Books Change Lives: Guest post by Kristi aka The Story Siren

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I love books.

I love books that entertain,
books that teach lessons,
books that change your way of thinking.

I love books that remind us that we’re human,
that though we may make mistakes,
we can learn from them.

Books that change your perspective,
that open your eyes,
that open your mind.

One novel that particularly stands out to me as life changing would be Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Although it’s not classified as YA fiction, I still think teens would benefit from reading it. It’s not a happy story by any means, but it’s a very thought provoking one.

If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it’s about a school shooting. But it’s much more than that. It explores the why of the situation. Why would a student decide to go to school one day with the intent to kill their teachers and fellow students?

It’s eye opening to say the least. It made me sick, it scared me, it changed me.

People are cruel. And why? To make them feel better about themselves? To impress their friends? I remember all to well what it was like in high school and how very cruel kids can be to one another, because they don’t live on the “right” side of town, or because they don’t wear the “right” kind of clothes. I was on the receiving end of jokes and ridicule many times. And too many times I stood by and watched it happen to someone else. I still remember the names of the people that made fun of me, and remember how much it hurt. That’s sort of sad on my part, but sometimes things like that just aren’t forgotten.

This novel just ripped open those old wounds. It made me wish I would have stood up for myself and for all those times I stood on the sidelines watching it happen. It made me re-evaluate the type of person I am now. How I can be too judgmental, too impatient, and too uncompassionate. It made me want to be a better person. It made me strive to be a better person. Life changing.

Some of the books that have made my “Life Changing” list:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Giver by Lois Lois Lowry
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Kristi is the blogger behind the amazing YA book blog The Story Siren, which if you don't read, you definitely should!

This guest post is part of Book Change Lives September, on Hey! Teenager of the Year. To read all the guest posts, click here.
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