Ten Comfort Reads for Hard Times

alright here goes — maybe publishing a blog post on time! and it’s all about what the title suggests – my favorite comfort reads for hard days. Those days where i don’t want to be reminded of all the injustice in the world or how lonely life can be – but instead stories that make me smile like a fangirl and feel all warm and happy inside. (that’s the definition of comfort, right?)

In fact, while thinking of this post, I went into my goodreads and created a whole Comfort Reads category. So now, all of my favorites are now on the list! anyway – for today, I wrote about ten books for this post, including my favorite comforting quote from each story.

1. Only Mostly Devastated

My most recent comfort read discovery – I LOVED this Grease retelling. And it’s funny because I just watched Grease in December – and didn’t realize it was a Grease retelling until I texted my friend about just how CUTE this story was. And mentioned the plot and my friend replied, it sounds like Grease?

and yes, it is! also i was so happy THAT dawned on me because there’s not a cuter way to describe this story.

It’s a contemporary, gay Grease set in the Carolinas. Just ADORABLE. 

“It’ll get easier. That’s the beautiful thing about the universe. It puts you through trials, but it never gives you anything you can’t handle. We grow from these things. 

2. Carry On

I’ve already reread this story this year because Carry On is one of my main comfort reads. Simon’s restlessness, Penny’s nerdiness, Baz’s suave coolness – it all combines into an absolute treasure of a story.

Carry On isn’t the happiest of stories – but I feel like the way Simon isn’t the Chosen One and how Baz comes into his feelings – that is such an emotional journey.

And deep heartfelt emotion is comforting for me – i know it’s strange! but lots of feelings can be distracting and completely enveloping me into another world.

“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.” 

3. Emergency Contact

After reading this book, I described it as Ben Platt’s song Emergency Contact – but set in Texas. So loose all of Platt’s new york vibes and replace that with dusty, hot sunsets and actually amazing tex-mex. There. That’s Emergency Contact.

Now this story isn’t perfect – i had frustrating moments with the characters and scratched my head at various pages – but it is a soft, sweet read.

Also, if you’re missing college, this story is set in college – so you’ll get some school vibes.

“I like knowing that you exist. It doesn’t make me feel any less lonely, because life is lonely, but it makes me feel a lot less alone.”

4. Tweet Cute

remember when people just rode the subway…and went to New York bakeries…and school existed...well…Tweet Cute is all of those good old days rolled into the most fun Hufflepuff story.

also, there are so many baked goods in this book – lots of inspiration to try new yummy recipes.

while this book isn’t really enemies to lovers (in my opinion) it is Rivals to Lovers. Alot of books have straight up enemies to lovers but rivals is a lot more relatable – I’ve been rivals with so many college crushes, ha! anyway, Pepper and Jack are as fiesty and fun as the title suggests.

“It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find the way back.”

5. Heretics Anonymous

this is one of those books that I want to recommend more! It’s rarely talked about and yet this story is RICH and tender in all the right places.

Our main character is agnostic – but he goes to a private Catholic school. Not a great mix. And his friends are all so completely different – different religions, sexualities, and attitudes.

Oh I forgot until I realized I don’t have pictures of this book – but I listened to this story on audiobook. and it was a GOOD audiobook! so, if reading is stressful right now, maybe listening to Michael and his heretical friends will work out.

anyway, reading through quotes on goodreads reminds me this book is just FULL OF WIT. I might just one day buy this book and reread it because it is a wise story.

“I believe in things I can’t put into words, but things I know to be true.”

6. The Gravity of Us

a book about SPACE and family and romance and SOCIAL MEDIA — cue me being VERY excited!!!

Reading a book about a mission to Mars is very distracting from the current political and global crisis – i’d much rather think about humanity coming together to go to Mars right now. Though anytime people work together, it’s a good moment.

anyway, this book has a lot of breathless emotional moments related to space travel. and it also had incredibly tender romance. and I think – layered discussions of depression and the impact of social media on your personal life.

Also journalism. Basically, this is the Iced Chai of book reads. Aka, I love it.

“Don’t aim to fix people. Fixing seems so permanent, so absolute. Like there’s no room for error. Aim to make things better.” 

7. Foolish Hearts

foolish hearts emma millsok, ok, it’s true that we could put nearly ALL of Emma Mills books on this list. But Foolish Hearts is my absolute favorite comfort read from all of her books.

For one, it’s set around a truly uproarious Shakespeare play – so you know Foolish Hearts has truly hilarious moments. I also love the high school setting because it feels realistic and a bit charming. It is actually completely charming.

also, nearly all of my friends who’ve read this book LOVE it so trust me when i say this is TOP TIER COMFORT READ.

“Sometimes…around some people, I feel like I have to, like…try, you know?…But with you– when I’m with you, I can just…exist. You know what I mean?”

