Spring book recommendations

by Aia Goldman and Eliana Megargee

“The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern

Image provided by Penguin Random House

Have you ever wished for a place filled with books where you could disappear and live among the stories for as long as you pleased? Then this book is just for you. A national bestseller from 2019, it’s perfect for any lover of whimsical, fantastical stories with twists and turns and an endless pool of imagination. The best way that I can describe the feeling of this book is that it’s a love letter to books and stories. It’s about an underground world of books and storytelling whose fate lies in the balance of those who wish to protect that world and those that wish to destroy it, but that’s just the beginning. There’s love, heartbreak, time-bending, mystery, pirates, and so much more. Be warned—once you start this book, you may not be able to stop until you finish.


“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab 

Image provided by Macmillan

Imagine a world where people could walk between alternate realities whenever they wanted. Where a coat could be turned inside-out into any coat you wanted it to be. This is the world of the “Shades of Magic” series, which opens with “A Darker Shade of Magic,” published in 2015. In this world, certain people have the ability to travel between the three alternate Londons (White London, Red London, and Grey London). Magic abounds, and things begin to get tricky when the balance between the Londons begins to fray. This book is a thrilling start to a fantastic trilogy that involves magic, pirates, royalty, combat, and so much more. Make sure to check out this amazing page-turner.

“A Song Below Water” by Bethany C. Morrow

Image provided by Macmillan

A wonderfully timely book, “A Song Below Water” tells the story of two adoptive sisters living in a fantasy world much like ours. One sister, Tavia, is a siren who must hide her power from a world that hates sirens- who only appear as Black women. The other sister, Effie, struggles with the trauma of an accident from her past as she realizes she might not be as normal as she thought she was. When a Black woman who’s accused of being a siren is murdered, Tavia and Effie find themselves in the middle of political and social unrest, with those in the most danger being people who look like them. This book perfectly deals with the all-too-real issues of racism and sexism in our country while also building a whimsical world full of sprites, gargoyles, and mermaids. It’s an easy and engrossing read that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend it to everyone who wants a story that, amidst its heartbreakingly real depictions of misogynoir, ultimately warms your heart with the beauty of sisterhood.

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” by Mackenzi Lee

Image provided by HarperCollins

The perfect mix of queer literature and historical fiction, “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” is the story of Henry Montague (or “Monty” for short), a young bisexual British lord, as he embarks on a Grand Tour of the European continent. Joining Monty on his journey is his sister Felicity, a teenage girl who wants nothing to do with the frivolous femininity of most women of the time, and instead dreams of studying medicine. Also traveling with the Montague siblings is Percy, Monty’s childhood friend and secret longtime crush. Early in their travels, Monty, ever the scandal, steals what he believes to be a useless trinket from the Palace of Versailles. When it is revealed that the item Monty stole is no mere knickknack, the three travelers find themselves living out a dangerous adventure they could never have dreamed of. This book is a wonderful read, filled with humor and suspense. It’s also very refreshing to seesuch diverse characters living and thriving in a time period where they are not often represented. “The Gentleman’s Guide” has some of the best representation I’ve ever seen, with the main character being an openly bisexual man, and the two supporting characters being a disabled and gay Black man and an aromantic asexual woman. If you are looking for a read that features unique and lovable characters on an adventure full of mystery, drama, romance, and pirates, I definitely recommend checking this book out.