Hello bookworms!! Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is top 5 books I wish I had read when I was younger.
Yes, today we’re talking about those books that could have helped shape our lives earlier… if only we had read them (or they existed) when we were young’uns. These in particular are books that younger me would have found beneficial in the age old question “who the hell am I?” Please excuse me – I got a lot deeper in this post than I was anticipating!!
Top 5 books I wish I had read when I was younger
Perfect on Paper – Sophie Gonzales
First and foremost, happy release day to this absolute gem of a book. This book is actually the reason that I picked this topic for today. Why? Because I genuinely believe this book would have helped poor little confused Meegs understand what the hell was going on. Just to be clear – it’s not for the advice column part of the story. It’s more for the “you can like boys AND girls, but dating one doesn’t mean you are either straight or gay. There’s an alternate option.”
Yup, I didn’t even know that bisexual was a thing until I was in my late teens/early 20s. And even then, most people called girls “bicurious”. I feel like younger Meegs would have appreciated this book, and had a lot less heartache about who she was. Also, I could have read SO MUCH MORE queer contemporary if it had been out when I was younger.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
I wish that this book had existed when I was younger. I wish this book had existed when a lot of us were younger. Books like this shape who we are as people. They provide us with an understanding of what other perspectives and lives are like. They teach us empathy.
If I was a teacher in this day and age, this is the sort of book that I would ask my students to read. I would want them to put themselves in Starr’s situation, and I would ask them to consider how they would feel. I would ask them to critically think about how they would act if they saw Starr’s story from an outside point of view. Opinions in the world need to change, and I believe this will only happen from understanding and empathy.
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
I needed to know that it was ok to be true to who I was when I was a teenager. And I, was a nerd. But being a nerd back when I was in high school wasn’t cool like it (weirdly) is now. A girl playing video games wasn’t a fun time. I was supposed to be into makeup and clothing and … I don’t know… other “girly” things. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t into sports either. I was the weird nerdy girl who read books about dragons and liked board games. I’m still the same girl now, I’ve just embraced it.
But I think Molly would have taught me that it’s ok to not meet other people’s expectations. That it’s ok to have fun doing the things that I enjoy, and that I didn’t need to change who I was to be accepted. I wish I had known that when I was a teenager.
Puddin’ – Julie Murphy
I have to be completely honest, I haven’t read Puddin’ or Dumplin’. (I did see the movie though.) But I don’t need the message for current Meeghan. I needed the message for younger Meeghan. I needed to know that it’s ok to love yourself if you don’t look like a model. And that it only matters what you think of you.
To be honest, I didn’t really see a lot of positive reviews for the first book, but the ones I saw for the second made me consider reading them both. I needed to know that it’s ok to feel like your life is a total mess and you don’t know what you’re doing. I never thought I’d be in my 30’s and still feel that way (but I do). But most of all, I think I needed to know that there is no road map, and it’s ok to be lost.
The Boy Who Steals Houses – C.G. Drews
Picking only 5 books is tough. The first 4 I’m always so certain of, but number five is always the one that stumps me. Today’s dilemma was more to do with “do I pick a new fave and do a soft ending?” Or “do I keep picking books with hard edges that really made me consider my life?” Somehow I managed to tick both boxes with this pick.
C.G. Drews’ second novel is a 5-star read that left me an emotional wreck after reading it. But it also provides an understanding of what living with a hidden disability can be like. It also touches on topics like homelessness and living with a family that rejects, abandons or betrays you. Things that I never experienced or had to live with as a teen, but a lot do.
Please don’t forget to link to one of my posts (not my home page), or comment your link below, and I will link back to all of your posts as soon as I can!!
What are 5 books you wish you had read when you were younger?