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If You Love Bridget Jones’s Diary, You Will Love These 12 Hilarious, Heartfelt Books

Brimming with romance, comedy and relatable antics, these 12 books are sure to charm!

Originally published in 1999, Bridget Jones’s Diary is the global bestselling novel by Helen Fielding that went on to become a hit movie starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Fielding was initially surprised by her story’s success — in fact, she first started writing Bridget Jones in an anonymous column in London’s Independent newspaper. The iconic story follows Bridget Jones, a 30-something woman trying, and sometimes failing, to find her way through heartbreak. When asked why she thinks her story resonated with millions of readers, Fielding has said she believes Bridget’s character tapped into the gap between how we feel we are expected to be and how we really are. And in celebration of the book’s 25th anniversary, a special reprint of Fielding’s classic Bridget Jones’s Diary will be available on June 25th. In the meantime, we rounded up our favorite books like Bridget Jones’s Diary, below.

Keep reading to discover 12 funny, smart and entertaining books like Bridget Jones’s Diary. The one thing all these novels have in common? A witty, endearing heroine navigating life and love — and experiencing more than a few bumps along the way. You also can’t help but root for these women to find their own happiness amid the chaos of everyday life — and really, what’s more relatable than that?

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
Penguin Books

In a roundup of books like Bridget Jones’s Diary, we have no choice but to start with the original!

Witty observations, hilarious mishaps, juicy love triangles…Bridget Jones’s Diary launched a genre and became a touchstone for readers through the years. And in the 25th anniversary reprint, readers get to revisit their favorite ‘hot mess.’ The story follows single, 30-something Bridget Jones, who shares her life through a series of diary entries. As Bridget attempts to heal heartbreak and get her life together, comedic and cringe-worthy trials and tribulations unfold. A pitch-perfect story about self-discovery, love, second chances and finding your way.

This special edition reprint is also just in time for Renée Zellweger’s reprisal of her beloved role as Bridget in the forthcoming film ‘Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy’ which will hit theaters in February 2025.

What readers are saying: “I think I’ve seen the movie version of this story about 20 times — oh, how I love Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger! And then I finally decided to read the book. The good news is: I LOVED the book. There are a few parts that were not in the movie, so it was still a refreshing and fun read!”

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella (Books like Bridget jones diary)
The Dial Press

Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and smart prose, this saga by Sophie Kinsella, another beloved English writer, is guaranteed to charm. Sasha’s career has officially burned her out. She decides to visit the English seaside resort she loved as a child to finally relax. But it’s off-season, and the only other occupant is Finn — another totally stressed-out professional. When messages addressed to them appear on the beach, the two start to talk. As they open up to one another, Sasha and Finn feel a spark that ignites them both.

What readers are saying: “Years ago I loved Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, so I was thrilled to dive into her new, more grown-up tale,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. “This tale really captures the hilarious spirit of Kinsella’s earlier novels. I loved it.”

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
William Morrow Paperbacks

‘Fake dating’ takes center stage in this sparkling romantic comedy by Scottish author Mhairi McFarlane. After Laurie’s partner of more than a decade ends things abruptly, she’s crushed. Not only will she have to seem him every day (they work at the same firm), but now she’ll have to learn how to navigate all the dreaded dating sites. To make matters worse, she finds out her ex’s new girlfriend is pregnant. She’s humiliated. So when Laurie gets trapped in an elevator with the office playboy, Jamie Carter, who happens to need a girlfriend to impress their boss, a plan is hatched. The pair strike up a fake relationship but soon find themselves struggling to figure out what’s real and what’s make believe.

What readers are saying: “If you like Bridget Jones, you’ll like any Mhairi McFarlane novel — especially this one about a woman who reinvents herself. I smiled and laughed as I read this story late into the night.”

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho (Books like Bridget jones diary)
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Described as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary, this debut novel written by Lauren Ho is equal parts relatable and entertaining. At 33 years old, Andrea Tang has everything she could want: a successful career as a lawyer, a chic condo and a bevy of fun friends. The only thing Andrea needs is to make law partner. Oh…and she also doesn’t have a husband, much to the dismay of her Chinese-Malaysian family, but she refuses to let that define her. Then, a run-in with entrepreneur Eric Deng offers Andrea a glimpse into a lavish future. But why does her office rival, Suresh Aditparan, suddenly keep throwing a wrench in her newfound dating plans? As Andrea tries to put herself first and figure out her future, she begins to wonder if any woman can really have it all.

What readers are saying: “This is such a very refreshing read! The author captured a down-to-earth rendition of a narrative without holding back on its expression of sex, vanity, femininity, humanity and family with humor! A must-read, indeed!”

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
G.P. Putnam's Sons

This New York Times bestselling novel by Sophie Cousens is a tale of second chances, fate and true love. Minnie Cooper believes her New Year’s birthday is cursed — and it’s all Quinn Hamilton’s fault…a guy she’s never actually met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn won the cash prize for the ‘first baby born in London in 1990.’ Also, Minnie’s mom was supposed to name her Quinn. Decades later, Minnie runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday and all she sees is more evidence that fortune is on his side. If these two are so different why do they keep running into one another and why do they feel such a spark?

