A Book For Every Occasion: The Wildcat Staff Names Its Favorite Reads

With the long holiday break upon us, students and staff finally have some time to spare to get lost in a great book (or two). So if you’re looking for something new to explore, check out any of these 19 all-time favorites of Wildcat staff members.

Educated (2018) by Tara Westover

Doyon Kim (Editor-in-Chief): “I was inspired by the memoir, because in it, Westover was able to make the most out of her poor living conditions in which she was abused and lacked education. She got to such a happier and healthier point in her life despite lacking the basic support she needed. I aspire to be as strong and determined as her.”

Throne of Glass (2012) by Sarah J. Maas

Amber Kim (Foods Editor): “This was the book series that rekindled my love for reading during the pandemic. It’s an addicting fantasy series with a witty, resolute, and strong female protagonist alongside a beautifully complex storyline; by the end of the series, you’ll feel a personal connection to most, if not all, of the main characters.”

Hopeless (2012) by Colleen Hoover

Vanessa Jo (Staff Writer):Hopeless is the type of book that’s addicting to the point that you can’t stop once you’ve started reading. It’s not your typical comfort read, but it’s very sentimental and puts you in your feels — the perfect rainy day read.”

The Song of Achilles (2011) by Madeline Miller

Jasmine Youn (Feature Editor): “It’s hard for me to put into words why I love the book so much. I just remember finishing it and feeling so heartbroken and relieved at the same time. (It’s actually the first book I ever cried over.) The story is so beautifully written, I couldn’t put the book down. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how the ending made me feel.”

Caraval (2016) by Stephanie Garber

Natalie DiCesaris (Opinion Editor): “I love the way it’s written. It’s not like your average young adult book because the characters have a lot of layers to them.”

The American Royals (2019) by Katharine McGee

Melea Altermatt (A&E and Lifestyle Co-Editor): “I like it because it goes through the different perspectives of each character. It takes you through the journey of what it would be like if we had a monarchy in modern day society.”

We Were Liars (2014) by E. Lockhart

Katie Kudron (A&E and Lifestyle Co-Editor): “I really liked the way We Were Liars was written; it has a plot twist at the end that is super-surprising and memorable. This book starts off with a big mystery, and by the end, all of the puzzle pieces fit perfectly, creating a clear picture. ”

Hunger Games (2012) by Suzanne Collins

Karis Choi (News Co-Editor): “The Hunger Games was one of the first hard “chapter books” I read and actually liked. I loved how every time I read it, I want to keep reading because there is something new or surprising every time.”

Land of Stories (2012) by Chris Colfer

Claire Seo (Photographer): “The old folk tales incorporated into the story make me feel a sense of nostalgia. As a child, I loved seeing a reimagined take on mixing classic fairytale characters all into one book universe.”

The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009) by Jenny Han

Charlize Chiang (Photo Editor): “It’s an innocent love story that is cute and relatable. Not only does this book take me back to summer memories, but in a way, it felt as if I was growing up alongside the book’s protagonist.”

The Maze Runner (2009) by James Dashner

Faith Jimenez (Sports Editor): “I love The Maze Runner because I enjoy action-filled books, and how it’s a trilogy, so each book ends with a cliffhanger. As a fan of dystopian fiction, I enjoyed this dark take on a post-apocalyptic world.”

Beach Read (2021) by Emily Henry

Lana Tran (Staff Writer): “I could not put this book down. It introduced me to a new genre I loved and was interested in as a hopeless romantic. Both of the protagonist’s character development is so interesting to follow. It’s a profound book that makes you look at life in a new light.”

War Cross (2017) by Marie Lu

Noelle Dominado (News Co-Editor): War Cross is fast-paced and has a strong female lead. She is very smart and independent and is just someone I definitely look up to. I’m all about female empowerment, and this book is the epitome of that.”

Prince Charming (2018) by Rachel Hawkins

Kaylee Jo (Staff Writer): Prince Charming is a very simple love story that incorporates both modern and traditional fairytale aspects. This is perfect for anyone wanting a lighthearted, fluffy romance read with a hint of royalty.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events (1999) by Lemony Snicket

Alexis Alexander (Photo Manager): A Series of Unfortunate Events series is full of mysteries, twists, and turns. As a child, it was inspiring to witness (through reading) what three talented and independent kids could achieve despite all of their struggles.”

A Night Divided (2015) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Kasia Alexander (Photographer): “I like the novel because it’s full of adventure and thrills. I really like how the author portrays the characters and the hardships they go through because of what is happening around them.”

One of Us is Lying (2017) by Karen M. McManus

Rachel Lim (Staff Writer and Illustrator): One of Us is Lying is very suspenseful, and the ending is the complete opposite of what I expected. The mystery and constant thrill of the book stopped me from putting it down right until the end.”

Dork Diaries (2009) by Rachel Renee Russell

Isabella Abalos (Photo Manager): “I always read this series as a kid and have the whole collection, and I felt like the main character was someone I could relate to. It’s a relatively easy book that perfectly tackles topics of romance, friendship, and school life for anyone transitioning into adulthood.”

The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy

Alex Koers (Advisor): The Road is my favorite novel because as a father, I can really relate to the protagonist’s protection of his son. (The novel is about a father leading his young son to safety during an apocalypse.) I also love Cormac McCarthy’s writing style.”