books you need one brain cell to read (trashy recommendations!)

You know that feeling where you’re just SO TIRED and don’t have the energy to read a proper fantasy book with actual world-building, or something that requires MENTAL ENERGY? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s some trashy YA novels that are either pretty stupid or really stupid, but are either lighthearted or enjoyable if you don’t look too close. 

Daughter Of The Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller // I read this last year, when I had a headache + was feeling very ill, and it was exactly what I needed. There are 4000 things bad about this book, and it’s cringey, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT… it was so easy to read, and stupid, and the romance was angsty. Look, it’s good trash for when you need good trash. 

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson // This is genuinely just a fairy tale romance disguised as a fantasy!!! Don’t expect an actual immersive fantasy that’s gripping or fascinating because it’s not. It’s a cute little romance story that has a semi interesting plot. 

Mooncakes // To be fair, this is the only graphic novel I’ve read but it’s SOFT!! It just gives you those warm fuzzy feels ya know? The graphics in this were adorable and so pretty!! overall: cute, light-hearted and funny.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber // I have a gazillion problems with this book and I so get why people would hate it. I could pick up on the insta-love, the lack of world-building, the annoying character deaths, the messy plot twists, I won’t because Caraval swept me into another land. I was turning the pages without realising and I could not put it down (I was reading throughout my Biology lesson because who cares about bacteria cells, honestly?) Caraval was so magical. I didn’t even realise how quickly I had read the book, and how entangled I was in the world.If you look at this objectively it’s just very bad,,, but if you just read it as a magi cal book to escape IT’S SUCH A WHIRLWIND OF A RIDE. 

Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo // look i’m gonna put it to you straight. Six Of Crows is a masterpiece…and this is straight up trash (just like I am for the Darkling AHAH) This book is so easy to read (once you get into it) and the plot is pretty fast-paced and addicting!! Alina is annoying, so is Mal but I mean The Darkling’s right there…ahahah just kidding…unless??

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Hann // I remember I binged this entire series SO QUICKLY. Look romantic fluffy contemporaries aren’t exactly my favourites. But despite the annoying bits, and many obvious flaws of this series, I ended up caring about these characters SO MUCH. The romance is adorable. There’s baking and a cute family!! Like yeah, there’s a love triangle BUT FAKE DATING TROPE? YES. Anyways, if you can look past all the bad bits of this series, it’s fucking cute!!! 

My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma // look! I’m trying to recommend some DIVERSE contemporaries (because does it look like i’m gonna read Kasie West books,,, no.) anyways this book is really over the top and melodramatic but IF YOU’RE FEELING TIRED AND SHITTY and don’t pay attention to it it’s a FUN read okay? Also, support writers of colour!! (and non-issue books by POC make me happy okayyy)

Highly Illogical Behaviour – This is about an anxious gay kid! It’s about friendships and it’s SHORT you’ll be able to fly through it in twenty seconds okay. Its cute and wholesome and made me cry. So obviously everything you want in a book.

The Diamond Brothers by Anthony Horowitz // this is a middle grade series BUT IT’S SO FUNNY. Genuinely exactly my type of humour,,, it’s so CORNY. And the mysteries are so fun and you need 0 brain cells. It’s STUPID but in such a fun way and genuinely one of my favourite series. THE ENTIRE THING IS SO ADDICTIVE!!! 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer // SUPER PREDICTABLE SCI-FI CINDERELLA RETELLING. this is literally nothing special BUT IT’S FUN and unique and COOL. Anyways I still need to read the last book, but it’s so easy to read and all the characters are so lovable!!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi // THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES SUCKS!!!! IT’S SO BAD!!! And then book two is also pretty bad but then IGNITE ME happens and you’re like omg i LOVE these characters. I remember this making me laugh so loud and remember my heart swelling at the warnette content. IT’S SO EASY TO READ and there’s nothing much to focus on apart from the characters being dorky and angsty and stupid and having traumatic pasts!!

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood // this is a historical romance…which is not my usual type of books if you know what i’m saying,,,,, BUT it was soooo fun. (me about every book) it’s just loads of parties and has such a relax, pink hazey vibe and the most slow burn romance (which I didn’t like at all if i’m honest) but it’s such a refreshing story where nothing really happens but entertaining anyways!!!

Did you enjoy this recommendation post? What books would you add the list? Have you read any of these? Tell me in the comments below!



43 thoughts on “books you need one brain cell to read (trashy recommendations!)”

  1. Okay I’m trash for that blog post title and that kind of blog post too because I need every now and then – okay, more often than not – these kind of books just to relax. I only read Caraval in your fantasy suggestions and I agree that it has its issues, but I personally still found it fun to get lost in, too and that’s what I was looking for so YAY! And to all the boys ahh, the perfect series when you just need something soft and sweet. ❤

    Liked by 1 person


    I love trashy books so much.

    Funnily enough, I actually got something out of Enchantment of Ravens, but then I may just be very good at getting something out of stupid things


  3. Oh my gosh Ilsa this is such a cool post idea hehehe!!! To All The Boys is definitely THAT book you can just read for fun (we’ll excuse my past self’s FIVE star rating whoops). I also have been meaning to read Cinder 5ever but alas I have a reputation of being a terrible reader to uphold. Shatter Me also… hmm not that great?? But fun and has pretty writing. Still have Daughter of The Pirate King on my TBR because well… saving if for the said zero brain cell reading time.


