Top 7 Engaging Urban Novels (2023) Experience the Thrilling Urban World
My life has primarily been in the city, and my experiences have shown me different lenses of urban life. Being a book lover, I highly appreciate that many authors now write urban novels.
I enjoy this genre because it defines different urban themes I can relate to. From socio-economic realities to the different cultures and characters of the urban setting, the books below pen unique stories to give you a gist of city living and its actual experience.
What Are The Most Engaging Urban Fiction Books?
Road to Elysium, by Kay Oliver (2022)
What does someone who has had all they ever wanted to do after a tragedy unexpectedly shatters and breaks their life? This is what you will ponder on as you read Road to Elysium.
It is Ken’s story, who has just deeply realized his sorrow while clinging to his afflicting memories. Following his tragedies, he begins to perceive the world as a tough place to exist and is convinced that he might never be happy as before. But a fateful robbery of his house takes place, leading to different impacts he never imagined.
He unconventionally meets Mykel and instantly decides to redirect his focus to him instead of wallowing in self-pity. What he doesn’t realize is that this instant choice will affect multitudes in many ways he had never predicted.
Road to Elysium is a human interest book you will not be able to put down and contains just the right amount of drama. It will help you reflect on the power that certain decisions, people, and relationships have in our lives.
This book had me see a different lens on life; should we give our lives over to heartaches, or is the right step always to act on our sorrows and find ways to move forward?
As you read this book, you see how wild Oliver’s imagination and her diverse Hollywood experience are. She leaves nothing about urban life to doubt.
His H-Town Charm Got Me Hooked, by Prenisha Aja’ (2022)
His H-Town Charm Got Me Hooked is one of those urban fiction books that tell a relatable story, experienced or witnessed. It is for you if you love an unpredictable or twisted romantic story. What many of us would now call a toxic situation.
Marleigh finds herself in one but has no idea how to get out. She feels bound to Aiden, her baby daddy, who is a true piece of work, and eventually becomes sad, bitter, angry, and miserable.
Every detail about Aiden irks her nerves. But the problem is, she has no idea how to stop loving him. He is a real love bomber. How many of us have been caught up in such relationships? What Marleigh doesn’t know is that an explosive bombshell is about to hit their relationship.
But with Nobie in the picture, will Marleigh stay hooked to her good-for-nothing baby daddy, or can she find a man who will give her all the charm she deserves?
Through Marleigh’s experiences, you will come to terms with how often our hearts and minds battle each other based on our realities. You will also profoundly reflect on whether we sometimes simply ignore our truths or lack the strength to stick to our words.
This book's cliffhanger will have you peeved as you root for Marleigh to find happiness. I love that the book accurately indicates how many of us settle for the worst things or people, even when we know what is good for us. I can’t wait for part two.
Love & Havoc, by Dorinda Walker (2022)
This intense story depicts the darkness that comes with drug abuse, murder, sexual trauma, and human trafficking. Dorinda has also excellently explored how many of us get to the point of committing moral acts for power and how we depend on the power of love for redemption and peace. From the test of the extent of family and friendship bonds to the secrets and dark twist of erotica, this novel will make you yearn for more.
It narrates the exciting story of Bessilima, a successful finance executive with a sophisticated educational background. She is also a trendy jet setter carrying a wounded heart of rape from eight years ago. When she meets Bobby at a church event, she is completely head over heels in love with him.
But then she realizes that the so-called ‘Preacher’s kid’ is the captain of the largest consortium of a drug cartel in Baltimore. After this shocking realization, Bessilima starts distancing herself from Bobby, but then he starts changing to direct his efforts toward showing her that he deserves her love.
Unfortunately for them, Bobby’s best friend, Taji, a misogynistic sociopath, starts interfering with an unhealthy obsession with Bessilima.
A Flicker In the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (2022)
This novel's suspense and drama will leave you at the edge of your seat. You will love how Stacy uses many relatable urban events to tell this story. She takes you through the psychology of courage and evil in a perfect literary style to eerily compel you as you explore the theme of teenage trauma.
Meet Chloe Davis, a psychologist from Louisiana. When she was 21, six teenage girls disappeared, and her father confessed to the crimes of this scandal after her discovery. Imprisoned, he left his family, dealing with the truth and the consequences of the act.
Twenty years pass, and Chloe is a Baton Rouge psychologist preparing for her wedding. She is
getting to terms with how to celebrate the fragile happy moments she has been missing and embracing the tough times she went through as a teenager.
However, other local teenagers disappear, and the dreadful summer she went through begins to haunt her. Could it be paranoia, or is she yet about to find a killer?
The School of Good Mothers, by Jessamine Chan (2022)
This captivating novel transgresses ideas about the dangers of what many of us paint as the ‘perfect’ upper-middle-class parenting. The book is about a mother whose fate regarding her daughter’s custody is in the government’s hands. You will love the interesting urban themes of technology, surveillance, and control Chan explores and deeply reflect on them as a parent.
In the novel, Frida Liu is in a jaded state, struggling to have the career worth of her Chinese immigrant parents. What’s worse, she cannot convince her husband, Gust, to stop seeing his wellness clingy young mistress. Frida’s daughter, Harriet, is the only person who completes her.
One day, Frida faces the overbearing authorities tracking mothers with a lapse of judgment. She unintentionally leaves Harriet alone for hours.
With the authorities about to determine whether Frida passes for an institution that gauges the failure or success of a mother’s devotion, she risks losing Harriet.
This book perfectly reflects the pains and joys of our most considerable bounding ties with dark wit and will help you think deeply about systems that separate families.
Mouth to Mouth, by Antoine Wilson (2022)
You do not want to miss this intriguing story that masterfully blurs the thin line between urban exploitation and opportunity, self-delusion, and self-respect to expose how we can deceive ourselves and others.
A nameless character listening to Jeff Cook is the narrator of this book. He is Jeff’s former classmate, whom he only vaguely recalls.
Jeff discloses a story that changed his life when he resuscitated a man on the beach. He continues to narrate how after the scenario, he desired to know more about the man he saved. Driven by a conviction that their fate is intertwined, Jeff later finds out that the man he saved was a famous art dealer.
He slowly warmed his way into the art dealer's life in his Beverly Hills Gallery. Although the man did not remember him, he developed a liking for him. He introduced Jeff to a new world of art where taste, access, and knowledge are earned with money, and value constantly shifts and questions what matters and what is real.
The Arc, by Tory Henwood Hoen (2022)
The Arc is a funny and modern story that will satisfy you if you are a Sally Rooney or Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. Get ready to reflect on the dating services of the new generation and how science can sometimes lead to blind love. This story also goes beyond to illuminate and satirize familiar modern cultural influences.
Ursula Byrne is the vice president of a branding agency in New York. She is clever, single, and successful and has tried dating apps whose options have just underwhelmed her.
So she joins another app, The Arc, a sophisticated and highly secretive app that promises ideal mates for a perfect match with its psychological, emotional, and physiological evaluations. The app matches Ursula with Rafael Banks, and from their first encounter, the match shows potential. However, as their relationship progresses, they realize that love is not straightforward as they thought and that the relationship arc is not foreseeable, even with complete optimization.
Final Thoughts on Urban Fiction Books
Urban life has different realities and lessons that you can excellently ponder using urban novels. The books on this list are excellent depictions. Their plots and themes guarantee fun times but are also avenues for deep reflection regarding urban issues.
If you are looking for romance books only, check out our favorite chick-lit books.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has it's unique value.