Indiana Area Senior High School

By TEAGAN MERRIMAN – With the end of the school year approaching rather quickly, students may find themselves juggling the extra time brought forth by summer break.  

As a student who has always had a love and passion for reading, I know that those like myself are always on the prowl for a new book to get their hands on, especially during the summer.  Below are some of the best books to dive into over break.

  1. Needful Things – Stephen King

Suggested by senior Sandy Milby, Needful Things follows the story of protagonist Alan Pangborn.  The story involves a shop that primarily sells collectibles and antiques, managed by a newcomer to small town Castle Rock, Maine.  Things turn sour, however, as patrons of the store are prompted to perform a prank or strange favor as a form of payment for the items that each patron is drawn to.  Milby stated, “I would recommend the novel Needful Things by Stephen King.  Needful Things is an interesting read that is filled with small-town drama that turns deadly.  It has really good life lessons throughout the novel that every reader could learn from.”

  1. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

Growing up surrounded by wealth, Cadence Sinclair spends every summer on her family’s private island, where she and her cousins are free to do as they please.  However, Summer Fifteen, as Cadence refers to it, changes everything, and comes with serious consequences.  The novel encompasses themes of self-acceptance and family morals, all while coming with a twist that no reader would see coming.  This book has long remained one of my personal favorites, and anyone who reads it is unable to deny the impact the book, especially the ending, has had on them.  “I really enjoyed the book because the storyline is something that a lot of people can kind of dream living in and where you as the reader want to put yourself in the book as a character.  I would never have expected the book to end as it did (and I mean that in the best way possible), and it’s absolutely worth the read if you want a book you won’t ever want to put down,” stated senior Hannah Reilly.

  1. The Female Persuasion – Meg Wolitzer

A new age feminist novel, The Female Persuasion has become one of my favorite books as of recently.  The story begins with Greer Kadetsky, a young college student who is entering the real world as a young woman who doesn’t quite know her place.  She eventually runs into a renowned feminist speaker, Faith Frank, who changes her life indefinitely.  Greer follows Faith on a journey in which she discovers herself.  The ideas reflected in the novel truly align with the conflicts that every young woman faces in her own life – the abandonment of comfortable and familiar situations, facing mediocrity, the female instinct to place others before your own success, and so much more. 

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

A critically acclaimed novel, Where the Crawdads Sing has been a massive success among readers, being selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club as well as Barnes and Noble’s Best Books of 2018 list.  The novel follows the story of a young girl who leads a lonely life living in the North Carolina swamp.  The plot forges itself around a suspicious murder in which the protagonist becomes the main suspect, leaving readers desperate to know more.  Where the Crawdads Sing may also appeal to readers who, like myself, are drawn to historical fiction.  

  1. The House on Fripp Island – Rebecca Kaufman

Another mystery, The House on Fripp Island follows the story of two families and is a classic tale of wealth, poverty, and pride.  The Daylys and the Fords vacation to beautiful and sunny Fripp Island, South Carolina, making this novel the perfect summer read.  Each person comes to the island with deeply buried secrets of their own, all of which will eventually unravel and leave the truth sitting out in the open, but not before it’s too late. 

  1. The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Later turned into a film, The Life of Pi follows the story of an Indian boy named Pi, who later becomes stranded for 227 days after a shipwreck with a tiger.  The novel was originally rejected by five publishing companies, despite the slew of prizes and awards it has received since publication.  Senior Chloe Kocinski, who suggested the book, noted, “The book overall has an amazing plot with just enough action to make it interesting and a super amazing plot twist at the end that left me stunned.”  

[Photo by Teagan Merriman]

Photo Caption: “Senior Fima Sissoko reads her favorite book in between classes.”

Teagan Merriman


Teagan is a senior and first-year reporter for the High Arrow.  She enjoys playing volleyball at IHS and is also a member of the diving and lacrosse teams.  She is excited to be writing for the High Arrow this year.