With restrictions still in place due to COVID-19, we are still spending most of our days at home, and some of us are struggling with what to do with our free time. Personally, I know I feel as if I have exhausted most of my TV and movie options after months of staying at home, and have really turned to reading as a source of entertainment and as a fulfilling pastime. By doing so, I have been able to come across some incredible stories and authors that have inspired me to continue reading more and more. Here are some recommendations that would be perfect to enjoy outside in the beautiful and cozy fall weather that you just won’t want to put down!
1. Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
This book is perfect to read in the fall, especially with its use of corn fields and the overall eerie atmosphere of the story. Throughout the entire book, I was riddled with questions that I was dying to have answered, and the pacing truly catches you and makes you want to keep reading until you have every solution to every problem.
Margot is a loveable and relatable character, even though her family is much different than what you may expect. This story is complex, shocking, and just enough of a twist on our own reality that it makes the impossible seem possible. Her constant search for the answers of who her family is and where she comes from is something that many of us can relate to, but it’s what she finds out that truly makes this book great and hard to put down.
2. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Another fantastic story by Rory Power, Wilder Girls carries the same type of eerie atmosphere as Burn our Bodies Down while telling a completely different and compelling story. This book is told from the perspectives of Byatt and Hetty, two girls at a boarding school that has been taken over by the tox. How they navigate friendships, death, and this unknown disease running rampant through their school once again twists our reality in a way that makes you think that it almost could be real.
The development of each main character in this story is not only a coming-of-age sensation, it shows the effects that tragedy can have on young people in both physical and mental ways. Additionally, reading a book about a spreading disease while we are living in a pandemic adds a new and spooky element to the story because it is impossible to not take your own understanding of our current situation and use it to relate to these characters.
3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
The reviews and ratings for Radio Silence do not lie, this book is incredible. It is an easy and fast read with short chapters that keep you coming back for more. Each main character is developed beautifully with their truths being slowly revealed throughout the entire story, making you take in every emotion and get invested in their lives.
This story is one that is relatable, but definitely is full of twists and the unexpected. Issues of mental health, family, sexuality, relationships, and higher education are extremely important to the central plot of the book. Frances and Aled are so different as characters, yet so similar, that you can’t help but to want to know everything about them and how their friendship changed and evolved. Their obsession with the internet sensation podcast Universe City is extremely relevant with how teens and young adults use the internet, and more specifically Youtube, today.
4. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Last, but certainly not least, is this heartfelt dramatic and political masterpiece. Alex and Henry are lovable characters that capture you through every up and down in the rollercoaster that is this novel. As sons of major political figures, this story creates a world that many of us would want to live in, one a bit more accepting than our own, and more politically advanced with more women in high positions of power.
While sexuality and politics are explored, this book is also filled with quality humor and romance that not only makes you fall in love with every character, but makes it incredibly difficult to put down. This is a book I read in only two sittings, one that made me laugh, cry, and want to give each and every character a massive hug.