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Zoë Hill | Print Editor-in-Chief
As a self-proclaimed book-hater all my life, something finally clicked in me this past December. I attribute my 20-year reading slump to the books that were mandatory reading for school. They turned me off from pleasure reading for my entire childhood.
But, late last year, I cracked open a book (alright, it was an ebook, so not literally) and began my reading journey. I credit my newfound incessant book craving mostly to BookTok, a community on Tik Tok that recommends and discusses trending books. It feels like a little book club, and I love it.
I’ve read nearly 50 books this year, and over half of them were read this summer. My genre of choice is contemporary romance, but many of them have deeper themes and plots within. Here are my top 3 from this summer to help you maybe get out of a reading slump, reignite your love for reading or start a reading journey for the very first time.
“Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover – 5 Stars
I know Colleen Hoover isn’t for everyone, and this book definitely falls within that caveat. This book made me cry and cringe so many times, but it also had me laughing and swooning. The sign of a great book to me is one that can absolutely devastate me but also make me want to keep reading. “Hopeless” is one of those books. It’s a romance. It’s a thriller. It’s a little bit of a mystery. It’s all over the place but in the best way. The subject matter is incredibly heavy, so you may need to take a break. I recommend reading a lighter novel while tackling some of this book’s heavier chapters. Look up the trigger warnings on this one, but I recommend going in blind to this if you’re brave enough!
“One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid- 4.5 Stars
I don’t even know how to describe the magic that TJR puts into her books. Never take one of her novels at face value— they aren’t what they appear to be. It’s a romance, yes, but this book unfolds in such a compelling way. Emma is happily engaged to her boyfriend when she gets a call from her husband who went down in a helicopter crash years before and was presumed dead. As a reader, I was right there with Emma as she attempted to make her choice between old love and new love. There are also themes of self-growth and the curse/gift of time which really resonated with me. This is going to be a movie late this year or early next, so check this one out and decide whether you’re team Sam or Jesse!
“The Happy Ever After Playlist” by Abby Jiminez – 5 Stars
This is the second book in The Friend Zone series (the other two are great reads as well!). As someone who loves concerts, I just really enjoyed the characters. Jason is an up-and-coming musician and Sloan is a recently-widowed painter. What I love about this series is that each book is injected with real struggles that you don’t typically see in romances. The first book deals with infertility. The second tackles grief and life after loss. The third book follows a character who may have ALS and struggles between living in the moment and planning a future for herself. The series is also told in a unique way using song titles and clickbait YouTube titles.