Books to quench the reading thirst

April Roccisano, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Everyone loves to sit and read a great book. Finding said book is the difficult part, so I am here to make some great recommendations. 

*Trigger Warning: suicide and self-harm.* “All the Bright Places” written by Jennifer Niven is an amazing coming-of-age novel focused on two main characters, high school students Violet and Finch, who both deal with mental illness. Violet is struggling because she is devastated about her sister’s recent death, while Finch has never had a good life and is struggling with bipolar disorder and being bullied by his peers. The book starts when they first meet at the top of a bell tower at their school where Finch convinces Violet not to kill herself. Together, they try to conquer their mental illnesses, and they soon fall in love. This is by far one of the best novels ever written for older teenagers, and will keep readers in tears for weeks after they turn the last page.

“We Were Liars” written by E. Lockhart is a mystery suspense novel that will leave readers shocked after the plot twist near the end of the book. A seventeen-year-old girl, Cadence, is unable to remember what happened to her the previous summer. All she knows is that she was at her grandfather’s mini-island with her cousins–every other memory is wiped. When she and her mom return the following summer, Cadence, along with her cousins, try to figure out what occurred last summer and why no one will talk about it. This is a journey about mental illnesses, and growth, while teaching readers about grief and sacrifice. 

Janet Finch’s “White Oleander” is possibly one of the most beloved books of all time, as it has received awards and astounding reviews by all audiences. This book is about young Astrid, who is sent to live in multiple foster homes after her mother, Ingrid, is convicted of the murder of her ex-boyfriend. Years pass during the novel, as readers watch the development of Astrid breaking free from her mother’s tight grasp and becoming an independent woman. Although some of the things that happen in this novel are graphic, the messages that come across are crystal clear; life is what you make of it, not all families are there for one another, and it is normal to grow without leaving someone behind. By far one of the best books I ever read, it had me in tears almost the entire time as I became a part of Astrid’s journey. If someone is unsure of what to read, and she wants something eye opening to the world around them, this is the book deserving of a chance.

 If you are looking for a book series, “Life As We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer is criminally underrated. There are four novels, all written as diaries from the perspective of Miranda, Alex, and Jon. The moon gets pulled closer to Earth causing mass destruction everywhere. There are earthquakes, tsunamis, lack of sunlight, and scarce food. This series shows how Miranda’s family comes together to survive this traumatic event in which the world is changed forever. Filled with sorrow, peril, and the strength to survive, this series will keep readers engaged from start to end.