As fun as it might be to read 50 Shades of Grey, it probably isn’t the kind of book that’ll make you question your entire existence. If you’re looking for a book that’s going to make you spend five hours staring at a wall and wonder what you’ve been doing with your life (in the best way possible, of course) then take a look at the list below. Just don’t blame us if and when you go through an existential crisis.
1. Deadline – Chris Crutcher
Deadline tells the story of Ben Wolf, an eighteen year-old high school student who finds out he has an interminable disease and less than a year to live. Instead of wallowing in pain and sorrow and counting down the days until he dies, Ben –being eighteen and not under obligation to tell anyone he’s sick – decides to keep the news to himself and spend his last year doing everything he was always too scared to do. Trying out for the football team, winning over the girl of his dreams, reading every book he possibly can so he can tell off his dim-witted but stubborn teachers – he does it all. Even though this book was written with a teenage demographic in mind, anyone who reads this can be inspired to do something instead of sitting back and regretting every decision you don’t make. And it also helps that Ben’s endless sarcasm and wit makes you feel like you could be friends with someone like him in real life.
2. Bossypants – Tina Fey
So this one just makes me want to be Tina Fey. Seriously. How can someone be so effortlessly awesome? How? It’s a mystery. But Bossypants will bring you one step closer to solving that mystery. Tina Fey tells us everything about her life – from her days at SNL to her awkward teenage years and time spent perfecting her comedy skills at Second City. “Why can’t I be more like Tina?” you will ask yourself. You obviously need to do something different with your life. Maybe learn how to do an Alaskan accent? Start wearing adorable cat eye glasses? We’ll get back to you.
3. Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
Ok, so I know pretty much everyone has read this one already. But reread it! Because it’s great! Even if you’re not a so-called “wallflower”, this book reminds us that being involved and participating in life is much more fulfilling than simply standing on the sidelines and observing it. And even if you didn’t grow up in the 90s like Charlie, Sam, and Patrick did, it doesn’t matter – what happened to them could just as easily happen to someone growing up today.
4. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
I almost cried when I read this book. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Some of you might have seen the 2012 movie adaptation (starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and the fabulous Andrew Garfield), but fewer people have actually read the book behind the story. Never Let Me Go takes place in a dystopian world (in the non-so distant past). Clones exist. And these clones? They’re basically harvested to supply organ donations for non-clones. After reading this book, you’ll start thinking differently about who and what you can trust. Is my reality really what I think it is? What if what I’ve been told my whole life is just a lie? My head hurts just thinking about it. (again, in a good way)
5. The Visible Man – Chuck Klosterman
The Visible Man is about a man who invents a suit that allows him to become invisible. He then uses his invention to sneak into people’s houses and basically spy on them. Sound creepy? It is. But this book really gets you thinking about the difference between how people present themselves to others and how they act when (they think) no one else is watching.
What are the books that have impacted YOUR life?
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