I know that “6 Books That Changed My Life” is a heavy title- I mean, I’m sixteen! How much great literature could I have read in order to actually get enough books to write this post? So far, I haven’t read many classics. So far, I’ve only just dipped my toes into adult literature. So far, I know the YA section of my library inside and out. And so far, I’ve read enough books to be able to write out this post.
So, in no particular order, here we go. *clears throat*
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
This is a beautiful, beautiful book. It’s sad, yes. It’s depressing a lot of the time. But I (and I hate to say this) love tragedy. It gives life a completely different dimension, and here is the result. Read this book. If the writing doesn’t blow you away by the end, then dude, tell me what book trumps this one in writing, and I’ll make sure to read it.
How did it change my life? Maybe it was the stunning prose. Or the ending. Or the characters, so real that they jumped off the page, and my love for them. Maybe it was the sadness of the thing, proof that human lives so rarely have happy endings. Or that it’s okay to write about these things. It was all that and more.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
I’d read Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner before this, and while I absolutely love it, I have to say that A Thousand Splendid Suns resonated with me on a completely different level. The writing, the story, the ending- oh, my gosh. I love this book.
I think I love this book so much because although I disagreed with certain things in the book (things too political for me to feel free telling you my thoughts right here) there was the very human struggle to find meaning in life that is so universal. There were the characters. And I think I can read forever and ever about Afghanistan and never be tired of it.
The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
I’m sure this one is VERY obvious. Which reader’s “changed my life” book list does this not feature on? I grew up reading and watching Harry Potter. I breathed spells and had Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans for lunch. I lived vicariously through those three iconic characters that I have no doubt I’ll remember forever. Potternerd forever.
(Where’s my letter from Hogwarts, people? Why hasn’t it arrived yet?)
I don’t know which version of the story I read, so I can’t say who the author was. *clears throat* Anyways, this is the first book that I ever read. It was a picture book, obviously, and I turned the pages so many times after that the book fell apart. I knew all the words by heart. I can still clearly see some of the pages in my mind.
This is the book that introduced me to the wonders of the written word. That showed me how a story is formed. It also grounded the (now discarded) belief in me that there must be happy endings or else. (Growing up watching Bollywood does that to you.) And now that I think about it, a happy ending cannot be from the brothers Grimm, can it? Who the heck was the author of this one? I owe them!
Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth
As an immigrant child, I related with this one on a much deeper level than any other book I read at that time. I mean, I didn’t understand our language. I couldn’t speak it (still can’t speak it) without stumbling on every other word. But even with my perfectly normal Canadian accent, I could never shrug off the feeling that I wasn’t Canadian enough for Canadians, or Indian enough for Indians. I was always in the middle. Still am.
I’ve learned to appreciate being stuck between two places that will never completely be mine. I get a unique perspective on everything. This book helped me come to terms with that. Plus, I found out I wasn’t the only awkward immigrant kid in the world.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
While this book is ridiculously funny and has the best supporting character in the history of supporting characters, Hassan, it was the book that started my addiction to young adult fiction. I hadn’t known that people wrote about that strange half-grown stage where you aren’t child or adult. And, well, this is the book that made me realize that I could write about this strange stage too, AND read more books about people my age. WIN.
And that’s that. How many of these books have YOU read? What’s a book that changed your life?