Outlander (1991)

By: Diana Gabaldon

I started reading this novel when I was planning my trip to Scotland with my best friend. It follows the story of a WWII-era nurse that gets transported back to eighteenth-century Scotland and falls in with some highlanders. To save her life, she must marry one of the Scotsmen, though she still hopes to return home to her husband and her time.

Though I enjoyed the book when I started reading, I found it was so long, that I wouldn’t be able to finish it before I felt for Scotland. Plus, it was all very long-winded. Personally, I enjoyed watching the TV show more, which suited my needs just fine. That being said, I won’t be watching anything after the first season, given how it ended. But that’s just due to personal tastes about rape being in literature. I understand full well that it was a part of the time period, and is a very serious matter, but I prefer not to read about it.

Other than that, if you’re a fan of the series, of Scotland, of history, and/or of romance, check it out. Jamie and Claire are pretty adorable, and the story is compelling.

Ultraviolet (2013)

By: R. J. Anderson

One minute, Allison was arguing with Tori, and the next, Tori disintegrated into nothing. Allison goes into shock and is subsequently placed in a mental institution for a psychotic break. There, she has to discern if she’s, indeed, mentally unstable, or if there’s another explanation for what happened to Tori.

I loved this book. It was unlike anything else I’d read. Somehow both a sci-fi, mystery, and romance all wrapped into one, it checks a tone of boxes, without falling on clichés. If you’re looking for a decent sci-fi and some neat abilities, check out this book.

Famous Last Words (2014)

By: Katie Alender

The Hollywood Killer is at large. No one has any leads, but when Willa moves to L.A. after her mom remarries, she starts to see ghosts around her house. Then there’s the romance. Who should she pick: preppy Reed, her step-father’s assistant, or Wyatt, the guy that’s scary-obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

Honestly, this book took so many twists and turns, I had no idea who the killer was. It was fascinating to watch it all unravel, especially after watching the Scream TV series (which was a letdown towards the end. Come on, guys, diverging from the source material wouldn’t kill you!). If you’re into slashers, pick up this book.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life (2012)

By: Tara Altebrando

The last week of school before graduation finds the senior class participating in the unofficial senior week Scavenger Hunt. For twenty-four hours, teams must search for every item on the given list, which takes them all over their small town, without letting adults or school officials know what’s happening. Our protagonist, Mary, is dealing with her crush, the school bully, and her best guy friend liking her, all while trying to crush the competition (pun not intended).

So, I really enjoyed this book. More than I thought I would. But I have a few questions. If you’re racing against the clock, do you really have time to go swimming at someone’s house? If your friend and your crush like each other, do you really need to get upset about it and stop talking to them? Should we root for the best guy friend to get her heart in the end, or should we never want her to see him again?

I think it’s a sign of a good book that I’m considering that last one. That’s more what real life is like—messy, and convoluted, and confusing. And though I didn’t agree with the ending, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you're looking for some graduation nostalgia, definitely read it. It actually inspired a new novel I’m working on!