“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman
In a world in which starvation, disease, war, death and misery are excised from the lives of human beings, life seems untouchable until it is “gleaned,” or taken by the Scythes. These select few human beings are regarded as superior by the rest of the race, and are faced with immense training protocols and a final examination to successfully become Scythes, those who are tasked with controlling overpopulation through random and unbiased killings. Both Rowan and Citra, the protagonists, are chosen in an unexpected turn of events to become apprentices and learn the ways of the Scythes. Through this journey, they find the truth about the corrupt Scythe society and are challenged to become Scythes themselves.
Neal Shusterman, a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, sets the story in a society that has many questioning the authority who created it. The novel takes a modern twist on the issue of overpopulation and creates a plausible society that can fascinate many.
“[‘Scythe’] keeps you on your toes wondering what’s going to happen next the whole time, all while talking about issues we might face in the future,” senior Jordan Nichols said.
“And then there were none” by Agatha Christie
Simple nursery rhymes can be more than what they seem.
A getaway weekend hosted by an eccentric millionaire gathers a group of 10 strangers, all with tainted pasts, due to the crimes they committed. Unwilling to reveal the truth about their past, they are fated with murder as penance. On their so-called getaway to the millionaire’s mansion, a nursery rhyme is plastered in every room, with the ominous ending: “and then there were none.”
One by one, each of the strangers are to be murdered in the exact way the rhyme states as the weekend comes to an end.
There are many questions left to be answered throughout the compelling mystery that classic novelist Agatha Christie tells. With complex character depth and an intriguing plot, this story is definitely one that can attract a diverse group of readers while having the power to transport a reader as an escape from reality.
“Most of us, in our everyday life, are not murderers or poisoners,” English department chair Mary Kay Downes said. “But when we read about it and we find out that evil is always trumped by good, it gives us a great feeling.”
“Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo
Imagine a night out with your best friend and boyfriend, only for you to end up as the sole survivor of a brutal homicide. Then, suddenly waking up in a hospital to receive an offer that changes your life: to be able to attend Yale University. Galaxy Stern, better known as Alex, has never been one who was given such opportunities, and when the homicide occurs, she can’t help but question why she is chosen.
The benefactor that brings her this offer tells her that she will be enrolled in the school with only one cost: she must be inducted into a secret society, Lethe, known as The Ninth House of Yale. Agreeing to the offer, she moves to New Haven, Connecticut, and her story begins as she monitors the secret societies and discovers occult occurrences throughout the university. Many truths and disturbances are revealed about sudden paranormalities that impact these students’ lives.
Leigh Bardugo, author of the bestselling Grishaverse novels and a Yale alumna herself, creates a world that enthralls readers through the peculiarity of the story. Although this novel includes mature themes, it is definitely a read that can entertain and mystify many.
“Bardugo’s writing is captivating and edge-of-your-seat material,” senior Grace Kang said. “Her books are carefully crafted pieces full of suspense and tension.”