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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Summer Must-Reads

Chloe Reum

Looking for your next great read? Whether you’re in the mood for an intriguing mystery, tearjerker, compelling saga, or just an escape, these top 5 juicy, yet moving books are perfect warm-weather reads.

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth:

If you loved the Hunger Games series or just love Chicago – I guarantee you will love Divergent. Taking place in a futuristic Chicago, the city has been divided  into five separate factions, each one representing a particular virtue of humanity: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). Every year, all sixteen-year-olds are required to take an aptitude test that categorizes them into the faction they truly belong to – ultimately deciding whether or not to transfer from their faction to a different one for the rest of their lives. The storyline mainly focuses on sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior who, after taking the aptitude test, shockingly doesn’t fit neatly into any one faction, and is proclaimed “Divergent”. Soon, Beatrice learns the true power—and danger—of what it means to be Divergent…


“John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects–life, death, love–with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion (Booklist).”

The Fault In Our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a sixteen year old with terminal cancer, who is depressed and struggling until she meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two feel instantly connected, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and an immense charm. Readers will watch them fall in love and enjoy life together even as they face universal questions concerning their fate. How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning? John Green’s writing displays a raw honesty of life that readers will find deeply moving.


Moving away from her Harry Potter days, J.K. Rowling recently released her first bestselling book directed towards an adult audience, The Casual Vacancy. The novel is set in a town called Pagford, and begins with the death of beloved Parish Councilor Barry Fairbrother, opening a seat on the council. However, a conflict emerges before the election when his  successor takes place. Factions develop and those running for the position soon find their darkest secrets revealed on the Parish Council online forum, ruining their campaign and leaving the election in turmoil.

The novel highlights major themes including class, politics and various social issues.

BURGESS BOYS by Elizabeth Strout:

Forever scarred by the horrendous accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. However, their escape from home is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home for desperate help. The novel interestingly portrays the Burgess brothers returning to the haunting landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that has shaped and shadowed their relationship begins to emerge in unanticipated ways – ultimately changing them forever.

Through Elizabeth Strout’s remarkable storytelling, exquisite prose, and astonishing insight into character, she brings to life two profoundly human protagonists with struggles and triumphs that will immediately connect with readers.

KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard:

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard recount one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, after the America’s Civil War finally comes to an end, Lincoln’s dream of healing a divided nation was nearing reality. But one man and his accomplices were not satisfied. In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre – leading up to a furious manhunt for Booth, the country’s most wanted fugitive. Featuring some of history’s most remarkable figures, vivid detail, page-turning action, and most importantly, the truth of the assassination, Killing Lincoln is a historical thriller you won’t be able to put down.


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