As a single, adventurous 20-something, I have found books to be the greatest companion and reading to be the best escape from my current reality: Job searching, Netflix and constantly attempting to navigate the balance of being a fun, carefree postgrad and a serious young professional.
I have found comfort in plopping myself down at a coffeeshop, opening a good book and escaping to an alternate universe where I can forget about my troubles and spend time acquainting myself with fictional characters.
When I find a book in which the words on the pages come to life, I know I've found a keeper.
Something about experiencing the characters' ups and downs alongside them makes me feel connected, like I'm getting to go on their adventures with them.
In attempt to help my fellow Millennials add a little spice to their lives while expanding their minds, I put together a reading list of my 10 favorite reads from the past year.
These books will make you laugh, cry, smile and question.
They will make you feel comforted and confused, simple and complex.
They will make you wish you wrote them first.
These books will expose you to situations that will mirror your real lives, and they will touch on topics like the power of family; the frustrations of job searching; the beauty of spontaneity; unrequited love; betrayal; loss; determination; drunken nights that turned into mornings; and the power of believing you are capable of achieving your dreams.
These books will help you find solace in the fact that you are not alone.
Trust me, they are all worth reading.
I have also included my favorite quote from each book. Enjoy!
1. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time.
Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.”
2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life — or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else's life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window — is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”
3. Paper Towns by John Green
“That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”
4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”
5. The One & Only by Emily Giffin
“So much of how we see the world is a matter of interpretation. A matter of wishing and wanting and hoping rather than really deep-down believing.”
6. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, Introduction by Anne Fadiman
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We can't, we must not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."
7. Looking For Alaska by John Green
"But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”
8. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
“When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit. That's why you can't save it all up like that. Because by the time you finally see each other, you're catching up only on the big things, because it's too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”
9. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
“I have realized that mystery is what keeps people away, and I've grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place. So let's peek behind the curtain and hail the others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around."
10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”