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english student

5 books that every English student should have read by now

As an English student, I have to read a lot of books for my course. However, reading is also a hobby for me and my interests aren't purely academic.

I don't think a book has to belong to the canon in order to be valued and appreciated, sometimes it's just nice to read something a little less serious and hard to understand. Here are five of my favourite books to read.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is a book that many have already read as it is often taught on the syllabus in schools and colleges around the UK. I read this during my time studying English Literature at college and completely fell in love with it. I hadn't seen the film and really didn't know much about it; I actually thought this book would be a bit boring, and at first glance, if I'm honest, it is. It wasn't until I read it a second time that I understood a deeper meaning to the text and appreciated the messages this one gives off. I would highly recommend giving this book a chance and going into it with an open mind.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This is one of my favourite books ever. I would class this one as a thriller and it is part of a series of books. The characters are so well developed and the plot completely kept me on the edge of my seat, it's definitely one I couldn't put down and I would always pre-order the next books and wait impatiently for them to come out so I could find out more. I was incredibly sad when the original trilogy ended, and I can't wait to read the newer ones when I find the time.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
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This afternoon, I stopped by my local indie to sign stock, and I was startled to be greeted with a stack of hardcovers. Now, this store always carries a few of my hardcovers, but this . . . it was *large* stack. And I was overcome by a rush of gratitude. . I’m so thankful that: (A) the booksellers at @malapropsbookstore have been so supportive of my career from the beginning, and (B) readers are still purchasing my backlist in hardcover. That’s CRAZY, you guys. It’s something I never expected, nor ever even dreamed was a possibility. . I don’t think about these books very often because they belong to a different era of my life. I started writing ANNA in 2007. I’m not that same person anymore. I have a lot more battle scars, but I have a lot more joy, too. But it’s eleven years later, and I’m still signing these deeply personal stories in hardcover. That gives me goosebumps. . Thank you, readers and booksellers and librarians. You have given my girls so much love. 💗

A post shared by Stephanie Perkins (@naturallystephperkins) on

This is another book that's part of a trilogy. It tells the tale of an American girl moving to France for college and is entirely about her falling in love. Sometimes it's nice to read something that is so lighthearted, and this one made me incredibly happy to read, as did the other two books which are all connected as part of one universe. I love all three of them, but this one is where it started and is perfect if you want to be transported straight to France.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I had to read this in my first year of university for a module called Regional Writers. This book was so sad and beautifully written, I was surprised by how much I loved this one. It's a really complicated plot that I don't want to spoil, so you'll have to trust me on this one. Tess is such an inquisitive character and her story stays with you forever. You may even cry at the end. The book is a brilliant critique of how women were treated in the historical setting, I highly recommend it.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the book—or should I say trilogy—that really got me into reading, along with Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. The book is about a boy who was bitten and forced to turn into a werewolf. However, he doesn't always take this form and he definitely battles between his human instincts and his werewolf ones. This is also another love story between a human and a werewolf, but I felt like this was a lot different from your typical vampires vs werewolves narrative and I would recommend it to anyone. There are a lot of other characters involved too which will worm their way into your sceptical-of-werewolf-books heart.

Hopefully you've been inspired by this article to pick up a book and read. I definitely recommend the ones I've spoken about above as these truly stand out amongst the hundreds of books I've had to read for my studies.

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