Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

My top five books and why you should read them

In this article, I will be sharing my top 5 books and why you should read them. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

As someone who reads quite often, I am always looking for new books, whether it be on social media or by word of mouth. If you are also a reader and looking to expand your reading list, here are my top five books, including books that I’ve read for school and for personal entertainment, and why you should read them.

Former Nickelodeon child actor Jennette McCurdy shares her struggle with the many factors of being introduced the acting industry at such a young age in her memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”

Former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy shares in her memoir her struggle being exposed to such a brutal and competitive industry of acting at such a young age, especially since McCurdy was forced into it by her mother. McCurdy touches on topics that can be considered taboo, as she writes about her experiences with eating disorders and mental and physical abuse by her mother. 

While I may not be able to personally connect with such topics and experiences, McCurdy’s raw storytelling that incorporates her sense of humor helps her audience to grasp a deeper understanding of not only her life but also the struggles everyone faces that people don’t see. McCurdy’s journey through being a child star, enduring mental and physical abuse and her struggle with both anorexia and bulimia has allowed me to be more considerate of people and what they’re going through. McCurdy was not allowed to talk about such topics when she was going through them, as she has a great influence on a teenage audience. However, no one should have to go through such terrible experiences and not be able to talk about it and find the help they need.


  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

    In his memoir, “The Sun Does Shine,” Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who was wrongfully convicted and spent almost 30 years on death row, shares his personal experiences and exposes the inequities within the justice system.

Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent almost 30 years on death row, shares in his memoir about his time on death row. In the book, Hinton shares his struggle with the criminal justice system amid the process of trying to prove his innocence. Not only does it expose the injustices in the justice system, but it also helps to humanize people on death row. Hinton shares more about the men he knew on death row and how those very men, who are considered monsters, were his support system within the row and at such a hard time in his life. This book explores themes of faith (especially Hinton’s battle with faith), family and hope.

Hinton’s emotional storytelling skills affected me, as it showed me even in the worst of times, you can turn to people to find comfort and just trust everything will turn out alright.


“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson explores freshman Melinda Sordino’s journey of finding her voice after facing such a tragic event.
  • Speak by Laure Halse Anderson

“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson is a fiction novel that follows freshman Melinda Sordino and her journey through finding her voice after a disastrous experience at a party during the summer. The novel was once banned/challenged, as it contains profanity, mentions of rape and supposedly a bias against male students and painted them in a bad light.

However, this book truly opened my eyes to how one experience can change someone, and we never know what someone is going through or has gone through. It allows teenagers to see that we do have a voice to speak out about what we have been through, big or small.



“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green follows cancer patient Hazel Grace and former cancer patient Augustus Waters as they navigate the struggle of all types of relationships, especially the complicated one that forms between the two teenagers.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a love story about two teenagers, one a cancer patient and one a cancer survivor. The two teens, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, face the challenges that come with being a former and current cancer patient and finding love in the unexpected. Not only does this book touch on the complications within relationships, romantic and platonic, but also loss and perseverance. The tragic ending adds to the reality that not everything can last forever but illustrates the heartbreaking truth that life goes on, no matter the circumstances. Augustus and Hazel’s story has taught me to treasure every moment of my life, no matter the circumstances. Since then I have reminded myself to find the good moment within the bad.


YA novel “Today Tonight Tomorrow” by Rachel Lynn Solomon follows high school seniors Rowan Roth and Neil McNair as they spend their last day as high school students and approach the struggle of figuring out their future.

While this novel contains the cliche love story trope of academic rivals to lovers, the book also goes past that, diving into the struggle of identity and change that high school students face, as they near the end of their high school years. The main characters Rowan Roth and Neil McNair are coming to the end of their senior year, and they are starting to explore life after high school, what they want to pursue and they learn that growing up is not easy. Being sheltered in a place where a somewhat healthy rival can thrive, they are going into a world of judgment to their interests and how they look. This novel allows teens to feel more at ease to know that life after high school will be okay and allows them to grow as people and within relationships with the people in their lives. 

As I am nearing the end of my junior year and approaching my senior year, I now know that the last half of my high school experience is going to go by fast. It’s very important to truly live it. I plan to hold on to the good and bad moments, as they can help me to grow as well.

About the Contributor
Anna Casupang
Anna Casupang, Reporter
Anna is a second-year Journalism student and a junior at the Academy. This year, as a student reporter, she hopes to connect with others through sharing opinions and ideas. In her free time, you can find Anna listening to Taylor Swift and crocheting. She also enjoys dancing hula and doing musicals at Mamiya Theater. One fun fact about Anna is that she enjoys watching movies over TV shows.
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Ka Leo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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