The summer is the perfect time to discover a good book. After an entire semester of reading and writing academic works, you can finally choose your own reading material. Though they’re not new, here are some books that could end up being the highlight of your summer if given the chance.  

“Stupid and Contagious”

by Caprice Crane

Crude, hilarious and oddly romantic, this story follows the lives of Heaven and Brady, two people who are going through a rough time in their lives. Each day, we see how they view relationships, work and life in general. Both are very different, and when they meet as neighbors, they instantly clash. This book makes for a relatively quick read that is uniquely written. Through the book, the point of view alternates between both Heaven’s and Brady’s in each chapter, allowing the reader to get both sides of the story. By its end, you will have a good laugh, a craving for cinnamon flavored milk and the yearning for a road trip.

“The Secret Fruit of Peter

Paddington”

by Brian Francis

This oddly profound novel is about the self-discovery of an overweight 8th grader who develops talking nipples. Francis describes Peter Paddington’s journey through puberty (complete with sexual confusion and social anxieties) with an accuracy that would make readers cringe as they remember their own embarrassing adolescence.

“His Majesty’s Dragon”

by Novik Naomi

An imaginative vision of the Napoleonic Wars, “His Majesty’s Dragon” creates a world where our wars are not only fought by the Army or Navy but also by dragon riders. Captain Will Laurence is thrown into the Aerial Corps unexpectedly when his crew captures a French frigate and its cargo: a dragon egg dangerously close to hatching. The captain, who knows almost nothing about dragons or aerial tactics, finds his world completely changed when the dragon imprints on him. The page turning battles and the wonderful recreation of our very own world makes this book hard to put down. It will leave you longing for the next in the series as well as wishing you too had a dragon as both partner and friend.

“Sybil”

by Flora Rheta Schreiber

This is a supposed true story about a woman, Sybil, who had 16 distinct personalities. The story became a bestseller, winning awards and high critical acclaim-but it was only later that controversy arose when the story was accused of exploiting Sybil’s life for success and fame. Despite this, the book itself is compelling and will keep you intrigued as you read of Sybil, her diverse personalities and how Dr. Wilbur helped Sybil get her life back.

“Secret Vampire” from “The Night

World  Series”

by L. J. Smith

Admit it. You aren’t buying this book for your cousin or checking it out for your younger sister-this one is for you. Embrace the young adult genre with L.J. Smith’s “Secret Vampire.” Instantly bringing you back to the essence of the 90’s, Smith captures the romance everyone secretly wished for in high school. Her books are very fast reads, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Her “Night World” series includes all kinds of paranormal creatures, from shapeshifters to vampires. In the first book, we find Poppy-a regular high-schooler who finds out she has a terminal disease and will die in a matter of months. There is no known cure, and her best friend James doesn’t want to see her die. In desperation, he breaks the first rule of the Night World and tells her that he is a vampire-capable of changing her and saving her life.

“Vamped”

by David Sosnowski

If you love vampires but hate the current vampire craze, you might like Sosnowski’s comical take on the vampiric lifestyle. The novel follows Martin Kowalski, an 80-year-old man trapped in a 20-year-old’s body, in a world where the entire population has been changed into vampires. So what has changed for society? Absolutely nothing. Martin still has to go to his dead-end job, pay bills and suffer the mediocrity of everyday life. His life changes, however, when he comes upon a little human girl, an endangered species in his world.  

 “A Study in Scarlet”

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Everyone knows the detective Sherlock Holmes, and if you have not had the chance to read any of his stories, this summer is your chance. “A Study in Scarlet” is the first in the series. In a story told through Dr. Watson’s perspective, we see how he first encountered Sherlock Holmes and became drawn into solving mysteries. This mystery is so captivating, you will find yourself a prisoner of its intrigue.

“The Taking”

by Dean Kuentz

Dark, eerie and suspenseful, “The Taking” takes place in a small town in California where the main characters, Molly and Neil Sloan, find themselves in a fight for their lives. In what can only be described as an extraterrestrial invasion of Earth, Molly and Neil will do anything not to be taken or killed by these brutal hunters. Kuentz explores the good and bad sides of humanity while spinning a fast-paced sequence of horror and suspense.

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