Spring has sprung.
Spring brings a break from the gloomy weather, and students have an opportunity to break away from their winter woes.
English sophomore Amanda Ahearn sees the spring weather as the perfect opportunity to read a book.
“I enjoy going outside and finding a tree, or a patch of grass, and just sit down and read in the bright sun,” Ahearn said. “It is just an overall great mood to read in.”
Take advantage of the spring weather and dive into a new book. Here are some reads that are popular among Cal Poly students:
Mystery/Thriller: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
“It is very engaging, very intriguing — it’s definitely a page-turner,” Thorp said. “You literally cannot stop wanting to know what will happen next.”
The novel is half thriller-half mystery, and is divided into two parts, Thorp said.
“The first part of the book is a wife disappears and her husband is the suspect in that disappearance. So we kind of see the media behind — the media’s hoopla — behind this disappearance,” Thorp said. “The second half of the book is what happens from her perspective.”
Published in 2012, “Gone Girl” has quickly reached the national spotlight. It has spent 40 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list since its publication, according to The New York Times.
The novel is also rising in popularity at Cal Poly, Thorp said.
“This book is almost always checked out here,” Thorp said. “I would say it’s probably the most talked-about fiction adult book right now.”
Fiction: “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, author of the popular “Harry Potter” series is back — and with a whole new style.
Architecture junior Ana Love is an avid Harry Potter fan, so picking up Rowling’s latest work, “The Casual Vacancy,” was only natural.
“As a Harry Potter fan, of course I was going to read this new book,” Love said. “It’s interesting to see this completely different writing style. It is definitely much more grown-up than Harry Potter was.”
In “The Casual Vacancy,” Rowling steps away from the world of spells, wizards and witchcraft, and instead follows the lives and stories of a series of characters living in a small, English town, she said.
“It is a window into the English culture,” Love said. “It is set in modern times, so it is not historical fiction. It’s a modern-fiction story.”
The characters’ personalities and their stories are what make the book enticing, she said.
“Not all of the characters are necessarily likeable,” Love said. “There are some that definitely frustrate you, and that’s what kind of motivates you to keep on reading.”
Despite J.K Rowling’s past works, Harry Potter fans must be prepared for a side of Rowling they might not be used to, she said.
“(Fans) wouldn’t like it for the same reasons they liked Harry Potter,” Love said. “It’s completely different.”
A book to rediscover: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Extravagant parties, lavish lifestyles and steamy love affairs.
Despite its 88 years of age and its requirement in many English classes, “The Great Gatsby” is a favorite among Cal Poly students.
English sophomore Hanna Bovberg first read “The Great Gatsby” in high school, and it became one of her favorite novels to this day.
“In my junior year of high school, we dissected it, pulled it apart and analyzed every bit and piece of it,” Bovberg said. “And I just fell in love with the novel.”
The “Great Gatsby” is set in the Jazz Age, a time when America is amidst great social and economic change. How the characters interact during these changing times makes the story.
For Bovberg, it is this setting that makes the novel enjoyable.
“To be able to be transported into the 1920s, which is the Roaring ‘20s, and there is all the glamour, all the dresses, all of the parties — oh my goodness, all the parties,” Bovberg said. “It’s so much fun to be able to go back and experience this time period.”
Fiction: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
Out of all the books English junior Devon Hembury has read, she said “The Fault With Our Stars” is one of her favorites.
“It’s a book about two cancer patients,” Hembury said. “It’s just different than any other book that talks about the subject, mostly because they are younger. So it’s relatable. And I feel like everyone can kind of connect to them.”
The novel goes through the relationship between two teenagers who have been diagnosed with cancer. The novel shows their love story and also their cancer stories, she said.
Although “The Fault in Our Stars” touches on heavy topics, it does not consume the whole novel, she said.
“It is sad, but there is so much hope even though it kind of has a tragic ending,” Hembury said. “You just fall in love with the book and the characters. You feel bad for them, but like in a beautiful way.”
Another memorable aspect to the novel is Green’s writing style, she said.
“It is playful,” Hembury said. “It reflects his characters, and it is sarcastic and funny. I like how (Green) can bring out the comedic side and sarcastic tones, but at the same time, he’s talking about sad topics.”
Want to read more John Green? Check out his novels “Looking for Alaska,” “Paper Towns” and “An Abundance of Katherines,” or watch his YouTube video blog series VlogBrothers, which Green and his brother, Hank, host and produce.