Suzanne Collins, author of “The Hunger Games.” (MCT Campus)

Have you been so busy with studying for midterms that you can hardly breathe, let alone spend your free time reading? You may be unaware of some the great new and old books that you may be missing out on the have been released during the current semester or in recent memory.

Are you ready to step out of the magical world of Hogwarts and into the dysfunctional homes of England? If aso, J.K. Rowling’s new novel, “The Casual Vacancy,” which came out this fall, is the book for you. Harry Potter fanatics have been craving more Rowling ever since the series concluded with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in July of 2007. The new characters we meet are “muggles,” and struggle with ‘real’ issues like drug use and self harm. Although this novel may not bring you to the hidden world of magic, it will certainly be something you can relate to.

How many books about kinky sex become a bestseller in the United States and United Kingdom? E L James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” has made it onto bestseller lists all over the world with its “sexy talk.” This provocative novel lures young and old readers with its descriptions of kinky nights between a young businessman and a female college graduate. Be warned, this book is highly graphic, and contains a lot of sexual content, but that is where most of the appeal comes from.

Ever wanted to read a blast from the past? “Catch-22,” by Joseph Heller, takes the satire away from the television and into a book. Take a break from “South Park,” plunge into this novel about World War II and experience what it was like to be a part of it. The novel has its upbeat moments and the parts that are hard to deal with (rape and murder), so it is the perfect blend of drama and emotion with elements of entertainment.

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Just about everyone has seen “The Hunger Games,” but the question is: have you read “The Hunger Games” trilogy written by Suzanne Collins? Struggles for survival, finding love and overcoming the evil powers of a dystopian governmental regime is just some of the drama in this series of novels. Drama this big deserves to be read while lounging on the beach, or sitting by a pool. Easy reading, but definitely the time used up is worth the excitement you’ll have as you read this novel.

Imagine being in a car crash and having to choose between life and death. “If I Stay,” written by Gayle Forman, brings us into the mindset of a young high schooler who must decide whether she wants to die and rest eternally with her immediate family, or live her life with her boyfriend and family she has left. This novel will leave you at the edge of your seat as you step inside Mia’s shoes as the novel alternates between the past and the present. It will alter your view on love, life and family and remind you that in one moment, everything can change.

This was just a sample of some of the books college students have been missing out on, both over the semester or they have just fallen off of students’ radar. So this winter break, whether you are vacationing on a beach or relaxing at home, these books are certainly something to spend your time doing.

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