You Heard it on BookTalk First

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MOHITA ILAMURUGAN '24

Open book with brown color and tan pages covered with various colored dots.

JIA SHAH '24, SIA SHAH '24

Summer’s almost here and you know what that means. It’s time to lay down on the sand or on your bed with a page-turning book. So without further ado…. Here is our master list of books to read this summer. There’s romance, fantasy, historical fiction, teen fiction, and poetry—we’ve got it all.

Fantasy: 

Six Of Crows: Six Of Crows is an exciting and riveting fantasy novel that takes the reader through a whirlwind of emotions. The story follows six teenagers living in the slums of Ketterdam as they try to do the impossible and pull off a deadly heist. With characters that will nestle themselves in your heart forever, this book is a perfect read for someone who enjoys a thrill while reading. 

Dance Of Thieves: Dance of Thieves is a thrilling enemies-to-lovers read while vacationing. Seriously, you won’t be able to put it down. A young leader of an outlawed dynasty and a once thief and now reformed soldier try to uncover the secrets of the city as well as disarm one another but end up falling for each other.

City of Bones: City of Bones is a personal favorite and renowned author Cassandra Clare’s first book in her fantastical universe of shadow hunters. It follows a daughter of antagonist Valentine as the protagonist who is on a mission to rescue her mother, but finds out her true identity as a shadowhunter. Befriending the flirtatious Jace Herondale and his siblings, she embarks on a journey in this unknown world. 

Historical Fiction: 

Song Of Achilles: A timeless classic and retelling of Holmer’s Illiad, Song of Achilles should be designated for that one day in summer when you want to be emotionally damaged. Beautifully and lyrically written, Miller outdoes herself in portraying two damaged and broken souls who find comfort within one another. It’s a historical dramatization of two characters whose stories were not quite exposed in the original epic poem.

The Kite Runner: Get your tissues ready because this heart-breaking story is guaranteed to make you cry. The Kite Runner takes place in two different time periods from the 1970s to 2001. The tale is about friendship and loss, jealousy and pain, and the difficult price of betrayal. The story follows two Afghani boys, one wealthy and the other a servant. The book displays life and sacrifice and this beautifully painful story is set with the backdrop of the history of Afghanistan in the last fifty or so years. 

Lovely War: A historical romance bound to keep you swooning for days, The Lovely War is told by the goddess of love herself Aphrodite with guest appearances from Ares and Hades. This book is an underrated favorite. The novel follows two love stories that collide with one another during the first world war, set in America; Hazel and James as well as Aubrey and Collette.

Romance:

Off-Campus Series: A series of five books that are all fun to read, fluffy novels will keep you entertained throughout the summer. The first book, The Deal, starts off with Garret Graham, a notorious hockey player with quite a reputation with the ladies. When Garret realizes he is close to failing a class, he strikes a deal with Hannah Wells, a smart and gorgeous singer who is trying to make her crush jealous. The book follows the two of them and their friendship as it grows and sparks into something else. While the book does touch on some deep subjects such as sexual assault and domestic abuse, the author does a wonderful job keeping the majority of the book light-hearted. The rest of the series follows the love stories of Garret’s team players and each, and every book brings something new to the series.

A Thousand Boy Kisses: It’s a heartbreaker. Best friends to lovers to enemies to lovers, this book keeps its readers on their toes. The story follows a boy and a girl determined to fill a jar given to the girl by her grandmother labeled a thousand boy kisses–for every important kiss, there would be a note attached to it. But there’s a twist: How will they finish the jar of kisses when they’re torn apart?

The Cheat Sheet: This is a fun, lighthearted rom-com with a slight undertone of trauma. It follows a boy and a girl who’d been friends since high school, living in LA as he plays for the NFL and she teaches dance. Everyone can see they’re in love with each other, but they’re too oblivious to see it themselves. So, when his friends propose a cheat sheet of plays he could make to get his best friend to fall in love with him–will it work? 

Teen Fiction:

The Inheritance Games: This thrilling and mysterious novel follows the story of a girl who comes from nothing but with a single strike of faith suddenly has everything. Avery’s plan of lying low comes crashing down when she learns that she has earned the inheritance of a billionaire, Tobias Hawthorne. Throughout the novel, Avery and the two very handsome Hawthorne brothers embark on a journey to find out why Avery was chosen for the inheritance when she has no relation to the family.

Good Girls Guide to Murder: The perfect novel for a day in, this YA thriller will keep you so hooked that you’ll finish the novel in a couple of hours. The story follows Pippa, the main character, reopening the closed case of Sal Singh and Andie Bell. People believe that Sal Singh killed Andie Bell but Pippa thinks differently. Follow along and try to uncover the truth with Pippa in this page-turning and plot-twisting novel.

If We Were Villians: M.L Rio’s first novel has swept over the world with its uniquely interesting and thrilling plot. The story begins with Oliver Marks who has just finished serving ten years in jail. Narrated by Marks, the story follows seven young actors studying Shakespeare in college as they play different roles in the plays. But what happens when it feels as if reality and their roles in the play have become indifferentiable? 

Poetry: 

The ultimate guide to Rupi Kaur:

  • Milk and Honey: Flaunting its title as Kaur’s most renowned novel, milk and honey unveils themes of self-discovery, self-love, womanhood, and personal power. It’s powerful, lyrical, a quick read, and mindset changing.
  • The Sun and Her Flowers: The second book in her installment, this novel explores topics such as love, loss, trauma, abuse, and heartbreak. The reader can see her writing as well as her character develops with the publishing of this book.
  • Homebody: Published in 2020, this book was a wonderful and empowering read during the height and trauma of the pandemic. Kaur expands on the importance of a woman’s body, self-care, the dichotomy of dark and light, as well as the effects and differences between nature and nurture. Expertly written, Kaur outdoes herself in executing these heavy themes.

Where Hope Comes From: Nikita Gill wrote this book to spread comfort and show support during Covid-19. She lays her thoughts bare as she exposes the true reality of the pandemic and the countless ways it touched so many lives. Her novel resonates with many adolescents during this time, and it’s a must-read because of how connective and interactive it is.

The Poet X: A strong verse novel, written through narrative poetry surrounding the life of 15-year-old, Xiomara lives with her strictly religious mother. The book explores heavy concepts, like self-acceptance, sexism, and sexuality–the overarching theme of the rejection of religion through three parts (submission, rebellion, and liberation).