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Book Recommendations for All Avid Readers

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

Calling all bookworms! Looking for your next great read? Keep reading to find book recommendations for several different genres.

Starting off with the ever-popular romance genre. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, quick, rom-com read, then “Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston is the book for you. This book follows the United States president’s son, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and his enemy, His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, through their ever-changing friendship. With the classic “fake friends” trope, the two grow closer and have to navigate through the challenges of falling in love with someone so beloved by their country. This book was very entertaining, extremely funny, and very well written.

If you’re looking for a romance that will leave you in tears, I recommend “They Both Die At The End” by Adam Silvera. In a world where you get a phone call telling you if you’re going to die that day, the main characters Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio try to find the best way to spend their “End Day.” The two connect for one last epic adventure. This book truly blows most romance novels I’ve read out of the water. It is heartbreakingly amazing. 

Still looking for romance, but need a little extra? The fantasy series “A Court of Thornes and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas should be added to your list ASAP. The main character, Feyre, finds herself living in a magical land full of people and creatures that she knows nothing about. The life she now finds herself living is put in danger and Feyre must do what she can to save the kingdom and the people in it. Trust me when I say you won’t want to put these books down. There are currently five books in this series, with more being written. I started reading these with a friend, mainly as a joke after we saw so much about them on TikTok, and we have been obsessed ever since. 

Switching gears, for those who are more drawn to historical fiction, “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris is a must-read. This novel is a true story of how Lale Sokolov, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1942, fell in love with a girl he was tattooing at the concentration camp. This is an incredible tale of love against all odds.

Another great historical fiction novel is “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. Also taking place during WWII, “The Nightingale” tells the story of two sisters living in war-torn France who both have very different approaches to survival. I cannot sing enough praises for this book. Kristin Hannah has two other amazing books titled “The Great Alone” and “The Four Winds.” No matter what genre you find yourself drawn to, I think everyone should read at least one Kristin Hannah novel in their lifetime.


Focusing now on memoirs, I think every college student should read “Educated” by Tara Westover. Tara tells the story of living with her family of survivalists in the mountains of Idaho. The only schooling she received was from her undereducated mother. Tara lives an incredibly difficult life and ultimately makes the decision to go to college, against her family’s wishes. It is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful book that everyone should read.

Lily Knetl

Illinois '24

Hi! My name is Lily and I am a sophomore at UIUC studying HDFS with a minor in English. I absolutely love reading and writing in my free time as well as movie nights with friends. In the future, I hope to go to law school to pursue family law :)