Reading is my favorite hobby. I have read a myriad of books and loved most of them. But there are a select few that have changed my life. These novels have the power to make you feel like you're on top of the world. I believe that everyone should pick up these books if they want their lives to be transformed in a way they never thought possible.
1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Follow this duology into the heart of Ketterdam, a city run by the notorious criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Brekker and his gang of misfits, thieves, and murders are complacent in their duties until they are approached to complete an impossible heist. It's up to six criminals to save an entire race of people. Will they succeed? The book is filled with magic, mayhem, and mystery. I promise you will be sitting on the edge of your seat for the entire book. I know many people aren't high fantasy lovers, but Six of Crows is my favorite book of all time, so naturally, it has to be on this list. The way you view criminals will completely shift after reading this novel. For me, it was easy to write off every person with a criminal record as a bad person, but now I look a little more closely at "bad" people because they might not be so "bad" after all.
2. The Kiss of Deception by Maggie E. Pearson
This book follows Princess Lia as she is to follow out her duty as the first daughter and participate in an arranged marriage. Though, at last minute decided to run away from everything she's ever known. Her betrothed and an assassin set out to find her, though you can't tell who is the assassin or the man left waiting at the altar. It took me a long time to pick up this book because I didn't believe it was worth the hype. But then I started reading it, and I couldn't put it down. This world is so intricate and full of life. Every plot twist has you shaken to your core. This book showed me that I can be headstrong resilient. The goals that others want for me aren't the goals I have to adopt and setting out to be my own person is the best thing I can do for myself.
3. Commonwealth by Anne Patchett
Commonwealth is a coming-of-age novel about two families who are destined to be intertwined when Bert Cousins arrives unannounced to Franny Keating's christening. From that moment the story unravels into a beautiful tale about love, family, and heartbreak. I love this book because the characters have faults and don't always do the right thing but stick together regardless. Commonwealth paints a memorable and radiant tale of what family really is. Commonwealth taught me that no matter how, broken, screwed up, or different a family might seem, they are beautiful and necessary to one's betterment throughout life.
4. City of Thieves
City of Thieves is another book I picked up on a whim but fell in love with instantly. This novel follows Lev Beniov in Russia during World War II. Beniov lands in jail where he meets army deserter Kolya. They meet the general and are given the impossible task of finding a dozen eggs during the Nazi siege of Leningrad. If they don't find the eggs, they will be executed. This book has a beautiful yet haunting way of depicting the horrors of World War II and how it affected the Russian people. This book made me scream, cry, and yearn to help the people having to suffer so terribly. The Holocaust was trying and terrible time; people all over the world had to endure major trauma to survive the evil of fascists and ignoramuses. I also learned that bad times don't last forever. Perseverance is the key to every situation.
5. The Lunar Chronicles
The Lunar Chronicles tells a story about greed and corruption with common fairy tales, starting with Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. Cinder's evil stepmother sells her for research when her youngest daughter contracts an incurable disease. Luckily the prince of New Beijing is there to rescue Cinder. As they start falling for each other, Cinder finds out some secrets about her past that could destroy any future they plan. The Lunar Chronicles is over-flowing adventure, romance, and cute friendships. Likewise, I ignored the Lunar Chronicles for years. Many people told me to pick this series up, but I didn't for some inane reason or another. When I finally did, it was I couldn't have been more ecstatic about what I found. The Lunar Chronicles is an action-filled series from start to finish. The series taught me to be true to who I am. The world may not like who I am or what I have to offer, but I am secure in that fact that my motives drive me towards good and not evil.
These books have taught me a lot but also were the things I needed when life got too overwhelming. It's easy to get caught up in all the stress of life, but these novels made it possible for me to slow down and enjoy the time in which I was reading them. Whether you need to laugh a little, cry, smile, be serious, or lose yourself, each one of these can help you get to where you need to be.