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

 My Last Innocent Year- Daisy Alpert Florin

To kick off my summer of reading, I read the tale of a young woman entering her last semester at a small, prestigious school in New Hampshire in the 80s. She’s an English major, and It follows her through some poor experiences and decisions, then how she turns out in the end. As a young woman and English major at a small, prestigious school in Massachusetts, I found it interesting to read about her experiences in the 80s (although I would not make some of the decisions she does). Overall, I rated this book 4.25 stars.

 Happy Place- Emily Henry

  Next, I took the summer read route and read Emily Henry’s latest. This story revolves around a broken-up couple who is still in the same friend group. For the sake of their friends, the two pretend to still be together when on vacation with everyone. It consists of a great exploration of friendship, family, lies, romance, and finding oneself. However, I must say I was surprisingly underwhelmed and rated it 3 stars. I still stand by my opinion that Beach Read is the best Emily Henry book!

 Bunny- Mona Awad

       For my second book in June, I read Mona Awad’s Bunny. Taking place at a competitive graduate school in a not nice area in New England, this book follows Samantha in her small, 6 person writing classes. It is full of dark, mysterious plot twists including some forms of magical realism. I enjoyed the book and rated it 3.75 stars but would recommend reading over the fall or winter.

The Bluest Eye- Toni Morrison

To conclude June, I read a Toni Morrison’s classic– The Bluest Eye. It is set in Morrisons hometown of Lorain, Ohio in the 1940s, and follows an 11-year-old girl named Pecola Breedlove. I am a huge fan of Toni Morrison and rated this 4 stars. 

 The Ex Talk- Rachel Lynn Soloman

    This story follows two co-hosts at a small radio station in Seattle, specifically how they fall in love. They start a show where they pretend that they used to be dating and are now just friends– giving dating advice and telling stories. I rated this 3.75 stars and recommend it as a summer read.

 Carrie Soto Is Back- Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel follows the life of world-famous tennis player Carrie Soto, and her journey of defending her title. This was my favorite read of the summer being a tennis player myself. I finished this in two days and immediately rated it 5 stars, and I would recommend it to anyone! Everyone I’ve spoken to about it had nothing but good things to say.

 Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow- Gabrielle Zevin

This novel was a hit this summer– and from reading it, I could definitely tell why. It’s a beautiful reflection on creativity, friendship, love, and change over the course of thirty years. It’s an incredibly unique love story, and I rated it 4 stars. 

  Big Summer- Jennifer Weiner

      This novel was not what I was expecting at all heading into it– but pleasantly different. It’s a mystery novel with an interesting perspective on female friendship and finding oneself. I rated it 3 stars.

 Summer of ‘69- Elin Hilderbrand

If you’ve read any Elin Hilderbrand, you know all her books are the perfect summer read. Summer of ‘69 consists of the story of the Levin family on Nantucket and in the Cape, all going through their own individual experiences. It’s a lovely story of family bonding. I rated this a 4.5 and would recommend it as a beach read.

 Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

This book consists of a series of essays all inspired by Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That,” which is about her departure from New York City. There are a variety of experiences included– those from the city since birth, those who moved there and disliked it, those who moved there and regret leaving, those from city suburbs and many more. As someone who loves the city and everything it has to offer, it was interesting to hear other perspectives and experiences with it. I rated this book 4 stars. 

  The Idea of you- Robinne Lee

This novel tells the story of 39-year-old Solene Marchand’s rollercoaster romance with a young boy band singer. It was a quick, yet emotional read. I rated it 4.5 stars, and thoroughly enjoyed its many unique aspects. 

 The Covenant of Water- Abraham Verghese

As my final read of the summer, I tackled Abraham Verghese’s 700 page The Covenant of Water. There is not a dull moment in this novel, and it certainly did not feel like reading 700 pages. It’s absolutely beautifully written, as it follows multiple generations of one family in India in the 1900s. I rated it 4.75 stars and would definitely recommend

Bridget O'Toole

Holy Cross '26

Hi! I am a sophomore at Holy Cross and am majoring in English and minoring in Architectural Studies. I'm from Long Island, New York, and my favorite things include skiing, reading, yoga, and the beach!