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

There’s a silver lining to this midterm season: spring break is coming! Soon you will be able to bask in the sun, and will have already tackled all your essays and exam, and will now be free from self-imposed imprisonment in the library.

As you start making plans for your well-deserved break, check out these top 5 books to bring to the beach.

1. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

At first slow-paced, this book quickly turns into a page-turner. Intense, vibrant and wonderfully flawed, My Brilliant Friend transports you directly to Naples in the 1950s. The book focuses on female friendship (albeit sometimes frenemies), in a nuanced, profound way. It’s a story of violence, coming of age, and strength in interdepence.

2. Rose by Li-Young Lee

Rose is perfect for reading on a languid, warm day on the beach. Lee writes plainly, but there is a depth to his poems that is always understated and filled with tenderness.


3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

This is an endearing novel. Spanning multiple generations, The House of the Spirits weaves a complex drama of politics and family. Allende renders such compelling characters that by the end, you have emotive ties with their heartbreak and successes.


4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods is fast-paced and rewarding. Gaiman mashes mythical fantasy and contemporary fiction, effortlessly slipping mythology into a story of immigrants and self-discovery. There are heavy moments, but Gaiman writes with comedic wit.


5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Part mystery, part melodrama, The Secret History will leave you chilled for hours. The subject matter is dark, and the characters are not very sympathetic, but the overall effect is hauntingly beautiful.