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

Summer is the season where I do the most reading. Without school, I have much more free time to read and I make the most of it. It’s the season where I try to set regular reading habits that will last me to the school year.

I read 34 books this summer. Here are the ones I think you should read next.

“Carrie Soto is Back”

Taylor Jenkins Reid has quickly become one of my favorite authors and her most recent book solidifies her as a writing powerhouse.

“Carrie Soto is Back” follows Carrie Soto, a retired tennis player coming back to the game to defend her Grand Slam champion record.

I was nervous to read this since I know close to nothing about tennis. But I never felt lost in the lingo, and instead I’ve gained a new appreciation for the sport.

It was also refreshing to read a book with an older main character. Many books I tend to read follow characters in their twenties, so the nearly 40-year-old Carrie offered a new perspective as an older professional tennis player.

“Carrie Soto is Back” is another amazing entry from Reid and I can’t recommend it enough.

“Unmask Alice”

During the ’70s and ’80s, “Go Ask Alice” became the personification of people’s fears about addiction. The published diary of the life and death of a young girl grappling with drugs resonated with people, fueling paranoia during the War on Drugs.

However, none of it was real.

“Unmask Alice” chronicles the story of Beatrice Sparks, a suburban mother who took advantage of America’s growing fear to fake several diaries about drugs, the occult, teen pregnancy and homelessness. In some cases, she took the real-life deaths of young kids and spun them fit her own twisted narrative.

I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction and this book got me excited about the genre. It’s gives insight to the fraught social climate of the time while blending the narratives of Sparks and the lives her lies destroyed.

“Long Way Down”

“Long Way Down” follows Will Holloman, who plans on taking revenge on the boy who murdered his brother. However, on the elevator ride down, a few visitors thwart his plan.

This novel is written in verse, making it a quick read. However, the short read-time does not detract from how powerful this book is.

Author Jason Reynolds based the book off of the feelings he had surrounding murder of his best friend and his own thoughts of getting revenge. According to an interview with NPR, Reynolds made the choice to write the book in poetry in order to get this message out to a wider audience.

“To know you can finish this in 45 minutes means the world to me,” Reynolds said. “So that we can get more young people reading it and thinking and having a discussion about what this book is actually about.”

If you’re looking for a quick read that packs a punch, this is it. There’s also a graphic novel edition that pairs this powerful poetry with equally stunning images.

“The Passengers”

For readers who are big fans of “Black Mirror,” this book is worth checking out.

“The Passengers” depicts a future where self-driving cars are the primary mode of transportation. However, an unknown hacker targets eight people, trapping them in their cars and sending them on a course to crash into each other.

This panicking ordeal is broadcasted to millions around the world and the lives of these people are in the hands of the general public. Only one can survive, but who will it be?

“The Passengers” is fast-paced with several twists I never saw coming. There were multiple times where I had to put the book down in shock because I couldn’t believe what is happening.

While the ending was a bit of a let down, the main plot of the story was enough to keep me thinking about this book months after I read it.


While my most recent read did not happen this summer, it would be an injustice not to talk about it.

Athena Liu and June Hayward both went to Yale to become writers. Years after graduation, Athena is a literary darling and June is a nobody.

So after June witnesses Athena’s unexpected death, she steals Athena’s manuscript, passing it off as her own.

June is a seriously unlikable main character, but watching her self-sabotage is incredibly fulfilling. She convinces herself that what she’s doing is right even as social media and her fellow authors turn against her.

The novel is also a commentary on diversity in the publishing world. Does everyone have the right to write whatever we want? Or does our identity play a role in the stories were are able to tell?

I read “Yellowface” in a single sitting and it was worth staying up late and sleeping through my alarm the next morning. I see “Yellowface” becoming a modern classic and this is your sign to give it a read.

I want to keep up the momentum from the summer and continue to read throughout the school year. Hopefully my next reads are as great as these.

Emma is a junior from Randolph, New Jersey, double majoring in journalism and human development and family studies with a minor in addictions and recovery. When she's not writing you can find her watching "Big Brother," drinking Diet Coke or trying to explain internet drama to her dad.