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Now that the stress of this academic year is well and truly over, it’s about time to relax and recharge ourselves for September. What better way to unwind than with a decent book to read? Whether you’re soaking up vitamin D at the bottom of the garden or sunbathing on an exotic beach somewhere, here are few books to keep you entertained over the summer:

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
You’ve probably seen this advertised everywhere recently, and have maybe been to the cinema to watch the film, but in the age old debate of book vs film, the original story definitely comes out on top. I know this for a fact because even my Dad read it and loved it. Before you write it off as a soppy romance novel, allow me to explain how it is exactly the opposite. Will Traynor is involved in an accident and finds himself adjusting to life in a wheelchair with little use of his body, whilst Lou Clarke is employed by his mother to be a carer and companion for him. Though they find love in unlikely circumstances, what’s great about this book is that there are so many other things going on as the author shows us life from another perspective and tackles difficult issues that are really under-represented in literature.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, I’d recommend reading the book first. Plus, if you love it as much as I did, you’ll be happy to know that the sequel, ‘After You’, has just been released.

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
A book such as this may not have been the light hearted summer reading you had in mind, but Matt Haig’s real life account of his experience with depression is truly eye opening. For a book with heavy subject matter, it is surprisingly uplifting and can help you come to appreciate your life in a new way. There are moments of sadness intertwined with moments of joy and I think this is a book that benefits everyone who chooses to read it. The writing style is great if you aren’t much of a reader or just prefer shorter chunks to read as some of the chapters are simply lists or conversations.

As a lover of books, it’s wonderful to see how Matt Haig shows us that ‘words, just sometimes, really can set you free’.

Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
This is a book that I haven’t got round to reading yet but it will definitely be coming on holiday with me. Until now, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was Harper Lee’s only novel, but the release of her second has been one of the biggest literary events of this decade. The book contains many of the iconic characters from the first book, being the original story that Harper Lee submitted to her publisher, and is a must read for those who enjoyed ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

The Girls – Emma Cline
Emma Cline’s first novel, released about a month ago, is already in line to be one of the best reads of 2016. A coming of age story set in 1969, a young girl finds herself caught up in an unusually functioning gang. The protagonist reflects back on her time as a teenager, the battle between danger and belonging, loneliness and trouble. Be sure to put this one in your suitcase this summer and make sure you layer up the sun cream – you don’t want to burn to a crisp if you’re unable to put it down!

The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley
If you’re looking for something gripping and unusual, then this could be the poolside book for you. Hurley tells a unique story from the point of view of a narrator who is clearly disturbed by his past. With elements of gothic fiction, this tale of rituals, faith and a troubling childhood is sure to keep you entertained this summer.

I dare you to try and put these down! Happy reading!

Alex Waterson lives in Our Liberty Quay Student Accommodation Newcastle Upon Tyne. She is studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria University and is currently in her first year.

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