Besides traveling, reading is one my most favorite activities. I’m really into young adult fiction, mostly the “realistic”/girl-meets-boy/teenage stuff. However, since I’m no longer a teenager, I’m trying to branch out and expand my mind. I’ve read more books than I could even begin to count, but here are some that have stuck with me throughout my many years of reading (in no particular order):
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I read this book in high school, and at the time, the main character Charlie reminded me of a friend I had. That friend is now my boyfriend, which could explain why I still have such a fond affection for this story. It’s a more realistic view of high school than most books offer, digging beyond predictable stereotypes and issues of popularity. The book, set in 1991, is relatable to people even today. It didn’t hurt that Chbosky helped turn it into a movie (with my celebrity crush LOGAN LERMAN as Charlie!).
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Obviously I want to go to Amsterdam, but this book (and movie) just confirmed that even more. It also introduced me to a catchy little Swedish rap ditty known as “Bomfalleralla.” My Swedish friend told me this song is about porn and other inappropriate topics, but I still think John Green is a genius for working it into the book. I’m in love with Augustus Waters, as nearly every girl is. Fun fact: I cry a lot at books, movies, insurance commercials, etc….but this movie wins the award for Most Tears Cried by Ali Because of a Fictional Story.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I know, it’s a predictable choice; isn’t this everyone’s favorite book? I chose it because I love Scout Finch’s fearlessness, and I completely relate to her curiosity and love of reading. Everyone can find something to love about this novel. My personal favorite line is from the part where Scout talks about cursing to get a reaction out of the adults. When people lie now, all I want to say is, “That’s a damn story!”
4. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
I read this about ten years ago and have yet to find another book that’s anything like it. Stargirl, the titular character, is the epitome of unique as is her relationship with Leo Borlock. It’s something you have to read to fully comprehend its magic. I want this to become a movie, but only if I can play the role of Stargirl…
5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lily Owens embarks on a journey with her family’s maid, Rosaleen, to find a connection to her deceased mother. They wind up staying with the Boatwright sisters in a bright pink house in South Carolina, learning about themselves, love, and the importance of sisterhood. I felt like I was right there in the town of Tiburon. Beautiful and well-written. It addresses all sorts of social justice issues, which appeals to my social worky side. 🙂