Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but like many college students, I’ve struggled to make time to read. When I do find the time, I never know what to read next. I compiled a list of the books I read during March along with a short synopsis and review for each of them. Hopefully, you find something you like!

Disclaimer: These opinions are my own after reading these books. You might really enjoy a book I didn’t, or you might really dislike a book I loved!

1. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Like many books I read, this novel is a retelling of the Trojan War as depicted in Homer’s Iliad. This interpretation varies greatly, however, it is told from the point of view of Briseis, Achilles’ “war prize” (Homer’s words, not mine). I found this book fascinating! Pat Barker writes candidly about the assumed experiences of women during this time and in this particular situation. Hearing the same story from a new, often overlooked point of view made this a very enjoyable read for me. This book contains mentions of sexual assault, death and violence.

2. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

A Thousand Ships is another novel that takes the Trojan War as its background. Natalie Haynes uses various female characters to narrate the story, mainly those that are overlooked by traditional sources of myth. The Trojan women provide a chorus of sorts, and the story returns to them. I reread this book almost immediately after I read it for the first time because I enjoyed it so much. A lot of the stories Natalie Haynes tells are not ones you would usually find, and once again, it makes it even more interesting to hear the same story from a different perspective. This book contains mentions of sexual assault, death and violence.

3. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Centered around seven theatre students at an elite arts college, If We Were Villains uses Shakespeare’s tragedies (namely Julius Caesar and Hamlet) as a backdrop for a murder that occurs on campus. Although there weren’t any huge plot twists, this book kept me guessing the entire time I was reading it, and it piqued my interest in Shakespeare (which, to be fair, is a very hard thing to do). I would highly recommend this to anyone who liked The Secret History. This book contains mentions of death and violence.

4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab.

After reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, I decided to try reading another one of V.E. Schwab’s books. Vicious is almost completely different from the former book, but I still liked it a lot. The storyline follows Victor Vale, an “ExtraOrdinary” (equivalent to a superhero) as he works to defeat his former best friend. Although the main characters are technically superheroes, they in no way fit the mold. Many of the characters are extremely immoral, particularly Victor, the narrator. It was incredibly interesting to see this play out throughout the novel and see how my feelings towards the characters changed as I learned more about them. This book contains mentions of death, torture, and violence.

5. The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

The Ancestor was one of those books that caught my eye but failed to keep my interest. Alberta (Bert) Monte is the protagonist of this novel. Well into her 20s, she finds out that she is heir to the Montebianco estate in Northern Italy. Aptly named, The Ancestor is centered around Bert’s family and their secrets, specifically regarding her ancestors and her inheritance. As I said before, I was very interested in this book based on its premise and categorization as a mystery/thriller. Overall, I would say that the plot wasn’t what I expected—there weren’t many twists you couldn’t see coming and the story took an odd turn towards the end.

6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes is a fantasy novel that centers around the main character, Laia, as she tries to get her brother back from the Empire. To do this, she joins a resistance effort and becomes a spy within the Empire’s school, Blackcliff Academy. In the background of this, there are several groups that are warring with each other. In full disclosure, I read this entire series after reading the first book, but for clarity, I’m only including An Ember in the Ashes. I enjoyed reading this book a lot, particularly because I found it to be different than other fantasy books I’ve read. It was easy to follow, and I was intrigued by the world in which the novel took place. It was a fun read for me, but I don’t see myself picking it up again to reread it. This book contains mentions of death, torture and violence.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest!

Savitha Thiruchittampalam is a junior majoring in International Affairs and Political Science. She loves good books, dogs, and traveling.