Summer is dawning -you’ll get that one later- and with its arrival, comes a lot of ways to make it count. If you’re a reader by default, you will love this piece. And if not, sometimes, you’ll need to unwind from the nights out by spending a calm evening curled up with a good book. So, here’s a list of the best summer reads, all categorized and broken down to accommodate you; grab your coffee and read on.
- Verity -by Colleen Hoover
The hype -whether negative or not- over Colleen Hoover is somewhat understandable, but having read almost all of her published -and unpublished- books, I can guarantee that this one is different. It is a psychological thriller that will keep you glued to the book until the very last word of it; and trust me, you want to read the very last word of it.
- Haunting Adeline -by H.D. Carlton
This one is a Stockholm Syndrome novel; its whole plot and scenarios revolve around gothic themes and the tendency to be brave when you really should be running for the hills. Personally, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it due to its immensely triggering scenes and graphic language. However, halfway through it, I could tell that this is a book that is well-written and developed. If you have a braver heart than mine, be my guest. It is a read worthwhile.
N.B.: Try to skip the graphic scenes as much as possible -had to be said again with this one.
- Frankenstein –by Mary Shelley
This one I read so long ago that I genuinely forgot if it was worth being on this list or not, but for what it’s worth, I skimmed through it just for your sake. Of course, it is a classic read; the theme is gothic as well, but it is just so much more. The captivating emotions and the immaculate language used would guide you through a truly transcendental experience. As someone who studies literature -yes, I just had to say it- I was also bewitched by the poetic approach that Shelley employs in her novel; in simple words, that women put her heart and soul in this novel.
- You -by Caroline Kepnes
The bone-chilling thriller that will show you the insides of a psychopath’s mind: You. If you were a fan of the Netflix production, then you must have a try at the book by Kepnes. It is a well-written psycho-thriller that will keep you on your toes while showing you the twistedness of a stalker.
- Neon Gods –by Katee Robert
This one is a heart-stopping modern retelling of a Greek myth, specifically Persephone and Hades’. Its plot and settings are altered to accommodate our modern times better, but the main theme remains the same where Persephone is lured into the darkness by the Greek dark god Hades. Modernism combined with the classicism of the original tale turns the whole novel into a whole other category; it makes you feel like you’re learning about Greek mythology while enjoying a modern novel.
- Midnight Sun -by Stephenie Meyer
Whether you like The Twilight Saga movies or not, the books are something else entirely. This one specifically is very well-written and developed, and it is in Edward’s point of view and lets you in deeply on his feelings and thoughts. It is also a very long book which is great if you are a reader who gets book-sickness after finishing a book and putting it down; it is a guarantee that you will want to get to the ends of it but would not feel scammed by how abruptly it is all over.
- The Shatter Me series -by Tahereh Mafi
This one is for Marvel franchise fans; its plot revolves around a girl whose hands could shatter the earth entirely -yes, superpowers. It is a very heartwarming and emotional read and delves deeply into the feelings of alienation, empowerment and loyalty. The friendships made throughout the book will make your chest melt like soft chocolate in summer -shoutout to Kenji. My favourite book was the third one: Ignite Me.
- The Harry Potter series -by J.K. Rowling
And this is because I simply had to. The Harry Potter series was my first trial reading and ever since then, I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. My top favorites were Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince; both books are full of plot twists that will make your head spin like Nearly Headless Nick.
This is for the love of poetry, and all that lies within it.
- Prometheus Unbound -by Percy Shelley
This is a lyrical drama that tells the story of Prometheus’s sacrifice for humanity; it exhibits extraordinary employment of themes like forgiveness, hope and the undying will. It is a parodical work that alludes to a Greek tragedy work called Prometheus Bound. Another great work of Shelley’s is Ozymandias, which is a much shorter poem.
- Holy Sonnets -by John Donne
An absolute favourite: Death, be not proud; it is heartachingly profound and the way it glorifies death and personifies it, only to overpower it eventually is just paradoxically brilliant.
- Paradise Lost –by John Milton
It is an epic poem -categorically and literally. It is a retelling of the Biblical original sin by Adam and Eve, and the temptations of Satan; it is religion -and lack thereof- in poetry.
- Waiting for Godot -by Sameul Beckett
Ah, the absurd. Read it, or simply do not. Either way, Godot never arrives. It is a tragicomedy that features the elements of the absurd, and the most astonishing part is how it depicts the world post-WWII in the simplest and most minimalistic language, showing you that all the efforts for finding meaning within everything would result in…nothingness.