Whether it's a murder mystery or memoir, a novel puts your full attention on the characters' problems and plot twists. By distracting you, reading eliminates boredom and allows your imagination to take control. Reading can even teach you lessons by enabling you to put yourself in others' shoes and showing you how the consequences of your actions can not only affect your life but others' lives as well.
1. "Turtles All The Way Down" by John Green
The main character, Aza, and her best friend, Daisy, pursue the disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett. Along the way, Aza is struggling with the spiral of her thoughts, but Green illuminates her resilience and strength. Each page there is another twist or discovery. Although the two friends are busy with the investigation, and Aza is dealing with her mental health issues, they both manage to discover what true love and friendship is. I know this sounds like a cliché chick book, but it isn't because I wouldn't have read it if it was. The mystery of Russel Pickett keeps you on your toes because you never know what is coming next. Pickett's life left a lot of questions behind for not only Ava and Daisy but also Pickett's family and the police.
2. "Go Set a Watchman" by Harper Lee
I'm sure you are familiar with the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee since almost everyone I know read it in one of their high school English courses. "Go Set a Watchman" sheds more light on the transition out of the illusions of the oast. Lee's novel shows how everyone will end up questioning their values and assumptions because others' actions are not always what they seem. For instance, the people dearest to you or even the town you will live will surprise you. While "To Kill a Mockingbird" may teach us to never judge a book by its cover, but "Go Set a Watchman" goes more in-depth into this lesson. The novel does this by showing us that our prejudices are deeply ingrained and are not always evident after Scout goes to rediscover herself after discovering people in her town and family are not what they seem. Overall, this book will keep you on your toes because it reveals characters flaws that were previously hidden in "To Kill a Mockingbird," along with some hidden lessons as well.
3. "The Tattooist Of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris
This novel reveals the different roles that members of the Jewish community were forced to take in the concentration camps. I know there are a lot of these kinds of books and some people were made to read them in high school, but Morris's book goes more in-depth about the struggles faced by the Jewish community while at concentration camps. For example, the main character is forced to tattoo numbers on each Jewish person's arm to label them as prisoners. While the main character hated harming people, the job came with benefits that allowed him to help fellow prisoners within Auschwitz. This book also follows a love story between the main character and a woman he fell in love with at first sight. This novel depicts not only the struggle of being in love during the Holocaust but also the struggle of attempting to help everyone else survive. While this book sheds light on the happy moments, it also shows the struggle to get those moments. Overall, Morris's novel keeps you intrigued because you never know if the main character will get caught or if the love story will get played out. Also, throughout the whole novel, you learn to appreciate what you have and how blessed you are.
4. "Sex Object: A Memoir" by Jessica Valenti
I know what you're thinking, "Oh look, here is another boring, cliché feminist memoir." Well, I'm here to tell you that you are wrong. Valenti exposes the toll sexism takes on women daily. For instance, she explores how it affects our decision-making and how we look at ourselves. Valenti also emphasizes how it is okay if you aren't always strong or if you play the victim card sometimes since life is hard and women go through a lot. This may sound similar to other feminist memoirs, but it is not because it illuminates how crazy it all is and how catcalling, groping, or anything that stems from sexism doesn't make sense. Valenti makes this message relatable by sharing her stories regarding abortion, online stalkers, and catcalling.