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

Although college is a stressful and busy time for most students, everyone should find time to cozy up to a good book. Reading for pleasure is a great way to expand your mind and gain knowledge on topics you wouldn’t otherwise know much about. Over the past couple of years I’ve read lots of books I think everyone should read. Here are my top five book recommendations to relax during midterms this semester.

1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After reading this book, it quickly became one of my favorites. The story picks up right at the beginning and introduces several flawed, yet charming, characters you can’t help but root for. I was automatically intrigued by the old Hollywood setting of this novel and loved the story of the main character’s rise to fame as well as the way she uses her femininity to conquer the film industry. I can’t recommend this book enough and I think everyone should read this phenomenal novel. 

2. One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus

I read this book a couple of years ago, however, it is still always on the tip of my tongue when someone asks me for book recommendations. I read this novel in one day due to the enthralling way the book begins. If you like mysteries you’ll love One of Us Is Lying. It’s a book that is really hard to put down. My advice would be to have the sequel at arm’s length upon finishing as I’m sure you’ll do anything to acquire it as soon as possible. 

3. I’m Glad my Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

I’ve never been a fan of memoirs, however, this book really changed my opinion on the genre in general. I have always loved Jeanette McCurdy and iCarly, thus hearing her story and the way she talks about the television industry was really intriguing to me. McCurdy definitely has one of the most interesting lives I’ve heard of in the film industry, and it was fascinating to read her experiences and opinions. If you’re on the fence about whether you should spend the $20 to get this book, I would say definitely go for it and prepare yourself for a riveting page-turner that you won’t believe actually happened in the heart of Los Angeles. 

4. Legend by Marie Lu

Ever since reading this book, my standards for fantasy dystopian novels have been raised. Marie Lu creates two amazing characters and a love story I still find myself thinking back to. I have read this series about three times and still find myself wanting to reread it whenever I want to settle in with a heartwarming story that reminds me of my childhood. This novel creates a universe in your head you won’t ever be able to forget, with politics and experiences that are fascinating and jarring. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in dystopian novels. 

Paper Towns by John Green

Initially, I was hesitant to read Paper Towns, due to the stereotypes surrounding John Green and his novels. I am really glad I didn’t let the stereotypes get to me and instead decided to read this book. I was pleasantly surprised by the thought-provoking writing and storyline hidden within these pages. Personally, I believe Paper Towns is John Green’s best work and would definitely recommend it to anyone who liked his previous work, is looking to start reading John Green novels, or is someone who simply wants a good read. 

Cheers and happy reading! 

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Kendall Richter

UC Berkeley '26

I'm Kendall Richter, and I'm originally from Reno, NV. I'm attending the University of California, Berkeley and studying English & Film and Media. I love reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with my dog.