The Student News Site of Darien High School


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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


The mural painting class is available to juniors and seniors who have taken Drawing and Painting 3 and received teacher approval. Before painting the mural students must get the design and location approved with administration.
Music Notes, Statues and a Cow?
Katie Galligan, Journalist • April 14, 2024

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Student Spotlight: Merryn’s Bookshelf

How many books have YOU read this year?
Merryn’s bookshelf at home, recently reorganized! (Merryn Overbeck)

With the rise of reading devices and platforms like Amazon Kindles, Audible audiobooks and the forbidden platform SparkNotes, reading paper books is becoming less and less popular among readers everywhere. Many Darien High School students find themselves studying into the single digit hours of the morning, not getting home until late because of sports practices, and not budgeting enough time for reading, especially when reading is assigned in English classes. 

DHS Senior Merryn Overbeck reads over 100 books a year. “Reading is my number 1 hobby,” She says. “I try my best to read every day.” She mostly enjoys contemporary works and romance novels.  

Check out Merryn’s bookstagram, @bitethehand0 (Kaitlyn Murray)

“I joined the book community on TikTok first and I made an account dedicated to talking about the books I liked and giving recommendations and meeting new people who also like books, and then I moved over to Instagram and decided to make an account dedicated to the same thing” She said in an interview. Her book Instagram, or “Bookstagram”, @bitethehand0, is her way of expressing her love for books online. “Reading has inspired me to start writing novels. I have a few works in progress as of right now in the genres that I like to read, [I have a] literary fiction novel I would hopefully publish in the future.” Merryn is currently taking the Creative Writing elective taught by Mrs. McCarthy, and plans to major in English and/or Creative Writing in college. 

Here are 5 of Merryn’s favorite reads to add to your list this winter: 


1. Open Water By Caleb Azumah-Nelson 

A short work of literary fiction, the novel Open Water covers heavy topics such as race, mental health, masculinity, and how creativity influences the people you are close to. “The intensity reminds me of Normal People by Sally Rooney. The intimate love story is an equal balance of quiet and loud emotions, and feels like something you could read on a train.” 


2. We Are Okay By Nina LaCour

This is a story about a character called Marin, following a teenage girl grappling with new loss in her life, “I always think about this book.” This novel is stuck in a “dual time perspective” of trying to let go of the past and also live in the present, making it “super relatable”. The main character Marin is very lonely, constantly isolating herself and her loved ones. If you’re looking for an emotional roller coaster of a read, this is for you. 


3. I Wish You All The Best By Mason Deaver 

Coming out story that follows a non binary teen called Ben, who gets kicked out of their house after coming out to their parents and is forced to change schools. At the new school they meet a boy called Nathan in chemistry class. “Bens character as a whole shows that things revolving around queer identity don’t always work out…Support does not always have to come from family, could be from outside groups, peers, friends. Genuine, queer joy is always needed in the book world.” 


4. Normal People By Sally Rooney

Normal People is a wonderful explanation of navigating modern love and learning why it is the way it is. You follow the two main characters throughout their young adult lives. “You know the characters really well, they make decisions you don’t agree with and evoke feelings in their readers, which is something not alot of authors can do. The relationship feels very realistic.”A novel covering power dynamics, class, and how relationships affect people in your life, all the complex parts of a puzzle eventually come together in this novel. Also check out the show version on Hulu!


5. The Poppy War By R. F. Kuang

“This book is a brilliant fantasy debut novel, the experience of reading it is something I will never forget.” This novel explores the effects of colonialism and genocide inside a dark and grim fantasy story, A Trilogy, it examines lots of complex characters and the relationships between them. “The main character’s character development is like an anti-hero, but you come to understand her POV and choices.” A great read if you’re looking for dark themes intertwined with emotion and the want to be wanted. 

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Murray, Writer
Kaitlyn is a senior at DHS who began writing for Neirad in the fall of 2023. She writes pop culture and opinion articles, in addition to her personal creative writing endeavors. She plays violin, and you’ll most likely find her practicing, listening to Taylor Swift, or updating her Pinterest boards when she’s not working on a Neirad story!

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