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

There’s nothing like decompressing from a hard day in class by reading a novel about a woman who eats people.

I’m about 75% done with my Goodreads 2022 Reading Challenge (37/50, baby!), meaning I’ve read quite a few books this year. Between new releases and gems I’ve found in the depths of “girls who read” forums, here are my recent reads and my thoughts.

Love on The Brain – Ali Hazelwood

Feeling like a direct sequel of The Love Hypothesis, Love on The Brain was underwhelming for me. I’ve had enough of Hazelwood’s Adam Driver-esqe male leads, especially considering the fact that Hypothesis was literally Reylo fanfiction that got published. Also–the Buzzfeed vibes here are so strong, so please be cautious of this if that is something you don’t like (I hate it). There are some redeeming qualities, but overall I didn’t really enjoy this book.

Nightbitch – Rachel Yoder

About a mother’s transformation into a werewolf, Nightbitch is the story of an exhausted woman who feels like she doesn’t have any passion left in her life. She had a baby, became unable to follow her dreams, her husband was not present, and she became depressed. I’m not finished with this one yet (nobody spoil!), but I am a big fan of it thus far. You really wouldn’t expect some of the elements of this novel, especially the fact that (at the point in the story I’m at) the protagonist is basically a furry. She buys herself a dog bowl, a ton of meat, and she wags her tail when she’s happy. Good for her.

Cleopatra and Frankenstein – Coco Mellors

I read Cleopatra and Frankenstein primarily because I saw people making a fuss about it on Instagram, and frankly, I get it. It is about Cleo and Frank’s age gap relationship and how that impacts both themselves and the people around them. I’d recommend this if you’re fine with the story jumping around a bit from character to character; that was actually one of my favorite parts of this novel. I think Mellors was trying a bit to achieve a Sally Rooney type of prose, but I wasn’t mad. If you’re made uncomfortable by talks of self harm or suicide, definitely do NOT read this! Otherwise, a pretty good read.

Lapvona – Ottessa Moshfegh

I am an Ottessa Moshfegh girl for life. I even went on Depop to see if I could afford her vintage jewelry (I couldn’t). Lapvona reminds me both of why I love her and why she needs to see a counselor–my favorite kind of novels. This one is full of gross, weird, gnarliness but also some of Moshfegh’s best storytelling. It is about the titular village of Lapvona in the 1700s and what happens when the lord of the village purposefully puts the people through a drought for his own benefit.  If you are a fan of her and her work, as well as the fantasy-realism subgenre as a whole, you have to read this novel. 

A Certain Hunger – Chelsea G. Summers

Probably my favorite book I’ve read recently, A Certain Hunger speaks to feminine rage without excusing toxicity. In that, I mean that the actions of Dorothy Daniels are visibly heinous…and she knows it. Though Dorothy has no moral intolerance for her own actions, she acknowledges multiple times throughout the novel that they are reaaaallllly messed up, and she even gives the readers opportunities to skip over wildly graphic scenes. This novel is literally about her eating various men and not even feeling bad for it. This book, tonally, is a must-read.

Jessika Landon is a third-year Emerson College student pursuing a major in Media Arts Production and a minor in Marketing Communication. She loves talking and writing about the media she loves and is a major advocate for self-love, mental health, and more.