Oct 28, 2016

9 times books understood me so well, that they made me cry

They say that books are portable magic. Those written words can make people laugh, teach life lessons, cause tears, and move readers. And sometimes we read stories, and about characters, who are so much like us, who have gone through the exact same thing as we have, and there can be nothing more moving or personal than reading such a story, and finding yourself reflected in the pages of a book.

All avid readers would have, at one point in their life, felt this. I myself, in my journey with books, have come across stories and characters who reminded me of myself a tad bit too much, enough to make those floodgates open by default. So today, my lovely readers, I want to share 9 times, books and characters understood and reflected me so well, that they made me sob uncontrollably.

P.S - This post is obviously going to get personal. Plus, all these 9 books, reflect a darker, sadder side of me, so don't expect sunny experiences, and I've warned you about the possible dirty laundry.

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

I was 9 when I read this book. Obsessed with reading, and feeling weird about it as I felt like I had nothing in common with my classmates and friends. All I could talk about was stories, and Enid Blyton and fairytales, while no one my age was even remotely interested in any of these. Then I read Matilda. The girl who read as much as I did, who loved books as much as I did, and did the most magical things ever while showing me that reading books was not uncool. If I say that I didn't spend nights in my room secretly staring at things, willing them to move, I would be lying.

2. Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

I've never been able to belong in any clique while in school. SL schools didn't have the stereotypes, that YA books portray, but there sure were cliques. And in my class, it was basically a situation, clique no 1, clique no 2, clique no 3 and Mishma. As you can see, life was pretty lonely. I just could never stick to one type of people I guess? Then I read Teen Idol. I saw myself reflected in Jen, but the best part, I saw in her what I could be, instead what I was at that time. Yes, I didn't fit into the role of the characteristics of any particular clique. But that also enabled me to be a part of every one of those. I understood that I had to change myself a little bit to be dynamic. Dynamic enough to be like Jen, the person who was able to befriend all stereotypes, all cliques, and someone who can adapt to anything. She describes that she is mayonnaise at one point, and to date, that's something that accurately describes me.

3. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

The book that led me to vent out frustration through writing. I developed a passion for poetry, discovered the beauty of free verse, and most of all, got the inspiration to take up the pen and put out feelings, aggression and all those bitter emotions that overtook my life as a pre teen.

4. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Would you believe me if I said that I never knew that anxiety and panic attacks were a legit thing until I read this book? That I didn't know a term for those explosive episodes where adrenaline gets the best of me, and I just can't control my heartbeat or the struggle in breathing? When I read Crash Into You, and learnt about Rachel's similar experiences, similar fear of talking in the public, and her nature of getting panic attacks, I just wanted to break down and cry, because that was the first time I read, watched or even knew of a person who was similar. The book didn't help me get over them or anything, in fact, the bout of panic attacks and moments of hysterics still overwhelm me at times, but this book, made me aware, made me understand, what exactly those mini tornadoes are.

5. The DUFF by Kodi Keplinger

This book taught me that being insecure is universal. Something that 14 year old me, desperately needed to know. Bianca's insecurity, was so like my own, it was so uncanny, that I had this small satisfaction that the demon that is insecurity doesn't plague me alone. Everytime I look at the mirror, everytime I think that I am not pretty enough, not fair enough, my size isn't perfect or pick on all of my flaws, I remember that it's normal, that I shouldn't let it get to me, and have learned to grow into my looks.

6. Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

I have never ever read a book that captured depression as perfectly as Damsel Distressed. The book deals with both insecurity and depression, and shows the ugly side of both those aspects, while realistically portraying the jealousy, the frustration, the hopelessness and all those negative emotions that come with the package. I shed tears for Imogen, I shed tears for myself, and learnt that I am not in this battle alone, and hoped to thrive amidst all of it, just as Imogen did in the book.

7. Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens

This one was pretty hard. If I put it bluntly, I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a man I trusted when I was 13. It was probably the toughest period of my life, and I once talked about it on the blog sometime back. I read Faking Normal, a long time after it happened. But still, it reopened wounds, and opened the floodgates all the same. More than anything, the book's message of, "it's not your fault" is what made me all the more emotional. All my days as a pre teen, I spent chastising myself, thinking that I brought it on myself, as I let it happen for a considerable time before snapping - but this book reminded me again, that nothing of that is my fault, and it will never be anyone's fault that something like that had happened to them.

8. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Again a book I read sometime after battling the story's concept. Another book which portrayed depression beautifully, it took me back to those days where I wanted to lose hope, and end my life. And reading this book made me sob for that girl I was, while beaming proudly for the decision she took, to live with it all, to face all her demons, and live in the face of everything that made her life difficult. It was a bittersweet reminder to say the least.

9. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Now this one, made me realise something. I also said this in my review of the book, Griffin's OCD with numbers was so similar to my own, that it initiated so many feels inside me. I have this obsession with number 9 - if you thought that this list having exactly 9 books was a coincidence, you are mistaken - and reading this book made me understand myself and that obsession much more, and I am extremely thankful for it. In addition, when I learned that Adam Silvera himself also has the habit of favouring even numbers like his character Griffin, it was all the more amazing, helping me to feel less weird regarding my own favouration for the digit.

Not going to lie, that was not an easy post to write. Now tell me about your experience. Have you read books where the story and character was too similar to yourself and experiences? Share them with me in the comments!

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