Let’s call a spade a spade. The Covid-19 crisis has created a hard time for all of us. At this point, we could all use a change of scenery. The great thing about books, though, is that they can offer that very escape you might need – without even leaving the comfort of your own home.
So here’s a list of things I particularly miss along with some book recs that are basically about people doing those exact things.
Things We Miss Most While Social Distancing and Books That Can Fill That Void
1. FRIENDS – When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey
Sometimes I like to tease my friends from high school by saying they’re the sisters I never wanted. But I’ll admit it, I miss them terribly right now and I’m sure you’re missing your friends too! With friend squads in mind, my first recommendation is When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey.
Having a tight knit group of friends is where the similarities stop between me and the fictitious Alexis in this novel because, while my Hogwarts letter never arrived, she and her friends ARE magic. And when one of their spells goes wildly awry on prom night, they’ll need to work together to try to set things right.
2. SCHOOL (WHAT?!) – Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Yes, don’t be ashamed. This is a safe space and you can admit that you possibly…maybe…a teensy bit…miss school right now. Imagine an alternate Spring semester by reading Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon. (I’m actually cheating a bit because this book isn’t out until July, but I promise you that it’s worth the wait!)
This book follows two straight-A rivals as they realize on the last day of school that all of that heat and tension from competing academically over past few years may actually have meant something more. Did I mention it takes place over a ridiculously fun and even steamy 24 hours? So you can legitimately say: Today I hate you. Tonight I like you. Tomorrow I love you.
3. TEAM SPORTS – We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
I am slightly embarrassed to say that I played a round of catch with my father last weekend…and now my entire right arm is sore. But my dad misses his baseball team so much, so I couldn’t say no.
If you’re like him and you’re missing your teammates, consider picking up We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian. In this suspenseful novel, the varsity girls field hockey team experiences a midnight tradition that takes a bit of a detour. As the girls work together over the course of the night to complete a series of challenges, secrets are spilled and the squad becomes closer than ever.
4. TRAVEL – Love & Gelato and Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
Unfortunately, it may be a while before we can comfortably take those vacations we’ve been dreaming of all winter. So why not take an imaginary vacation to Italy or the Irish countryside with Love & Gelato and Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch?
Both novels take place overseas in beautiful countries. And don’t worry—they’re chock-full of adorable romance!
5. COMPLICATED CRUSHES – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I don’t think this could be a complete YA listicle without mentioning the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han.
I think we can all agree that there are some PRETTY complicated crushes in this series. I wouldn’t say I miss crushing on multiple boys at once or overcoming the tenuous obstacles that inevitably fall between me and the boy I’m crushing on. But, like many of you, I’m definitely in need of some juicy drama right now!
So if you haven’t read these books, then these three books are a wonderful binge-read that will fill that all-the-feels-shaped hole in your heart.
6. EXERCISE – There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon and A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
I used to be one of those people that laughed when a friend would say, “Oh man, I just went for an amazing run. But in the last couple of years, I’ve found that exercise can be a wonderful release. In the last couple of months? Well, I’ve actually missed those HIIT classes and interval runs at the gym. So to fill that exercise void, I’m suggesting two very different but satisfying reads:
While both are by prolific authors, they are for very different moods while social distancing.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon is a cute rom-com about a self-proclaimed fat athlete who finds love while she’s out to prove to the world and herself that she is in no way lacking because of her body. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti, on the other hand, is a much heavier read, but beautiful and touching story about a girl who runs literally across the country in order to process her feelings about a recent traumatic event.
7. GOING TO THE LIBRARY– Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Does anyone else do this besides me? If you haven’t been in a while, I HIGHLY recommend popping your head into your school or local library when this is all over. The smell of old books and the crinkle sound of that plastic covering they put on library editions is so wonderfully satisfying.
But let’s say you are like me—and let’s face it, you’ve gotten through this entire book-themed article on a YA teen hub, you’re probably a lot like me—and you miss being surrounded by books in any capacity. Look no further than Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.
It’s literally about magical libraries that hold the key to fighting off a sinister plot. Of course, the protagonist is a bookworm, and that’s what gives her her power. In my humble opinion, you seriously cannot go wrong with this one.