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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Maddie’s Library: Summer reading highlights

Stephen Rowleys The Celebrants is funny and genuine, and is one of Maddies most highly recommended reads of summer break. (Photo courtesy of Goodreads)
Stephen Rowley’s “The Celebrants” is funny and genuine, and is one of Maddie’s most highly recommended reads of summer break. (Photo courtesy of Goodreads)

Summer has always been reading season for me, and this one was no different. Here are a few of the greatest hits from my break.

Best laugh-out-loud read: “The Celebrants” by Stephen Rowley

It is nearly impossible and wildly impressive to write dialogue as funny as Rowley does in both “The Guncle” and “The Celebrants.” His latest is equal parts heartfelt and silly and is an ode to the ways that friendship sustains us. A group of college friends decide to throw each other “living funerals” so it is never in doubt how much they mean to each other. Each friend can call the others into action at whatever point in their lives they need it most, and the adventure that ensues takes them from coast to coast and through trials that test their bond.

Best tearjerker: “The Collected Regrets of Clover” by Mikki Brammer

Brammer’s book follows Clover, a death doula who is charged with guiding patients through the ends of their lives. While helping hundreds through one of the most emotionally challenging experiences they can go through, Clover is struggling to forge connections with the living people around her. A love letter to grandparents and the people who never leave us, “The Collected Regrets of Clover” had me crying my eyes out in the seat of an airplane as I read the last pages.

Best romance: “The Seven Year Slip” by Ashley Poston

OG Maddie’s Library fans will recall that Poston’s first novel, “Dead Romantics,” got me hook, line and sinker. “The Seven Year Slip” takes on a similar paranormal storyline as Clementine grapples with the loss of her beloved aunt and falls in love with charming chef Iwan, who happens to exist seven years in the past. The pair’s chemistry is swoon-worthy if a bit saccharine, but where Poston shines is her bold willingness to simultaneously tackle grief and love. My major qualm that kept this from earning the five-star rank is that the rules of the universe that Poston created are a bit too convoluted. I found myself placing the book down to think through some of the logistics several times throughout, and I’m not always up for that challenge when I’m trying to escape into a romance.

Best thriller: “The Sun Down Motel” by Simone St. James

Part classic mystery and part ghost story, “The Sun Down Motel” follows a young woman named Carly as she moves to the same small town her aunt disappeared from in the 1980s and gets a job at the same abandoned motel where she was last seen. Told from the dual perspectives of Carly and her Aunt Viv, the story is an addicting depiction of the spiral of two obsessed amateur sleuths decades apart.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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