With the increased amount of free time I have had over the past month, I have found myself relying on books as a means of passing the time and as a way to escape reality. Reading has served as a nice break from the time I spend all day on my computer doing school work, and I have found it to be very relaxing as well as entertaining during these times. Here are my favorite books that I have read so far during the shelter-in-place, and whether or not you are a prolific reader, I highly recommend picking up one of these books and giving it a read. Enjoy!
Vicious by V.E. Schwab- Paranormal Fiction
Vicious follows college seniors Victor and Eli as they work on their senior thesis project together about ‘ExtraOrdinaries’, humans who have acquired supernatural abilities due to a near-death experience. As they delve deeper into their research and begin experimenting to test their theories, things quickly go wrong. Told between alternating time periods of their senior year in college and ten years later, the events of what really happened Victor and Eli’s senior year are not revealed until the end of the story. I found this to be a very intriguing read with a unique plot I had never seen in another book before. I was hooked from the very first page, mainly due to my confusion as to why the first chapter takes place in a graveyard, ten years in the future. However, as the story unfolded and I was familiarized with the characters, I found the alternate time period narrative format extremely entertaining, keeping me turning the page to find out what happens next. Additionally, I found myself heavily in the characters-Victor and Eli both proving to be extremely complex characters with many different sides to themselves that are seen as the book progressed. One theme throughout the book was the idea of being ‘heroic’, like a superhero out of a comic book- I found it very interesting how this book explored that idea of being a hero, calling into question what is truly ‘good’ and what is truly ‘evil’. Overall, I highly recommend Vicious to anyone looking for a fast-paced, gritty read with vivid characters and a unique storyline.
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson- Sci-Fi
On a planet where remnants of the human race are trapped and constantly attacked by mysterious alien enemies known as the Krell,
Scythe by Neal Shusterman- Dystopian/Fantasy
Taking place in a world in which humanity has conquered hunger, disease, war, misery
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson- Contemporary
I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of twins Jude and Noah. Their story is told in different parts, with Noah narrating the past when they were thirteen and Jude narrating present when they are sixteen. Though initially inseparable, years later they are barely speaking to one another after a devastating event happens to the twins: changing both of them drastically in opposite ways. As they go about these changes, Noah and Jude slowly find their way back to one another. This is an extremely powerful read about sibling relationships, growing up, grief, and finding your way back to those you once thought lost. I found it best to go into this book without knowing much detail about the plot or characters, as it allowed for me to really see the story develop in full force. Nelson created a truly beautiful story with Noah and Jude’s relationship and seeing it unfold through alternating time periods caused me to be immersed in the book’s world. One thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was its emphasis on the role of art in one’s life. Nelson’s incorporation of art throughout the book had such a strong impact on the characters, and it shows how the characters are all connected. Noah and Jude are both artists, and their journey as artists coincide with their search for their own identities. Additionally, a recurring symbol throughout the book is the sun, serving as a metaphor for Noah and Jude’s relationship and how they rekindle their relationship. I found the emphasis placed on art and the sun’s symbolism to be very unique elements of the book that contributed a significant amount to the story’s impact. Nelson’s writing style is very vivid and full of passion, containing many descriptive metaphors and colorful imagery. With an interesting narrative format, amazing writing, and a complex sibling relationship, I highly recommend I’ll Give You the Sun to anyone looking for an impactful and beautiful yet heart-wrenching read.