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Books You Have to Read!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Albany chapter.

Now I know college can be very stressful and a lot of us don’t have that much spare time to read for fun. Whenever you have time, I think you can find at least one book that you’ll really enjoy in this list.

  1. Does My Head Look Big in This? By Randa-Abdel-Fattah

Genre- Young Adult Fiction

  • About a Muslim girl deciding to wear her hijab full time in a predominantly white culture in Australia. Her struggles and how she coped. It really focuses on how her life changes and how she interacts in different relationships with friends, family, etc. This is one of my favorite books and it has been for a long time.


  1. House rules by Jodi Picoult

Genre- Mystery and Psychological Fiction

  • This book is written from different perspectives in each chapter which makes it really interesting to me. About a kid named Jacob that has Asperger’s and how it affects him and his family. He isn’t very good at reading social cues and he has a real interest for forensic analysis. There is also a cool unexpected mystery element to the book that I’m not going to spoil.


  1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Genre- Epistolary Novel

  • AMAZING book that keeps you on your toes. Be ready to get angry and maybe even cry. Shows the struggles of being a black boy in America. Some of the book is written as letters to martin Luther king which I thought was a cool concept It talks a lot about recent struggles that have continued to be relevant to African Americans. This book is very well written, and I really enjoyed it.


  1. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

Genre- Thriller and Crime Fiction

  • An odd mystery that really keeps you guessing and you never know what is going to happen. There Is also a movie for it that recently came out, but I’d suggest reading the book first. There isn’t much I can say about this book without almost spoiling. It is definitely worth the read.


  1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Genre- Epic and Historical Fiction

  • Okay before you roll your eyes in boredom. If you liked the movie, which I know I did, you’ll love the book. Just know, that you’ll need a lot of time to finish It because it is a hefty read. But the movie is just a chapter compared to all of the twists and turns that happen in this book.


  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Genre- Fantasy

  • If you’re into odd kinds of stories that are a little confusing at first, this is for you. This novel is told in unique way with not only words but photographs as well. This book also has a movie that came out relatively recently that was amazing. This book is filled with fantasy and mystery.


  1. Any Sarah Dessen Book

Genre- Young Adult Fiction

  • Okay these books can be a little corny but don’t sleep on them. If you’re into love stories, you can read almost all of her books. These books always put me in my bag and they are so fun to read. Most of them have obvious endings but I still love reading them. My favorites from her are “The Truth about Forever” and “Just Listen”.


  1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Genre- Young Adult Fiction

  • I read this book a really long time ago and I still remember everything about it. It’s a book that is about not conforming to what everyone else wants you to be. Stargirl is such an interesting and well written character, it was honestly a great read.


  1. Paper Towns by John Green

Genre- Mystery

  • This book was introduced to me a long time after It came out and I was surprised I hadn’t read it sooner. It is a great book and I have read other John Green Books. The movie came out and when I saw the trailer I wanted to know more. I decided to read the book first. This book is a kind of fun mystery that I really enjoyed.


  1. The Death and Life of Charlie St. cloud by Ben Sherwood

Genre- Romance Novel and Psychological Fiction

  • Every time I read this book, I end up crying. If you don’t mind having puffy eyes after reading this, go for it. It is such an amazing story about a young man that is somehow still connected and communicating with his younger brother that died in a car accident. There is also a really cute love story aspect which I love. Overall an incredible story which also has a great movie to go along with it.


    11. Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan​​


  • This book talks about America and how we eat here. It talks about all of the options we have when asking what we want for dinner. We can eat anything and every day we have more and more options. He literally explains how things get to our plates in depth. It can be a tough read, but it is very interesting.


    Signs Preceding the End of the World By Yuri Herrera

Genre- Literary Fiction

  • I actually finished this book a few days ago for a class. I can say it was a very captivating book. This is a very powerful novel and a plus side is that it’s very short. It Is also very relevant now because it talks about the main character, Makina, crossing the border. It goes in depth to talk about what she goes through and how she travels.
My name is Ashley, I'm 18 years old and a sophomore at the University at Albany. I am an English Major and Political Science Minor. I truly love writing and I really look forward to providing some content for this page.
My name is Daria and I am currently a junior at SUNY Albany. I am studying biology and hope to, one day, become a nurse practitioner.