Sophia’s Column: My winter break book recs

Campus Editor, Sophia Giallanza, reflects on her favorite winter break reads.

Sophia Giallanza

Campus Editor, Sophia Giallanza, reflects on her favorite winter break reads.

Sophia Giallanza, Campus Editor

Although I only finished a grand total of two books this break, they certainly left a lasting impression on me. Filled with various twists and turns, each of these novels will certainly keep readers on their toes. In the spirit of this, I thought I’d share my thoughts on these books if anyone is in need of a cozy winter read. 

1. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

This one has been on my reading list for a while now but it was well worth the wait. At first glance, it may seem like a fluffy romance novel about a glamorous Hollywood movie star. However, this story was a wholly compelling take on complex issues still plaguing society today. The novel is centered around real life “tell all” of the elusive movie star Evelyn Hugo who, up until now, spent many years perfectly curating a facade for the public eye. Now that she’s willing to reveal the truth about her life to unknown journalist Monique Grant, devastating secrets come to light. By telling the tale of Evelyn Hugo’s seven husbands, Jenkins Reid brings awareness to issues of sexual abuse in the film industry, domestic violence against women and the silencing of LGBTQ+ individuals. As readers follow Evelyn’s life through the decades, it becomes clear that her strength and resilience got her through years of hardship while also aiding in her development as a morally gray character. I highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone, it quickly made my favorite book list! 

1. “Bunny” by Mona Awad 

If you’re in the mood for a mixture of dark academia and “Heathers” (1989), this book is definitely your scene. While it may seem confusing at first (and albeit throughout the entirety of the book) each layer reveals important aspects of the characters that come full circle in the end. Much like “Evelyn Hugo”, this novel has darker undertones that explore the complexities of mental illness and reality versus imagination. It’s centered around an English Lit graduate student and self proclaimed outsider named Samantha. However, Samantha soon finds herself in the midst of her academic colleagues, an all female friend group whom she calls the “Bunnies”. Through her tumultuous friendship, that may or may not involve cult-like manipulation and murder, Samantha takes a journey “down the rabbit hole” of self discovery. Awad uses magic realism to craft peculiar characters that are sure to capture the audience’s attention. If you decide to give this book a chance, pay special attention to details, the ending may give you quite a shock.  

Both these books were recommended by friends which prompted me to revisit reading once again. Overall, this experience really reaffirmed my choice to pursue an English major and hopefully was enough to make me continue to read for leisure in the future.