We’ve finally reached the end of another Spring Term, which means that finals are here whether we like it or not and that summer is right around the corner. While students and staff alike will probably take advantage of the free time to plan trips and visit loved ones, summer break also offers a lot of time to rediscover old hobbies that may have been neglected during the school year. I know personally that I haven’t been able to read or watch YouTube as much as I would have liked to this term, so I’m looking forward to catching up on what I’ve missed over the past few months. There’s a stack or two of books next to my bed just waiting to be picked up this summer, and I’m hoping to discuss a few of them in this final edition.
First off, we have “Under the Whispering Door,” which is by T.J. Klune, the author of the highly acclaimed book “The House in the Cerulean Sea.” I love his work, as it has gotten me out of a reading slump before, so I’m looking forward to this book immensely. The book follows the life, or rather death, of Wallace Price, a cold-hearted lawyer who dies of a heart attack and is soon approached by a reaper and a ferryman. Their job is to help souls accept death and cross over, Wallace being no exception. To do so, they bring souls to Charon’s Crossing Tea and Treats, which is basically a reclusive bed-and-breakfast for souls as they prepare to move on. Wallace, feeling robbed of his life, is given seven days to “live” before he will have to cross over to the afterlife. This story is often compared to Mitch Albom’s “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” or the highly binged show “The Good Place.” While it focuses on a sensitive subject, it is supposed to be a rather light-hearted read, and it features an LGBTQ+ romance, which makes it a perfect read for Pride Month.
One of the other books on my list for the summer is nowhere near as light-hearted as the last book I mentioned and is actually a rather popular mystery/thriller novel that has been circulating on “BookTok.” It is Alex Michaelides’ “The Silent Patient,” which centers around a woman with a seemingly perfect life – that is, until she decides to viciously murder her husband and refrain from ever uttering another word. She becomes famous as the so-called “silent patient” and is moved to a secure forensic unit where she can be watched. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, decides to study her, convinced that he can make her talk. Soon he becomes too involved and starts to lose himself in the case, making him question his own motives as well as hers. The book is known for its immense twists and turns, namely the big reveal at the end, so needless to say I’m curious to give it a read.
The final book I want to mention is well-known, as it has been made into a rather popular film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, as well as a TV series. It is “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffengger, which centers around Henry and Clare, the titular time traveler and his wife. Henry has a condition called “Chrono-Displacement Disorder”, which pulls him towards important moments in his life, past or future, at any given moment. The jumps are unpredictable, and Clare never knows when and where he will reappear, testing the relationship constantly. Readers are able to witness this romance through both points of view throughout the story as the lovers are constantly separated and reunited over and over again. While I don’t normally read romance novels, I expect this book to be perfect for those moments when I find myself missing my partner this summer, since it’ll remind me of how we’ll be reunited just like Henry and Clare one day.
While we still may have a few weeks before we taste freedom, I sincerely hope that you all get what you need this summer. For some, that may be time with friends from home, and for others, it may be treasured time doing absolutely nothing but relaxing after finals. For me, and some others, I hope that it is time for hobbies, peaceful nights spent reading and plot twists. Until next fall, I wish you all happy reading!