It’s not exactly a secret that we should be reading more and Snapchatting less, so I picked out five books worth getting off the screens and into the pages. I get it — it’s hard to find time to read books outside of school when you’ve already got three hours of logarithms, 75 French conjuguemos problems and a Shakespearean play to analyze. But finding those extra 30 minutes right before bed to get under the covers and open a good book is SO worth it. Maybe you have to lose that last episode of “The Office” or close out of the Instagram tab, but that’s not exactly a deal breaker. I may not be a novel connoisseur, but trust me when I say that these books will help you see why reading can be fun — contrary to the beliefs of almost any high schooler enrolled in an English class.
When my grandma recommended “Beartown” to me, I ignored her — I had absolutely no interest in reading a book about a junior hockey team in a dinky city called Beartown, W. Va. I thought I would more or less be reading about my cousin’s hockey team and their big win he wouldn’t shut up about for two months, but the book’s theme is something completely different: covering up dark secrets. “Beartown” follows a rape by the star player on the hockey team and how his status in the town protects him from the true allegations against him. It isn’t necessarily a light read, but one that’s left me contemplating how we prioritize male star athletes in our society today.
Rich People Problems
Over 2 million copies sold and $238 million in movie profits later, I’m sure you’ve heard about the bestselling-book-turned-blockbuster that no rom-com enthusiast would shut up about: “Crazy Rich Asians.” But this is another in the three-book series. “Rich People Problems” is the third book after “China Rich Girlfriend.” It’s the perfect fun and flashy light read for when you’ve finished all your kinetics worksheets for chem. Reading it lets you experience a lavish lifestyle of billion dollar jewel collections, private jets with massage clinics inside them and countless designer outfits (one for each vacation home, obviously) you never knew existed — because they only exist if you’re a billionaire. Focused around the Young family dynasty, the story follows the endless family drama of who-will-get-what in the will of the oldest Young, Su Yi. The surprisingly relatable insanity of the Young family had me wishing I too could jet off to a private island in the Maldives just because I wasn’t in the mood to talk to my family.
Everything I Never Told You
I’ve never been that invested in mysteries — no, not even playing “Clue” — but following the mystery of Lydia Lee’s death in “Everything I Never Told You” made me feel like Watson helping out Sherlock on his latest case. The book’s a quick read and took me just one plane ride from KCI to JFK to finish. It’s centered around the mysterious disappearance of “perfect child” Lydia, whose body is found at the bottom of the lake and thought to be a suicide. When her parents try to understand what could’ve gone wrong, they realize that they may have never really known their daughter (cue me getting sucked further into the mystery).
I’ll Give You The Sun
Until I read “I’ll Give You the Sun,” I’d never had any interest in becoming an artist. Following the viewpoints of a set of artistic twins, Jude recounts the later teenage years of their lives and Noah follows the earlier years as they both work to become artists like their mom and get into their dream art school. I can’t help but wish that instead of daydreaming, I could paint in my head the way the characters do. Noah’s chapters are interrupted continuously with ideas for paintings and sculptures that pop into his head as he goes through life, giving me ideas for everything I’d paint if I had any art talent at all. Their relatable sibling-fights of ignoring each other for over a week, ripping up the other’s picture because it was better than their own and lying about who they had a crush on made me laugh and cry. I still wouldn’t call it a heavy read, rather a fun and fast-paced book you could finish on a day off.
Lost and Wanted
My 7-year-old self was convinced that there were ghosts living in the walls waiting to come out when I was asleep. Physics professor Helen Clapp in “Lost and Wanted” isn’t quite convinced that there are ghosts in her walls, but when she and her son begin seeing and receiving calls from her recently dead close friend Charlie, she becomes a bit concerned. The book follows her struggle to understand what’s going on with her (dead?) friend. The disturbance of a dead man’s connection to life wasn’t cheesy and spooky like I was worried it may be considering most “Scooby Doo” episodes I’ve seen, but actually kept me interested the whole read.