Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

My College Bookshelf and All of the Pages I’ve Turned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

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

Explore a list of 10 books that I read during my college years. I’ve ranked them based on their ability to capture my attention, the quality of their plots, and the lasting impressions they left on me. These rankings are entirely subjective and reflect my personal opinions. I hope you consider giving my favorites a read!

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens – 10/10 (FAVORITE BOOK)

Description: A coming-of-age murder mystery that encapsulates loneliness, survival, and love set in the marshes of North Carolina.

Review: This is the book that rekindled my interest in reading, and I finished it in just two short days. The character development of Kya and the personification of the marsh make it a perfect 10/10. It is my favorite for a reason.

“The Only One Left” by Riley Sager – 10/10

Description: A fast-paced murder mystery with new discoveries at every turn of the page. Full of family secrets, small-town rumors, and a “whodunit” ending.

Review: The suspense and intricate plotlines make this book impossible to put down. Readers are given the keys to solve the mystery from very early on, but it all makes sense in the end. The way the ending ties everything together is mind-blowing—a. A 10/10 in my book.

“Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 9/10

Description: An interview-style behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of a ’70s rock band that is supposed to represent Fleetwood Mac.

Review: “Daisy Jones & The Six” was difficult for me to get into and follow at first because I was not used to the interview writing style with first-person accounts from each of the band members. Once I finally got into it, I could not put it down. It’s a light yet captivating read about what sex, drugs, love, and rock-and-roll meant to artists throughout history. The ending gave me a sense of great closure and even had a bit of a twist.

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett – 8/10

Description: An exploration that follows two twins, inseparable as girls, who run away and live lives completely separate from each other. This is a surprising account of identity, race, and family.

Review: The complex nature of this book made it difficult to follow at first, and it starts off slowly. The way it navigates through such complex themes and questions about mother-daughter relationships makes it an insightful read. I have yet to find another book that has had a similar impact on me than this. 8/10.

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr – 8/10

Description: A beautifully written historical novel that follows how a blind French girl and a German boy grow up and are affected by World War II.

Review: The storyline was captivating and very easy to get into. However, the build-up of the plotlines had me expecting an ending with a bit more closure, but overall a great read, so I’ve given it an 8/10.

 “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom – 8/10

Description: A beautiful tale about the scale of choices and their consequences.

Review: I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one sitting. It is a powerful story that left me questioning all of the relationships in my life. The ending felt like a satisfying conclusion to the emotional journey, leaving me teary-eyed, and earning it an 8/10.

“The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer – 8/10

Description: A daughter’s yearning to understand her grandmother’s past leads her to learn about the sacrifices, love, and family secrets of her family during World War II. The story alternates between the present time and World War II experiences.

Review: This book had me in tears by the end. The connection between the past and present is so strong and shows the extent to which people go to protect the people they love. This novel was fulfilling and portrays the harsh realities of WWII. 8/10.

“The Mothers” by Brit Bennett – 7/10

Description: A slow-paced but emotionally charged story about how “what ifs” are dangerous and how we have to live with the decisions of our younger selves.

Review: This book is a very sad and raw tale about relationships with our mothers. Definitely be prepared to read this book because it sits pretty heavily afterward. It is eye-opening about how we should not dwell on the past but learn to adjust. I’d rate it a 7/10.

“It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover – 6/10

Description: A highly recommended novel that follows a love story that is doomed from the start and the resurfacing of a relationship that never had its closure.

Review: This book was certainly suspenseful and kept me engaged, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was an easy read, but I expected a lot more from it. It’s a solid 6/10 for its ability to keep my attention throughout.

 “Normal People” by Sally Rooney – 4/10

Description: Young love and the complexities of love nowadays. It is a relatable account of the stresses of balancing relationships, mental issues, and education.

Review: While it was more than relatable in many ways, the relationship was so slow and left me unsatisfied. I felt as if I were waiting for something interesting to happen the entire book. I also expected this book to live up to its hype, and the ending did not go anywhere: 4/10.

Hi, I am Danielle Lentz, a senior at the University of Tampa majoring in International business and marketing. I recently studied abroad in Spain and have the bug for traveling! I enjoy staying active, reading, watching new shows, and cooking in my free time.