What readers are saying: “I want to see this book in movie form! This is probably the most film-worthy book I’ve read in a very long time. It’s quirkier than Bridget Jones, and the friendships in the story ring absolutely true. Even though it’s a rom-com, it has literary merit and original moments that I’ve never seen in literature. Sophie Cousens does a brilliant job of creating a cast of characters that readers instantly feel close to. I don’t usually love rom-coms, but I adored this book.”

How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan

How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan (Books like Bridget jones diary)

Bestselling author Terry McMillan’s iconic novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, dazzled readers when it was first released in 1998 — and it gained even more fans after it was made into a movie starring Angela Bassett. The story follows 42 year-old Stella Payne, a divorced high-power investment analyst and mom to 11 year-old Quincy. In short, she does it all. When she books a spontaneous vacation to Jamaica, she expects to find some much-needed R&R, but instead she meets a charming man who is half her age. Can Stella navigate this new romance amid her busy life and demanding schedule? And most of all, can she conquer her hopes and fears about love?

What readers are saying: “Terry McMillan writes more than a love story here. We meet Stella, a 42-year-old high powered African-American woman who has been divorced for three years and has an adorable 11-year-old son, Quincy. The very rich details about her trip to Jamaica make you feel as if you’re lying right next to her. Stella is steadily questioning the weight of this escapade that leaves the island and follows her back to home. I also loved the relationship that Stella and her son Quincy share — it’s very open and relaxed!”

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Heartfelt humor? Check. Witty banter? Check. Dreamy charm? Check. This novel ticks all the boxes sure to delight any Bridget Jones fan! The story stars Seattle radio producer Shay Goldstein, who keeps clashing with her new colleague, Dominic Yun. To save the struggling station, Shay comes up with a relationship advice segment for the show called The Ex Talk…and her boss decides Dominic will be her co-host. As their show gains popularity, the pair begin to feel a fiery, unexpected connection.

What readers are saying: “This was the first book I read of Rachel’s, but it certainly won’t be the last,” shares Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “I enjoyed every single page, from all the banter to Shay and Dominic’s connection. Their chemistry was off the charts.”

It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian

It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian

Joyful journeys, empowering lessons of self-love, sexy moments…this book has it all. Noni Blake is an excellent people-pleaser to all people — except herself. After the end of a 10-year relationship, Noni thinks it’s time for change. To shake things up, she finally puts herself first and embarks on a pleasure-seeking quest around the world. Her goals? To start over, find joy and live her best life no matter what.

What readers are saying: “I absolutely loved this book! I found Noni to be amazingly relatable and her inner monologue is hysterical. The characters in her life and those she meets on her journey are so multi dimensional and well written that I wanted to read more about all of them. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her missteps and her victories as she searched for who she is and who she wants to be!”

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (Books like Bridget jones diary)

This charming story filled with heart-fluttering flirtations and idyllic settings features bookish Evie Starling, who decides her life in Chicago needs a major change. She plans a trip to a quaint English village, and before long, finds herself working at a bookshop and befriending the villagers — especially handsome, charismatic farmer Roane Robson. Their conversations evolve into a steamy connection, and Evie wonders if this is true love.

What readers are saying: “I’ve been a fan of Samantha Young for years and this novel did not disappoint,” says Melissa D’Agnese, FIRST Senior Editor. “I found myself cheering for Evie who, while trying to find herself, stumbles upon a charming group of people and a handsome farmer named Roane. Anyone who enjoys rom-com movies will enjoy this book!”

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

At 29 years old, Raina Anand isn’t even close to finding a husband — much to the dismay of her traditional Indian grandmother. When Raina finally agrees to let her beloved Nani play matchmaker, she goes on a series of dates where most of the “eligible” bachelors are more duds than studs. As Raina attempts to honor Nani’s wishes, she begins to realize that she needs to follow her own heart in order to find true love — even if her grandma disapproves.

What readers are saying: “What a delightfully funny, warm, and beautifully written debut! It’s hilarious and heart-warming, the writing is fantastic and the characters are larger than life. Really, it’s got a little of everything you want in contemporary fiction. Love, laughs, family drama, and friendship.”

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Ballantine Books

This hope-filled debut novel follows Evvie Drake, who rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house for nearly a year after losing her husband in a car crash. But when former baseball player Dean Tenney moves into the apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s failed career. But what follows is a sweet story of second chances.

What readers are saying: “This really lovely, bittersweet book left me smiling a third of a smile with tears in my eyes. Beautifully written with loveable, memorable characters, the story is all about redemption, self-love, overcoming failure and learning to bravely embrace new journeys.”

If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher

If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher

Filled with humorous moments and likable characters, this rom-com centers on Violet Covington, the writer of an advice column called Dear Sweetie. She always knows just how to handle any situation — until she discovers her husband, Sam, is cheating. When she lights his belongings on fire in their yard, handsome firefighter Dez shows up to douse the flames…but the sparks between Violet and Dez start to fly.

What readers are saying: “I believe we are constantly growing and evolving as people and I loved going on this journey with Violet. This book is as much about her getting comfortable in her own skin as it is about how she connects and interacts with others (including a potential new romance). I really enjoyed it.”

For more book recommendations, click through the links below!

FIRST Book Club Recommends the New Kerri Maniscalco and Lucy Foley Books and More for June 14 to June 20

FIRST Book Club: ‘Funny Story’, ‘Swift River’, ‘The Ministry of Time’ and More Thrilling New Titles

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