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Top reads from the last season

By Kshef Kamran, October 24 2023—

Nothing is better than cuddling up with a blanket in a comfy chair with a warm drink in one hand and a book in the other. Summer has come and gone, but fall has only just begun, so there are many books to recommend. Finding books to enjoy can be a daunting task but look no further as a rating and a brief synopsis for the top reads from June to September have been provided below. Varying from the complexities of classical literature to light-hearted teenage drama, these recommendations encompass a wide range of genres for any bookworm to read. 

  1. Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater (9/10)

This story follows Theodora Ettings better known as Dora. As a child, Dora was cursed leaving her with half a soul. As a result of Dora’s condition, she is often prone to scandals as she tends to be unaware of the unorthodox things that she says or does. Dora accompanies her cousin during the London Season where she had hoped to help her cousin find a husband by being quiet and going unnoticed, but what she did not predict was getting into a relationship herself with none other than Elias Wilder, the Lord Sorcier. Despite her best efforts, Dora is involved in various dangerous and peculiar situations allowing the relationship between her and Lord Sorcier to blossom. 

This was an innocent and pure story with a nice gradual character development. The internal conflict that the characters endure revolves around coming to terms with their strengths and weaknesses which makes them endearing and relatable. This novel is a stand-alone book and is not a part of a series. 

  1. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – (8/10)

The Beautiful Ones is a dramatic love story involving Antonina (Nina) Beaulieua, l who prefers the forest to the ball and on top of that she has telekinetic powers. The story also includes the infamous entertainer, Hector Auvray, who is a powerful telekinetic. This summer is Nina’s chance to present herself at the Grand Season and join the rank along with her cousin and his cunning wife, Valerie Beaulieu. However, Nina’s interest in exploring her powers and controlling them through the guidance of an expert telekinetic blossoms along with her relationship with him. Nina is an innocent and naive young girl and begins to give her heart to someone entirely undeserving of it as a result she fails to see the darkness that lies beyond the surface with her cousin’s wife at the center of the conflict. As Nina explores more about herself as well as her powers she matures over the course of the story and the development of a young girl in love to a mature young woman is interesting to see unfold. Overall, the conflict and tension in the story as well as the character development made this novel all the more interesting. 

  1. Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker – (6/10)

It’s 1820 in Brighton, England the story follows Amelia Moore who wants nothing more but to secure a successful future for her younger sister Clara. However, with their mother and father dead and now their stepfather’s pending death plagued by an ailment, their time for finding a husband is all the shorter. However, when a chance is presented and they are invited to join a house party at Lakeshire Park they take hold and attempt to avail this opportunity. In order to ensure her sister’s future Amelia decides that it would be the best course of action to encourage a match between Clara and their host Sir Ronald so her sister will be taken care of. 

Unfortunately, Ronald’s best friend, Peter Wood is also present at this house party. He has a younger sister as well and he is attempting to encourage a match between her and Ronald. Quite the predicament unfolds between Clara and Georgiana going after the same man.  While that is happening, a simultaneous hate-to-love story is going on in the background between Amelia and Peter. The fun banter between Amelia and Peter both trying to hitch their younger siblings is an amusing scenario to watch unfold. However, there is a balance between the severity of the situation that Amelia and her sister are forced to deal with and the development of their entertaining relationship. Amelia as an older sister puts the needs of others above her own but she finally has the chance to prioritize her own happiness.

  1. By the Book by Amanda Sellet – (5/10)

Full of references from various books by Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy as well as a variety of movies. This teenage love story is a short and sweet novel following Mary Porter-Malcolm, the middle child of five children. This story is a modern rendition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with the relationship developing between Mary and the high school playboy, Alex Ritter. The references in the book are a double edged sword with it being entertaining if you are aware of them or it takes away from the reading experience if you aren’t. However, the hate to love relationship between Mary and Alex is amusing to read as well as seeing the miscommunication between the two unfold. Alex is an endearing fun-loving character whereas Mary is a bookworm with a bit of an edge so the two make for an interesting dynamic. This novel is a stand alone and is not part of a series which makes for a short and sweet reading experience. 

These are just some book recommendations from the last few months. Although these novels range from Victorian-style literature to light-hearted teenage drama, for those who struggle with finding books to read, these recommendations can also be used as a stepping stone for finding other reads as well.

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