I am fast approaching the age of 20 now and, as a complete bibliophile, I have been looking back over the books that have really stayed with me over my teenage years. Just a small disclosure…I am definitely not an expert on any piece of literature and all opinions that I state are my own. Enjoy! 🙂
1) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Most people have likely seen at least one of the movies based on the book, but take it from me, they will never come close to how truly amazing this book is! I first read ‘The Great Gatsby’ when I was 16 and since then I have re-read it every summer. Each time I read it I find something different in it that draws me in, and am still utterly mesmerized by it. It is without a doubt my all time favourite book (well, so far!) and I would recommend it to all of you!!! Fitzgerald has a wonderful style of writing with such rich, colourful imagery. In fact, I could cry at just how beautiful the novel is. It is so powerful that you truly feel that you have been transported back to 1920s New York. I found it a very quick read, actually, and really did not want to put the book down at all. If you do one thing after reading this blog post, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!!! 🙂
2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – *Slight spoiler alert* Okay, I know this sounds like a very typical book list so far, and this is a book that you would probably find on every teenage girls blog, but hear me out…to me, this book is actually very untypical to what I would usually expect to find on my own bookshelf. Usually, I would have been a sucker for a romantic, lighthearted story, where two people fall in love and live happily ever after , YADA YADA YADA. However, after reading this book (and then crying for 3 hours straight in a ball curled up in my bed) I realised that it was actually very refreshing to me to read a story that had a more realistic (if totally earth shattering) ending. All the way through reading this I completely expected the typical happy ending, and although I didn’t get this here, it made me realise that those fairy-tale endings did not always need to happen to enjoy a book (although deep down I still wants everyone to be happy and marry the love of their life and YADA YADA YADA…).
3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – For me this is more of a recent read as I have to read it as part of my university degree, but honestly, I have no idea why I didn’t read it before now and I wish that I had read it so much earlier on in my teens. WOW. Just WOW. A romance, but definitely not your typical romance. In fact, most of the book is centralised around the main character’s struggles and heartache. If you are looking for a book with a strong female lead, then this my friend is the one. Again, I cried (happy and sad tears) in this book and as you can probably tell, books make me cry A LOT! The book, a piece of 19th Century literature, is very ahead of its time and reminds me a lot of more modern books that contain strong, female leads. It is just truly an excellent piece of writing that all people, both young and old, and male and female, should read!
4) Carrie by Stephen King – Well, if this book isn’t lesson enough not to be a bully, then I don’t know what is…HAHA! I actually did something very bad and completely against my beliefs as an English Lit student (bad student!) and read this book after watching the film (and it wasn’t even the original film, it was the remake, eeeek)! Honestly, this book was so relevant to me, and again, I wish that I had read it so much earlier, back when I was 13 or 14, as it really highlighted to me just how cruel and bitchy teenage girls can be! You can’t help but want to cuddle the main character who gets so badly bullied at the beginning of the book and you truly feel for her. The book puts emphasis on how even the smallest, seemingly harmless jokey comment can affect a person, a lesson that I think most people need to learn at some point in their lives. Buuuut, fear not, because ‘Carrie’, the main character gets her revenge in the best (although very scary) way possible. If you’re a fan of horrors, this is definitely for you. P.S, this may book may just make you too scared to go to your prom…haha!
Ok, so that’s my first post done and dusted, with a little insight to a few of my most favourite books to read before you turn 20! Hope you’ve enjoyed. x