Every now and then a book will take the market by storm and become an instant classic. And we've got to cherish each and every one because books like that are hard to come by. Largely because they're hard to write (trust me). But these authors certainly made it look easy.
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a quick read, but an important one. I don't think I've ever encountered a person who has read this book and didn't fall in love with it. It's a series of letters written by Charlie to an anonymous recipient, detailing his experiences as a high school freshman. It takes all those feelings from high school of not quite belonging and putting them on a page. And there are some Pinterest-worthy quotes here too. Besides the above, there's the striking "We accept the love we think we deserve," and the ever classic, "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This book will leave you thinking, much like most of the books on this list. It tells the story of Pi, which comes to a climax when he finds himself adrift on the ocean after a shipwreck with a boat of animals. This includes an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and most famously, a tiger. We follow Pi as he tries to survive, and learn a pretty important lesson about storytelling (which you'll have to read to find out because alas, spoilers.)
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
It's 2017 and evidently, we as Americans are still having problems with race relations. And this book provides a glimpse into such problems, even if it is set a few decades back. We learn about the adversities black people faced long after being freed from slavery, carrying into decades to come. We follow Skeeter, a white writer looking to write a book about 'the help', the black women who serve as housekeepers for upper-middle-class families. We follow 'the help' as well, and celebrate the diversity each character brings.
4. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
This one may be a bit unorthodox, but this novel is essentially a modern day 1984 (which made my actual classics list). I can't speak for the movie adaptation, but the book is engaging and kind of terrifying. Once again the reader finds themselves in a dystopian mindset, even though this technically takes place in the modern day. Project Mayhem should terrify you, but it's also guaranteed to make you think long and hard about the society that we're living in.
5. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
This. This is my favorite book of all time, ever. I will never run out of good things to say about this book. And okay, maybe it isn't entirely modern because it was published in 1967, but I simply had to include it. It tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis, a teenage boy living in 1960's Tulsa, where the city is divided into the poor greasers and the rich Socs. There's a little bit of humor, a fair amount of tragedy, and a generous helping of truth. I think similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it's one of those books everyone can find themselves in. A universally relatable book is difficult to write, but S. E. Hinton mastered it at the ripe old age of 16.