As evidenced by my many posts, I love books. It’s really hard for me to accept anyone who says they don’t like to read, mostly because I just assume they haven’t found *their* book yet. You readers know what I’m taking about. At some point in your life, a book found it’s way into your hands. It may be a book that you were forced to read in high school, or it may be a book that you discovered on your own. Either way, I imagine that every person who truly defines themselves as a reader can identify one (or more) books that they read in their lives that changed the way they view the world and the way they view books forever.
Today, my wonderful cousin Abby texted me, saying that she had just finished Perks of Being a Wallflower. For the first time.
I’m so jealous.
There is no greater feeling than reading a book that pulls you and pushes you and grabs you by the head and slams you against the wall. As John Green said in The Fault in Our Stars, “That’s the thing about pain,” Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. “It demands to be felt.” And Perks is a book that demands every ounce of energy from you. Charlie, the main character, is relatable (especially to introverted, depressed, anxious people..), and because this book is written in first person, it’s so easy to climb into his skin and feel every emotion that he is pouring forth.
Abby is a licensed MSW, which means she works with people like Charlie and others suffering from depression, anxiety, etc. every day. And even she didn’t predict the ending of this novel.
Oh the feels.
Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of Abby’s books. A book she will never forget and a book that she can turn back to reading if she ever feels like there’s nothing left to read in the world. As for me, I have quite a few of these books. I have books that shaped my reading as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult.The first one that I have to list is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This novel was the first one that I ever read off of my mom’s bookshelf. That was pretty significant for me, since I always considered those books to be “adult” books (I mean, it was sitting next to War and Peace for goodness sakes.) Rebecca is a fascinating book in so many different respects, from the time period it was written in (1930s), to the first person narrative point of view, to the surprising, shocking, jaw dropping ending.
Other books on this list include The Harry Potter series, of course, which completely shaped my childhood and truly lit the flame that started my addiction to reading. More recently, I added Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. If you haven’t read this novel since high school, re-read it. Trust me, you won’t be let down. The last two books on my go-to, right in the feels, always impact my entire life list is Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Perks and TFiOS are two books that will leave that lasting feeling on me, and I can’t help but get emotional when I think about them. That’s why I’m jealous of Abby (and my cousin Stephanie, who just bought TFiOS and is about to start reading it and I wish I could read it for the first time again.)
When Abby texted me, so emotional and excited about the book, it reminded me again why I read. It’s really easy to get caught up in school, studying (for that test I have in oh… an hour.), and work. But Abby reminded me that there are books out there who are just waiting to be read and make an impact on my life. I’m so grateful for authors who write amazing books that touch my heart (and the hearts of millions of readers out there)