The Bookstop: mystery, mystics, magic, with a side of revenge

Ansley Puckett, Reporter

As classes start back, assignments pile up and work-life balancing begins again, it might be hard to take time for yourself. So, reading for fun might be the last thing on your mind. However, healthy escapism from the woes of everyday life is a great way to destress after a long day on campus. With a mix of high fantasy, science fiction and paranormal, these six books are sure to delight and distract from everyday life. 


1. Angelfall by Susan Ee

What better way to distract yourself from class than with a post-apocalyptic story about evil angels? Set in Northern California after the invasion of Earth by angels, 17-year-old Penryn must set out to save her younger sister after she was taken by evil angels. Desperate to get her back, she’ll do anything she can, including partnering with the disgraced and wingless angel, Raffe. After deciding to travel to the angel stronghold in San Francisco, Penryn and Raffe find that their goals are more similar than they originally thought. 


2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

This magical book is unlike any others. Set around a mysterious circus that arrives without warning and only opens at night, a battle between two magicians is brewing. Forced into the battle by their instructors and trained since childhood, Marco and Celia find themselves in a competition where only one can be left. However, when the two fall in love, they must navigate through their situation, the night circus and its mysterious performers and patrons. 


3. The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull

If magic isn’t your thing, then maybe aliens are. In this novel, the people of the Virgin Islands have lived with the alien race Ynaa for five years as the advanced aliens complete a research mission unknown to the locals. However, when the relationship becomes strained, a young boy dies at the hands of the Ynaa, and three families find themselves in a fight that will teach everyone a horrific lesson. 


4. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Set in an almost early modern world, this book follows three women, Queen Sabran the Ninth, Ead Duryan and Tané. While Sabran must have a daughter to protect her realm, assassins grow closer. Meanwhile, Ead keeps a watchful eye on the queen as a lady-in-waiting and a mage in a secret society. Far from both Sabran and Ead, Tané has trained in the art of riding dragons since she was a child but is facing a choice that could change her life forever. While these women are dealing with their own problems, the divided world grows closer and closer to chaos.


5. The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

Jake Livingston is having a hard time fitting in at St. Clair Prep. Not only is he one of the only Black kids at his school, but he can also see the dead, like all the time. Most are harmless, but when Jake encounters Sawyer, a vindictive ghost who shot and killed six kids at a high school last year before killing himself, Jake’s life goes from bad to worse. Now, not only does Jake have to navigate high school life, but he also has to survive Sawyer’s dangerous game. 


6. The Perfect Ruin by Shanora Williams

This mystery novel will let you distract yourself with revenge. Ivy Hill’s life was changed forever by brutal tragedy. Years later, in her 20s, she discovers who is to blame for the event that ended her perfect family. Lola Maxwell is a wealthy socialite that Ivy plans to take everything from. Ivy infiltrates Lola’s social circle and plans to win over her husband, but what starts as a revenge plot slowly turns into something Ivy can no longer control.