My screen-time is skyrocketing — is yours? “Read a book.” You’ve heard it plenty of times — from your parents, from your professors, from your peers. Between attending classes, excelling in our extracurriculars and tending to all our social media platforms, we don’t usually have the time to read a book. But in the wake of this scary and unpredictable pandemic, it seems like we suddenly have all the time in the world. The phrase “read a book” has become an almost sarcastic response to our boredom — but it is the perfect time to do so. Now, more than ever, we are craving engaging and exciting plots to dive into. These are my top four picks for reads you’ll struggle to put down during this quarantine — three of which are so good they were turned into Hulu shows!
1. “Looking For Alaska” by John Greene
If you were born in 1999 like me, you were around for the John Greene craze that happened after the release of “The Fault in Our Stars,” an iconic tear jerker remembered for its robin’s-egg-blue cover and coming-of-age plot. “Looking for Alaska,” which recently spun into a Hulu series, explores similar themes of teen-hood, what it means to be a good friend and, of course, love. Though the novel takes place at Culver Creek, the Alabama boarding school that main character Miles “Pudge” Halter attends, similar aspects of college life apply. Pudge grows fond of Alaska Young, a girl full of mystery. After her death, Pudge and his roommate, “The Colonel,” take it upon themselves to unravel the mystery, and try to find meaning in the last words that she loved: “Damn it. How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”
2. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
Elena Richardson seems to know everything about Shaker Heights. The journalist and mother of four has a curious eye and a knack for helping others. When she discovers Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl, sleeping inside their car, she offers to rent them the home she owns on the other side of town. “Little Fires Everywhere” exposes small town secrets while acknowledging the issues that transcend from adolescence to adulthood: trust, friendship and what it means to be a good mother. The unexpected twist and turns that develop from a seemingly simple plot is a must-read for those seeking some drama.
3. “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn is best known for “Gone Girl,” which made it to the big screens in 2014. However, it wasn’t until recently that her first piece, “Sharp Objects,” seemed to grab readers’ attention. Similar to “Little Fires,” Flynn’s first novel follows Camille Preaker, a journalist who re-visits her home town after the recent murder of a young girl. Preaker — who has struggled with her own personal issues of self-harm, self-doubt and alcholism — uncovers the chilling and brutal details that this murder might not have been the only one in the small town of Wind Gap, Missouri.
4. “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers
After the devastating loss of both of his parents, Dave Eggers is put in the unique position of having to wear two important hats: brother and parent. Younger brother to Beth and older brother to Toph, Dave struggles to pick up the pieces of what both his parents left behind. Shortly after their death, the kids move to California and begin new lives. This memoir quite literally reminds us of what it means to be human — how tragedy shapes our upbringing and what it means to have courage. This is an absolute must-read!
words & photo_isabel tragos