funny to me. I’ve thought about this date for so long. See, in my new rom-com, MEANT TO BE MINE, my protagonist, Edie Meyer, knows the exact day she’s going to meet the love of her life, thanks to a prophecy by her eccentric grandmother. The date? You guessed it: June 24. Unlike Edie’s grandma, I can’t say with any certainty if you’re going to bump into your soulmate today. But I can try to help you fall in love with an amazing book.

Whether you’re in search of a page-turner to pull you out of your reading slump or you need a book to toss into your beach bag, I highly recommend the six novels below. I couldn’t put any of these books down. At least one caused me to miss my subway stop!

If you wind up reading any of these six, let me know what you think: I’m @hannahorens on Instagram. Happy reading!

Good Morning, Love
by Ashley M. Coleman

Carli Henton is a talented musician who wants to make it big as a songwriter—but for now, she pays the rent with a ho-hum day job. A chance meeting with Tau Anderson, a red-hot R&B star, turns Carli’s life upside down, throwing her dreams and her heart for a loop. I loved this dazzling peek inside the music industry, and the growing flirtation between Carli and Tau is so deliciously drawn. Her friends and family are pitch-perfect, too. This novel explores the insidious ways in which ambitious women still have to fight for their success, and what it’s really like to pursue a creative career.

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Good Morning, Love
Ashley M. Coleman

For fans of My (Not So) Perfect Life and Jasmine Guillory’s While We Were Dating, a disarmingly fun debut novel follows Carlisa Henton as her life comes undone after a chance meeting with a rising pop star.

Carlisa “Carli” Henton is a musician and songwriter hoping to follow in her father’s musical footsteps. But, biding her time until she makes it big in the music industry, she works as a junior account manager at a big-name media company to cover her New York City rent. Carli meticulously balances her work with her musical endeavors as a songwriter—until a chance meeting with rising star Tau Anderson sends her calculated world into a frenzy. Their worlds collide and quickly blur the strict lines Carli has drawn between her business and her personal life, throwing Carli’s reputation—and her burgeoning songwriting career—into question.

A smart, timely, energizing romance, Good Morning, Love shows us what the glamorous New York’s music scene is really like and takes us into the lives of a rising but somewhat troubled R&B star and a promising protégé who knows her job better than she knows herself.

With fresh and honest prose, Good Morning, Love examines the uncertainty of being a new professional looking to chase a dream while also trying to survive in a world that’s not always kind to ambitious women.

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The Summer Place
by Jennifer Weiner

This big-hearted family drama follows three generations through a tumultuous summer spent in Brooklyn and Cape Cod. At its center, Sarah Danhauser is worried about her increasingly distant husband, Eli, and her young stepdaughter, Ruby’s impulsive engagement. Each member of the family is carrying a juicy, often long-buried secret, which all threaten to boil over at Ruby’s picturesque wedding on the beach. With big questions about motherhood, shame, forgiveness, and love, this beautifully told story packs a powerful punch.

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The Summer Place
Jennifer Weiner

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of That Summer comes another heartfelt and unputdownable novel of family, secrets, and the ties that bind.

When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house in Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market.

But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been.

When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.

From “the undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.

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The School for Good Mothers
by Jessamine Chan

Exhausted and spread too thin, Frida Liu makes a single mistake. Her mistake typically shouldn’t be a big deal, but she lives in a US state testing out a new program for unfit parents. Frida’s forced to leave her toddler, Harriet, behind while she lives in a state-run facility where she will learn—in a brutal, inhumane fashion—how to be a good mother. Frida’s dystopian experience is an unsettling echo of the ways in which our own government fails to support parents. Months later, I’m still haunted by her story.

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The School for Good Mothers
Jessamine Chan

In this taut and explosive debut novel, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.

Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

A searing page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.

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The Ex Talk
by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Let’s get this out of the way: Is Dominic Yun the hottest romantic hero I’ve read this year? Yes. Did I alternate between being jealous of the heroine, Shay Goldstein, and wanting to be her friend? Also yes. In this enemies-to-lovers romance set at a Seattle public radio station, Shay and Dominic pretend to be exes co-hosting a show about relationship advice. This book is packed with hilariously real banter, sparkling chemistry, and sizzling sex scenes.

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The Ex Talk
Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Pachinko
by Min Jin Lee

Now a series on Apple TV, PACHINKO follows three generations of a Korean family exiled in Japan from 1910 to 1989. Written in gripping prose, this saga explores themes of immigration, motherhood, love, loss, shame, sacrifice, faith, and cultural identity. Set against historical events including the Japanese occupation of Korea, World War II, and the Korean War, it’s a poignant page-turner that underscores how much we inherit from those who came before us.

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Pachinko
Min Jin Lee

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Mika in Real Life
by Emiko Jean

At thirty-five, Mika Suzuki is unemployed, single, living with a hoarder, and a disappointment to her parents. But when she gets a phone call from Penny, the daughter she gave up for adoption sixteen years ago, she’s desperate to make a good impression. A few well-intentioned lies later, Mika wonders if her make-believe dream life might actually be within reach. I couldn’t put this deeply moving and darkly funny book down. It’s proof that “coming of age” stories can happen at any age. 

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Mika in Real Life
Emiko Jean

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MENTIONED IN:

Author Picks: 6 Irresistible Books Meant to Be Yours

By Hannah Orenstein | June 24, 2022

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Meant to Be Mine
by Hannah Orenstein

MEANT TO BE MINE is available now!

What if you knew exactly when you’d meet the love of your life? Edie Meyer knows. When her Grandma Gloria was a young woman, she had a vision of the exact day she would meet her soul mate—and then Grandpa Ray showed up.

Since then, Gloria has accurately predicted the day every single member of the family has met their match. Edie’s day arrives on June 24, 2022, when she’s twenty-nine years old. She has been waiting for it half her life. That morning, she boards an airplane to her twin sister’s surprise engagement, and when a handsome musician sits beside her, she knows it’s meant to be.

But fate comes with more complications than Edie expected and she can’t fight the nagging suspicion that her perfect guy doesn’t have perfect timing. After a tragedy and a shocking revelation rock Edie’s carefully constructed world, she’s forced to consider whether love chooses us, as simple as destiny, or if we choose it ourselves.

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Meant to Be Mine
Hannah Orenstein

From the author of the “funny, sexy, and absurdly entertaining” (Marie Claire) Playing with Matches, a sweeping love story in the vein of Rebecca Serle and Chloe Benjamin about a woman who knows the date she’ll meet her true love—only he isn’t quite as perfect as she always imagined.

What if you knew exactly when you’d meet the love of your life? Edie Meyer knows. When her Grandma Gloria was a young woman, she had a vision of the exact day she would meet her soul mate—and then Grandpa Ray showed up.

Since then, Gloria has accurately predicted the day every single member of the family has met their match. Edie’s day arrives on June 24, 2022, when she’s twenty-nine years old. She has been waiting for it half her life. That morning, she boards an airplane to her twin sister’s surprise engagement, and when a handsome musician sits beside her, she knows it’s meant to be.

But fate comes with more complications than Edie expected and she can’t fight the nagging suspicion that her perfect guy doesn’t have perfect timing. After a tragedy and a shocking revelation rock Edie’s carefully constructed world, she’s forced to consider whether love chooses us, as simple as destiny, or if we choose it ourselves.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo iTunes logo Indiebound logo Kobo logo Kindle logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Close

Photo credit: iStock / Albert Cabezas

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