Reading can be hard. Finding the right book, the right time, the right author—it takes quite a bit of effort. Effort that not everyone has to afford or expend with busy schedules, work, school, and other responsibilities. This blog post is for those wanting to expand their book horizons and get more done in the quickest amount of time possible. All books listed will be 300 pages and under, perfect for a fast-paced and interesting read when there just isn't enough time.
For Those Wanting an Emotional Read:
Akwaeke Emezi’s novel The Death of Vivek Oji is not a read for those not wanting to feel like their heart is shattering into a million pieces. Despite it coming out to be just around 248 pages, make no mistake, this is no light story. Emezi’s writing is deeply enthralling and flows beautifully, creating a story that is atmospheric, engaging, and will have you going through many emotions. Set in a small town in Nigeria, the reader is led into the tumultuous life of Vivek Oji. Brimming with deeply moving topics such as gender, sexual identity, trauma, friends and family, Emezi pours her soul into every page and line, and its impact is evident. Dealing with grief and loss while simultaneously balancing it with close relationships and love is no easy task, but the novel manages it perfectly. Make sure to have a box of tissues alongside with you when you start this book, you will need them! Due to the length of the novel, you are sure to finish this in no time—but it will be an emotional journey that is no easy trek.
“Some people can't see softness without wanting to hurt it.”
― Akwaeke Emezi
For Those Wanting Romance & Love:
Yearning, desiring, and the “right person but always the wrong time” sound like something you would enjoy? Then I highly recommend Normal People by Sally Rooney. Connell and Marianne first meet each other as high schoolers and the novel follows them through adulthood. With intense emotions and feelings growing between them, Rooney mastered the art of tension and longing, always introducing new challenges to their growing relationship that keeps the readers on their toes, wondering what is going to happen between them next—and if they’ll ever have that happy ending. As deeply flawed characters, Connell and Marianne must learn to overcome and adapt or potentially lose whatever it is they’ve built forever. The novel tackles issues of mental health, love, family, social class, and more. Although not the traditional romance most people are wanting, this is no Hallmark movie, it is still worthwhile to experience the intensity of Rooney’s writing and the impact it will have on you. 266 pages full of angst, it might almost be too short.
Be sure to also check out the Hulu Original adaptation of Normal People! It won’t disappoint.
“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn't know if she would ever find out where it was or become part of it.”
― Sally Rooney
For Those Wanting an Intriguing Mystery:
Darkly entertaining, witty, and fast-paced—My Sister, The Serial Killer is not your typical murder mystery. Following the story of Korede, an anti-social nurse who spends more time with her unconscious patients than cognizant counterparts, has a troubling relationship with her sister. Ayoola is perfect in every way, loved by their parents, beautiful, intelligent, and self-absorbed. Her only caveat, Ayoola has a bit of a penchant for killing people, particularly her love interests. And who has the privilege of cleaning up her messes? Her sister, Korede, of course. Korede is loyal to her sister and protects her despite consistently being blamed for any wrongdoings by their parents. That is until Ayoola decides to visit Korede at her workplace and the doctor Tade, whom Korede has taken a liking to, seems to have a crush on Ayoola. What sort of disaster might this spell out for the sisters with just a bit too much hidden away?
Riveting and sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, My Sister, The Serial Killer finishes off at 226 pages. A book easily finished in a single sitting, this is not one you will want to skip over!
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”
― Oyinkan Braithwaite
For Those Wanting Magic & Whimsy:
Ever wondered what lurked in the shadows, what slipped through floorboard cracks and never turned up again, what’s hidden in a closet or under the bed? According to Seanan McGuire, that would be children. They turn up in unknown magical lands they have no business turning up in. And when they return, no one believes them and think they’re crazy. Eleanor West owns a home for wayward children, the kind of children that claim to have popped up in mysterious and intriguingly different worlds. Eleanor has made a vow to help these children…because she’s been to this magical place herself. Every Heart a Doorway is a quirky yet heartwarming story of the children that have gone unnoticed to the world, the ones left unheard and ignored.
Capping at 175 pages, this enchanting story will leave you in a daze. A modern kind of fairytale that brings out your inner child, hopes, and dreams of wanting to belong.
“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”
― Seanan McGuire
For Those Wanting a Meet Cute Novel:
Shy and sensitive Charlie Spring is seemingly the complete high school stereotyped opposite of rugby player Nick Nelson. After meeting in class one day at their all-boys British boarding school, a sweet friendship progresses between the two as they navigate a confusing world of being teenagers. Charlie inevitably develops feelings for Nick and is worried he won’t reciprocate, meanwhile Nick is struggling with his own emotions and learning how to figure those out.
Heartstopper is an adorable and heartwarming tale of two teens falling in love and finding out what the word exactly means between the two of them. Oseman creates all those butterfly feelings and yearning between Charlie and Nick while maintaining a wholesome and interesting read. Graphic novels are perfect for those that don’t have much time to read something too wordy and enjoy a visual aspect alongside their reading time. For a graphic novel sitting at 278 pages, you will be sure to fly through it in no time.
“You can't tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren't the only two options.”
― Alice Oseman
So whether you're busy with other responsibilities and picking up a book to read seems like a daunting task, hopefully this blog can point you in the right direction on where to look for quick reads. Often times shorter books are left unappreciated despite how convenient and just as impactful as they can be as that 800+ page novel sitting on your bookshelf. So give one of these books a try and happy reading!
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