New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Books beyond Bobst: A summer-set novel, an unconventional love story and more

Books beyond Bobst is a book-rec column highlighting what NYU students are reading now, outside of their classes. If you’re in need of a new read, look no further.

“Happy Hour” by Marlowe Granados

— Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor

An illustration of the novel “Happy Hour” by Marlowe Granados. A flower, a plate with a peach, a magenta napkin and a water vase sit on an orange table. An arm holding a wine glass leans on the table.
“Happy Hour” by Marlowe Granados (Illustration by Alisia Houghtaling)

New York in the summer has a particular feeling to it. The feeling may just be one of thick, thick air, but there’s still something peculiarly special about the heat emitting off of fellow New Yorkers in the subway car and the lazy drags of people’s feet on the hot pavement. I felt like this while reading “Happy Hour,” as I was transported into Isa and her best friend Gala’s New York City summer.

Isa and Gala are Londoners who move to New York with almost nothing to their names. They share a single subletted bedroom in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and vow to have the most fun summer of their lives, despite their dire financial circumstances. By day, they sell clothing at flea markets, and by night they party and explore New York with generous friends.

The book brings us alongside the girls from May through the beginning of September, and we get to have fun, laugh and fight with them, too. There really is no plot to pay attention to, only feelings to be felt through the friends’ wild nights and horrible decisions. The book practically radiates warmth and makes me so desperately crave the sun permeating my skin.

“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin 

— Diana C. Sánchez González, Staff Writer

An illustration of the book “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin. The cover has a large wave and the title is written in a rainbow gradient.
“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin (Illustration by Alisia Houghtaling)

“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin is like no book I’ve ever read before, or at least, one of the very rare ones I’m always craving to stumble onto.

Sam and Sadie first met as tweens in a hospital game room, passing the remote control back and forth as they played “Super Mario Bros.” Their friendship grew around playing games together. As time goes on, they drift in and out of each other’s lives — sometimes even fighting — but their love for games always ties them together. Sadie studies at MIT while Sam and his roommate Marx study at Harvard — the three of them work to create the next great video game and, eventually, video game company. Together, they get to revel in the world of games — “the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”

The book seamlessly and magically weaves things we are constantly trying to understand about human interactions — love, heartbreak, grief, relationships, friendship, family, ambition, failure and success — into every single page. Zevin embroiders the prose in this book with such beautiful intention, and I felt as though I had to write down every single line, memorizing the text to hold onto forever.

“Okay, Cupid” by Mason Deaver

— Molly Koch, Opinion Editor

An illustration of the book “Okay, Cupid” by Mason Deaver. The cover is blue and shows a maze in the shape of a heart with two figures at both ends of the maze
“Okay, Cupid” by Mason Deaver (Illustration by Alisia Houghtaling)

“Okay, Cupid” is a delightful plunge into the world of light fantasy, redefining the dynamics of love. The protagonist Jude is a nonbinary Cupid on a mission in a high school to reunite two best friends, destined for a relationship, while finding queer and trans joy along the way. Deaver’s prose makes every character shine, but the stand-out is the love interest, Huy, whose rapid connection with Jude adds a page-turning factor to the plot.

This tale not only explores the exhilarating rush of romance, but also reflects society more generally. The cupid premise serves as a metaphor for societal norms that suppress queer love, echoing the struggles of acceptance and self-discovery. Deaver navigates family as well, pushing the boundaries of how queer and transgender youth are finding their support systems.

Ultimately, “Okay, Cupid” is not just a love story; it’s a story about resilience and the power of being yourself. If you hate romances that wrap up with a perfect little bow, and you simply need a book to make you contemplate your life, then this one’s for you.

“Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld

— Josie Leach, Contributing Writer

An illustration of the book “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld. The title is written in purple on a light blue background above a belt that’s pink on one side and green on the other.
“Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld (Illustration by Alisia Houghtaling)

“Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld follows the life of Midwesterner Lee Fiora at her fancy east coast boarding school, which she attends on scholarship. Lee struggles to fit in with her well-polished peers and is desperate to make connections, but she is constantly overthinking.

Sittenfeld’s attention to detail is striking, and even more commendable is the author’s ability to embody the mind of a self-conscious teenage girl with such authenticity. Lee is far from a perfect person; she is at times desperate, uninspired, closed-off and even cruel, to her parents and herself. This truthfulness is the beauty of the book — it’s a glimpse inside the teenage mind and all of its complexities.

The blatant honesty in “Prep” is refreshing, and there is not a hint of romanticization in Lee’s retrospective gaze at her teenage years. For those of you who went to boarding school, be prepared to queue a whole lot of buried memories. And for those of you who did not, get ready to dive into the not-so-polished side of the uniformed universe of boarding schools.

Contact the Arts Desk at [email protected].

Leave a comment
About the Contributors
Alexa Donovan
Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor
Alexa Donovan is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Art History and minoring in Creative Writing. Her favorite drink is lemonade and her party trick is listing the U.S. presidents in chronological order. You can find her in Bobst Library most hours of the day, on instagram @alexadonovan/@lemonadequeen5678 and on Goodreads @alexafdonovan.
Molly Koch
Molly Koch, Opinion Editor
Molly Koch is a junior in Gallatin concentrating in journalism as an art form. They’re fascinated by classical literature and its influence on the power of the written word. When they are not writing, you can find them reading their way through their endless TBR, running along the Hudson or Facetiming their dog.
Alisia Houghtaling
Alisia Houghtaling, Illustration Editor
Alisia Houghtaling is a first-year in Applied Psychology in Steinhardt and one of WSN's Illustration Editors. In her freetime, you can find Alisia drawing, painting, reading, eating pasta or autopilot walking around SOHO to window shop or stare into windows and say "I want to live there." You can find her on Instagram @_alisiart_ and send Italian restaurant recommendations or ridiculous real-estate listings in the city.

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *