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My Summer 2024 Bookshelf Goals

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

After spending some much-needed time relaxing and giving my brain a break from school, I’m starting to get bored. It feels like the majority of my day is taken up by screens. Mindlessly scrolling on TikTok and watching Netflix for so long that it asks me if I’m still there doesn’t make me feel very smart. Because of this, I’ve decided to make my own summer reading list. Even better, I’m killing two birds with one stone. These are all books that I’ve picked up before but never finished. There was nothing wrong with them, it was just that my attention span was so short that I didn’t care to finish any. I’m hoping to change that, starting with this article!

The Club

I’m currently reading this book and it’s had my attention since the first page. I hate watching thriller movies, but I love a good murder mystery story. It reminds me of “Malibu Rising” (which I’ll touch on later) in the way that it’s told from multiple perspectives. 

This book is a glamorous murder mystery. The socially elite members of society are the only ones welcome in the exclusive Home Group. It’s a collection of clubs scattered around the world, with the newest addition being the Island Home. Before members even arrive at the grand opening of the new club, readers are shown the short tempers and high stakes of the behind the scenes work. When the guests arrive, tensions only worsen, ready to snap at any second. “Things get more sinister by the hour and the bodies pile up.” It’s the club “everyone is dying to join,” but what happens when this hyperbole becomes true? 

(Quotes from the summary on the back of the book)

A Little Life

I don’t have much backstory on “A Little Life.” From my understanding, it’s a gut-wrenching story that will send me into a reading slump for months after. Can’t wait! 

This is a story that follows the lives and experiences of Willem, Jude, Malcolm and JB. It’s an emotional story of the commonly desired path to “fame and fortune,” which is “tinged by addiction, success and pride.” The importance of “brotherly bonds” is the most common theme in this story. 

(Quotes from the summary on the back of the book) 

A Court of Thorns and Roses

ACOTAR is going to be a huge step out of my comfort zone. It’s been a while since I reached for a fantasy/romance book. The last one I can think of is the “Twilight” series from when I was still in high school. That being said, this book has been recommended to me numerous times and I’m finally giving it a try again. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses is about a 19-year-old girl named Feyre. She kills a wolf in the woods, but doesn’t realize the consequences that will follow. She’s taken to a “treacherous magical land, only heard of from legends.” Her captor is an immortal faerie “who once ruled her world.” As time goes on in the faeries’ home, she starts to form feelings for Tamlin, the faerie who took her. Conflict arises when she realizes something is wrong with her new home. An old evil is growing, and it’s Feyre’s job to stop it.  


One thing about me is I am an avid Colleen Hoover hater. I’ve tried to give her a chance by reading “It Ends With Us,” but my jaw was on the floor the entire time, and not in a good way. I’ve seen the various weird quotes from Hoover’s books that I can’t believe actually got printed and I never understood the craze around her. However my roommate, also a CoHo hater, recommended “Verity” to me, saying it was the only book by Hoover that she actually liked. Since I love my roommate and she normally has great taste, I’ll give this book a try. 

“Verity” is categorized as a romantic thriller. The characters include Lowen Ashleigh, Jeremy Crawford, and Verity Crawford. Lowen is a struggling writer, while Verity is a bestselling author. Jeremy hires Lowen to finish out his wife’s books series after she suffered an injury leaving her unable to do so. Lowen discovers an autobiography, written by Verity, that was never meant to be read. Secrets are uncovered with every page; however, Lowen decides some things might be better left unread as she chooses to keep the script from Jeremy. Her feelings for him grow and she realizes that she could use the book against Verity, leading Jeremy right to her open arms. 

My Recommendations:

The Island of Sea Women

I read “The Island of Sea Women” thanks to my Her Campus chapter’s book club. It’s absolutely my favorite book I’ve read this year so far. Never once did I feel like it was dragging on and I had to just “get through” one more page. I was up until 1 a.m. just to finish it.  It was that good. It’s a story that shines a spotlight on female friendship and its beauty as well as its pain.  

“The Island of Sea Women” is a book that takes place on the South Korean island of Jeju. Its characters and their stories are fiction, but the events that take place in the book are historical and true. Mi-ja and Young-sook, our main characters, are more different than they are alike, but still two peas in a pod. The story follows them as they grow from children to adults, from the moment they both join their village’s woman diving collective, through marriage, children and death. The story fluctuates between two time period perspectives: One in the present where Mi-ja is elderly, and the second in the past, when Mi-ja was just a girl. 

If you were to read any book from this list, make it this one. I can’t sing enough praises for it. There are parts that made me laugh and smile, but also parts that had my jaw, and the book, on the floor. 

Malibu Rising 

When I think of summer, “Malibu Rising” will always come to mind. I’ve read it twice and would be willing to make it three times. The story sticks with me long after I read it because it’s just so good. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author I will always want more of. I haven’t let myself get any new books for a little while because I have so many I haven’t read yet, but when I get through them, one of hers is the first book I’ll buy. 

“Malibu Rising” is split into two parts. Part one is “7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” and Part two is “7 p.m. to 7 a.m.” The entire book is one day; how cool is that? Our main characters are the Riva siblings: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. The four siblings, amongst others, each get a turn at the perspective being focused on them. One alternative perspective features their mother when she was young and meeting their father. This book is a look into the high life, but despite this,  our main characters come from relatable roots. A distaste for life in the spotlight, the meaning of family and one “unforgettable night” will leave you waiting to turn every page. 

I’m excited to get back into reading with this list. I don’t expect to like every book, but at least I can say that I read them. I used to love reading as a kid and as I’ve gotten older, I just haven’t had the time or energy to commit to it. I’ve started to find my love for it again, and I hope a book or two from my list might pique your interest and get you into it too! 

Hey! I'm Taylor Phillips. I'm a freshman this year, and my major is in journalism. I have a love for writing and photography and I'm always super excited to get to creating something!