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It's Book Season: Get Cozy with a Great Story

By Emma Dognin and Guadalupe Villa Salas

Gone Girl

By: Gillian Flynn

Recommendation by Emma

Gone Girl is an entrancing psychological thriller that follows the case of a missing person. Nick and Amy Dunne are a seemingly perfect couple but on their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Many unpredictable plot twists seduce readers into turning the page. It tells the tale of the lies, manipulation, and chaos that comes from a dysfunctional marriage – but most of all, it is a tale of revenge.

As it is told in the first person switching back and forth between Amy and Nick, the full truth is unclear because early on, we learn that they are not reliable narrators. Although unreliable, the characters are still iconic.

If you like thrillers and unpredictability, this is certainly the book for you. Even if you don’t always like when right and wrong are blurry, we all could use a little chaos in literature to boggle our brains. Gone Girl is certainly the book to do just that and is truly unforgettable.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

By: Ottessa Moshfegh

Recommendation by Emma and Lupe

You may have heard of My Year of Rest and Relaxation or Ottessa Moshfegh through BookTok, but is it worth the hype? The answer is a resounding yes.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation tells the story of a detestable, unnamed, female protagonist in the early 2000s. She is selfish, depressed, and a liar. She has the goal of essentially sleeping for the whole year, which she refers to as her “hibernation," through whatever means necessary even if it means faking severe mental health conditions to be prescribed stronger sleeping medications. She spends the novel seemingly trying to erase her identity and put herself in an empty void of existence.

The book takes a new perspective on the idea of depression, anhedonia, and wanting to use sleep as a method of escapism and avoidance of a larger issue. The book also follows an increasingly popular trend of portraying mental health in fiction. There are times where the protagonist is relatable and times when she does something so chaotic and self-destructive that you have to step back and take a breather.

Like most of Ottessa Moshfegh’s books, there is a captivating oddness that intrigues readers while also slightly throwing them off their guard. If you like books with unreliable narrators, I highly recommend reading this one!

I’m Glad My Mom Died

By: Jennette McCurdy

Recommendation by Lupe

Many of us grew up watching Jennette McCurdy on iCarly and Sam & Cat, popular TV shows during the late 2000s. We got to know her and grew to love her as Sam, a tough, sarcastic, loyal, and hilarious girl. McCurdy’s acting has become a staple in the minds of many people.

What many of us don’t see is the intense pressure Jennette was under while she helped create a great form of escapism for many kids, essentially becoming a part of their childhoods. Within the book, she talks about her struggle with an eating disorder, a narcissistic mother, depression, and the heavy burden of being her family’s provider at such a young age.

While many of us don’t grow up with an eating disorder or a selfish and emotionally abusive mother, McCurdy’s impeccable storytelling will captivate you, leave you wanting more, and even inspire you to be better for yourself as Jennette McCurdy eventually does.

This is a book that even people who don’t enjoy reading should consider!

If Cats Disappeared from the World

By: Genki Kawamura

Recommendation by Emma

Whether you are a cat lover or not, you can’t help but be intrigued by a title like If Cats Disappeared from the World, the first novel written by Japanese author Genki Kawamura. The novel follows a man who is given a terminal diagnosis. He is then visited by the devil who agrees to let him live extra days in exchange for eliminating things from the world.

The novel explores the limitations to our existences, regret, and reflection of the value of things we take for granted.

The novel is bittersweet and certainly a touching tearjerker. It is a quick read that keeps you hooked with its snappy plot and deeper themes. It is certainly a good read to break your reading block and induce heartfelt emotions.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke

By: Eric LaRocca

Recommendation by Lupe

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke is an extremely short horror novel that has created a divide between readers. You either love the disturbing nature or hate the depravity and sadomasochism of stories like these.

We follow two lonely women, Zoe and Agnes, who meet through a queer online community board in which Agnes is trying to sell an antique apple peeler. The book is written through emails and text messages between them, adding a layer of disturbance to the story, as it feels like we are experiencing the raw nature of their relationship. We watch as their relationship grows from strangers to girlfriends, and eventually becomes toxic, leaving Agnes dead.

If you enjoy deeply unsettling books that delve into the darker aspects of the human psyche, this is the book for you!

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