Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

HCC EXECS: Books we read this summer that you should pick up

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

We all know the BookTok hype has had everyone reading more, and there’s no better time to pick up a good book than the summer when you can soak up the sunshine and read to your heart’s content. Her Campus at Carleton is definitely on the reading train, and here are some books we’ve picked up (and recommend) you take a look at, too!

The Hunger Games – Leila Mohabeer-Ortiz, Social Media Executive

This summer, I reread a lot of books from my childhood. One of them was The Hunger Games in August. As a kid, I remember being focused on the Katniss-Peeta-Gale love triangle, but as an adult, I was so impressed with the world-building and messaging woven throughout. It is a lot more sophisticated than I think people give it credit for, primarily because it’s classified as YA. I found myself reading the book in a lot more horror than I had all those years ago because I was grappling with the realization that Katniss, aged 16 in the books, is a child. The book was a good reread but also left me distraught. Definitely worth a first and second read if you haven’t done so yet!

Where the Crawdads Sing – Andrea Pulgarin, Events Director

While the novel, Where the Crawdads Sing was released in 2018, the release of the 2022 film this past summer, made the book skyrocket in popularity. The writing is beautifully crafted and highlights the marginalization of an abandoned child as she grows up in poverty, raising herself, and later gets caught up in the murder of the town’s beloved “golden boy.” Where the Crawdads Sing is a page-turning coming-of-age novel that features all of life’s challenges: love, heartbreak, death, and redemption. It was a classic summer read that most will enjoy.

The Bell Jar – Ashley Hermalin, Marketing and publicity director

This summer, I took on the task of reading things that could challenge me — meaning, I read some classics. Typically, I find them hard to read. The wording always messes me up. I find them harder to understand, and generally not as interesting, as the new adult contemporary books like Book Lovers by Emily Henry, or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I decided to choose The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, mostly because I had been watching an episode of Gilmore Girls the night before I embarked on this journey and Rory, one of the main characters, mentioned it. As much as I think challenging myself with that kind of story was good, I definitely prefer the reads I typically find suggestions for on TikTok.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Emma Hodgson, Social Media Director

I loved this book. It follows a journalist named Monique Grant who is assigned to work on Evelyn’s biography. It switches perspectives between Monique and Evelyn’s characters, which allowed me to completely fall in love with both of them. When in Evelyn’s point of view, you get her life story which is what Monique is recording for the biography. Going through each of her marriages, Monique is craving the answer to one specific question: who was Evelyn Hugo’s greatest love? It was so interesting to watch her journey as a nervous, curious and determined journalist. I really enjoyed Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style, I constantly felt immersed in the book, which made it hard to put down and resume life in the real world. I was hesitant to read it at first because, as so many people talk about it, I thought it would be overhyped. It ended up becoming one of my favourite books, and if you haven’t read it yet, make sure it’s next on your list!

Find Me – Maya Blumenfeld, Associate Editor

My favourite book I read this summer is the second book to André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name, titled Find Me. The novel is structured into four sections, each of them following the romantic pursuits of Elio, the main character of the original, his father, Samuel, and Elio’s first love (who got away), Oliver — many years after the events of the first book. Aciman’s style of writing has always been my favourite — he knows exactly how to describe deeply obscured feelings revolving love, grief, and desire. The scenes between his characters never fail to make me smile and sob.

I’m Glad My Mom Died – Rianna Lim, Campus Correspondent

A book I read this summer and now suggest to others is Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. As a big iCarly fan growing up, I was interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a child actor and was absolutely shocked to learn about some of the horrifying things that McCurdy had to go through both on and off set. She’s an incredibly talented and inspiring writer, and her storytelling is detailed, funny and emotional. I gave this book five stars! I highly recommend it, but please check the content warnings before reading.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Mayesha Alam, Events Executive

This summer, I finally picked up The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood five years after buying it! Life gets in the way, you know? But wow — this book! Definitely something to read, considering what is happening with the world right now and what has already happened in history. Atwood really captures the characters in a raw, authentic manner, and the plot twists get your blood curling—to the point where you’re too scared to turn the page or go to the next chapter. While you know what’s going to happen, at the same time, you just can’t put it down. It is terrifyingly good!

101 Essays that will change the way you think – Emma Holloway, Social Media Executive

This summer, I read 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Wiest. I usually have a hard time getting through a book, but this one was different. There was an essay to read for whatever mood I was in. Plus, there were so many essays that gave advice I never thought I needed. Brianna Wiest really will change the way you think with this book. I always see people posting TikTok’s of their ‘books you should read in your 20’s’. This is one I’ll be adding to my list and will be preaching to my friends and family to read.

The Children of Men – Aria Mann, Secretary

I read The Children of Men by P. D. James (1992) this summer. Reading about a sudden mass infertility without a known cause, a global crisis seems slightly less preposterous now than it may have seemed three years ago. If you’ve enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, The Road, Brave New World, etc., then I would recommend this book. It’s a dystopia not far removed from the real world. Just heed this emotional damage warning for the part where the protagonist mentions that in “nearly all close friendships, there is a subcutaneous pricking of sexual attraction,” while describing his cousin.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Jenna Legge, Associate Editor

This summer, I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book got me out of a serious reading slump, and I finished it in just a couple of days! As someone who isn’t big on romance novels or historical fiction, I was pleasantly surprised by how this novel held my attention to the very end. I believe this book has a little bit of something for everyone!

The Guest List – Rachel Fiset, Senior Editor

One of the books I read while relishing the warmth and sunniness of summer was The Guest List by Lucy Foley. This thriller is a quick, easy read that I would recommend for anyone trying to expand their reading horizons into the world of mysteries and thrillers. On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, the groom, bride, and their guests are expecting a celebration of perfection. But slowly, things end in disarray: the groomsmen get rowdy, the bride’s dress is ruined, a storm puts the power out… and a dead body appears. If that doesn’t get you hooked, I don’t know what will! It was an exciting read, with creatively interwoven storylines and amazing plot twists. I definitely recommend you read it — it was a perfect summer read, but I think it would make for an even better fall one!

Have a book recommendation you want to share with the HCC community? Share it with us on Instagram @hccarleton and we’ll feature it on our story!

Rachel Fiset

Carleton '23

Rachel is a Journalism and Political Science combined honours student. She loves to write, read, and learn any way she can! Rachel enjoys keeping busy, and along with HerCampus is involved with The Charlatan, CKCU 93.1 FM, Book Ravens, and the Campus Activity Board.