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Books to Read Over Break

I’ve heard every excuse in the book when it comes to reading. And I’m not saying they’re invalid—we’ve all been there. Sometimes you don’t have enough time, sometimes you just… don’t want to (been there, I call it a slump), or maybe you think you just don’t like reading. Christmas break is a wonderful time to read.You have more than enough time, both to read and to find the motivation to do so. And as far as people who claim they don’t like to read, I present the generic answer you’ve probably heard a hundred times: you just need to find the right book/genre. There are nearly 130 million published books. I guarantee there’s something you’d like.

Additionally, reading is incredibly beneficial. Not only to your vocabulary, reading comprehension, and SAT prep, but as a way to improve your writing, memory, and reduce stress. So take the time over break and read. And if you don’t know what you want to read… that’s what this is here for.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

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This world-renowned book is a rather generic recommendation, although that doesn’t make it any less valid. Rowling envelops the reader in a world of magic and fantasy that will leave you wanting more as she tells the story of the Boy Who Lived. Northern Highlands Regional High School freshman Michael Reifman states that “Rowling has incorporated an entire Christmas scene in this book, making it the perfect winter break curl-up-read. Harry Potter gives off warm, cozy and familiar feel to its reader making the holiday season feel all the more special,”. 

More like this:

  • The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare
  • Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
  • A Court of Thornes and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
  • Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi 


The Boy Next Door, by Katie Van Ark

The Boy Next Door is a more contemporary novel, and it is exactly what the title would lead you to believe. It’s the kind of book that you could sit down with, hot chocolate and a blanket in tow, and plow through in one sitting. The character and relationship development is wonderful, as a story of the evolving relationship between two figure skaters who’ve skated together their entire lives draws the reader in. The cutesy Christmas-movie-esque plot line makes this the perfect Christmas break read. 

More like this:

  • Out of Left Field, by Kris Hui Lee
  • Stay Sweet, by Siobhan Vivian
  • Geekerella, by Ashley Poston
  • What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera


Things We Know By Heart, by Jessi Kirby 

For those who’d rather read the kind of book that’ll make you cry and smile at the same time, Things We Know By Heart is perfect. It is, as author Sarah Ockler so perfectly articulated, both “heartbreaking and healing,”. It has all the aspects of a contemporary romance as well as those of a tragedy. It’s a definite tear-jerker, telling the story of a high school junior who lost her boyfriend, Trent, to a tragic car accident and the person who received Trent’s donor heart.And sometimes having the time to just read and cry is good—and that’s exactly what Christmas break provides.

More like this:

  • The Secret History of Us, by Jessi Kirby
  • This is Where it Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp
  • They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera


13 Minutes, by Sarah Pinborough

13 Minutes caters more to those interested in mystery, with a plot that will leave you guessing until the last moment. Pinborough tells the story of a teen who, after being dead for a full 13 minutes in a freezing river, cannot recall the events leading up to her death. Throughout a riveting 352 pages, she leaves the reader guessing through plot twist after plot twist and a shocking conclusion.

More like this:

  • The Cheerleaders, by Kara Thomas
  • One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by E. K. Johnston
  • Body in the Woods, by April Henry


Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Science-fiction buffs will love this futuristic dystopian novel in which a boy living in a world in which virtual-reality is not merely for fun, but for everyday tasks (school, work, etc.). Throughout the book, Wade works to solve an in-game puzzle with the creator’s fortune at the end. He’s tried time and time again in the real and virtual world on his journey to solve the puzzle, meeting friends and crossing enemies along the way.

More like this:

  • Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir
  • Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

By: Brianna Washburn‘23, Staff Writer