I am a bookworm by nature but this college semester has brought a drastic change to that status. Being a college student, it seems like you have all the time in the world during the day but you really don’t. Those gaps where you don’t have classes somehow get filled up quickly with either studying, meetings, friend making, or other pressing things you have to keep up with.
As someone who is accustomed to filling the gaps in their day with reading, it’s been hard for me. I’ve recently found myself thinking back on some my favorite books I’ve read; Books I’ll talk about to anyone who’ll listen. I can’t possibly name them all but here are a few for you if you’re looking for something to read.
All literary aspects aside, this book had me BAWLING. The story focuses on the invincible romance of the hero Achilles and his lover Patroclus. Firstly, this book is a triumph in terms of representation as it maintains the concept that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers (one explored in the Iliad but not to this extent).
This love story is troubled with interference from the gods, denial, and many deaths. But mostly, it is a tender tale of a love like no other (it also has some amazing fan art on Pinterest!!).
Aside from the fact that the author of the book is none other than J.K. Rowling using a pseudonym this book deserves all acclaim. I love reading mystery stories no matter how gruesome and twisted they get and this book was no exception. Detective Cormoran Strike (the protagonist) has an unorthodox way of investigating that somehow still gets him the answers he needs.
This is one of the few mysteries where I truly can’t figure out what the outcome is before the end. What’s even better is that it’s a series so a new mystery is always waiting.
Sarah J Maas is a master with a pen and paper. It’s not just the steamy love scenes that make this series the best. In all of Maas’ books, we get strong female role models, including the protagonist – Celaena Sardothien – who doesn’t sacrifice her love for beautiful dresses, food, and books while maintaining her status as the greatest assassin.
We also get introduced to the world of fantasy in a rich and thorough way that includes different lands, multiple creatures, and of course, epic strategies and battles.
Ever since I read the Great Gatsby in the 6th grade, I’ve been obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his relationship with his wife Zelda. The Aviator’s wife is a fictional tale of their relationship told from Zelda’s point of view that includes many carefully thought out twists and turns that make this couple even more fascinating.
Salem Witch Trials! I, personally, am very into historical fiction. I feel like the basis in a bit of truth allows for a lot of creative opportunities that are more fun than entirely making something up. This story has its basis in the Salem Witch Trials but also the Le Roy mystery illness of 2011.
Colleen, the main character attends a prestigious all-girls school in the very town that the trials occurred. The girls are really being hit by the pressure of applying and getting into Ivy Leagues and began to experience an outbreak of illnesses that mirror the Le Roy mystery illness.
I get easily bored by autobiographies no matter who is the subject, but the tumultuous whirlwind that was Walls’ childhood just kept reeling me in chapter after chapter. It's been made into a movie this year! A perfect reason to read the book first.
Betancourt’s gruesome telling of her time in captivity in the Columbian jungle brought about a crazy mix of emotions for me. It may sound twisted, but I love a good cry or heart wrench while reading and this true story definitely delivered.
8. Sula by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a legend among mortals and this was something I did not learn until my first reading of Sula (I now read this book every couple of years). Morrison takes the themes of friendship, womanhood, love, and sex and turns them into something unrecognizable under the plot of the story.
Most important is the commentary that Morrison makes on black womanhood without outrightly saying so and without turning the book into a boring account.
9. The Heroes of Olympus
Yes, I know it's a middle school read. Yes, I know Rick Riordan writes mainly children's books. Yes, I know this series came out seven years ago. Did I still read every single one just a couple of months ago? Yes, yes I did.
These books are that good. It can be hard to find any bond with the characters at times because they are younger than the Percy Jackson series alumni but my obsession with mythology outweighs that factor.
The first thing that stood out to me with this book was the main character. There was not a moment in this story that I wasn't cackling at her inner thoughts. Though she's troubled by her insecurities and all the ridicule and abuse she has received all her life, Davidia Jones takes her life by the reins and performs her way to success. Her past comes back to haunt her, though, and she is forced to make some tough decisions.
This story is inspired by John Hughes' "Sixteen Candles" but it is so much more. This geeky girl doesn't just get the guy, she discovers herself in the process.