8. Red, White and Royal Blue

did you think i could make a book list and not include this treasure? (no, you really didn’t)

anyway, transport me into an alternate 2020 where the Lometa Longshot, President Ellen Claremont herself is running against an absolute toad and Prince Henry and Alex are making headlines. (for all the good reasons)

the wit, the romance, the alternate politics – it makes me transported into an entirely different world that makes me laugh and fall in love again and again. I’ve reread this book maybe a dozen times since last spring and each times it’s pure magic all over again.

“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.” 

9. Queens of Geek

imagine it’s summer and you’re a lucky happy person at vidcon. With someone who just might be your crush. also, your best friends are around, too.

That’s Queens of Geek in a nutshell.

Basically, this story is all my favorite youtube vlogs rolled into a short, kind of comedic contemporary read. It’s not too long – so you could read it all in one sitting. And being a story about vidcon, it’s HIGHLY visual.

also, cute. With fun video elements and nerdy costumes and social media. PS, I love social media stories. Also did I mention cute???

“Haven’t you heard? Nerds are cool now.” 

10. A Tale of Two Cities

ahem, my favorite comfort read of ALLLLLLLLL TIME —-there’s something incredibly immortal about Charles Dicken’s words. I mean exactly this –

just go ahead and read these words —-

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”You could say I really loved this classic

That whole paragraph could be about 1787 – or 2020 – the winter of despair, the spring of hope, the age of wisdom, the age of foolishness — the world is this constant contradiction of extreme wealth, joy and light and then extreme poverty, darkness, and evil. 

okay, now that the philosophizing words about Dicken’s best novel are done – let me say this – the emotions in this story also comfort me SO MUCH. Sydney’s deep love and sacrifice – his words just completely warm my heart.

I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”

Alrighty, i hope you enjoyed diving into this list of comfort reads with me! Also, narrowing this to just ten books was difficult. Inrediblly hard. I still can’t believe Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the HomoSapien’s Agenda isn’t on here?

(but it’s on the goodreads list, so there) yes, go check out the goodreads list. Thanks.

Anyway, what’s your favorite comfort read? A book you could read over and over again and magically your world and day is better?




  1. April 16, 2020 / 9:23 am

    Great post! You made me regret my reading of A Tale of Two Cities – I was not very attentive when reading it and now will definitely re-read it. Much description there bored me somewhat, even though I recognise the French Revolution as one of the most paradoxical and exciting periods in French history. I love the quote that you inserted by Carton – it is very emotional, inspirational and moving. I also liked the way he continued: “A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.”

  2. April 16, 2020 / 6:45 pm

    SO MANY SOFT READS <3 honestly i've been wanting to reread a tale of two cities because i really enjoyed reading it in high school and it's been so long since i've read it again…

  3. April 17, 2020 / 5:41 pm

    i just wrote up my own comfort reads list, and rw&rb and foolish hearts are both on mine as well haha! both are definitely super funny and make me feel so much happier when i finish them. and i just read queens of geek yesterday! it was super fun and cute, and i’m glad i picked it up <4

  4. April 20, 2020 / 11:28 pm

    This list is amazing! Even just reading it, I honestly felt so comforted.🥺I added a few of these to my TBR, and in the list I made a few days ago for books to read during quarantine, I also had Foolish Hearts on there, haha! It’s just the coziest and I think everyone agrees with that. I hope you’re doing well, and happy reading! xx

  5. April 25, 2020 / 12:16 pm

    All of these books sound SO CUTE! Red, White, and Royal Blue has been on my TBR forever, and Heretics Ananymous is new to me but sounds interesting. Thank you for the recs!

  6. April 29, 2020 / 9:10 am

    I haven’t read any of the books on this list but there are so many on there I want to get to asap! Amazing list, honestly what I need right now so I’ll definitely be trying to get my hands on a few of these!!

  7. May 5, 2020 / 10:10 am

    I definitely want to read Only Mostly Devastated!

  8. May 9, 2020 / 12:16 pm

    Tweet Cute was one of my favorite reads this year — for some reason it makes the year feel long because I read it forever ago. The perfect re-read for our current situation! 😍

  9. May 20, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    oh my gosh HIIII it’s been so long (because i disappeared off the face of the earth)!! I hope you’re doing well!!
    but oh my goah all these books *hearteyes* carry on.. yessss… emergency contact… yessss…. rew white royal blue… DOUBLE YESSS… and all the other ones i haven’t read you’ve made me want to read so bad!! <3

    • May 23, 2020 / 7:41 am

      oh my gosh, i feel like i’ve disappeared off blogging earth, too 😂 i hope you’re really well!

      • May 23, 2020 / 9:16 am

        I’m good thanks!! Hope you’re doing well too!!

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