Emily Nickles, Editor-in-Chief
Recently, I had the opportunity to reread “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontё. Dark, mysterious, intense and violent, the romantic atmosphere and tensions in the novel will push the reader to the edge and break all bounds of conventionality. A master of empathy and emotion, Brontё twists and perverts the goodness in her characters and flips them on a dime. The best and the worst of humanity are portrayed in her novel, not in action, but in thought. The intensity in which she wrote her characters is unrealistic, but despite the conflict with logic, I want her lovers to be together. I highly recommend any of the Brontë sisters novels if you enjoy being well immersed in the atmosphere of a story.
If you know me well, you know that there is always a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” in my purse. This classic novel has been my favorite since I first read it nearly 10 years ago. The novel is set in the 1920’s; people were happy, and money was flowing. However, despite the rich and fabulous setting, the characters that live on Fitzgerald’s pages are miserable human beings. I am not sure how such an amazing book can not have one likeable character. The main character, Jay Gatsby, is immensely wealthy and miserable and the damsel in distress, Daisy, is so selfish you can not help but obsessively hate her. The whole foundation to the story is a dark twisted version of the classic love story that I can not seem to get enough of.
A few summers ago, I went on a reading binge and among the 20-something books I read were five of the six books in the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout. The story line is kind of a twist on the “Twilight” Saga; instead of the human and vampire love story from Stephanie Meyer, Armentrout switches to a mysterious alien that falls in love with a human – and the plot thickens from there. The saga includes “Obsidian,” “Onyx,” “Opal,” “Origins” and “Opposition.” There is a prequel, “Shadows,” and “Oblivion,” which features Daemon’s point of view from three of the books (I haven’t ventured into that…yet!) I enjoyed reading these books because Armentrout took the storyline much further than just the love story.
My favorite book changes pretty often, but one of my recent favorites is “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness. The main character in this book struggles with his mental health and his struggles resonated with me. It validates every negative thought I’ve ever had about myself and reminded me that I am not defined by my depression.
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” has always been one of my favorite books. I love the fantasy world C.S. Lewis created and the characters he populated it with. The novel has the power to be at once heartwarming and thrilling, humorous and melancholic. Putting the book down after finishing is hard even to this day.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than curling up in a cozy chair and getting lost in a story. My absolute favorite book is “Take a Thief” by Mercedes Lackey. My sister gave me this book, and I recall it being one of the first fantasy books I had ever read. I was so enraptured by the story that the second I finished it, I began to read it again. The novel presents a rich world with complex characters. The protagonist of the story, Skif, is a quick-witted thief who does quite well for himself on the streets before he makes the mistake of stealing a beautiful, white horse named Cymry. Unbeknownst to him, the horse is actually a magical being known as a Companion who chooses a specific human to become their Herald. The connection and friendship between Skif and Cymry is so enjoyable. I think what I liked most about “Take a Thief” was the overall feeling of happiness it gave me. I tend to read a lot of depressing books that leave me in a sad, brooding state. This book, however, makes me incredibly happy. Just thinking about the characters and their lives make me smile. There is also a song called “Philosophy” that the author wrote to compliment the story, and it makes me laugh. Everything associated with this book gives me joy, and I have yet to find a book that can surpass that.
A heartbreaking yet intriguing novels is “We Need to Talk about Kevin.” Narrated by Eva, through letters to her husband, a story unfolds from when Eva met her husband to present day. The book had me guessing why Eva was writing to her husband and what her son did. It wasn’t until the end that the unsettling truth is revealed.
A book that I would love to recommend is “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. A detailed narrative from the perspective of Ponyboy, a 14-year-old high school student belonging to a gang called the Greasers, tells his story when he and his friend Johnny run afoul of their rival gang, the Socs. Hinton explains the consequences of social divide and hatred and takes a minute to remind us we are all just human in such a poetic and heartbreaking way.