In case you just want a quick read

From ever-reliable Bookbub…

15 New Fast-Paced Books to Binge This Weekend

By Melissa FlandreauUpdated: August 21, 2020 6 min read

Escaping into a good book is our favorite form of distraction. If you’re looking for a totally engrossing book to pass the time, we have just the list for you. From pulse-pounding thrillers to addictive romantic comedies to page-turning contemporary fiction, these fast-paced books will pull you in and keep you captivated until the very last page. Read on to discover which quick read you should pick up this weekend.

Book cover for Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Pretty ThingsJanelle BrownView Price…Save to List

Who doesn’t love a delicious con story? When grifter and an heiress collide, it becomes impossible to know who’s conning who in this twisty tale. Told through alternating perspectives, the plot builds and twists in intricate and surprising ways. Kirkus Reviews calls Pretty Things “fiendishly clever.”

Book cover for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing HalfBrit BennettView Price…Save to List

Moving and thoughtful, The Vanishing Half begins with two twin sisters who run away from their small Black community at the age of 16. Years later, one sister returns to her home town with her daughter. The other lives in California, passing as white, and hiding her past from her friends, husband, and daughter. When their daughters’ lives unexpectedly cross paths, the twins must choose whether to reconcile their distance. Expertly paced and plotted, The Vanishing Half keeps you hungry to learn more about each woman’s story and choices, making this a fast yet complex read.

Book cover for The Holdout by Graham Moore

The HoldoutGraham MooreView Price…Save to List

Ten years after Maya Seale convinces her fellow jurors to acquit a teacher accused of murder, a crew arrives to film a true crime documentary series about the case. But when one of the jurors is killed, Maya become the leading suspect. True crime lovers will race through this suspenseful novel from the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Gameand that Publishers Weekly says “set[s] a new standard for legal thrillers.” 

Book cover for The Last Flight by Julie Clark

The Last FlightJulie ClarkView Price…Save to List

When Claire swaps plane tickets at the airport with another woman — whose flight goes down — Claire takes on the new identity. Author Aimee Molloysays The Last Flight offers “everything you want in a book.” Pulse-pounding and irresistible, Clark’s latest thriller will you have guessing up until the explosive end.

Book cover for Followers by Megan Angelo

FollowersMegan AngeloView Price…Save to List

Fair warning: You’ll think twice about checking social media after reading this one. Complex and thought-provoking, the novel uses dual timelines and a dystopian future to dig into the dark side of social media, and how it’s fundamentally changed the way we connect with others. Kirkus not only gave Followers a starred review, but it also named Angelo’s chilling debut one of the “most buzzed-about books right now.” You’ll have no trouble speeding through it to join in on the conversation.

Book cover for Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See HereKevin WilsonView Price…Save to List

If the out-there premise of Nothing to See Here doesn’t immediately draw you in, then Wilson’s witty writing and dark humor certainly will. When Lillian Breaker’s old roommate — who’s now married to a senator — asks if she’d be interested in becoming a governess for her twins, Lillian jumps at the chance. But there’s just one catch: The 10-year-olds occasionally burst into flames. Publishers Weekly calls Wilson’s quirky, poignant novel both “exceptional, and exceptionally hilarious” and praises its ability to capture “the wrenching emotions of caring for children.”

Book cover for The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Sun Down MotelSimone St. JamesView Price…Save to List

Creepy and delightfully atmospheric, St. James’s newest novel will have you on edge (and possibly looking over your shoulder) until the final page. Jumping between Upstate New York in 1982 and 2017, The Sun Down Motel follows Viv Delaney, a night clerk at the Sun Down, and her niece, Carly Kirk, who — more than 30 years later — finds herself caught up in the same mysteries that led to her aunt’s disappearance. Unless you have nerves of steel, you might not want to pick this one up when you’re home alone. 

Book cover for Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun AgeKiley ReidView Price…Save to List

Such a Fun Age stirred up an incredible amount of buzz before its publication, including a starred review from Kirkus, and the hype has held up. A recent pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, Reid’s debut tells the story of Emira Tucker, a Black woman falsely accused of kidnapping her babysitting charge, a young white child. Exploring the intersection of race, privilege, and family, its fast-moving plot will have you racing through to the final page.

Book cover for Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Darling Rose GoldStephanie WrobelView Price…Save to List

Rose Gold Watts spent the first 18 years of her life believing she was sick, only to learn her mother was behind all her mysterious illnesses. When her mother is released from prison and claims she wants to reconcile, Rose Gold and her mother soon find themselves in a world of psychological manipulation and revenge. Publishers Weekly praised the novel, saying, “Propulsive pacing, a claustrophobic setting, and vividly sketched characters who are equal parts victim and villain conspire to create an anxious, unsettling narrative.” 

Book cover for Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe BrownTalia HibbertView Price…Save to List

This charming rom-com offers a heartwarming escape and, as NPR putsit, is “a laugh-out-loud love story full of poignant revelations about human nature.” After a brush with death, Chloe Brown is determined to do the things she never dared to try before. But there’s just one problem: She needs someone to help her. That’s where her neighbor comes in. They may not like each other, but motorcycle-riding artist Red is the ideal person to help Chloe cross items off her “Get a Life” list. Along with a great enemies-to-lovers romance between Chloe and Red, the novel offers a realistic look at chronic illness through Chloe’s fibromyalgia.

Book cover for The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The WivesTarryn FisherView Price…Save to List

Thursday may know her husband has more than one wife, but that doesn’t mean she knows every secret Seth is hiding. Perfect for anyone who tore through Gone Girl, The Wives will enthrall readers with its fascinating characters and unique premise. In other words, you won’t be able to put down this fast-paced thriller until you figure out what’s really going on.

Book cover for The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

The City We BecameN. K. JemisinView Price…Save to List

This latest fantasy from Jemisin, a three-time Hugo Award–winning and New York Times bestselling author, has received glowing praise from all corners. Kirkus hailed it as “fierce, poetic, uncompromising,” while The City of Brass author S. A. Chakrabortycalled it “one of the most brilliant books I have ever had the honor of reading.” In The City We Became, New York City comes alive, and when it faces an ancient, imposing threat, its people must come together to protect it. Jemisin’s vivid writing will transport readers to this alternate NYC — and have them falling in love with it.

Book cover for The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

The JetsettersAmanda Eyre WardView Price…Save to List

Let yourself be whisked away to the Mediterranean in Ward’s latest, which follows a 71-year-old woman who wins a 10-day cruise that will take her — and her three grown children — from Athens to Barcelona. Along with sparking wanderlust in readers, The Jetsetters dives into family dynamics, new loves, and the amusing antics that can take place aboard cruise ships. New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand found herself “delighted anew in every port,” calling the novel “fun, sexy, and engrossing.”

Book cover for The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben

The Boy from the WoodsHarlan CobenView Price…Save to List

We don’t recommend starting this one late in the day. If you do, you might find yourself up all night, tearing through the pages to see how the action-packed plot resolves itself. When a teenage girl goes missing, a mysterious man known as Wilde is pulled into the investigation at the request of Hester Crimstein, a TV lawyer. When a second teen disappears, it quickly becomes clear that nothing is as it seems… and in classic Coben style, readers will discover layers of secrets to unpack.

Book cover for Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Blacktop WastelandS.A. CosbyView Price…Save to List

In this engrossing thriller that Lee Child calls “sensationally good,” a former getaway driver is lured into one last heist that may prove more dangerous than he bargained for. Combining the best of movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Drive, Blacktop Wasteland is a powerful new addition to the thriller world — one that crime fiction legend Walter Mosley says is “an intoxicating thrill of a ride.”

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