I'm an avid believer that everyone, no matter if they hate reading or not, should have one book they can come back to for some feel-good moments. Sometimes, after the real world tires you out, there's a need to be able to jump into a whole new world apart from your own. A book that will make your insides feel all warm, then smash your heart to bits, and in the end put it all back together with new lessons learned from the entire ordeal. Sure, some of these books may not be for you, but anyone can find something they like in this short list.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
As many of these books are, this is a coming of age story that really breaks your heart before it makes you feel a lot better. Readers follow the really awkward Charlie as he tries to navigate life during his freshman year in high school. If you suspect this kid has some skeletons in his closet — he does. Don't judge him too quick, and definitely don't judge those around him. With everything from family drama and personal anxiety to sex and drugs, this book has it all. I started the list with this book because this story will truly leave the reader content with the ending.
"Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life" by Wendy Mass
I will admit, this one is a tad bit odd. As a collector of mutant candy and someone who all but refuses to leave a four block radius from his home, Jeremy Fink is one interesting kid. Throughout the novel, readers follow this almost 13-year-old as he attempts to find the keys to a mysterious box he received in the mail. Following Jeremy's crazy adventure will leave you laughing and wishing you were right there with him.
"Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie" by Jordan Sonnenblick
While I could say this about any of the books on this list, this is one that truly holds a close place to my heart. This story revolves around a teenager named Steven who just seems like an ordinary guy. However, he isn't always the best at dealing with school, relationships, or family. Let's be honest, who can really handle all three? Welcome to the story of a drummer — loving boy dealing with family and dangerous pie.
"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman
This is the only non-coming of age story you'll see on this list, considering we follow a very much of age man named Ove. While many people nowadays seemed to simply dismiss the elderly, Ove is very similar and very different to all the stereotypes we all know. As Ove struggles with his own internal feelings, he must try to figure out what is best for himself and those around him, when he deems it necessary of course. This heartfelt book is slow to start, but by the end, it'll be playing with your heartstrings like a fiddle.
"Zen and the Art of Faking It" by Jordan Sonnenblick
Everyone has had that point in their lives when they wished they could just start over. Well, this is the story of the guy that (kinda) got a chance to. Although, the way he goes about it, he is almost immediately doomed for disaster. I encourage you to join this wild ride as the reader laughs, cringes, and reads stupefied while San tries to juggle a few too many things on his plate, and hopefully learn a lesson about not being yourself.
"Winter Town" by Stephen Emond
There are few too many books about estranged friendships and far too many about solid romance. This is the story of much more of the former than the latter. Evan is your normal teenager who is definitely way too smart for his own good who just wants to help his old best friend. Although, after realizing his once close friend has drastically changed, he must try to find her true self again. In the process, however, he finds more about himself and what that friendship truly means to him. With the winter spirit filling the pages, family issues littered all around, and two teenagers trying to figure out their lives, no one should go without reading this.
"Smiles To Go" by Jerry Spinelli
This last book is one that is a decent amount dorkier and a tad bit nerdier than the rest. If you made it this far, I'm sure you'll enjoy it just as much, if not more than I did. This story follows Will Tuppence. He's your average kid, living a pretty average life, that is, until he finds out protons can in fact die. Something so small yet he's fascinated by it, and what that means for the rest of his life. This stargazing skateboarder had his life all planned out before that, but now he seems to spiral and it doesn't help his best friends seem to be doing something else behind his back. Stargaze with this future astronomer as his world goes crazy and you might just learn a thing or two about realizing how small we are in this large universe.