A Bouquet of Books

Petra Borus and Emilia Juraszek

April break is fast approaching. With two whole weeks off, it is a perfect time to tackle your reading list. We have the perfect recommendations for you: full of beautiful settings and descriptions with the sense of freedom and freshness of blossoming, spring flowers.

Our rating system:

1/5: It’s so bad I wanna give you a 0, but I can’t so I’ll give you a 1 

2/5: Wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy 

3/5: I plead the fifth

4/5: Snap girl, I think you dropped something… my JAW

5/5: I would sell all of my organs for this book


Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan


After years of living on the moon with her mother, Xingyin is in sudden danger courtesy of a visit from the Celestial Emperor. Remaining hidden is her only way of survival so Xingyin flees the moon, struggling through the unknown Celestial Kingdom. Will she be able to free the goddess of the moon from imprisonment through quests of peril?

Daughter of the Moon Goddess has beautiful writing. The countless descriptions of flowers and nature truly felt like spring. Even the cover itself is beyond gorgeous. As for the plot, it was very action-packed. I found this to be both a positive and a negative. While this meant that the novel was rather fast-paced with something always happening, at times it just felt like too much. For a 500-page novel, the storyline was drawn out quite a lot. There were multiple side plots that were rather irrelevant to the main ‘aim’ which finally occurs in part three. These were nice to read to see Xingyin’s development and adventures but perhaps the book could have been a bit shorter. 


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery


When orphan Anne Shirley is brought to the Green Gables farm of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, she finds out that they intended to adopt a boy instead of a girl. However, Anne manages to win them over, starting down a path of trying to fit in, growing up, and forging friendships of a lifetime.

I decided to read Anne of Green Gables after watching and loving the show, Anne with an E. Though the original book’s plot differs quite a bit from the TV adaptation, it grew on me just as much. This novel is full of the warm, fuzzy feelings that can be associated with childhood. Reading of the simple wonders of the world through Anne’s perspective made me reflect back to those simpler times when playing tag in the garden filled us with joy. Anne is such a complex character with great development. The things she does can sometimes be questionable and give me extreme second-hand embarrassment, but these ‘flaws’ and mistakes only make her a more relatable character and show how difficult it can be to navigate through the journey of growing up. Other than Anne, I was also invested in the storylines of the other characters, and I definitely shed a few tears at that scene towards the end. 

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston


Chloe’s main goal in her senior year is to beat Shara – the school’s most perfect, pink, and popular girl – at winning valedictorian. They have been academic rivals for as long as they can remember. But a month before graduation, Shara disappears after kissing Chloe, her high school sweetheart Smith, and Rory, Chloe’s neighbor. To find her, the three strangers must decode the cryptic letters and follow riddle-like clues she left behind. 

I think I bought I Kissed Shara Wheeler only a few days after it was released, and it was such an anticipated read since I had already read McQuiston’s other books, both of which I really enjoyed and rated quite highly. As the Book Column’s first 3 star read, I don’t want to undermine her work. The plot was enjoyable and the characters had distinct personalities. But compared to McQuiston’s other books (One Last Stop in particular), I found it to be quite slow-paced and it just didn’t meet the (very) high standards that the previous books set. Nevertheless, I Kissed Shara Wheeler is packed with developing characters, relatable humor, everyone’s favorite tropes, and awareness on identity crises. I think the context it’s set in is perfect for the Year 13s anticipating their exams and graduation.


Ink by Alice Broadway


You can’t have any secrets in Saintstone. Every success, every failure, and every important moment is tattooed onto your skin, and later made into a book after you die. This way, the people you left behind can continue to say your name so that you are remembered. But if you are deemed unworthy of being preserved, then your book is burned and you are forever forgotten. Leora Flint always stayed true to Saintstone’s traditions and rules. But when her father passes away, concerns start to be raised about any crimes he may have committed, and secrets he may have kept.

I read the majority of Ink in one day, and it’s a great start to the Skin Books trilogy. Although I read this a long time ago, the main thing that I will always remember is the beautiful writing and atmosphere. I think I read it so quickly because it is very fast paced and there is always something happening, a conflict or a big decision. Although I think Ink is the best book out of the three, the series goes on to explore different aspects of this world while uncovering plot twists along the way.