As mentioned in my previous post, I absolutely love reading and since I’ve recently gotten back into it, I’ve decided to compile a list of 5 books I love that has either changed me or impacted me a lot after and during reading the book.
1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
Honestly this book completely captivated me. It’s so beautifully written and I truly believe this is a book everyone should read during their lifetime. I read this in the gym where I spent 75 minutes on the biking machine. I remember having to hide my tears as it evoked such strong emotions out of me. This book especially for teenagers is something everyone can resonate with. It explores friendship, racial and ethnic identity, sexuality and family relationships. Its so meaning and no matter how many words I type, nothing will ever compare to how much I love this book.
“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Synopsis: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
This book is the first book of a duology. I am a huge fan of fantasy novels and one thing I really look for in books is diversity and this duology delivers that. These books surround six people all of different ethnicity, body shapes and sexuality while offering a thrilling adventure. I am a sucker for underdogs teaming up and becoming a family so this book really fed that love. The way Leigh Bardugo writes completely entrances me and grips me until I finish the book from the first chapter to the last. With some books, it takes me up to around 100 pages to fully get me hooked but this book hooked me from the first word. I highly recommend reading this especially if you’re a fan of fantasy because it is such a great read and the universe Leigh Bardugo crafted is so addicting.
“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”
3. The Perks of being a Wallflower
Genre: Young Adult | Epistolary
Synopsis: The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
This book made me feel so many emotions. It shows Charlie’s raw thoughts and the way the characters were written completely drew me in. I watched the movie a few years ago and I thought it was alright and when I tried to read it back then, it did nothing for me. As I grew older and picked it up a few weeks ago, I had a newfound maturity that allowed me to love this book as much as I do now. Definitely one of those books that a person must read in their lifetime because its just so beautiful.
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Synopsis: Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
There’s a reason why this book is a classic novel. This book allowed me to live through the eyes of Jane Eyre during a time where being a female was very difficult. Classic novels are so different from the novels nowadays. The writing style back then was so beautifully poetic in itself. This book presents love as so pure without extrinsic influences as a factor as to why Mr. Rochester and Jane love each other. They just do because they feel it in their souls, in their very being. This book has definitely changed me and it remains as one of my favorite novels of all time.
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
5. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
As someone who’s been through mental health issues, this book depicts mental illness accurately. I was able to relate to Craig and also understood where his depression came from. He essentially gets depression from all the academic pressure his school gives him which reflects on society. Education is a luxury only until people start pushing you so hard that the demon calls stress and pressure sprouts from this. This book is insightful for those who has never gone through mental illness and its also so important. There is no romanticization of depression like so many novels/tv shows *cough* thirteen reasons why *cough*. This is an important book and I recommend everyone to read this 100%.
“I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. I’m not doing well in terms of being a functional human, you know?”
If you do end up reading any one of these books I hope you enjoy them because I sure did.