5 Books To Read While You’re Social Distancing // Aka My Top Cozy & Heartwarming Recommendations

For me, reading has been such an escape these past few weeks.

Before COVID-19 had blown up where I live, before I was quarantined in my house and I was doing online school and taking dance classes over Zoom, I hadn’t read solidly in months. A book here, finishing a book there, reading this or that required book for school- but I really wasn’t reading for fun anymore.

I definitely still haven’t caught up to my Goodreads challenge yet (I’m still more or less 10 books behind), but with more free time, I’ve started reading a lot more. These days, it feels like my mind is going a million different directions and is perpetually anxious both about the present and future, and reading has become something that’s been able to calm me down, be an escape, and allow me to end my days (and often fill my days) with something that entertains me well.

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I’ve discovered some new books recently that I want a chance to talk about (because that’s just me, always screaming about books), and I also of course have some older recommendations, but ultimately, I hope this post can offer you the same comfort books have been giving me lately, and give you something to do while social distancing!

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10 Blind DatesI feel like it would be amiss for me to not first mention one of my new favorite books, 10 Blind Dates, by Ashley Elston. I only read this a few days ago, but it’s already taken its highly earned place as one of my favorite YA contemporaries.

Its cozy factor is created by a variety of reasons- it takes place during Christmastime, the main character, Sophie, has about 50 cousins and aunts and uncles who she is staying in her grandmother’s house with (making for much hilarity and family dynamics), it has a wonderful sister relationship, funny blind date fails and successes, and an adorable friendship between Sophie, her two cousins closest in age, and the neighbor boy they grew up with. I’m not going to lie, I read this all in one day, and I was pretty much smiling the whole time.

10 Blind Dates appealed to me because it looked heartwarming, romantic, and funny, and that’s exactly what it was! I was thoroughly entertained, and I think it’s the perfect book to read during social distancing.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Surprise, surprise, but I think this is a perfect time to reread Harry Potter, so why not start with The Sorcerer’s Stone? I was going to hold out until summer for my next reread, but I’m starting to think I might cave and return to Hogwarts in May.

Really, now is such an optimal time to return to any books that you’ve loved forever, whether that’s Harry Potter or not, because nostalgia equals cozy and cozy equals how you probably want to spend your quarantine. Another option I would highly recommend is returning to the Percy Jackson series, because that can absolutely never go wrong.

Or, if you’ve never read Harry Potter because it’s always been too long and there’s never enough time, chances are now you might finally have the time to dedicate to it. What better time to get invested in a series than now? You can even watch the movies, too, it’s a win-win situation.

I’m just saying. 😉

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The Book ThiefIn addition to needing fluffy books during this time, I also understand the urge to want something deeper, which is why I also would recommend The Book Thief.

I reread this a couple of weeks ago, and I had forgotten how poignant it is. It’s completely heartbreaking, but in absolutely beautiful, too. It doesn’t shy away from exposing the horrors of Nazi Germany, but it also continually highlights the small moments occurring in Liesel’s life during the war- a key balance of seriousness and lightheartedness.

It’s unmatched in its storytelling, and is probably one of my favorite books of all time. If you’re not wanting to read anything serious during this time, maybe I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’re all right with something that will make your heart ache (but because of how meaningful it is) and will allow you to get lost in a story, this is the book for you.

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Foolish HeartsIt’s not really a post by me unless I mention Harry Potter and Emma Mills, and since I already mentioned Harry, we’ve just got the Emma Mills part left. Not for long though, because my next recommendation is Foolish Hearts.

I know I’ve talked about this book way too many times, but I will only stop when everyone has read it. Just kidding. But like also, read it. It’s genuinely one of my favorite books ever, and I think it’s perfect for reading during quarantine because it’s absolutely adorable and cozy and sweet and Hufflepuff vibes!!

Look, friends-to-enemies. A theater production. A boy named Gideon who is possibly the softest, most sunflower-y boy to ever exist in YA fiction. A boy band obsession. Discussions about how to eat cereal. An adorable brother-sister relationship. I really could go on. I can’t explain my love for this book, and I feel very sure that if you read it, you would also love it?

I can’t think of any other book that one would want to distract themselves with more than this one, because it exudes cozy, heartwarming energy. I’ll just be over trying not to reread it (when I last read it in January) and waiting to hear what you all think of it!

