I adore reading more than most things in this world. I go through roughly a weekend a month where I just shut off my phone and my laptop and frankly, the world and I just read. Most of the time I can read 2 or 3 books that weekend. But if anything, I’m always reading. I want to share some of my favorite books with you and I strongly, strongly suggest you check them out. These stories have changed my life, I hope they change yours.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is my favorite book of all time. The story of a girl who committed suicide and why she did it. I read it for the first time when I was in 8th grade, going through one of the worst depressive episodes I’ve ever been in. It opened my heart and my eyes to a world I never knew existed. A world where I wasn’t alone, where my pain and struggles were similar to so many others on so many different levels. I know that the recent series has sparked a lot of conversation about the stigmatization surrounding depression and suicide but I, personally, think that the show did an amazing job at showing exactly what it’s like. It’s grueling and hard and so draining.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of the most phenomenal books I’ve ever read and anyone who knows me knows how much I love this book. I raved about it for weeks after I read it and now that the movie trailer is out, starring one of my favorite actresses of all time Amandla Stenberg as Starr, I could not be more ready to watch this film. This book tells the story of a young girl who watches her unarmed black friend get shot by a police officer and then the justice system fail her. A book that is all too real in today’s political climate, I cried within the first 20 pages. If you read any of the books on this page, this one. Please, this one.
Turtles All the Way Down is the most recent book written by John Green. What you think is going to be a romantic love story, turns out to be a very real account of what it’s like to live with a serious mental illness. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, and very hopeful, to say the least. John Green is known for staple Young Adult books like The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and this one is no different. Aza is a young girl that, I’m sure without knowing it, represents so many people out there. A very different novel, but a very important one. A must-have in your collection and a definite must-read.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is one I read during a “shut out the world” weekend and I soaked up every word. The story of Violet and Finch, an unlikely duo, that will take your heart and run with it. Both facing their own difficulties in their personal lives, on top of the usual stigma that comes with high school, they find themselves paired for a science project. Their adventures are unique and wonderful and the journey you take with them is one you won’t regret. This novel quickly moved up my list as one of my favorites and I really hope you love it as much as I do.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler is one of my favorite books of all time and I actually read it right after I read Thirteen Reasons because I loved it so much and I wanted to know what else he had written. This novel tells the story of Josh and Emma circa 1996 when they discover Facebook before Facebook was invented. It shows them their future, the life they are destined to live, who they will marry, all of it. But when they try to change it, things get messy.
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen tells the story of Caitlin O’Koren as she navigates her first love with a boy named Rogerson as her family is going through the crisis of her older sister Cass running away. Caitlin finds a home in Rogerson when her parents start to treat Caitlin like Cass, putting her schedule on the refrigerator, going to every game Caitlin cheers at, packing snacks for the team. But when Caitlin discovers that Rogerson isn’t the man she met in the parking lot that night, she starts to pull away from those closest to her – ditching school, avoiding her best friend, missing cheer practice, smoking weed, pushing her parents away. Caitlin then has to figure out what’s more important, her relationship with Rogerson or her relationship with her friends and family.