San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Favorite Summer Reads

Summer reads

With summer break comes lots of freetime and, therefore, probably enough time to read a book. This summer, I read a lot of very good books. So, welcome (or welcome back) to book reviews with me! This edition, I will be reviewing a few of my favorites from the summer.

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
A long, long time ago, in a moment of desperation, a girl named Adeline made a horrible mistake. In 1700s France, Addie makes a terrible bargain that will cost her everything she has ever known. After she makes a deal with a god, Addie is able to live forever, but never be remembered by anyone. She is cursed to live as a ghost forever, without being able to make a mark in the world.
For hundreds of years, Addie roams the world trying to live her life to the fullest, even if she cannot exist in it. And every year, the man who cursed her returns, checking if she is ready to give up. It will be three hundred years until she finds a flaw in her curse, when she stumbles into a bookstore. And someone remembers her name.
I first saw this book when a friend of mine started reading it. She said it was too slow — but I loved it from the first chapter. The book is a mix of perspectives from the two characters, Addie and Henry, and it changes from modern day to years and centuries before. Since the character Addie is immortal, the book gives a really cool perspective on certain historical events she’s lived through. The book has a really unique plot with how it tells the story to you. I really liked how the book introduced you to characters; it gave insight on how they acted, what they liked, and so on. It really made me feel closer to the characters.
“I thought it was the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. I really liked the book, but it was really good at the beginning, but after the first 50 pages, I was flying through it,” said freshman Ariyana Haley. “I’d recommend it to avid readers or people who read all the time.”
Overall, the book was really well written and I felt like I knew the characters themselves by the end.
My Rating: 4.5/5 (It was a really amazing book, but some parts of the plot were missing)

Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+
Marie Antoine is the spoiled daughter of an incredibly rich sugar tycoon in 19th century Montreal. Adored by all the other children in the Golden Mile, Marie lives a life of luxury as their leader. Until a girl named Sadie Arnett moves into the neighborhood. When they meet, the two are immediately drawn to each other — opposites, but somehow the same. But as their friendship progresses, something dark blooms, and their childlike games soon become deadly.
When the duo is forced to separate, they spend their teenage years in separate acts of innocence and chaos. But as they grow older, a single event forces the two of them back together. As Marie inherits her father’s sugar empire and Sadie is pulled into the city’s underworld, who knows what will happen?
From the moment I started this book, I really could not put it down. The writing style was different from many books that I had read, but not in a bad way. I loved how much it contrasted between the two perspectives of the characters. Sadie and Marie lived such different lives, and I feel like the book really showed the reader that. It is also a really good book because you get to know so much about the characters themselves. By the end of it, you could see what kind of people they really were. I also enjoyed how the background conflicts of the book were knitted together with the character’s conflicts. All in all, the book kept a fast pace from the beginning. It was a page-turner, and I loved everything about it.
My Rating: 4/5 (I really liked it, but some parts were wordy or too confusing)

PSYCHE AND EROS by Luna McNamara
Genres: Greek Mythology Retelling, Romance, Fantasy
A prophecy claims that the child of the king and queen of Mycenae will defeat something that even the gods fear. The parents are overjoyed and ecstatic. Their son will be a hero! But everyone is surprised when their firstborn child is not a son— but a daughter. But this changes nobody’s mind. From a young age, Psyche spends her childhood mastering bow and blade, preparing for her destiny.
But when Psyche angers the goddess Aphrodite, she sends Eros, the god of desire, to deliver a nasty curse. A poisoned arrow fashioned to destroy the princess’s life. But when Eros touches the arrow made for Psyche, he finds himself doomed to love a woman who will be separated from him the moment their eyes meet, forever.
I never really intended to read this book, but I found it while in a bookstore and ended up choosing to buy it. As soon as it started, I loved it from the beginning. The contrast between the stories of Eros and Psyche was really cool. Their lives are very different: a princess destined for greatness, and a god tired of his powers being abused by others. While Psyche lives a life destined for greatness, Eros is either hated or adored for what his powers do to others. The author’s writing style was really nice, and it was cool to see familiar characters from other mythology in the background of the story. And once the book picked up in pacing, every twist and turn just made the book more and more interesting.

My Rating: 3/5 (It was really good, but some parts were hard to understand, or didn’t make sense according to the story it was based off of)

With that, I mark the end of this month’s book reviews. Thank you for reading. If you are looking to find some other good reads, you should check out the SMHS library to look at their great selection of books. See you in the next edition.

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About the Contributor
Anna Jacobsen
Anna Jacobsen, Staff Writer
Anna is in 10th grade at San Marcos High School. She has been a part of The King’s Page since her Freshman year. Her favorite section to write in is A&E. Her favorite subjects in school are History and English. Anna is a part of the water polo and swim team, and she likes to read and spend time with friends in her free time.
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