best books i’ve read out of my comfort zone

For the past couple of years, I’ve really made an effort to read books outside my usual comfort zone, which is typically YA contemporary and fantasies. Last year, I think a little over half the books I read were out of my comfort zone, and this year I’ve read 9 so far.

So, today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years that are outside my comfort zone:

the kiss quotient by helen hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT was my first foray into romance, and I’m so glad I read this book on a whim. I didn’t even really know what it was about when I started, which turned out to be good, because I never would’ve thought I’d like a book where the love interest is an escort. I loved all the characters in this book and the romance was so swoony, and this book convinced me to try out more romances.

home before dark by riley sager

The first thriller for adults I read was Riley Sager’s other book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, which I enjoyed. I was definitely interested in reading HOME BEFORE DARK, his 2020 release about a woman whose father is famous for writing a memoir about their time in a supposedly haunted house. When he dies, he warns her to stay away from the house, which of course she doesn’t do when she discovers they never sold it, and goes back to find out why her parents have lied to her for her whole life.

This book was everything I wanted LOCK EVERY DOOR to be, with more of a horror bent but an equally shocking resolution. I haven’t been able to fully guess the outcome of a Riley Sager book so far and I hope that trend continues as I read his other books.

red, white, and royal blue by casey mcquiston

I tried to read this book 3 times before finally reading the whole thing. I think my main issue with this book was that I tried reading it while in reading slumps, which was challenging because the writing style is somewhat odd for a contemporary romance and my brain could not compute. I’m happy I stuck with this book, which is a romance between the first son of the US and a prince of England. This book is full of international shenanigans and squad goals characters and I seriously cannot wait to read more books by this author.

daisy jones and the six by taylor jenkins reid

Before I read this, I had seen TJR’s other popular book, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, hyped on book Twitter. I didn’t try that one because I still wasn’t sure about adult fiction, but when I read a bit of this one in the bookstore I instantly knew I had to buy it and am so glad I did because it is one of my favorite books of all time now. I loved the documentary/interview style and the amazingly complex cast of characters and all the music talk. This was such a Mel book and I still fully intend to read more by this author.

a dash of trouble (love sugar magic #1) by anna meriano

I actually really wanted to read this book when it came out a few years ago, but then I learned it was MG and at the time I wasn’t into reading MG. However, I ended up checking it out through OverDrive this year for a book talk video for work and I ADORED it. If you like your witches and magic with a side of sweet bakery treats on the side, I highly recommend this book. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequels.

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  1. Helen Hoang’s romances are great. I’m impatiently waiting for the third book in her The Kiss Quotient series–The Heart Principle. Daisy Jones & The Six is one of my favorite books, too. There’s a TV adaptation in the works for Amazon Studios which is being produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. I hope they’ll be able to move forward with the series sometime next year.

    1. Yes I can’t wait for the heart principle! Oh, I didn’t know Reese was doing the daisy jones show!! That’s very exciting

  2. I’ve been meaning to read The Kiss Quotient, but I thought The Hating Game was overhyped and I always saw them being compared. And I agree about Daisy Jones! That was so out of my comfort zone too, I almost quit because of the style, but it was fantastic.

    1. I am still kinda interested in the hating game but keep putting it off because I’ve heard very mixed things

      1. It’s not a bad book! I enjoyed it, but everyone makes out like it’s the best of the best where NA romance is concerned and I’ve read far better. It’s been done before, so the hype confuses me, but it’s the type of thing you can finish in one sitting.

  3. Oh I just adore The Kiss Quotient! I do read a good amount of romance but I had been putting this one off for awhile, but I’m so glad I finally read it!! Such a cute story. I want to read Home Before Dark so bad because I never read horror/thriller and have heard SUCH great things, but ugh I’m such a baby and am scared, haha! Glad that you enjoyed it, though! ♥

  4. Such a great post 🥰 I finally read Red, White & Royal Blue this year and it was so much fun, the romance is great and I quickly got hooked 😊 I also have Daisy Jones & the Six on my TBR, I’m really intrigued by the interview/documentary style as that sounds so cool!

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