Some Summer Reading

By Elli Westmacott   |   August 12, 2021
Elli has been busy reading this summer

The months of June and July have been filled with much of the excitement that we missed out on this past year; however, during these summer months when I finally get to exhale, I enjoy reading. I’m not talking about biographies or articles or historical essays — but rather books. Wonderfully scented and beautifully thought up novels that shift the way I feel while being present in the author’s words. In the most somber of times, I have found myself seeking comfort in the narration of others. In this abundance of summaries and opinions, I will explain my love for each one of these stories. These books are ones I cherish, and I trust they will have the same effect on you.  

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

This book is written from the perspective of a young boy, one who has met despair and death too many times and is entering the daunting leap of freshman year. Charlie Kelmeckis writes a composition of letters that illustrate this rollercoaster of a story in the most relatable and vibrant of ways. He meets new people, learns more about the world and how he fits into it, and has his fair share of “tunnel moments,” which you will get what that means once you read this short novel. The writing is unique because it is, in my mind, exactly how a teenager thinks. The author captures the naive but philosophical depths of the teenage brain and paints a perfect picture of the ups and downs of high school.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Green’s books always leave me with a newfound passion, but this specific novel will constantly replay in my mind. It’s impressively laid out and captivating from the moment the words begin to flow. The main character, Miles “Pudge” Halter, sets out to seek his “Great Perhaps” by transferring to a boarding school in Alabama. There he meets Alaska Young and a crew of rebellious but intellectual students. The first thrilling part of the story builds up to one defining moment in Miles’s life, which is then closed by an emotional and, for me, life-altering conclusion.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This classic novel is one you must read thoughtfully to fully grasp. The writing is vibrant and filled to the rim with animation, but the well-told story is not as uplifting as you would first perceive. The messages in this text scream of importance both then and now. Fitzgerald hides a world of lessons behind his flashy characters, all of which have their own personal storylines and upheavals.

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns is a book I will most definitely re-read many more times throughout my life. John Green has the gift of transporting his readers right into the center of his character’s thoughts and sensations. In this thrilling coming-of-age novel, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen finds himself scheming with the notorious Margo Roth Spiegelman just before she disappears. Being one of the last people to see her, Q uses her love of the arts and unique destinations to track her. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Though Shelley’s novel is fictional, the underlying issues are frightfully realistic. The author speaks through her characters, warning humanity of the dangers of curiosity. The writing is both Gothic and Romantic, inviting all types of readers to question their existence in relation to the many relatable characters. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist and dreamer, sets out to be the first to do the undoable: create life within an inanimate being. I will admit that this novel is a difficult read, for I read and understood it with the guidance of a class, but its ideals are so important in this day and age in which technology is growing at a faster rate than our population. With the use of other powerful literature and religion, Frankenstein is one of the few novels I will forever think of while examining the reality and society around me. 


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