Favorite summer reads from Books staff writers

Reviewer: Renn Elkins ’20 

Book: “Going Bovine” by Libba Bray 

Fun fact: “I own six different editions of Les Misérables. It’s becoming a problem.”

I’m the type of person who makes a lot of book recommendations. In my many years of tossing books into the hands of my friends and family, there is one novel that has been a success with every single one of them: Libba Bray’s “Going Bovine.” If an existentialist, surrealist and tragicomic journey across America narrated by a high school student with mad cow disease sounds up your alley, give it a shot. And if it doesn’t seem like your thing, check it out anyway — I can almost guarantee that you’ll be surprised, delighted and just a bit heartbroken by its brilliance. 


Reviewer: Isabel Rodriguez ’21 

Book: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Fun fact: “I am part of the MHC fencing team.”

One of my favorite books is “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.” It centers around Aristotle trying to figure out his life’s purpose, the impact of culture and the importance of family and friends. I related to the main characters and loved that there was a book I could see a reflection of myself in. The ending makes me so happy every time I read it.


Reviewer: Sidney Boker ’21 

Book: “Warriors” series by Erin Hunter

Fun fact: “My favorite animal is the bottlenose dolphin!”

The “Warriors” series by Erin Hunter has an embarrassingly special place in my heart. It is about prophecies, battles and cats who live in clans. I started reading them when I was nine years old, and those books turned me from an occasional reader to a book-eating monster! As of now I have read 24 of Erin Hunter’s 70+ books.


Reviewer: Beata Garrett ’20 

Book: “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Fun fact:  “I have an Australian citizenship and my favorite genre is Sci-fi.”

Young Adult fiction often features a protagonist who walks a line between two worlds. Angie Thomas’s novel “The Hate U Give” depicts how black teenagers deal with systematic racism outside the black community and the difficulties within it. Thomas looks at police brutality, racial tensions, interracial romance and community in a novel that raises important questions about systematic oppression while remaining humorous and full of love.


Reviewer: Kate Flaherty

Book: “Daughter of Fortune” by Isabel Allende

Fun fact: “I have two baby mice named Daisy  Clover.”

While I love anything written by Isabel Allende, “Daughter of Fortune” is my favorite. Allende’s lyrical storytelling follows the journey of a young Chilean woman named Eliza. She travels to California during the Gold Rush, and along the way learns the meaning of love , freedom and self-knowledge. 


Reviewer: Deanna Kalian ’20 

Book: “Percy Jackson” series by Rick Riordan

Fun fact: “I’m an Ancient Studies major, in part due to this series.”

My favorite series is “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” by Rick Riordan, in which he masterfully weaves mythology and history together with modern life. The series and its spin-offs contain a plethora of diverse characters: black, Hispanic, Asian, Native, low-income and LGBT characters take center stage in later novels. It also portrays girls and women as strong and intelligent leaders. In writing his characters this way, Riordan gives each of his readers a hero.