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I made a goal for myself to read ten books in four months, and I succeeded. I posted a review of each book on my Instagram story, and I don’t mean to brag, but it had quite a following this summer. I had people coming to me for recommendations and book discussions almost every week.

Most people showed appreciation for my reviews by swiping up on the story and saying how much I inspired them to pick up a book. Others came right up to me in person to tell me how much they loved them. This positive reaction was heartwarming, and since it was so popular, I figured I would share the best books out of the ten that I read this summer.

\"It Ends With Us\" Book Cover
Original photo by Marlena Fortune

“It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover 

This was one of the best books I have ever read. It caught my attention from the very first page, and I loved how Hoover constantly brought up the events from the first chapter throughout the entire book. 

This story touched on some difficult topics like abuse, homelessness, and divorce, but it had such a powerful true story behind it. Hoover kept her personal life out of the story, keeping it a fiction novel. However, once you read her bio in the back, you see the real-life experiences that she pulled from to write this book.

As the story progressed, the characters gained strong personal identities that I felt I knew them personally. I usually don’t cry at books or even when watching movies, but I felt so connected to these characters that I fully sobbed on the beach while reading this ending.

I wish I could read this book for the first time over and over again. Absolutely read this book.

\"The Darkest Corners\" Book Cover
Original photo by Marlena Fortune

“The Darkest Corners” by Kara Thomas

I am such a sucker for thrillers, and this was a great one. This book was the second I read of Thomas’, the first being “Little Monsters.” I enjoyed that first book by her so much; I knew this one would be good too. 

Thomas did such a great job setting up this book that when new developments arose, there was a past explanation for everything. This showed her incredible writing style, and although everything was well thought out, it was so unpredictable. Every chapter ended with a cliffhanger, so you can already imagine it was so hard to put down. 

My favorite part of this book was that the last chapters included something you’d never expect to happen so late in a book, and it ended up being one huge plot twist. I would recommend both of Thomas’ books to anyone who also enjoys thrillers. 

\"They Both Die In The End\" Book Cover
Original photo by Marlena Fortune

“They Both Die at The End” by Adam Silvera

The concept of this book was quite a terrifying one, but it was an interesting version of what our future world might adopt. I read this book during pride month, and it was such a perfect fit. I fell in love with both the characters as they grew throughout the story and learned to push themselves out of their comfort zones. 

This book had a plotline with multiple stories happening simultaneously, but they all came together by the end. I love books like these. This book especially blew my mind because every little thing connected, no matter how inconvenient I thought it possibly was. 

Silvera wrote this so beautifully, and it was such a heart wrencher for me. I wish the characters didn’t have to die in the end.

\"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo\" Book Cover
Original photo by Marlena Fortune

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was such an incredible story about what it really takes to get what you want. With undertones of feminism and gay rights, this book touched on important topics of our modern world, and I enjoyed every page of it. 

I loved learning about who Evelyn was as a person and how she deliberately planned what she wanted to do in her life before she really did it. You learn so much about her, her life, motivational drive, personality and construct of love. 

This book was incredibly entertaining, and it ended with a shocking twist that no reader would expect. You will undoubtedly fall in love with Evelyn Hugo’s intoxicating character by the end of this book. 

\"All The Missing Girls\" Book Cover
Original photo by Marlena Fortune

“All the Missing Girls” by Megan Miranda

This book threw me for a loop. It is written in a backward sequence that keeps you half confused and half on edge for the book’s entirety. This style makes you mentally piece all the information together instead of Miranda writing the story in a usual sequence. 

The characters are so well thought out, and there are multiple layers to the story. There is a romance, a family issue, and a crime that needs to be solved. I was never bored, and this book really challenged me to keep the events in order.

The best part is that I never saw the ending coming. It was so calculated, and it didn’t answer every single one of my questions, but it was a happy ending I was certainly satisfied with.

Marlena is a third-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends and Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
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