    1. THANK YOU!!i’ve been meaning to write it up for a while now! I think I rated the last book of the trilogy 5 stars because I JUST LOVED THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH!!! Shatter Me is only good because of the characters let’s be real BUT that’s why I love it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes same here!! Ignite Me was brilliant. The newest too books are okay but not loving them as much as I had wanted to 😦


      2. ignite me is such a favourite of mine. and i liked restore me. defy me was HORRIBLE. everything felt so cringey and so opposite to what i had loved in the original trio. LIKE, all the characters felt so different and the plot was so rushed + messy and it felt like a novella to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is the actual best post in the world! ❤ I feel the EXACT same about Caraval, Cinder, Daughter of the Pirate King, and especially Shadow and Bone!! Even though they all have a lot of problems and predictability, they are just so damn fun to read! The only one of these that I struggled to get through was Shadow and Bone, but … the Darkling … *sighs dramatically* He truly is the saving grace of that novel. Haha.


  5. this post spoke to my three brain cells 👏👏 amazing
    can you give me permission to bully you into reading ‘winter’ soon bc DUDE YOU NEED TO READ IT, IT’S SUCH A GREAT CONCLUSION AND YOU NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS 😔 (and i can’t believe i never asked this but who is your fav couple from the series???)


    1. excuse me you have MORE than three brain cells ur so INTELLIGENT don’t ask me how i know i just do. IM SORRY I’m putting off reading it cus i want to read a physical copy and yeah…okay idk why i haven’t read it. UHM I CANT REMEMBER their names but the girl who lived in that space shuttle thing and then met that guy and then they crashed and he went blind?? I LIKED THEM. thorne?? sorry i don’t remember anything from the previous books :((


  6. I absolutely loved this recommendations post Ilsa, it spoke to a part of me I was not even aware of! I’ve read the Shatter Me series, and while I agree it had some flaws, I absolutely ADORE it ♥ I’m all here for my girl Juliette. And I reread Shadow and Bone this month, and now I actually want to continue with the series! I agree Six of Crows was much better though haha


    1. yay!!! another fellow shatter me stan!! and i loved the first book but i didn’t like the second book and dnfed the third…so 😦 i hope u enjoy the series better than me!! and OBVS SIX OF CROWS IS SUPERIOR >>


  7. I love this post so much! I definitely get in that mood sometimes where I just want to read something fun and light-hearted, so there’s definitely some books on this list that I’ll be adding to my TBR for next time I’m in that mood.
    I have read the Grisha trilogy, but I made the mistake of reading it after I read the Six of Crows duology, so even though it was enjoyable, it really suffered by comparison! Six of Crows really is a masterpiece! 🙂


  8. Sometimes you just need a really easy read :’) From what I’ve heard about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I’m not surprised it made this list! I’d like to give that series a read, although I did seem the film first, and I’m not gonna lie, I actually thought it was good. Maybe in the cheesy, rom-com, predictable sort of way, but still :’)


  9. I LOVE to keep a running list of books that only need one brain cell for me to read, because these days, more often than not, I seem to have only one to spare (sigh) – so this post is a Godsend for me. Thank you!

    That being said, I did not expect to find Shadow & Bone here. Not that I have read it. I actually put it off on a couple occasions assuming it would require multiple brain cells & some clear headed focus. But since I do agree with all of the other recommendations here (of the books I’ve read) – I am going to give this book a shot now. Thank you!


  10. is anyone else genuinely surprised the cruel prince wasn’t on this list… i had a whole comment prepared in my mind to be like ‘i kNEW you were going to put tcp on this list’ but thankfully you didn’t!!! also how dare you roast cinder; i think it was pretty og for the time it was published tho lmao (and the ”’asian”’ representation was wild tho… i just searched up fanart and i’m genuinely surprised that all the top results actually have her as chinese… that’s actually kind of lit though) also yes shadow & bone is so addicting like HOW?


    1. im confused luv,,, why would i put the cruel prince on this list, like at leats 80% of it is actually world-builiding and politics and action which i think requires a few brain cells!! and i don’t even mean to roast any of these books!! cinder was REALLY GOOD and so much fun (still need to read that last book tho,,) OMG SAME. i remember wirting a short review on gr (my old account) like “i mean i stilll really loved this book but all the couples are white m/f and it’s getting kinda repetitive” and THEN people were like “oh no this character is actually chinese” AND I WAS LIKE WHUT. i mean it’s cool but i didn’t even pick up on it myself,,,, ahha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. okay well it’s still a little trashy… I don’t have many braincells and I enjoyed it, so !!! also omg yeah okay so when I read the first book I was like “oh is Cinder chinese???” and I was kind of excited about it but I totally failed to picture her as Chinese like. at all lmao. anyways we literally have two poc characters out of a cast of eight so it’s still yikes yaknow!!!


  11. I always have one brain cell left for reading, so this post is perfect for me 😂

    Highly Illogical Behavior sounds perfect for me based on your description, and I’ve been wanting to read it for a while! Although I do remember reading Shadow and Bone a few months ago, and it was actually not that great, and made me feel like I was using way too many brain cells on it… 🤔 Which is of course, why I’ve decided to skip the rest of the series and just go straight to Six of Crows whenever I have the time! I’ve heard I’ll have a much better time with that, and I don’t care how many brain cells I have to use, as long as I enjoy it!


  12. I loved this blog post title hahahah I can’t remember how many books in the Shatter Me series I read before deciding I had had enough and quit, but I can agree the first book is just awful. It was really easy to read, but I had a major problem with the characters!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.