The books that made us feel something

We’re talking about the books that made us feel a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

 
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There are authors who are great storytellers. Then there are authors who are great writers.

These are the writers that immerse us so deeply into the world they have created that we have begun to believe we are there. They make us believe we are no longer in the world we currently live in. They create worlds that make us forget our reality is not the one we are reading.

These books made us feel something so deeply — we didn’t know how to function after reading the last word.

Feed by Mira Grant
‘Feed’ by Mira Grant (Orbit)

This is going to sound bizarre to most people but I took a Zombie Renaissance class in college (yes, it counted as an English credit). Zombies are not really my thing but it was an easy, fun credit.

Mira Grant developed her characters so incredibly well that they were my best friends, my brother, my sister!

One of our assignments was reading this book and it was the only book that has ever made me cry. And not just shed a tear. I was sobbing! To the point where I wanted to curl in the fetal position and rock back and forth to make it all okay.

Zombies still aren’t my thing and sci-fi is not typically my genre of choice. But Mira Grant developed her characters so incredibly well that they were my best friends, my brother, my sister! I was there with them in DC instead of sitting on a plane to New York on an August evening. To this day, it is the first book I recommend to readers.

Britani Overman, features editor

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky (Pocket Books)

This book was the first one I read that made me feel seen as a teenager.

This book was the first one I read that made me feel seen as a teenager.

Like many others, I connected with this story and its characters on a deep level. We may not have shared the same level of pain growing up but I felt alone in my teenage years and had a hard time expressing this to others. I cried a lot while reading this book and strangely it brought me comfort at the same time.

This is still a book I can go back and read and relate to.

Kristy Mauna, book reviewer

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
‘New Moon’ by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown and Company)

I got into reading with the Twilight series in my early teens, and New Moon was really the first book that hit me hard.

I’d grown incredibly attached to the Cullens in Twilight, so when they left Bella, it also left me sobbing periodically throughout the book. At the time, it was one of the hardest books to get through and I put off reading it for a long while because of that.

Brigitte Herron, book reviewer

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury Publishing)

This book left a lasting impression on me and I recommend it very often.

I picked up this book a couple of years ago when it was making the rounds on Tumblr. The first thing that struck me was how beautiful the prose was, how rich the characters were and how engrossing the entire thing was.

Patroclus’ and Achilles’ story started out sweet and playful, then grew into something much deeper that moved me in a way few book couples do. The end of their story was heart-wrenching but the epilogue gave it a cathartic aspect. This book left a lasting impression on me and I recommend it very often.

Brigitte Herron, book reviewer

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather T. Smith
‘The Agony of Bun O’Keefe’ by Heather T. Smith (Penguin Teen Canada)

This is a little known Canadian novel that feels like it belongs to just me.

I picked it up based on the attractive cover and interesting book blurb and took it home only to read it in a single sitting. I had to know what happened to Bun in the end and I couldn’t put the book down without knowing she was going to be okay.

This is a little known Canadian novel that feels like it belongs to just me.

This book is largely about found family, and as Bun finds a new home, I felt like I was finding a new home along with her. I had a hard time holding in my emotions toward the end of the novel knowing that I would have to say goodbye to these characters I had quickly come to love. Finishing the last page and closing the book was bitter-sweet.

I still smile every time I think about this book.

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Spencer Miller, features writer

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Britani has a bachelor's in English Literature and loves analyzing novels, tv shows, and movies. You can find her geeking out over the meaning behind any story. She also loves traveling, dogs, food, and anything art related.

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