Crack Open a Book, Cougars!

Kean students talk about their favorite books to read in the summer with background and reviews

Features > Crack Open a Book, Cougars!

Two incoming seniors and Early Education Majors, Shalyn Spratt and Sarah Kynicki

Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer

Once school is out for the summer, most students shove their notebooks and textbooks under their beds or in lost corners, forgetting about them for the next three months. However, there is still that select group of bookworms who can’t wait to get their hands on some new books for the summer. 

Incoming seniors and elementary education majors, Shalyn Spratt and Sarah Krynicki both always try to keep a book in their hand, at least in the summer months. Spratt said, “I love to read so I almost always have a book that I’m *currently* reading, I try to read at least a couple of nights each week.” “During the school year I don’t read as much as I would like but during the summer I aim to get two books read before the start of the next school year," Krynicki shared. 

Being avid readers and elementary education majors, Spratt and Krynicki are constantly surrounded by Literature, whether that be from the books they read for pleasure or the ones they will be reading to their future students. When asked what their favorite summer reads were, Spratt and Krynicki provided a few titles, including: 

  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

  • Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley 

  • Turtle All the Way Down by John Green

The Poet X is a novel that is written in a more poetic structure, rather than the traditional novel format. The book follows a young girl named Xiomara, who uses her journal to escape the issues she has with religion and her strained relationship with her family. 

Spratt shared, “This is my most recent summer read and I loved it! It was an easy read because most of it is in poem form and it can relate to a lot of young adults in today’s society.” 

Things We Know by Heart is a romance novel about a teenage girl, Quinn who has just tragically lost her boyfriend, Trent. As we watch Quinn deal with this death, she goes through all of the recipients of Trent’s organs, as a way to be closer to him. The true story begins when Quinn accidentally falls for the recipient of Trent’s heart.

“This is another one of my most recent summer reads. I think it is a great read for those who love emotional romances. It is a pretty short read and reminds one of their first real teenage summer and their first love," Spratt said. 

The Hunting Party follows a group of college students as they go on a vacation in the Scottish Highlands during winter break. While there, one of their friends is found dead after a horrific snow storm and now they must search for the killer. 

Krynicki said, “The Hunting Party is a great book for summer because it gives the theme of friends going on vacation together. It is filled with drama and edge of your seat thrillers." 

Turtles All the Way Down is a novel about high school romance, friendship, loss and mystery. All the while, looking into the mind of a 16 year-old girl who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). 

Turtles All the Way Down is a good summer reading book because it helps one understand a little bit more of what someone else can be going through. I love reading John Green books throughout the summer because I enjoy his writing style,” Krynicki shared. 

These students thoroughly enjoy the books they choose to read on their ‘time off’, finding not only life lessons in these novels but an escape to a whole new world too. Whether on a beach, in their backyard or somewhere with their feet up, one can find these two with a good book in hand. 

Let’s get reading! 

about the author

Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer

Jaclyn Lukas is an English major with a concentration in writing. She joined The Cougar’s Byte staff in Spring 2021. After her time at Kean, Jaclyn hopes to start her professional career in publishing for books or newspapers/magazines.