For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading. In elementary school, I would somehow get through a 300 page book in a couple of days, and I held this habit throughout high school. Unfortunately, as I got older, this pattern started to crumble. However, during quarantine I was thankfully given an abundance of time to pick up this activity once again. I quickly flew through dozens of books these past couple of months. Out of that stack, I was able to pick out three of my favorites:
“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas – I read this book earlier in the year for Fairfield University’s Book Club, and I absolutely loved it. It narrates police brutality, one of the more common racial inequality issues we face in this generation. Starr, the main character, watches her childhood best friend die at the hands of a police officer, without reason. She comes to face ignorant classmates, injustice and a fear of speaking out. This extremely thought-provoking story makes it so that you can digest real-world scenarios and ponder past and future situations we’ve seen.
“Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell – I’ve read many books throughout my life, so when “Then She Was Gone” stole the number one spot, I was pretty shocked. This heart-wrenching story takes you through the experience of a grieving mother who is trying to move forward in her life. After the tenth anniversary of losing her daughter in a cold case crime, Laurel begins to date what she describes as her ‘dream man.’ However, her relationship begins to resurface unanswered questions and doubt about her daughter Ellie. This story had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and invoked several gasps throughout the page turns. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading thrillers or isn’t sensitive to disturbing content.
“They Both Die At The End” by Adam Silvera – This book shares a neat futuristic concept in the form of a program called Death Cast. Through this, characters receive a call at midnight to inform them that they are now ‘Deckers’ and will be dying sometime in the next 24 hours. By knowing this information, people have the opportunity to give formal goodbyes and live their last day knowing it is their final chance to do anything and everything they hadn’t yet done. Thankfully, in the newer program provided for Deckers, called Last Friends, the two main characters, Mateo and Rufus, meet each other for the first time and spend their last day together. At first, I thought the tale was going to be nothing but sadness and grief, but it honestly surprised me. Instead, it shared a beautiful story of two boys who were able to speak their truth and find peace in their last moments.
Have you figured out that I love fiction yet? Whether or not you like this genre as much as I do, I highly encourage any book lovers to add these titles onto their ‘next to read’ list. The three books I mentioned are all extremely well written and vastly interesting. I always tell my friends that reading is like watching a movie through words. So instead of binging Netflix, try and configure your own film in your head with these stories!