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Besides writing, one of my other hobbies has always been reading. I remember when I was younger, I used to be able to read about two or three books a week. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I can read that many a year. While it has been a while since I last finished a novel, there have been a handful I’ve read in the past I’d definitely recommend. If you’re someone who enjoys reading, be sure to take a look at the following list! You may find a new series, book, or author to enjoy over Spring Break.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is a series of young adult novels of the science-fiction genre written by American author Marissa Meyer. Consisting of four novels (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter), each book of the series takes unique, futuristic twists on the tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White, respectively. 


Set in a futuristic universe where cyborgs, androids, humans, and even a moon colony of lunar people coexist, The Lunar Chronicles begins with Cinder. Linh Cinder, the series central protagonist, is a cyborg (half human, half machine), who lives with her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. After unimaginable losses and shocking secrets are uncovered, Cinder learns she is the center of a great rebellion, and as the series progresses, she along with a team of friends (new and familiar) must do all they can to stop an incoming intergalactic war.


Out of all book series I have read in my life, The Lunar Chronicles is my absolute favorite. The writing is (almost) flawless, the action scenes are great, the characters are diverse and well-crafted, there’s an ample amount of comic relief that doesn’t take away from the story, and while the story is set in a futuristic setting, the story and characters feel so real. I highly recommend the entire series, especially if you are someone who loves classic fairy tale and science-fiction stories, diverse characters, and a story full of action. 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Another novel by Marissa Meyer, Heartless is a standalone that is a reimagining of the Queen of Hearts’ story from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Heartless follows Catherine Pinkerton, an heir of Rock Turtle Cove, who dreams of opening a bakery with her best friend and maid Mary Ann. Her parents, however, disapprove of this (being members of a high social class) and instead want her to marry the King of Hearts to elevate their social standing. 


Things become even more complicated, however, when Catherine meets and falls in love with Jest, a mysterious newcomer who everyone knows little about. Wanting to follow her own path and live a life with someone she truly loves, Catherine learns she must plan her next steps carefully, for Hearts is full of many secrets left to be uncovered. 

Unlike The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless didn’t stick with me as much; though personally, that could be because I was never much of a fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Even so, I still like Heartless a fair amount. Like Marissa Meyers’ previous work, the writing is fantastic (I personally love her descriptors; I never get bored of them), the characters are likeable, and the story is intriguing. I’d definitely give the book a try.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue (book one of the Waterfire Saga) follows Serafina, a young mermaid who is the daughter of Isabella, the queen of Miromara. Her whole life, Serafina has been raised to take over the reigns as Queen of Miromara. Lately, though, the young mermaid has been plagued by strange nightmares warning of the return of an ancient evil.


On the day of the ceremony (known as the Dokimi), though, Serafina forgets these nightmares as she worries about her performance, the ecstatic reunion of her best friend, Neela, and the potentially awkward reunion with Mahdi, crown prince of Matali, who she worries has lost feelings for her.  Unfortunately, on the day of the Dokimi, Serafina’s mother is fatally wounded by an assassin and the realm falls into chaos. Fleeing with her best friend Neela, the two embark on a quest to find Isabella’s murderer and stop a war from erupting. 


Unlike The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, I did not finish reading Deep Blue. While that is the case, though, I still recommend the novel. It’s an interesting read, and if you love mermaids and ocean life (like I do), I think you’ll enjoy it a lot. The Waterfire Saga series also has its own glossary page of terms for its universe, which I think is a neat addition by Jennifer Donnelly since it can help immerse the reader into the series world. I always like it when authors create new terminology for their books universes. It shows how much they love the series and story they’re telling, I think. 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before, the first novel in a series of three, follows Lara Jean, a young high school girl who keeps a box of unsent letters she’s written to her crushes over a period time. In each letter, Lara Jean pours her heart out to each boy, and once she feels as though she has overcome her feelings towards them, she seals the letter (address and all) and places them in the box under her bed. 


However, Lara Jean soon discovers the letters have been sent out and she feels as though her world is crashing down when her crushes confront her – her first kiss, a boy from summer camp, and even her older sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. Along the way, though, Lara Jean slowly begins to realize that a silver lining may appear from her letters being sent. 

I’m usually not one for romance based novels, but To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an exception. The characters are likeable, the writing is nice (while cheesy at times, but it’s understandable and not too distracting), and the story is interesting. If you’re someone who likes romance novels, I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s a heartwarming story.

Jordyn is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Psychology and minoring in Journalism Studies. She loves writing fiction stories, but enjoys partaking in a bit of non-fiction writing, too. In the future, she hopes to either become a clinical psychologist or an author.
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