What students are reading right now – February 2024

by |February 6, 2024

Here at Booktopia, we like to know what everyone is reading and recommending! Students always have their fingers on the cultural pulse of what is popular and what books may have slid under the radar.

Book recommendations from the Grapeshot Magazine team

We have partnered with the wonderful team at Macquarie University’s Grapeshot Magazine to share their current book obsessions, and why you should give them a read! Check out their recommendations below.


A Certain Hunger
by Chelsea G. Summers

“Raw, villainous and gory— A Certain Hunger explores the intricacies of gender and cannibalism, all cradled in the blood-stained palms of the witty and unapologetic food critic, Dorothy Daniels. With excellent prose and visceral murder, this faux-memoir will most definitely keep you starving and hungry for more.” – Zaynab

Buy it here


Just Kids
by Patti Smith

Just Kids by Patti Smith is a beautifully nostalgic memoir that transports readers to the striking artistic scene of 1970s New York City. Smith’s poetic prose and heartfelt storytelling create an intimate portrait of her unique bond with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, capturing the essence of their journey from struggling artists to cultural icons.” – Sophia

Buy it here


Divine Rivals
by Rebecca Ross

“A beautiful symphony of words describing love in a time of war with a hint of fantasy and magic. Our main characters follow the enemies-to-lovers trope, truly showcasing the intimacy of being understood.” – Ruby

Buy it here


Snow Song
by Sally Gardner

The Snow Song is folklore fantasy feminism wrapped up in the magic of winter. Edith resists all attempts to chain her, not through violence but through her silence, and lets the empty space be her condemnation. I’ve never felt for a character as strongly as Edith, and I’ve never read one as strong either. This book is like true magic felt in everyday life.” – Fraser

Buy it here


The Rachel Incident
by Caroline O’Donoghue

“The relationships we form in our twenties are paramount to moulding our souls. Whether it be through work, higher education, or divine happenstances, these sometimes troublesome and at other times healing individuals break down our barriers in various ways. Is there romance in this book? Sure, a little. But most of all, it’s a tale of friendship, mistaken assumptions, and economic struggle. If you’re a fan of the Irish, literary fiction, or feeling things – this bad boy’s for you.” – Jasmine

Buy it here


Bad Art Mother
by Edwina Preston

“Set in Melbourne, this novel follows now-adult Owen reflecting on his boyhood and relationship with his mother Veda Gray, an aspiring poet. Owen recalls the lives of the other aspiring female artists in 20th century Australia he grew up around, who all were battling sexist expectations. This is a beautiful story of ambition, love, family, and dreaming big. And if female rage is your thing, you will adore this read!” – Holly

Buy it here


Electric and Mad and Brave
by Tom Pitts

“Pitts crafts a devastating tale of first love and mental health on the backdrop of Australian culture in his debut novel Electric and Mad and Brave. Following the journey of protagonist and narrator, Matt, as he reflects on the traumas of his adolescent years, the story weaves the complex emotions felt when growing up with the hopelessness of falling in love to give readers a heartfelt and intense tale that perfectly combines desperation and youthful optimism.” – Jackson

Buy it here


I Kissed Shara Wheeler
by Casey McQuistion

“Chloe Green is fuelled by her desire to win valedictorian, and the only person standing in her way is Shara Wheeler, the prom queen. It’s a month before graduation and Shara disappears, but not before kissing Chloe. And Chloe wants answers. An academic rivals-to-lovers young adult novel combines all the feel-good and feel-bad moments of being a teenager.” – Beth

Buy it here


Alone With You in the Ether
by Olivie Blake

“I wish I could relive the experience of reading Alone with You in the Ether for the first time. Olivie Blake has written a beautiful love story that is not cliche and transcends the formula of most romance books. The relationship between the characters altered my brain chemistry as their connection is so intimate that it made my heart ache in the best way possible. The characters have been brilliantly crafted as they are two flawed and complex people, they are real and so are their problems which allows readers to relate to them. However, this book isn’t for everyone, it’s for those of us who dream about meeting someone who understands you in a world that isn’t willing to..” – Vidyani

Buy it here

About Grapeshot Magazine

Grapeshot Magazine was founded in 2009 by Kathleen Steele. The magazine is run by students, for students. It features a diverse range of content including news pieces, opinion pieces, creative nonfiction, memoirs, short stories, poetry, photo essays, illustrations, comic strips, interviews, and reviews. Grapeshot’s colourful matte pages are released in print three times a semester and distributed across Macquarie University’s campus; they are also released online on MultiSearch.

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Tell Me What To Read – Australia's Ultimate Guide to Books (May 15, Edition) Tell Me What To Read

In this episode of Tell Me What to Read host Ben Hunter sits down with fellow book experts Steph and Krystal to chat about our May Book of the Month, Safe Haven by Shankari Chandran! Books Mentioned: Safe Haven When The Moon Hatched The North Wind Five Broken Blades Flawless Diary of a Void Tom Lake Red River Road Tell Me What To Read, powered by Booktopia. Follow @booktopiabooks on Instagram, TikTok, Threads and YouTube. Follow @booktopia on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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