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Little WomenAt the end of 2019, a new movie adaptation of Little Women came out, and it quickly became really popular. Can you blame the world, it has Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh and Emma Watson and Meryl Streep and Eliza Scanlen and the best aesthetic and music and is directed by Greta Gerwig and I will stop now. I saw it three times in theaters, and I still would rewatch it in a heartbeat. It was genuinely one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and most people I know have also seen it and also loved it!

With the new movie at your disposal and free time for reading a classic, why not read Little Women? As much as I loved the movie, I still think the book is better…so that means I love the book a whole lot.

Sister relationships of the very best kind, romance, growing up, Christmastime, the iconic boy next door, the best mother, all the soft and heartwarming vibes- this is Little Women. I’m also the hugest proponent of reading this book if you saw the movie because I feel like as much as the movie didn’t get anything wrong (actually, it exceeded all my expectations of a book-to-movie adaptation), some things are just ~explained~ more in the book. Really, there are only positives to reading this classic!

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Thank you so much for reading, and thank you for all of your kind words and support on my last post, when I returned after way too long of an absence. It meant the world to me!🥺 I hope to be back on a more regular posting schedule in the future, now that I’ve gotten a handle on what online school and online dance are requiring of me. I’ve started getting back into reading blog posts again and I forgot how much I love it!

I’m looking forward to posting more content soon, hopefully something a little more lighthearted and maybe something that can take your mind away from our current situation~ I just wanted to post these recommendations because I felt like they might be able to help anyone who is struggling with distracting themselves, any of these books would hopefully do the job.

You’re all in my thoughts, and I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. Sending you hugs and positive energy!✨

How are you doing right now? Have you been reading more to keep distracted? Have you read any of these, or what are some of your comfort reads? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash >> Credits to the photographer for the image used in my featured image.

81 thoughts on “5 Books To Read While You’re Social Distancing // Aka My Top Cozy & Heartwarming Recommendations

  1. ahhh Foolish Hearts would be great to read right about now!! would also recommend something like Heartstopper for a nice sweet read… also it’s free!! only mostly devastated is another that i think people would enjoy. great post!!! and it’s so lovely to have you back, i know i already said it but i can’t stop screaming 😉

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  2. I LOVED ‘Foolish Hearts’ — it’s such a cute story! I really love Emma Mills’ books in general though. I’ve been meaning to re-read and then re-watch Harry Potter … so maybe the isolation would be a good excuse. I still work from home but I definitely have more time to read as of late.

    Great post! I hope you’re doing okay! ❤

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  3. ahh olivia i really needed this post so thanks so much for writing it!! I LOVE THE BOOK THIEF SO MUCH but re-reading it? optionally putting myself through pain? NO THANKS. but i still love it just the absolute trauma of that ending!! also i need to read an Emma mills book soon!! and I’m so so excited to read little women (i am reading it so soon) since i loved the 2019 movie SO MUCH!!! like i was sobbing for the last half of the movie because it was so perfect!!

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    • That genuinely makes me so happy to hear, thank you, Ilsa.💛I’m so happy that you could get some recommendations!! Okay, yes, I see what you mean about putting yourself through the pain of The Book Thief again, I can’t deny, there were tears in my reread. But it’s just so good. XD I think you would love Emma Mills?? She’s yet to disappoint me. Ohh, I’m so excited for you to read Little Women!! The movie is so good, I was crying for the last 45 minutes, like straight up just nonstop crying. I think you’ll love the book, there are so many quotes from the movie that are just directly from the book and it made my heart so happy. Happy reading and I hope you’re doing well! xx

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  4. Thank you for this list! You just caught me re-reading Harry Potter. I love that series so much, and they make me feel at home. Though they can also transport me to another world (which is exactly what I need right now). I also have read The Book Thief but re-reads are welcome! I’ve been revising a lot of favourites recently. Stay safe x

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    • Aww, thank you so much for your kind comment!💛You just described Harry Potter perfectly- it feels like home and gives me nostalgia, yet is still an adventure even after all this time (reference intended). I hope you continue to find new favorites and revisit old ones during this time! Thank you again, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy as well. xx

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    • Me too! I don’t know what I would be doing with my spare time if I didn’t have books to fall back on. Ohh, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on 10 Blind Dates- I think you’ll love it, it was perfectly adorable and adorably perfect. And I can’t recommend Little Women (both the book and movie) enough! It’s amazing. Happy reading!💗

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  5. I’ve been doing so much school and I have a job now (babysitting) that I haven’t been able to read as much, unfortunately. However, The Book Thief and Little Women are two of my top books. ♥️ I hope to start more soon!

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    • Aww, I hope you get to read more soon! Best of luck with your school and babysitting- I definitely relate to the school part taking up more of my time, though for me it’s not as much as it was before quarantine. I love both The Book Thief and Little Women- so lovely.❤️Hope you’re staying safe and healthy! xx

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  6. I can’t explain how happy I am to see a new post from you in my Reader, especially a recommendations post from the Queen of Book Recommendations 🥺💕 I’ve started rereading Harry Potter, something I’ve wanted to do for so long, and seeing how I feel about the series now has been so much fun!! And though I was a little disappointed by The Book Thief (I was expecting it to be much more fast-paced as it was), it was definitely a hard-hitting read, and it’s one of those books that I’d recommend to everyone.

    I’m so sad that I haven’t read an Emma Mills book yet! I’ve only heard good things about Foolish Hearts and this character called Gideon—I can’t wait to meet him 😭 Also, the Little Women movie!! AHHHH, it was so good–the cinematography, costume design, and acting! The story was so heartwarming too 🥺

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    • Caitlin!! Wow, I can’t explain how happy this comment made me.🥺Thank you so much- it’s an honor, especially coming from you, the true Queen of Book Recommendations?? I hope you’re enjoying your Harry Potter reread~ I love noticing new things when I reread it and getting to know the characters better, it’s the best. I’m sorry to hear The Book Thief didn’t meet your expectations, but I definitely get what you mean about it taking more time to elaborate on the small moments rather than being fast paced.

      I think you’ll love it!! Gideon is probably one of my top characters ever, he exudes adorableness. I know right?? The Little Women movie is SO SO good, I think it’s the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. I loved it- and even though I know you’re not the biggest fan of classics, if you loved the movie you might enjoy reading Little Women as well, if you haven’t already!💖

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  7. ahh… this was such a heart-warming post to read and I love all your recommendation. I definitely think going back to old favourites is a great idea and Harry Potter is a classic!! I recently watched all the movies again and I absolutely loved it !!
    The Book Thief is an amazing read and how you described that it captured the seriousness and lightness so well is so true!! It was an amazingly well put together books and I adore it. I definitely want to reread it at one point!!
    I’m so glad you enjoyed 10 Blind Dates, it seems like a really fun read with romance and family dynamics !!
    Stay well and safe !! ❤

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    • Thank you so much, Sophie, that’s such a compliment!💗For sure, nostalgic reads are calling my name during this time. I need to rewatch the Harry Potter movies as well, it would be a nice way to pass time!
      I agree! I love The Book Thief so much, and I feel like I always forget how good it is until I reread it, and then I’m reminded that it is quite truly a literary masterpiece.
      10 Blind Dates was beyond adorable, I feel like you’d enjoy it! It’s the perfect lighthearted read and had me smiling the whole time.
      Thank you Sophie, both for this comment and for the well wishes! Hope you’re staying safe as well.☺️

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  8. i love seeing foolish hearts on this list because i 100% agree!! i reread it last month and it was just perfect; it genuinely cheers me up so much and i feel a lot lighter when i finish ❤ and i know we talked about percy jackson on insta the other day, but i just could talk about it all day!!! it's my ultimate feel-good series 💖

    i've been reading a bit more lately, but definitely not as much as i read in march! (i've been doing a LOT of audiobooks, because my brain just can't focus on reading words right now.) school has unfortunately sucked my energy and motivation again, even being online and having less work 😭 but i'm trying not to complain too much about school since i am "enjoying" it a lot more than i usually do haha

    i hope you're doing well, olivia!! glad to see you back in my feed ❤

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    • FOOLISH HEARTS. I could honestly cry just thinking about it because I love it that much. I’m so happy you enjoyed it too!! It’s the sweetest story.🥺I agree, Percy Jackson is the best ever, and I really hope I never stop rereading it because it’s just way too perfect and Percabeth and Percy’s sass will always lift my mood!

      That’s so cool you’re starting to use audiobooks! I wish I could, for convenience, but I’m such a visual person that I can’t focus, so I have to stick to reading books, but I have been using tons of ebooks. I’m sorry school is being stressful and using up your energy, I hope things start to lighten up soon with the end of the year coming!! If you have AP tests I hope the shortened versions help things be less stressful as well💗I’m glad we still have work because it distracts me, but I definitely feel the same about having a lack of motivation to focus and to dedicate time to other things!

