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Spring Reading List (That Isn’t Just Colleen Hoover)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

My love for books is a year-round infatuation; however, the beginning of springtime puts me into a state where all I want to do is lay in a hammock and read. As the sun has begun to stick around the UW campus, that luxury is precisely what all my daydreams are about. Unfortunately, mine is not such a life that I can lay around all day with a constant stream of books to read, but I do have a few on the docket for this Spring!

I am not a fan of BookTok/Booksta. All the recommendations seem to center around Sarah J. Maas or copy-paste romance books. If those are your thing, power to you! I am just personally sick of books that all have the exact same cover art and general plot line. This Spring Reading List is an act of rebellion, an ode to books with some spunk, and a diss on Colleen Hoover. Please don’t expect only niche, underground titles. I still love a book even if everyone else does.

High Fidelity

The Hornby novel has been adapted into both a movie (released in 2000, starring John Cusack) and a TV show (released in 2022, starring Zoe Kravitz— who’s mother was in the film adaptation!), and while the on-screen tellings are stellar— the book outshines them both by a lot. I think there is something so interesting about being in the mind of someone that you couldn’t stand to be in the same room as, and High Fidelity does just that. The narrator and primary character, Rob, is a selfish, lazy, asshole, and spending time with his thoughts is borderline disturbing. This might not be a good sell for many, but I find the story to hit the same part of my brain that is fascinated by gruesome horror. It’s hard to read his internal dialogue, but I can’t stop myself from doing it anyway. And honestly, even though I can’t stand him, I can’t help but root for him either. There’s something underneath his cynical facade that craves simplicity and love, and I want for him to give in and allow these desires to be tended to. I’m looking forward to being so delightfully pissed off during this re-read.

I Wish You All the Best

To prove that I am not inherently cheesy romance, I present to you I Wish You All the Best. I first picked up this book in my freshman year of high school, and it has stuck with me ever since. I don’t think it could be considered groundbreaking literature (or romance, for that matter) but I find it so comforting. The main character, Ben, is a very sweet, introspective high school senior who has been kicked out of their own home and forced to change schools. In their new environment living with their older sister, they meet new friends (and a love interest) and come to terms with the drastic change in their life. The story takes a realistic and beautiful stance on how a young person would deal with rejection from their parents in congruence with coming to terms with their own identity. As an advocate for queer stories that aren’t just sad, I find Deaver’s novel to be a perfect middle ground between the heartbreak and joy of queer youth. I read it around this time every year, as the themes of new beginnings and growth align well with the season itself.

Never Let Me Go

This is one of my favorite novels of all time. Kazuo Ishiguro is perhaps the most phenomenal author currently working. I find the way he takes the familiar coming of age story and combines it with dystopian science-fiction. Describing this story without spoiling the most important “twist” is nearly impossible, so I’ll be as vague as possible (and encourage you to go find out the details for yourself). The story is narrated by Kathy, a woman reminiscing on her youth spent at a boarding school. Her best friend, Ruth, begins a relationship with her infatuation, Tommy. Never Let Me Go observes the intricacies of adolescent love, jealousy, and friendship and how these problems translate into adult life, while also dealing with horrific realities of this dystopian society. It’s a story of hope, despair, love, loss, life, death, growing, changing, and most importantly, its a story about what it means to be a human. I cannot recommend this novel enough, and I hope that it gives someone out there even a fraction of the feeling it gives me.

Hyperbole and a Half

Completely and totally pivoting from Never Let Me Go, Hyperbole and a Half is an autobiographical webcomic turned graphic novel. Allie Brosh, the author, illustrator, and leading lady, anthologizes her life in such a way that it is incredibly relatable, despite most of her stories being entirely unique. The stories of depression, geese, and everything in between are paired with unassuming computer illustrations that perfectly represent the ridiculous reality that Brosh has lived. Hyperbole isn’t necessarily the type of book you’d find in a college curriculum, but it is more entertaining than any Faulkner or Proust could ever dream of being. I’ve been revisiting this book every few years since middle school, and it never fails to make me giggle. If you’re looking for an easy breezy read for laying in the Quad on a sunny afternoon, this book is for you.

With that, my Spring Reading List is complete. I have crafted a perfect balance of hilarity, horror, heartbreak, and hope (the fundamental 4 h’s, of course) in four books that could not be more different from one another. I will be reading seven additional books for my Spring courses, but any leisure reading time will be spent with this list. Happy Spring reading!

Montanna Lovins

Washington '27

Montanna Lovins is a Freshman at UW where she is studying English and Creative Writing. Her writing covers mainly entertainment media, primarily focusing on film and literature. When she isn’t writing, Montanna is commonly found in local theaters or watching movies on her laptop in the dorm. She also enjoys reading classic literature, playing guitar, baking, and hiking to hunt for frogs.