What to Read This Spring

Michaela Ely, Webmaster

Throughout quarantine, you can only binge and rewatch so many shows before it starts to get exhausting. 

Now, if you’re like most of the people I know, the last book you read was probably a book for school. Required reads are often boring and can really detract from how enjoyable reading can actually be. 

You just need the right books and the right genre.

The fantasy genre isn’t always the most popular or my particular favorite as certain fantasy tropes get old pretty quickly and many associate fantasy with being more childish. However. fantasy isn’t always for the faint of heart. The Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J. Maas is about an assassin named Celaena Sardothien who was captured and in order to earn her freedom back, she had to compete in a competition to be the king’s designated assassin. The series follows her journeys as she continues to learn more about herself and where she really came from. The books start out as more young adult novels but move into the new adult genre, so if you don’t want a more graphic book, this series is probably not for you.

Another series in the fantasy genre is currently being made into a Netflix series. The Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo are both going to be covered by the Netflix shows and both series’ are perfect introductions to a complex fantasy world. Shadow and Bone focuses more on the fantasy elements of this world and really just focuses on the protagonist, Alina Starkov, who learns that she is Grisha (a magic user). Six of Crows is a bit different as it is a heist novel also set in this fantasy world. It also focuses on several characters rather than just one. It is also a great book for those who enjoy a morally grey protagonist as Kaz Brekker is the literal definition of morally grey.

One particularly popular genre. and for good reason, is dystopian. I’m sure we all remember going through our phase of wanting to be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and lead a revolution. Just me? Speaking of The Hunger Games, it is probably the perfect introduction to the dystopian genre and honestly probably the perfect dystopian trilogy. I have yet to read a better dystopian series.

One of my personal favorite genres is science fiction. While it’s not necessarily aimed at teens, The Martian by Andy Weir is probably my favorite science fiction book of all time. The protagonist, Mark Watney, is stranded on Mars and has to find a way to survive on a planet that keeps trying to kill him. It’s full of brilliant characters, witty humor and is actually fairly scientifically accurate, aside from the fact that we haven’t put humans on Mars yet.

A science fiction trilogy that is aimed at teens would be The Illuminae Files trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Each book features different protagonists that are all still connected. It explores AI, space travel and evil corporations trying to murder pretty much everyone. Sounds fun, right? Even though the ending of the trilogy isn’t my favorite, it’s still a satisfying conclusion. 

 

Another one of my favorite genres is the cozy mystery. If you enjoy shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order, this genre is perfect. My current favorite cozy mystery is Killer Content by Olivia Blacke. This book was actually bought for me by my mom because the author and her are college friends. The book follows the protagonist, Odessa, as she tries to solve the possible murder of one of her coworkers. Odessa is a truly likeable character and her development throughout the novel is written very well.

For the classic mystery lovers, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is the perfect book. Detective Hercule Poirot must solve a murder on a train when the only possible suspects were on the train. It has been made into a couple film adaptations, the most recent being released in 2017.

Saving the best for last, and by far most people’s favorite genre is contemporary. My favorite contemporary novel is Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Once again, this book is technically classified as new adult so be aware of that. This novel is an enemies to lovers novel about the First Son of the United States and the Prince of England in an alternate universe where we have the first female president. Every character in this novel is truly likeable and relatable and extremely well written. This book kept me sane throughout the insanity that was the 2020 election and gives me hope for the future.

Another brilliant contemporary novel is Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. This book switches perspectives between the two protagonists, Maya and Jamie. This book also takes place during an election, however this election is a Georgia special election. The book follows Maya and Jamie as they campaign together for a state senator and fall in love along the way. This book covers many difficult topics including racism and relationships between people of different religions.

Reading is not always seen as the most desirable way to spend your spare time, especially if you haven’t read the right books. However, books can change the way we view certain topics and make us a bit more self-aware. Reading can teach you so much, so the next time you run out of shows to watch and rewatch, maybe consider checking out some books from the library or heading to your local bookstore.