13 Books To Read This Summer & Why

13 Books To Read This Summer & Why

No, 13 Reasons Why isn't one of them...
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1. The Girls in the Garden - Lisa Jewel

It's a mystery thriller story that has 3.56 stars on Goodreads. You can go check out the full description here.

2. One True Loves - Taylor Jenkins Reid

It's a love triangle. She has to choose between her husband who has been lost for years and her new fiancé. Which will she choose? It has 4.1 star on Goodreads so check it out here.

3. My Not So Perfect Life - Sophia Kinstella

This sounds like such a good read because it shows that even though Katie (the main character) seems to have the perfect life on her Instagram account and everything, it sheds light on the fact that life is not perfect. It sounds interesting and fun. It has 3.8 stars on Goodreads, so it has to be good. Check it out here.

4. The Roanoke Girls - Amy Engel

This one is a mystery thriller where two cousins come together after both losing someone who was close to them. It sounds interesting enough so I can't wait to read it. The Goodreads rating on it is 3.7 and check it out here.

5. The Second Mrs. Hockaday - Susan Rivers

This one is probably near the top of my list. It's about a newly wed couple during the Civil War in America and he has to go off to be a Major in the war. While he is away, rumor has it that his new wife has relations with another man and has that mans child then murdering it! She's then put in jail when he returns two years later. Oh, did I mention that she's only 17? Go check it out here if you love Historical Fiction like I do.

6. The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff

A sixteen year old girl has a child in Nazi Germany but is forced to give it up. Later she can't get over her lost child and she sees a train full of Jewish children and she can't help herself. She grabs one and runs away to a circus where she has to learn to become a trapeze artist. This book has 4 stars and you can check it out right here.

7. The Shadow Land - Elizabeth Kostova

An American woman goes to Bulgaria to heal after losing her brother and an elderly couple leaves their suitcase in a taxi after she helps them out. The suitcase contain an urn with human ashes and she knows that she must return them. It's a mystery and historical fiction mixed into one. Perfect to keep me on my toes this summer, with 3.7 stars, so check it out on Goodreads here.

8. Into the Water - Paula Hawkins

From the author of The Girl on the Train, here comes yet another creepy murder mystery book. I know that it doesn't seem like reading this type on a beach with a cool drink in your hand would be perfect, yet it is. This one is about a 15-year old girl whose mother is found at the bottom of a lake, and now she is orphaned in the world. That already sounds like a whirlwind. Go check it out on Goodreads here if you are still wanting more info on it!

9. The Wonder - Emma Donoghue

I've been wanting to read this one since it came out this past fall. It sounded so intriguing, but alas, I just didn't have the time to read it. So now it's sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. It's about a nurse who is brought to a village in Ireland to witness a miracle child who can go days without food or water. It turns into a big media sensation and I can't wait to crack this book open. Check it out here on Goodreads.

10. The Sun is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

Girl sees boy, boy sees girl, and it's love at first sight. Except her life is a mess because her family is being deported back to Jamaica and he realizes that he doesn't want to be the perfect son that his parents want him to be. Young love, is there nothing better to read while sitting on the beach? Check it out on Goodreads here.

11. Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

She has a rare diesease and has only seen her mom and her nurse for her entire life until she meets a charming boy her age. He moves into the house next to hers and she falls in love with the future he offers her. Read the rest of it on Goodreads here.

12. Roses of May - Dot Hutchison

First of all, if you haven't read The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison, stop whatever you're doing and go read it right now. It's so amazing and mind glowingly creepy that you're going to reach for this book next. It's a sequel that I'm on the edge of my seat anticipating after I finished reading The Butterfly Garden the night that I got it. Here's the actual description to the book on Goodreads, but I just like mine so much more.

13. Goodnight From London - Jennifer Robson

If you can't tell from the cover, this book is a love story about a couple in London during WW2. Aren't these books always the best though? The girl is a young American journalist who finds her big break for writing about the war while located in London. During this gripping story, she finds out what it means to love a man who has so many secrets and burdens. Oh! Ah! Let's grab a copy and some coffee and read it right away. Here's the Goodreads link for more information on the book.

Cover Image Credit: Jonathon Sturgeon

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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Here's Why You Find Lara Jean The Most Relatable Character Ever

If you haven't seen this movie, you've got to!

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First of all, let's just say this is the cutest teen movie I've ever seen in my life.

All of the characters, while some of them may be a little trope-y, they're done in a way that makes them all authentic, honest and original. I love them all.

Everyone has a back story and is explained well enough that you know what their role is. Some movies don't do this well. Even though you basically know what's going to happen, because, at the end of the day it is still a teen movie, you're going to sob and maybe even scream.

But back to my queen, Lara Jean, and why she's the absolute best

1. She Has Amazing Style

Were y'all keeping up with the fact that she was putting complete and total looks together that entire time? From the socks to the scrunchies, to the shoes; she looked great every single day! I really can't even believe Gen tried to come for her? Rude.

2. Her Best Friend Is Also Cool

Chris AND Lara Jean together?! Stylish, fashionable, hilarious: iconic! 10/10, I love their friendship and how they're the only ones each other trusts. The way they take care of and look out for one another is great. Plus they both have such great personalities.

3. She Daydreams

I love how Lara Jean lives in her own head. She has all these ideas of what love is because she's read about it and imagined it, but she's never experienced it before. Reminds me of someone I know (me).

4. She Pushes People Away

Not necessarily a positive thing about her, but this makes Lara Jean a real person and less like every other perfect fairytale, teen romance movie to ever be made. She has a problem letting people in and her background and the dialogue in the movie actually explains why.

5. She's Not One Of The Popular Kids

Whenever they make a teen movie, there's always the popular kids and I love when the protagonist/main character isn't one of them. I wasn't one of them in high school, so making movies about the cool kids doesn't make them easy to root for.

6. She's a Person of Color

Do you know how great it is to see a POC as the lead in a teen movie? I watch a lot of these because I'm garbage and it's usually a blonde white girl who's like stereotypically attractive but not "popular," and it just makes the movie harder to relate to. I think having the lead be a person of color makes the movie a little more accessible to more people. Because people who look like Lara Jean can see themselves in her and it's important for young people of all types to be recognized in media so they can feel heard and understood. I just love that!

7. She Wins In The End

Even After Gen was terrible to her the whole movie and she lost Peter, Josh and her own freakin' sister, she eventually gets the boy and repairs her relationship with her best friend and her sister! Ahhh, We love a happy ending!

As I said before, this is truly one of the greatest movies I've seen in a very very very long time. All of the characters are so likable, even Lara Jean's dad. It's like "Mean Girls" but so much cuter and less dramatic.

As a fan of the genre of teen romance, I'm glad a movie like this exists, with a woman of color as the lead and a sad backstory, but a cute and witty family. It's truly all the things I ever wanted in a teen romance.

Thanks, "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."

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