17 books like Wasted Words

By Staci Hart,

Here are 17 books that Wasted Words fans have personally recommended if you like Wasted Words. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Punk 57

Amy Oliveira Author Of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

From my list on friends-to-lovers romance.

Who am I?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!

Amy's book list on friends-to-lovers romance

Amy Oliveira Why did Amy love this book?

This is a pen pals turned to best friends turned to enemies turned to lovers story. And no one could write this mess better than Penelope Douglas. Punk 57 follows the friendship of two kids who only talk through letters until Misha transfers to Ryen’s school and discovers she’s nothing like in the letters. You can blame the hormones, but this book has the same amount of angst as it has of pure goodness.

By Penelope Douglas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Punk 57 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Douglas, comes the latest standalone love-hate romance.

We were perfect together. Until we met." MishaI can’t help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me. In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing…


Book cover of Blindsided: A Best Friends to Lovers Standalone

Amy Oliveira Author Of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

From my list on friends-to-lovers romance.

Who am I?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!

Amy's book list on friends-to-lovers romance

Amy Oliveira Why did Amy love this book?

It was recently on the number one spot on Amazon, even two years after its original publication! And for a good reason. Amy Dawns gives us all the feels in this romance between a curvy, shy heroine and a sweet soccer player of a hero. Dawns plays with the lines between friendship and something more in a remarkable way. Their banter is hilarious, their chemistry is off the charts. The whole book is *chef’s kiss*.

By Amy Daws,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blindsided as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish footballer best friend give her some lessons in seduction? Lots of banter, awkwardness, jealousy, and heat. Midfielder Maclay “Mac” Logan is a loud-mouthed, tattooed ginger content with focusing on football. But when an adorable, freckled seamstress comes barreling into his life, he finds Netflix-And-Bickering with her to be his new favorite pastime. Freya Cook is used to being the invisible woman with a needle and thread, offering cheeky punchlines as she helps dress London’s finest. She’s plus-sized in body and spirit, and other than her friendship with Mac,…


Book cover of Hands Down

Amy Oliveira Author Of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

From my list on friends-to-lovers romance.

Who am I?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!

Amy's book list on friends-to-lovers romance

Amy Oliveira Why did Amy love this book?

I’d talk about Mariana Zapata for days without coming out for air. The queen of slow-burn will leave you squirming in your seat shouting “Just kiss already!” on the top of your lungs. It’s a sweet blooming romance between childhood friends who spent years apart. If you read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, you were probably waiting for Zack’s story. Bonus? Zack is the sweetest and the pure definition of a cinnamon roll hero.

By Mariana Zapata,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hands Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before he was “Big Texas,” he was “Zac the Snack Pack.”Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold. Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Book cover of My Best Friend's Ex

Amy Oliveira Author Of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

From my list on friends-to-lovers romance.

Who am I?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!

Amy's book list on friends-to-lovers romance

Amy Oliveira Why did Amy love this book?

Even though he’s her best friend’s ex, it totally makes the list because they were all childhood friends first. One of the most underrated books by Meghan Quinn, I can’t stop talking about Tucker and Emma. The reason this book is so good comes down to a simple recipe: fluffy, hilarious, and with a tortured hero who only wants to be loved. This book is a standalone but part of a wonderful series full of mouthwatering heroes.

By Meghan Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Best Friend's Ex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson. Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn't be that big of a deal since Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he's still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I'm trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.Boy, was I wrong. Rules are set, dinners are made,…


Book cover of I Promise You

J. Sterling Author Of The Perfect Game

From my list on romance that will leave you breathless.

Who am I?

I was raised on the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball is in my blood. I love reading sports romances. An athlete's mindset is something I'm intimately familiar with (my son is a professional baseball player), so I get a lot of enjoyment reading about the guys who chase their dreams and ultimately get to make them come true. I enjoy reading stories that are familiar to me and that I can relate to.  

J.'s book list on romance that will leave you breathless

J. Sterling Why did J. love this book?

No one writes college football romance like Ilsa! I fall in love with every football book she writes and this one was no different. From the banter, to the push and pull between the characters, to the legend of the bonfire kiss, this book has it all! You're going to love it!

