By Ari Mistry | May 9, 2019
With senior release and summer coming up soon, many students are eagerly awaiting some time away from classes to relax. One of the best ways to do this is reading. Whether you are curled up on the couch at home or enjoying a beach vacation, a good book is the perfect addition to your newfound free time. It may also (for the seniors reading this!) be a wonderful way to spark conversation and make new friends on an unfamiliar campus. That said, it is sometimes difficult for students to find a story they are invested in and genuinely love reading outside of school. Luckily for you, I have interviewed students across the high school to collect a list of great recommendations from your peers.
If you like realistic fiction, four students recommended The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Kenya Hall and Riley Pynnonen raved, “It’s a perspective on a heated topic from a teenager whose point of view we could get behind.” Other recommendations from this genre included Turtles All The Way Down by John Green and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
If you’re looking for a scare, Peter Lastoskie suggested 11/22/63 by the renowned horror author Stephen King, and Maddie Rogers added The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
For a more mysterious read, try A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. Alcove’s own Frances Beedon said that “it was an interesting twist on a classic story, and it was fun and light to read”.
If you want to be transported to a fantastical world, J Pearsall was quick to name The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, which is a series known for its well developed imaginary world and magic system. You may also be interested in The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, which focuses on the topic of free speech from a fantasy perspective.
For autobiographies, Alexis Huczek raved about Becoming by Michelle Obama, and for self help books, Meera Bhagat loved The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson.
If you are hoping to find some good historical fiction, Lila Rubin encouraged All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, saying “the lyricism is incredible. And the descriptions. It’s just a really cool setting and scenario that he sets up”. Additionally, Maya Behrend was moved by Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, and Shaman Garcia told everyone to read Circe by Madeline Miller.
It was clear from my interviews that science fiction was one of the more popular genres among high school students. If you are a fan of science fiction, Robert Keller suggested The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. He said of the book, “it’s a collection of short stories following a guy that fights monsters… I dunno, that sounds pretty exciting to me.” Students across the high school also enjoyed reading Dune by Frank Herbert, Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness, Endgame by James Frey Sabeen, We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson, and Foundations by Isaac Asimov.
To top off this list, I will reveal the ultimate book recommendation from Greenhills’ librarian Jan Toth-Chernin. She was very passionate about Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton, a book that follows six young characters and incorporated the topic of human genetic modification in the coming years. She says that it “blends science, story and ethics,” bringing up interesting questions about the complicated side effects of scientific advances.
If you aren’t sure where to find these books, look no further! Jan confirmed that if you don’t already see your book in the library, it can quickly be added to the shelves. If you are interested in looking through more recommendations, Jan regularly updates a Pinterest board for the Greenhills Library. Happy reading!