      Thank you so much!! I hope you’re safe and healthy, and sending you all the positive energy! xx

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      • ah i always thought i was a visual person too! i’d recommend reading audios with a physical/ebook copy first, if you want to try it, but i definitely have to rewind sometimes lmao. and ah good luck with your ap tests!! i definitely agree that the distraction is good, it gives me some sense of purpose haha

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  9. All the favourites I chatted with you today over on Instagram are my comfort reads!! They bring me such joy & take me to such a peaceful place — even when the conflict is really hearing up :’) Little Women 1000% belongs on this list, love that you included it!!!

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  10. This is a great list! Little Women is both a good book and a good movie to keep us company ❤ It's great that you've been reading so much lately. I've also noticed that I've been reading more while at home (it helps to escape reality for a bit). You'll catch up with your challenge really soon! 😀

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    • Thank you, Marta! For sure, I’m currently trying to convince my sister to watch the Little Women movie with me because she hasn’t seen it yet.😅Ahh, thank you- I’m making some progress on the reading challenge front lately! Wishing you all the best and the happiest of reading. xx

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  11. Ahh what a lovely post Olivia, I love your recommendations! Foolish Hearts is indeed such a perfect, heartwarming read, I love it so much you make me want to read it again! 🙂 and I am SO ready to read 10 Blind Dates after reading this post, it sounds SO good, like the kind of book I’d love! 😀

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  12. reading is acting as a calming escape for me as well! i’ve been reading contemporaries every single day lately because YA Contemporary is probably my comfort genre, but i want to try to read a few other genres as well, so i might just reread Harry Potter next month! 😀

    i love your list, Foolish Hearts is one of my fav books of all time. i just finished 10 Blind Dates and it was sadly a 3-star read for me, but it was so sweet and fluffy that i still enjoyed it! i also really want to try to read Little Women – i loved the 2019 movie as well, but classics always daunt me so we’ll see how that goes. 😅 lovely post, Olivia! i hope you’re doing well xxx

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    • Aww, that makes me so happy to hear!💛I’ve been reading so many contemporaries too, and it’s providing such a perfect escape. If you do a Harry Potter reread, I hope you enjoy it! I want to do mine in May as well.⚡️

      I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love 10 Blind Dates, but I am glad you enjoyed it!! It was definitely so fluffy and I’m all about that. If you loved the Little Women movie, I think you’ll be satisfied with the book for sure. Thank you so, so much for this comment! I hope you’re well, too. xx

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  13. yay! i’m glad quarantine has at least been helping you read more. i’ve also read a lot more this last month than i have in such a long time, so that’s at least one of the positive things about this whole virus thing.
    i am currently re-reading harry potter, so i love that you’ve mentioned sorcerer’s stone here. i have read the first two and i think i’ll be reading one a month. i have never read past order of the phoenix, so it will be exciting to finally finish this one.
    AH, i really need to read foolish hearts! i was sold at boy-band obsession, honestly. emma mills has a lot of contemporary titles that i’ve never read, so i really need to make it a priority to know more from this author. i recently fell in love with brigid kemmerer and i think emma mills has the potential of becoming a next favorite author.
    hope you’ve had an amazing month so far!

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    • Yes!! That’s one of the positives I’m trying to take away too~ the increased reading time.💛
      Ahh, I’m so excited for you! You definitely have some great books ahead of you, Deathly Hallows is one of my favorites for sure.
      Emma Mills has so many amazing contemporaries, I really think you’d enjoy them! My top favorites are Foolish Hearts and Famous in a Small Town, in case you were wondering what to start with. The boy band obsession is real and honestly so relatable, haha.
      Thank you so much! I hope you have too and that you’re doing well. xx

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  14. Hi Olivia!
    I really loved this post! Thank you for sharing these book recommendations! Reading has been so important for helping me stay sane during this really weird time. I love just being able to sink into a different world 🙂
    I’ve been in the middle of rereading HP (but took a break after book 5.) Are you planning to reread the rest of this series too? I am also a Hufflepuff!! (Took many different tests but always got the same result hahaha XD)
    You’ve sold me on Foolish Hearts. I’ve added this to my TBR!
    Stay safe and healthy 🙂

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    • Hi Sophie! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.💖I agree with you completely- reading has been a wonderful escape!
      A fellow Hufflepuff! I love that, and I love that you’re enjoying a reread at the moment. I hope I can reread Harry Potter soon, I’m thinking about doing it once my online school ends, so maybe in the end of May or June!
      I’m so happy to hear that! I think you’ll really enjoy it, it’s one of my favorites.
      Thank you so much, Sophie, you too! xx

