Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Like many other college students I’ve met, I have fallen victim to reader burnout. For a long time, it was really hard for me to get back into a book. I always loved going to the bookstore as a kid and would be able to pick up any book and instantly be transported into the time and setting in which it took place. I loved the activity of finding a book I really wanted to read and picking out the best one from the stack on the shelf. I desperately wanted to get back to that, and these are a couple of the books that helped me to do just that this past summer.

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal

Bleak Creek is a sleepy little southern town that on the outside has nothing that would raise any eyebrows: “…two Baptist churches, friendly smiles coupled with silent judgments, and an unquenchable appetite for pork products.” This quaint little town is unsuspecting of a dark secret linked with the Whitewood Reform School that every child and teenager in Bleak Creek was terrified of being sent to. Following an unfortunate accident with the headmaster of the Whitewood School, high school freshmen Rex McClendon and Leif Nelson are forced to question everything they’ve ever been told about their hometown and its school for “delinquents.” What they find out will leave them battling an evil beyond their wildest imaginations, one that will shake the foundation of Bleak Creek to its core.

I got this book a while ago, but I recently picked it back up again and became immersed in the world of 1992 Bleak Creek, North Carolina. What really fascinated me about this book was that the setting was somewhat familiar to me, being set in North Carolina, a state I frequently visited as a result of having family living among the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I decided to pick up this book after hearing so many raving reviews via “BookTok” which served almost as my filtration system for picking books, or at least to get me started, as bookstores can be overwhelming, to say the least. I saw this book everywhere, so I knew I had to pick it up, and I am so glad I did. This book has some “it” quality that makes it such a unique take on the Iliad. If you are even vaguely interested in Greek mythology, I highly recommend picking up this book. I fell in love with the slow burn bonding that we got to experience as readers by watching Patroclus and Achilles grow up before our eyes.

The legend begins in Greece during the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to a neighboring kingdom after an unfortunate accident. In Phthia, he is to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his son Achilles, “The best of all the Greeks.” The boys grow to become very close companions, with their bond only deepening as they grow older, despite the wishes of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. When word rises that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece must take the opportunity to take Troy in her name. Achilles cannot wait to jump at the opportunity to secure his name as “The best of all the Greeks” and joins the cause but is torn between love and fear when it comes to the fate of his dear friend, Patroclus. They both take their leave to the Trojan battlefield, but little do they know what the Gods have in store for them once they arrive, a test of fate like never before.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

On my next trip to the bookstore, I went in on a mission, a list of books on my phone, and a tote bag ready to be filled. This book was one that I had heard amazing things about regarding the complex plot among various twists and turns. I was shocked by how much I loved this book. As soon as you think you have grasped the reality of this story, it will throw a curveball at you. It has an amazing plot twist that by the time I got there I was completely thrown for a loop. This book is the epitome of suspense as it gradually reveals more and more about Evelyn Hugo’s life through her various marriages and relationship with the spotlight.

This novel tells the story of “aging and reclusive” Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood movie star who is finally ready to release a tell-all interview about her life to an unknown magazine reporter named Monique, and eyebrows begin to raise. As Monique is scheduled to meet with Evelyn, she dives headfirst into her story of “…ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love.” Starting with Evelyn’s work in the business from the early 1950s until she decided to leave it all behind in the 1980s.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

This one took me a minute to get into, but it was really good once the plot started going. It’s a very interesting story told from the perspective of a girl who had just moved to New York City for a fresh start at a new university. It has a great range of characters, and you gradually learn more and more about this mystery subway girl as her back story is uncovered. It keeps you guessing as the reader gets to play investigator.

August has just moved to New York City to prove to herself that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t see how moving in with too many weird roommates, waiting tables at a 24-hour diner, and her daily subway commute could possibly change her feelings on the matter. That is until she meets Jane, a mysterious commuter who saves August’s day when she needs it the most. Jane is the spitting image of an old-school punk rocker, and that’s because she is displaced in time from the ’70s. It’s up to August’s mysterious connection with Jane to help her.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I initially picked up this book because after reading the first few pages, I was hooked. It has a very interesting layout where it’s almost like you’re reading someone’s journal, which I ended up really enjoying. We get to see the two boys grow up together and mature into teenagers, getting their first job, driver’s license, and it was something that took me back to when I was going through all these milestones. My favorite part had to be Aristotle’s epiphany near the end of the novel regarding the importance of his friendship with Dante. It was a very touching story, and I will 100% be rereading it in the future.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison, Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two boys meet at the swimming pool, it seems that they could not be any more different. That is until the two start spending more time together, they soon discover that they share a very special friendship; the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. It is with this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and understand the kind of people they want to be.

Howdy! My name is Julia Brown and I’m a junior studying Elementary Education with minors in Music and Sociology. In my free time, I like to listen to music, drink lots of coffee, and spot dogs on the street. I enjoy writing advice articles, music and movie reviews, and overall ways to make the most of your time on campus!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️