Natalie's profile image

My Favorite Contemporary Fiction Books

5 Books | by Natalie Mott

Me Before You

Me Before You

Books

The #1 New York Times bestseller, now a major motion picture. Look out for Jojo's new book, Paris for One and Other Stories, coming October 18, 2016. They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . . Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy--but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common--a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half

Books

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR 2021 WOMEN'S PRIZE FINALIST“Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it’s especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye.” —Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal “A story of absolute, universal timelessness …For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be….” – Entertainment Weekly From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Tokyo Ever After

Tokyo Ever After

Books

The New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine YA Book Club Pick! Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is the “refreshing, spot-on” (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of JapanIzumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity...and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?Look for the sequel, Tokyo Dreaming, in 2022!

The Downstairs Girl

The Downstairs Girl

Books

From the critically-acclaimed author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon and founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family. "A triumph of storytelling. A bold portrait of this country's past, brilliantly painted with wit, heartbreak, and unflinching honesty. Everyone needs to read this book." --Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South. "A gorgeous tale that will steal your heart. This is not only a keeper, but a classic " --Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy "A jewel of a story. By shining a light on the lives of those whom history usually ignores, Stacey Lee gives us a marvelous gift: An entirely new and riveting look at our past." --Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Family Romanov "Clever, funny, and poignant, The Downstairs Girl is Stacey Lee at her best." --Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown's Game "Immersive, important, and thoroughly entertaining, The Downstairs Girl sparkles with all of Stacey Lee's signature humor, charm, warmth, and wisdom." --Kelly Loy Gilbert, Morris Award Finalist for Conviction

The Guest List

The Guest List

Books

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICKTHE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST THRILLERS OF THE YEAR“I loved this book. It gave me the same waves of happiness I get from curling up with a classic Christie...The alternating points of view keep you guessing, and guessing wrong.” — Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient"Evok[es] the great Agatha Christie classics…Pay close attention to seemingly throwaway details about the characters’ pasts. They are all clues.” -- New York Times Book ReviewA wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The bodyOn an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Scroll to top