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  15. Ahh, what a good book list for right now.
    Dude, the premise of 10 blind dates sounds a bit intimidating. Okay, I’m curious about the logistics of blind dates in this book–are they actually completely blind as in she knows absolutely nothing about the other person? I’m wondering what counts as a blind date.
    Cozy, heartwarming energy–hahah I love that. Usually I hear the phrase big brain energy, or something else that’s really loud and confident, but of course you can have cozy energy too.
    Whoaa, you saw Little Women three times in theaters?? That’s awesome. A bunch of my friends in art class went to see it together, and afterward Timothee Chalamet was mentioned for a least a few class periods. Okay, to be honest, I’ve tried to read Little Women multiple times, but every time, I just get bored. Which is weird, because Emma is probably written in was definitely not fast-paced, and I liked reading it. Maybe I’ll have to try again at some point.
    Have you started your Harry Potter reread or have you been holding off still??

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    • Thank you! :))
      It kind of does, but trust me, it’s more chill than the description necessarily makes it sound. So for the blind dates she’s getting set up with people living in the town where her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all live, so I think she’s met some of the blind dates just by visiting, but there are definitely some where she’s never heard of the person. Anything goes on the blind dates!
      Haha- that’s my Hufflepuff showing. Also, we might have talked about this, but what house are you? I feel like you emit Ravenclaw energy, but I could see you as others too.
      Yes!! It’s so good. Haha, I mentioned Timothee Chalamet quite a bit after seeing it. He was just so good and perfect in the role for that movie. Aww, I’m sorry you haven’t been able to get into it before- it’s a pretty domestic-based book that just slowly follows their lives, so I can see why it might be hard to get into. I did find it faster paced than Emma, haha, but also Emma was a buddy read so maybe that contributed to you getting through it better?
      I’ve still been holding off! I think I’m going to wait until I don’t have online school anymore or at least until after exams.

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      • I don’t know what house I am, but not because I haven’t thought about it. I know this is not a good answer, but I feel tied between all of them except for Gryffindor.
        Oh, that’s interesting! That’s true, not much happened in Emma. Hmm, maybe it’s that I liked Austen’s writing better than Alcott? And yes, of course the motivation of the buddy read.

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        • I understand that! I don’t feel like a Gryffindor either, but I also don’t feel like a Slytherin. I think I’m 80% Hufflepuff, 20% Ravenclaw. XD
          That’s a good point! I do really love Jane Austen’s writing, though I think I might like Charlotte Bronte’s more, though I can only base that off Jane Eyre.

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          • I think I’m more Hufflepuff than anything else as well. I relate to the Slytherine quality of achieving. (I hope it’s okay that I Googled qualities of each of the houses. The sense of each house is strong in my head, but it’s hard to put into words what they truly value.) Maybe 50% Hufflepuff, 25% Ravenclaw, 25% Slytherin??

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  16. I’m super impressed with myself because I’ve actually read every book on this list! That’s a super rare occurrence for me when I read blog posts! Most of these books I read pre-quarantine, but I actually read Foolish Hearts about a week ago because it was recommended to me as something cute and fluffy. I loved most of it, but there was one part that made me super frustrated that kept it from being a new favorite. But I definitely understand why you’d recommend it!

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    • Wow, that’s so impressive! I commend you for that. 🙌🏼Foolish Hearts! I’m glad to hear you mostly loved it, but sorry about the part that made it not the best for you. If you haven’t read any other Emma Mills, I would definitely recommend Famous in a Small Town as a second book of hers to try out! Happy reading, and I hope you’re doing well. xx

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  17. Ahhhh I totally know what you mean with online classes – we started at the end of March & I feel like I’ve only *just* got the hang of it! 😅 Such strange times we live in 😭 I think this is about the third time this week that I’ve seen Foolish Hearts in a recommendations post so that’s a sign if I ever saw one 😂 I’ve also been meaning to read Little Women ever since I saw the movie – I haven’t any classics in awhile so I can’t wait to start it 😍

    All the best with your studies & dance classes, Olivia – I hope May is treating you well so far! 💛

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    • Me too! It’s the norm now, but for a minute there it was insane. (Well, maybe it’s still insane, just a little more normal now.) Haha, that’s so funny about Foolish Hearts! I think it’s most definitely a sign, and you should read it as soon as you can. 😉 The same for Little Women- if you loved the movie, I really think you’ll enjoy the book too!

      Thank you so much, Ngoc! The same to you, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. xx

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  18. Oooh I love these recommendation posts! I totally agree that rereading a childhood classic will definitely take you away from the current horrible situation and also gives you all the warm cozy feels ❤

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