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5 Books Every Twenty-Something Must Read

Since you opened this article, I'm going to jump the gun and assume you enjoy, or even just tolerate, reading. As someone who commits her time more to fictional friends than real human ones, I like to believe giving book recommendations are among, possibly even at the top, of my talents. I know how stressed you are with finals approaching--I can feel your need for some quality You Time. What better way to unwind from what was probably a chaotic semester than with an incredible book that allows you dive into someone else's world? As an English major and avid reader, I've got you covered! Here are five books you need to read this summer: 

1. "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult 

[Photo courtesy of www.jodipicoult.com]

In yet another one of her gripping novels that investigate everyday issues and trauma, Picoult explores the challenges of race, justice, and prejudice in her most recent novel. Go to your local bookstore and grab this New York Times Best Seller; within the first few pages, you will be immersed into the life of Labor and Delivery Nurse, Ruth Jefferson, as she battles unexpected racism in the workplace and stand by as a simple lapse in judgement spirals into a must-see court case that captivates the nation. According to the Washington Post, "'Small Great Things' is probably the most important book Picoult has ever written. Frank, uncomfortably introspective, and right on today's headlines, it will challenge her readers." 


2. "Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand by Yourself, and Be Your Own Person" by Shonda Rhimes

[Photo courtesy of www.simonandshuster.com]

For all my TGIT fans, this one is for you. The Queen of Thursday nights published one of the most transformative books I have ever read. Shonda crafts an authentic and personal novel that makes the reader feel as though it's just the two of you in a room together. The overwhelming appreciation and love I had for this woman and her career only multiplied as she shares sacred insight into both her life struggles and her hit characters who we all know and love. She challenges her readers to be the best versions of themselves, just as she challenged herself in the year which she devoted to saying YES to everything. Albeit scary and uncomfortable, Shonda encourages readers not to take themselves too seriously, to be kind and forgiving with both themselves and those around them, and to go with the ebb and flow that each day has to offer.   


3. "Eyes on You" by Kate White 

[Photo courtesy of www.katewhite.com]

Former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Kate White creates a novel filled with "terrifying psychological suspense" that will leave readers "breathless," according to her website. Women's Health agrees: "If you have a pulse, we bet you want to keep reading right now. But that's just the beginning of the crazy twists and turns the novel takes." If suspense and thrillers are more your reading cup of tea, go get this book ASAP. Showing the downside of fame, White depicts the dangers that come along with being a TV personality when the protagonist, Robin Trainer, a woman who stands out amongst the rest and is thriving in her career, receives a threatening letter one night that rocks her world. Not sold yet? This short synopsis of White's book will leave you wanting more: "While she frantically tries to put the pieces together and unmask this hidden foe, it becomes terrifyingly clear that the person responsible isn’t going to stop until Robin loses everything that matters to her… including her life."


4. "Two by Two" by Nicholas Sparks

[Photo courtesy of www.nicholassparks.com]

The man who both fills and wrecks our hearts has done it again in his latest book, "Two by Two." Unlike anything Spark's has ever written before, Spark's challenges gender roles in marriage and also shares the immense importance of a strong father-daughter relationship. This book will evoke all of your emotions as you blaze through the heart-wrenching novel. Happiness, frustration, love, and resentment cultivate the storyline and will make readers believe in the power of destiny. Check out a brief part of the synopsis found on Spark's website, "At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six-year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that.  But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear." A novel in which all can connect with, Sparks will have you smiling one page, and drowned in your tears on the next. 


5. "Winners" by Danielle Steel

[Photo courtesy of Amazon.com]

Book nerd to book nerd, devote two full days to this book and I promise you will not only finish it but will absolutely love every single second of it. This is the type of book that dives right into the jaw-dropping plot and immediately reminds us just how precious life is. You will be blown away by Steel's talent and the way in which she meticulously creates both this novel and the connection among her characters. Amazon sees the greatness in this book, too, as the website states, "Danielle Steel introduces readers to an unforgettable cast of characters striving to overcome tragedy and discover the inner resources and resilience to win at life—once again." Fix yourself a cup of coffee, grab a warm blanket, and snuggle up with the unimaginable story of Bill and Lily Thomas and Dr. Jessie Matthews, among others. 

Gabriella is a twenty-something Floridian who has taken her love of waterfront living and sandy toes to Wilmington, NC! When she's not imprinting her body frame on the beach or stocking up on excessive jars of peanut butter, Gabriella can be found in the lines of Dunkin Donuts scrolling through Pinterest in the search of the perfect apartment decor. Her dream profession is to work for a women's magazine with an emphasis on millennial empowerment. Follow her on Twitter, @gabby_dionisio! 
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