5 Of My Personal Novel Recommendations

5 Of My Personal Novel Recommendations

Need something to read while you're chillin' on the beach? I have a few suggestions.


There's nothing like heading to the beach with a good book to sink your teeth into. But with so many books to read, how can you decide which ones are worth your time? *Enter me* As you start planning for your July vacations, let me share with you some of my favorites. I've loved these books since childhood and still enjoy them well into adulthood, and so I promise you, they're all good reads if you're just not sure what to read next.

1. The Princess Bride - William Goldman (1973)

Although the book version of this "classic tale of true love" is fairly different from the movie adaptation, I found it genuinely funny and just as charming. Not only that, but this book taught me some interesting things as a writer - William Goldman does an excellent job of switching POV and gives each character such love and attention that it's impossible for you as the reader not to love them and their crazy antics as well.

2. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbit (1985)

After accidentally gaining eternal life by drinking from a magical spring, the Tuck family tries to live as inconspicuously as they can. When ten-year-old protagonist Winnie Foster stumbles onto their secret, they take her home to explain why eternal life is more of a curse than a blessing. The situation gets perilous whenever Winnie is followed by a mysterious man who wants to sell the water for profit. Original and thought-provoking, this novel's bittersweet ending is sure to stay with you for a while even after you've finished reading.

3. Rocket Boys - Homer Hickam, Jr. (1998)

Retired NASA engineer Homer "Sonny" Hickam recounts his childhood life in Coalwood, West Virginia - a town owned by the local mining company that was almost impossible to leave. The future for boys like Homer really held only three options: coal mining, joining the military, or getting out on a sports scholarship. In this memoir, Homer tells the story of how he and his friends beat the odds through scientific ingenuity. A refreshing read about an American dream come true.

4. The Only Alien on the Planet - Kristen D. Randle (1996)

High-school senior Ginny moves to a new school only to be perplexed by the seemingly emotionless and shy yet extremely intelligent Smitty Tibbs. Smitty has been outcasted by his classmates, who have labeled him as an alien, but Ginny has the feeling something more is going on underneath the surface. As she struggles to gain the young boy's trust and delves deeper into his abusive past, she may just end up over her head. A heartwarming story about companionship and how to love someone who is just not quite sure how to love you back.

5. The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton (1988)

In a world that dismisses troubled youths like Ponyboy and his gang as outsiders to society, Ponyboy will learn the true meaning of friendship and what it means to be good after one of his friends accidentally kills a preppy jock in self-defense. You've probably read this book in school, but I urge you to read it again through the eyes of an adult. A coming-of-age classic. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

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16 Rupi Kaur Poems Everyone Should Read

An experience of violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity

Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet, writer, illustrator and performer. She is widely known for her first published book, Milk & Honey, a collection of eloquently written poems and drawings. Kaur has also just announced that she will be releasing a new book called The Sun And Her Flowers in October of 2017.

Words and ideas can change the world, and poetry like this holds so much meaning. I hope you get something out of them too.


There's is so much more to you than being pretty


First be full on your own


Never forget this


No matter how dark the night gets the sun will still rise, so will you


I am so sorry people do not understand


Choose love, always


Celebrate your friends, your family, your neighbors, each other


Choose kindness, even when they don't deserve it, especially then


People are their actions, remember that


The most important thing is being comfortable with yourself


Do not ever compromise who you are


You are your home


Never let anyone belittle you


Do, be, and make what you love


Rest in peace


You are strong, you are gold
Cover Image Credit: Toronto Desi Diaries

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The Down-Low On Spending Winter Break Back Home In Southern California

What its really like celebrating "winter" here in Southern California, and why we call it Swinter!


It's winter in Southern California. This isn't really even a true winter, though.

The coldest it gets in the day is usually about 60 degrees during the daytime, and the sun is almost always shining.

Here in sunny SoCal we don't even call it winter. We call it Swinter.

Swinter basically combines summer and winter into one. We call it this because you can find people surfing in Huntington Beach or riding their bikes along the beach trail in Long Beach on Christmas.

Instead of a white Christmas, we get a standard sandy, sunny day.

Also, we aren't cuddled up near the fireplace with mugs of hot cocoa in our hands on that festive day. Most of us have ice-cold sodas or other various cold drinks in our hands.

The temperature is nice enough to have the sliding glass doors open to smell the ocean breeze that comes in through the windows.

Even in December and January, you can see people walking around wearing a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, a windbreaker and some flip-flops here in Southern California. Christmas dinners are attended in dresses or skirts instead of sweaters and pants.

Heaters aren't usually turned on, but, of course, some soft, fluffy blankets are used because, well, they are just truly amazing.

Ice cream is something that can be easily be eaten while standing outside of the local ice cream shop without turning into a piece of ice yourself.

Sometimes, however, this nice weather on Christmas can get a little boring and old after a while. We dream about having a snowball fight on Christmas morning or waking up to open presents with a large cup of cocoa in your hands warming your freezing fingers.

We dream about turning on "Elf" or another Christmas movie while the fire is growing warmer and warmer filling the house with the smell of fall and with warmth.

Yes, we have these marvelous dreams of cold December nights and brisk January mornings, but, in all honesty, a sun-shiny winter isn't all that bad.

Growing up in California my entire life, these are the Christmases that I know the best. I couldn't imagine celebrating this holiday with my friends and family any other way because it's something different and fun that we get to experience year after year.

Being able to wear denim shorts and some sandals in the middle of December is pretty amazing, and I am oh so very glad that it's something we get to do here in this beachy state.

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