Book recommendations to whisk you away over spring break

Mehru Adnan, News Editor

Spring break is on the horizon, which means it’s time to swap your textbooks with novels! If you’re not sure how to kick off your spring reading, here are some suggestions: 

Young Adult

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Fantasy)

Looking for your next fantasy fix? Look no further! This epic masterpiece will suck you in and leave you with the worst book hangover (in the best way possible). Six of Crows follows a ragtag team of six hired to pull off an impossible heist. Set in the same universe as Bardugo’s Grishaverse Trilogy, this book is rich with action, humor, and romance. Bardugo’s use of multiple points of view (POVs) allow each character to shine and make this a must-read that will hook you to the Grishaverse. Be sure to read it and its sequel, Crooked Kingdom, in time to watch the upcoming Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which releases April 23, 2021. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Contemporary, Murder-Mystery)

If you’re a fan of murder mysteries but want something on the lighter side, One of Us is Lying is the perfect pick! Five Bayview High students, a brain, a beauty, a criminal, a jock, and an outcast walk into detention, but only four make it out alive. Inspired by The Breakfast Club, this book expertly mixes murder with a healthy dose of high school drama. There’s also a sequel, One of Us is Next, if you can’t get enough of Bayview!


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Romance)

This famous novel is a great starting point if you’re not familiar with classics. Set in Regency Era England, Pride and Prejudice details the comedic romance of two headstrong individuals, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. With one of the most famous opening lines in literary history, Austen makes her wit immediately apparent. It’s a light but substantial read that won’t make you feel like you’re reading for AP Literature. Readers of this book also get to enjoy a plethora of adaptations, all ranging from silly to serious. 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Childrens)

What is more spring-like than a garden? This children’s classic is a heartwarming story to visit time and time again. Set in the Moors of England, it tells the story of Mary Lennox, a stubborn child sent to live with her uncle who learns to mature as she makes friends and explores a hidden garden. Originally published in 1910, it’s a fun read that is the definition of cottagecore, making it a perfect addition to your spring reading list. 

Historical Fiction

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (WWII, YA)

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, The Book Thief tells the heartbreaking story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl sent to live with foster parents who discovers an affinity for reading and uses it to make unlikely connections. Zusak’s prose is gorgeous and descriptive, adding a sense of tragic beauty to the fictional town of Molching. Death is the foreboding narrator, a bold yet fitting choice for the solemn atmosphere. Despite the sorrowful setting, Zusak earns this book its international best-selling status with well-developed characters and evergreen themes of love, language and mortality

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (WWII)

This Pulitzer-Prize winning WWII novel deserves all the praise it’s received. All the Light We Cannot See intertwines the story of Marie-Laure, a blind girl who flees Paris during the Nazi occupation, and Werner Pfennig, a German orphan with a knack for technology. Together, they lead us through a hauntingly beautiful novel that explores the loss of childhood innocence. Doerr’s poetic crafting of the narrative makes this a must-read for any historical fiction fan. 

Social Commentary

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (Memoir, Comedic)

Trevor Noah rose to fame for his unique blend of comedy and social commentary, which is abundantly present in this heartwarming yet revealing memoir. Structured as a series of essays, Noah writes about growing up in South Africa during apartheid, in a time where his very existence as a mixed child was illegal. Noah’s clever humor intertwines perfectly with the stories of his resilient mother and their coming-of-age adventures, making Born a Crime is an essential, emotional read for Trevor Noah fans and non-fans alike

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Contemporary, Adult Fiction)

This slow-moving, character driven novel will keep you glued to your seat. Little Fires Everywhere follows the community of Shaker Heights, where order and conformity rules. When Mia Warren, a peripatetic artist, moves into the neighborhood with her daughter, the system is disrupted. Ng’s subtle commentary throughout the novel adds to its complexity. At the center of the novel is a custody battle of a Chinese-American baby, which exposes racial and socio-economic ignorance amongst the characters. Beyond that, you’ll get a heartbreaking tableau of motherhood and a battle against conformity. Readers can also enjoy the TV adaptation on Hulu, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. 

Happy Reading!