By Ilsa Madden-Mills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Promise You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#2 Book in the Amazon Store

From #1 Amazon Charts and WSJ Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes an all-new swoony romance between the football hottie and the mystery girl he kissed years before…

Dillon McQueen: Babe. I promise. You want me.
Serena Jensen: Um, who are you?

There’s a legend at Waylon University: the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you’ll never forget. She’ll crawl under your skin. She’ll spark a passion so fierce you’ll burn the world down to possess her.

You might even put a ring on it.

But...timing is everything.…


Book cover of How Lucky

Melissa F. Miller Author Of Chosen Path

From my list on crime fiction to give you hope for humanity.

Who am I?

I’m a mystery, thriller, and suspense author who’s written dozens of books across five series. In addition to writing crime fiction, I’ve always loved reading in the genre. I’ll take a fast-paced thriller any day. I’ve noticed, over time, that my reading tastes have changed. I gravitate toward crime fiction that features flawed but ethical protagonists who believe, as I do, that light drives out darkness, love is a demonstration of courage, and kindness is a weapon. These five books share this theme in common—all against the backdrop of gripping, high-stakes plots with twists and turns aplenty. These are books that will get your heart racing and give you hope for humanity.

Melissa's book list on crime fiction to give you hope for humanity

Melissa F. Miller Why did Melissa love this book?

Daniel, the unforgettable protagonist of this mystery, is resilient, resourceful, and realistic. Clear-eyed about the world and how it views him, Daniel—who has a debilitating, degenerative condition called spinal muscular atrophy—witnesses an abduction from his wheelchair. The amateur sleuth enters into a risky game of cat and mouse to draw out the kidnapper and save the victim. What I love most about this book is Daniel’s belief that “the world is a place that can welcome everyone.” Driven by his personal philosophy, and with some help from his goofy best friend, Travis, and his outstanding health aide, Marjani, he risks his life to prove it. 

By Will Leitch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Lucky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2022 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel

“A fantastic novel. . . . You are going to like this a lot.”—Stephen King

“What’s more thrilling than a fictional character speaking to us in a voice we haven’t heard before, a voice so authentic and immediate—think Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Mattie Ross—that we suspect it must’ve been there all along, that we somehow managed to miss it? Daniel, the protagonist of Will Leitch’s smart, funny, heartbreaking new novel How Lucky, is just such a voice, and I’m not sure it will ever completely leave my head, or that I want it…


Book cover of A Fan's Notes

Trish MacEnulty Author Of The Hummingbird Kiss: My Life as an Addict in the 1970s

From my list on memoirs about or by addicts, drunks, and f#@k ups.

Who am I?

I am a recovered (not “recovering”) addict and writer. These days I write historical fiction because I enjoy an escape from present-day reality, and research is fun. But I started writing as a way to make sense of my chaotic world and in hopes of healing myself. Something was broken inside me, and I didn’t know how to fix it. So I wrote about the shadowy realms of my life and kept on writing until somehow I was able to let go of the past and create a different life, one which would not land me upside down in a ditch with my neck broken and my tires spinning. 

Trish's book list on memoirs about or by addicts, drunks, and f#@k ups

Trish MacEnulty Why did Trish love this book?

I cannot overstate how amazing this book (an autobiographical novel) is.

I was just trying to figure out how to write my own story when a professor recommended this book. I was blown away. At the time I read it, I wasn’t a big sports fan, but this is so not a book about sports. It’s about the rage, the wild beast inside us, and how we learn to live with it, and that it’s okay to be a mess as you do it.

By the time I finished the book, I felt like I had my own Virgil to lead me through the circles of hell. The writing in this book is like a drug in itself. It truly got me high.  

By Frederick Exley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Fan's Notes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The narrator of this tale is the ultimate unreconstructed male. his primary concerns are booze, sex and the New York Giants. But things go very wrong for him - he drinks too much, he's impotent, and the Giants start to lose. So we follow his trail, through failed marriages, to mental hospital.


Book cover of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip Into the Heart of Fan Mania

Ed Southern Author Of Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South

From my list on root, root, root for the home team.

Who am I?

