“The Rules of Attraction”
By Nicolas Luna

A perfect representation of university life.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ABEBOOKS.COM

Bret Easton Ellis, famous for the novel “American Psycho,” also wrote a book called “The Rules of Attraction.” TRA is a brutally honest biography of the college experience as it covers drug use, coursework, loss, the hook-up culture, and growing pains. The myriad of main characters’ lives intertwine and the reader has a front-row seat to watch the frustrations they deal with.

I read this book earlier this year and peeled through it in about a week. Ellis’ writing style is beautifully candid and he speaks through each character like it was himself. While it is set at a fictitious New England university in the 1980s, the experience of the characters is universal, and it’s both reassuring and disappointing that the college experience has remained relatively the same through the years. This summer, when you’re inevitably staring at the wall, make sure you have this book, or any other novels by Ellis, to keep yourself from going crazy.


“The Woman in the Window”
By Madi Williams

Nothing like a good thriller in the middle of summer.

PHOTO BY ALYSSANDRA GOSS

A.J. Finn is the author of “The Woman in the Window” that debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers List. This psychological thriller takes you into the life of the Agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox — the fear of places or situations that might cause panic, helplessness, and embarrassment. Due to this phobia, she never leaves the house at all nor does she interact with many people, aside from her doctors and roommate. However, she manages to stay in the loop by watching her neighbors through a camera just to see what they are doing. 

Soon, Anna gets a new neighbor — a family of three — and she gets close to the mother of the family. One night, while watching the house, she witnesses something happen to the mother and she soon becomes fearful of who her neighbors really are. She calls the police but they don’t believe her, even her doctors don’t fully believe her, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. 

The book has a couple of big plot twists that you may or may not see coming, and these twists bring the whole book together and ultimately offer the reader closure once the end is reached. 

Due to the book’s popularity, it’s being turned into a movie — the release date was May 15, 2020 but due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, it seems the release date was put on hold. So while you’re keeping a lookout for the release of the movie, I urge you to read the book and see which is better.


“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”
By Andrea Nadal

Haunting short tales from folklore and urban legends.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NOFSPODCAST.COM

The first book in the series was released back in 1981 with stories written by Alvin Schwartz and erie images drawn by Stephen Gammell. These tales fall into the horror genre and were inspired by folklore and urban legend. Though, despite the masterfully written and utterly haunting tales that take place within the page, it is the ink and charcoal drawings that seem to captivate the masses. Truly ensnaring the minds of many and leaving the stories in the crevices of our minds. Ready to jump out again at the right moment. 

These award-winning books, filled with short horror stories for children, are surrounded by an air of nostalgia when being discussed by many. They were classics to tell around the campfire and my grade school best friend and I were guilty of scaring kids several years younger than us with our retelling of these tales. I’d memorized a number of them with my own added flares and dramatic pauses. Samantha had rehearsed just the right sound effects to make as she hung in the wind … and we always knew just the right moment for a jump scare. 

All of this to say that these fun and creepy tales are a perfect match for any summer camping that you have planned. Just be sure you don’t accidentally summon something sinister …

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