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

As the nights have been getting longer – and darker, the desire to curl up and read a good book has been high. With everything in the process of reopening, everyone has been looking for some great book recommendations that will keep you flipping through the pages until you get to the very end.  

I’ve got a wide range of books that I love, and I hope that they will serve as some good recommendations or starting points if you are looking for a good read.  

Keeping the Moon – by Sarah Dessen  

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen is your classic ‘girl-moving-away-to-stay-with-her-aunt-for-the-summer-in-a-small-town  coming of age story. Colie, a fifteen-year-old formerly overweight girl, moves to a small town to stay with her aunt while her mom – formerly overweight, now fit and famous workout teacher – travels Europe to encourage people to buy from her brand and hear her story. Colie is at first not excited about staying with her aunt because of how outrageous, loud, and creative she is. She ends up working at a local diner to pass the time, where she meets two older girls who essentially become her first real friends. They teach her how to do her makeup, how to dress, how to act, and how to find herself. She witnesses heartbreak, true friendship, disappointment, and has a chance of finding some summertime romance. I personally love Sarah Dessen because all her books always teach me a lesson. They are not difficult reads, and perfect for a nice sunny morning to take you back to your early teenage years.  

Going Vintage – Lindsey Leavitt 

Have you ever woken up after staying up all night on your phone or watching Netflix and thought, “I really need to stop using technology so much?” Or, have you ever had the urge to delete all your social media and go completely “’old-school’?” If you’ve ever succeeded, congratulations, because I aspire to be like you. If you’re like me, and struggle to put down your devices and media, this may be a great book for you. The main character Mallory finds out her boyfriend was cheating on her with an online girlfriend. From that point on, she swore off all boys – and modern technology. She was inspired by a list of goals she found that were her grandmothers from 1962 and tries to complete them by, as the title says, going totally vintage. She starts dressing like she’s from the 1960s, asks her teachers for accommodation for online assignments and work, and works through her grandmother’s list. It really makes you wonder whether it’s even possible to swear off all modern-day technology in the 21st century. I know this wouldn’t be possible given the pandemic, but maybe once things go back to as normal as possible, you could challenge yourself to try this as well.  

The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die – April Henry 

Don’t get me wrong, romance novels and young adult fiction are great, but I absolutely love thrillers and mystery novels. April Henry does a fantastic job of keeping me on my edge in this thriller. This book is about a girl who wakes up not knowing who she is, where she is, or why anything is happening to her. All she knows is that there are two men arguing whether or not they should kill her. She escapes, trying to piece together what’s happening, where her family is, and how she got into this mess. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you’re looking for a book that will keep you wondering, this one’s for you.  

The Playground – Jane Shemilt  

This past FOCO, I was so eager to leave the partying and celebrations and just come home, make a nice cup of tea, and just curl up and finish this masterpiece. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my roommates who came home to me glued to the last few chapters, trying to piece together what was going on in this mystery novel. Jane Shemilt is talented, and her story is set during a hot summer in London, England, where three different married couples collide. They all have children, they all have secrets, and they all tell lies. The families get close as they host barbecues, have parties, and forget to pay attention to the details in their children’s lives, as they are too focused on their own affairs. Then, tragedy and dread encircle them as the families are all in shock trying to understand how their seemingly perfect friendships turned for the worse. I don’t want to say too much, but this was one of the most amazing books I’ve read. The details are hidden so well, and no matter how hard you try imagining what is going on, it’s much more intricate and terrible than you could think.  

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Arina Bagga

Western '23

Hi everyone! My name is Arina, and I am a fourth-year Western student in the International Relations Program. I've loved writing as a kid, and love focusing on lifestyle articles – fashion, food, mental health, physical activity, and more! In my free time, you'll probably find me spending time with friends and family, reading, watching Netflix, or exploring with different hobbies.