When I was quite small I developed a love for reading. It grew as I grew, as one would expect. In the seventh grade I finished Gone With the Wind in two days. Look guys, I’m a real booknerd. Through and through. Some of the most major books that changed my life are popular, others are not. Here is a list of books that molded me into the person I am today, and why. Each are near and dear to my heart in their own way.
The Giver by Lois Lowry – This particular book is one I remember reading early in my teen years. I remember my middle school language arts teacher assigning it for our entire class to read. While I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid in my class to enjoy the book, I do think I was the only one to really appreciate it. The way that Lowry communicated some serious issues into a brilliant fictional piece was astounding to me. Reading this book is when I really began to understand that the best way to talk to people about issues is to translate through story, and that’s why it needs to be included in this list. If you’re a parent, I recommend reading this book with your child because it’s such an enlightening experience that even the young ones can understand. On a side note, this is now a movie which I would also recommend checking out!
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – As previously mentioned, I read this book in middle school as well. There’s not much I can say besides it’s a classic. There was no real connection with the literature, but it is a rather good story. This one was a life changer simply for the fact that I was thirteen years old and read a complex book with over one thousand pages in two days. Along with that fact, this book definitely needs to be included in the list for the simple fact that it’s really good. I may not have had a personal special connection with it like I have with so many others, but YOU may. I definitely encourage you to read it.
Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead – These books helped me cope with the recent loss of friendship in my life. Richelle Mead is a wonderful woman (I went to a book signing of hers and she’s just as lovely in person as she is online!) and she wrote these books in a wonderful way. They taught me about friendship and love and most importantly… loyalty. These books are so amazing because it really shows the bond between friends over the years and through many trials. Each book changed my life in a different way, and didn’t just teach me about friendship, love, and loyalty. I learned about death and how it feels to loose everyone you care about. These books made me laugh, cry, stay up all night, and binge eat ice cream from the tub. I made it through my early teens because of these books and I made it through my late teens because of the spin-off series that came from these books (Bloodlines). It was just so incredibly astounding to me how much I could relate to a book character. Richelle Mead armed me with the best characteristic trait anyone could ever hope for : loyalty. For that, I will be forever grateful.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – Tolkien is a genius. I will always stand by that claim. The Hobbit was a life-changer for me because it taught some much needed perseverance. I struggled to read through some of the lengthy descriptions of nature and emotion. What I could have said in one sentence, Tolkien said in six pages. I am a better writer for it, however, because now I know that not everything needs to be said in the most concise manner. Sometimes you need to explain the beauty of a tree in six pages because otherwise no one would take the time to appreciate the beauty of that tree. I am a huge fan of Tolkien’s writing and just reading The Hobbit was so influential in the way I write today. If you are wanting to begin your own writing journey, I would highly suggest reading something of Tolkien’s.
Shatter Me (series) by Tahereh Mafi – At the beginning, I was NOT fond of Tahereh’s style. Not. At. All. The more I read, though, the more I saw how genius it was. She formed her style to match the main character. Or else, she made the main character to match her style. Whatever it was, it was brilliant. That takes some real talent, and I have admired her ever since I realized that. I had never quite read a story like the one contained in Shatter Me. The heroine was truly broken. So was the “knight in shining armor”. These are the novels that taught me about true love. True love doesn’t conquer all, but it sure does give it a run for it’s money. True love isn’t always simple and beautiful and always pleasurable. True love is sometimes painful and complex and really, really, really hard. I will always be grateful that I learned such a lesson so young. I firmly believe that everyone should learn that lesson at some point in their life.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling – Somehow in the nineteen (almost twenty) years that I’ve been alive, I had never read the Harry Potter series. I had, of course, watched the movies and they made me a huge fan so I had been a Potterhead for years before. Now that I’ve actually read the series it has completely changed my perspective on the characters. I now understand them on a much deeper level and respect them in a whole new way. Rowling’s words are truly magical, and they put me back together in a time where I was truly broken. She literally created a world where kids and adults could escape. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever tried to comprehend because it’s almost incomprehensible that an entire fictional world exists where you can sit back and enjoy the action but feel completely at home at the same time. Rowling is the epitome of the kind of author I want to be and that’s why these books changed my life. I’ll never be able to repay Rowling for the world she created that has enhanced my life in so many ways. I can only hope that one day I can be the kind of author who writes books that change the lives of other kids and adults.
The Lord of The Rings (series) – by J.R.R. Tolkien – While I am a Tolkien fan stemmed from The Hobbit novel and movie triolgy, and The Lord of The Rings movie trilogy, I have yet to read the highly acclaimed Lord of The Rings novels. It is my goal to do so sometime in the near future, and I include them here now because I am 100% certain they will change my life. Until then-