As I write in Fight Songs, my name has nothing to do with it: It refers to a geography an ocean away, and predates any notion of the American South (or of America, for that matter). I have spent most of my life in the South, though, loving football, basketball, and other sports that didn’t always love me back. I became curious about why they’ve come to play such an outsized role in our culture. Why did my home state come to a standstill for a basketball tournament? Why does my wife’s home state shut down for a football game? Writing Fight Songs was one way of exploring those questions. Reading these books was another.

Ed's book list on root, root, root for the home team

Ed Southern Why did Ed love this book?

Warren St. John spent a season with the University of Alabama fans who drive their RVs to every single Crimson Tide game, chronicling the lengths and depths of their obsessive fandom, the ways they build community and identity out of a bunch of kids playing a kids’ game... and this was before the Crimson Tide won six national championships in the last 15 years.

As I often tell my wife, an Alabama fan born and raised, “You people are insane.” Lucky for me I find their insanity captivating.

By Warren St. John,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is it about sports that turns otherwise sane people into raving lunatics? Why does winning compel people to tear down goal posts, and losing, to drown themselves in bad keg beer? In short, why do fans care?

In search of answers, Warren St. John seeks out the roving community of RVers who follow the Alabama Crimson Tide from game to game. A movable feast of Weber grills and Igloo coolers, these are hard-core football fans who arrive on Wednesday for Saturday’s game: The Reeses, who skipped their own daughter’s wedding because it coincided with a Bama game; Ray Pradat,…


Book cover of The Hook Up

Amiee Smith Author Of Love Sounds

From my list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night.

Who am I?

I love the art of writing romance fiction. I’m a character-driven author. My stories are contemporary romance with steam, humor, and diversity. I run my business from my living room. When I'm not writing and telling people about my books, I run another online business. Read lots. Watch tons of series. Drink coffee and wine. Listen to music. Cook comforting vegetarian meals. Say prayers, meditate, and light candles. Text with my girlfriends. And try to squeeze in a walk and a shower. My sexy little stories are my attempt at keeping someone up all night. May you always feel loved, seen, and heard. The Smart Girl Mafia Series books 1-4 are currently available. 

Amiee's book list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night

Amiee Smith Why did Amiee love this book?

This college romance is full of steam and humor. A star football player has a chance encounter with an edgy nerd at a party. My first novel is based on a hook up at a party, so I am in mad love with this story. A true relationship unfolds between these two that goes deeper than witty bits and coed antics. You will definitely stay up all night to finish this book. 

By Kristen Callihan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hook Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOK The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all... No falling in love Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right? Too bad he's committed to making her break every rule... Football…


Book cover of The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football

Mark A. Salter Author Of Sins of the Tribe

From my list on institutional hypocrisy.

Who am I?

Like all of us, I was raised on promises, and now I’ve veered off to another perspective. I love football. I played in high school, college, and for a brief time, in the NFL (didn’t make the final roster!) Philosophy has been a life-long pursuit, but I didn’t find what I was looking for: the truth. Except for the existentialists, most of it is a mere history of how mankind thought. But philosophy has taught me how to examine the essence of important issues. That’s why I wrote a book about tribalism, because to me, tribalism is the strongest dynamic in humanity and morality is subordinate to tribalism.

Mark's book list on institutional hypocrisy

Mark A. Salter Why did Mark love this book?

I originally read this as research for my own novel and I’m so glad I did. Not all of it is about scandal, in fact my favorite parts highlighted how sports can be used to bring out the best in us. In fact, that’s what sports did for me. I loved that it also sheds light on the machinations we don’t see that are used to drive the sport. And, yes, I was horrified by some of the stories: horrified by the sexual assaults and furthermore by the rationalizations and the coverups. The feeling I had reading The System: we all want to dress ourselves in virtue, but all we really want is to win and for some, there is no price that’s too high.

By Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The System as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year 

NCAA football is big business. Every Saturday millions of people file into massive stadiums or tune in on television as "athlete-students" give everything they've got to make their team a success. Billions of dollars now flow into the game. But what is the true cost? The players have no share in the oceans of money. And once the lights go down, the glitter doesn't shine so brightly. Filled with mind-blowing details of major NCAA football scandals, with stops at Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Missouri, BYU, LSU, Texas A&M and many more,…


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