The Book Edit

The+Book+Edit

Anna Welsh, Features Editor

During these uncertain times, I find comfort in diving into a good book. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been able to tackle my overflowing bookshelf and read amazing novels, ranging from autobiographies to mysteries, to coming-of-age novels and even non-fiction.

It has been a thrilling roller coaster of reading a smorgasbord of novels, so I have picked the very best four to share with you. Maybe, your next page-turning read is part of this list. 

First, an inspiring, raw example of female entrepreneurialism: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. This book illustrates one female’s crazy, innovative, empowering story from her early jobless days to creating a booming eBay store to the founding of her $100 million-dollar company with three-hundred and fifty employees.

After turning the very last page, I felt empowered to create and to enact change–to start something bigger than myself. Amoruso made me feel safe and reassured that any single person has what it takes, as long as they are committed, passionate, and are not afraid of breaking some rules or jumping a few hurdles.

This book is more than a biography; it is about how to be your true self in every aspect of life and be successful and happy while doing it. Here is a sneak peek of the motivating feedback that Amoruso shares with her readers:

“Your challenge as a #GIRLBOSS is to dive headfirst into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention” (Amoruso 136). 

 Having a twin changes everything. They are your built-in best friend, your confidant, your back-up, your partner in crime. For Noah and Jude in I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, this is more true than ever. They are complete polar opposites, but that’s what brings them together, making them an inseparable duo. However, this does not last forever.

Something or someone changes their lives and makes them more distant than ever. In this rollercoaster of a ride which covers three years of their lives, readers witness how the two make their way back to each other; Noah narrates the beginning years and Jude completes the later ones.

After reading this novel, I regained a feeling of satisfaction and pure joy, as I yearned to become the characters and live just a second in their world. This page-turner made me sit on the edge of my seat, laugh out loud, and tear up, all in one chapter. Below is a quote from the novel, as Nelson illustrates the crazy ways of destiny:

“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story” (Nelson 365). 

 One teenager in a skirt; one teenager with a lighter. Two completely different worlds that cross for eight minutes each day; eight minutes to change their lives forever. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater illustrates the true story of Sasha and Richard, in Oakland, California, and the hate crime that changed their worlds.

The book dives into the two distinctly different lives of Sasha and Richard and how the universe brought these two people together. These two people together, on a bus, for a few minutes.

This book explores topics of racism, gender identity, and forgiveness and changed my perception, gnawed at my heartstrings, and empowered me with passion pouring out of each page. Below is an excerpt detailing the fate and works of the universe which brought these two characters together:

“The 57 bus travels through both kinds of neighborhoods, traversing an eleven-mile path from one end of the city to the other. It begins at the northwest corner of Oakland and lumbers diagonally through the city, crossing the middle-class foothills where Sasha lived and where Richard went to school… Each afternoon, the two teenagers’ journeys overlapped for a mere eight minutes. If it hadn’t been for the 57 bus, their paths might never have crossed at all” (Nelson 7-8). 

One set of twins, a photo with only one baby, and one au pair. A family that is about to change forever, as history is catching up to them and the truth is finally coming out. In The Au Pair by Emma Rous, the Mayes family has a long tradition of having summer-born twins.

But, the twins never live.

Only one baby makes it and the other one, well… doesn’t. However, Seraphine and her brother Danny are the exceptions, but years later, Seraphine discovers a picture, taken on the day that they were born. The only issue: there is only one baby in the picture and their mother jumped off the cliff immediately after it was taken.

To add to the mystique, the au pair suddenly left the town and the villagers never muttered a word. But Seraphine stirs the pot as she must find out who the one baby is… and what really happened that day. A true page-turner, showing the darkest of family secrets, making you think, who can I really trust? Here is a peek into the mystery about to unfold in this riveting novel:

“The breeze dries my tears, and I turn my attention to the stone tower by the top of the cliff steps: the Summerbourne folly… I think of my grandmother’s face as she looked at that photo, and as she told me that Summerbourne will go to Danny… Has she made this decision because Danny has always been her favorite? … Or could it be something else –– could it be related to there just being one baby in that photo? Could it mean she has doubts about who I really am? … I need to talk to my brothers. I grit my teeth against the tiny voice that scratches inside my skull: But are they your brothers?” (Rous 35-36).