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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!