Best books to unwind with this summer


Photo by Rebecca Dean

WCHS student Thao Nguyen reads “Daisy Jones & The Six” in the media center during lunch. Nguyen loves the TV show as well as the book, and is excited to read more this summer.

By Rebecca Dean, Assistant Arts Edtior

As the classes wind down and AP exams end, many students find themselves surprisingly bored with their newfound free time. The summer is a perfect time to dive into a good book. Here are some intriguing books to read during all this free time.

“Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this novel, Daisy Jones and the Six was one of the biggest bands in the world during the late seventies until they broke up during their tour. Until now, the reason has been kept a firm secret. This book is written as a series of interviews exploring the perspectives of each band member. The format provides for interesting dialogue, with both comedic and heartbreaking moments. This book is universally loved among most readers, winning the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards for historical fiction.

This year, the book became a TV series available on Amazon Prime Video. It stars actors such as Riley Keogh, Suki Waterhouse and Sam Claflin. It even includes its own soundtrack created according to song lyrics written in the novel. The actors have also discussed potentially taking the fictional band on tour, showing how beloved the book and TV show are.

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jenette McCurdy
While many may know McCurdy for her roles on “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat,” until now, no one knew former child actor turned writer Jenette McCurdy’s story. In her poignant memoir, McCurdy chronicles her relationship with her abusive mother and how it impacted both her life and career. Despite being McCurdy’s literary debut, this book is beautifully written and incredibly important. It covers issues that are not often discussed or understood, such as eating disorders, in an empathetic and realistic way. Not only that, but it exposes the abuse that goes on behind closed doors in Hollywood.

“The Girls” by Emma Cline
Evie Boyd is a lonely and bored fourteen-year-old girl during the summer of 1969, that is until she meets the captivating Suzanne and is dragged into the seedy underbelly of Northern California. Although this book was originally published in 2016, it is currently experiencing a surge in popularity, with celebrities such as Florence Pugh and Emma Mackey naming it as one of their favorite books.

“If I Had Your Face” by Francis Cha
This novel follows the lives of four women living in the same apartment complex in Seoul, Korea. The women struggle to navigate strict beauty standards, motherhood, and even celebrity obsession. One of this book’s most interesting parts is how the characters perceive each other. Each chapter focuses on a different woman and illustrates the biases she holds. As a new chapter begins, another woman’s perspective shows how subjectively they perceive the world around them. This book doesn’t have a strict plot but acts as more of a character study.

“Emma” by Jane Austen
If readers have extra time and want to explore a classic, “Emma” is a great candidate. In this novel, the main character Emma Woodhouse faces the boredom of her quiet little town. Emma, spoiled and vain, decides to play matchmaker with the residents of her town, ignoring the potential consequences of her actions. This book is an entertaining and playful read, with also a lot of heart.

If there’s not enough time to read the book, this classic has been adapted into film countless times. Most recently in 2020, with Anya Taylor-Joy playing Emma. This movie is a great watch; it has beautiful costuming and cinematography and keeps the playful nature of the book.

In conclusion, there are so many great books out there to read this summer. WCHS students should consider spending summer exploring them.