5 Books I Recommend Reading Before Leaving High School (Based Off What I’ve Read So Far)

One thing that is certain about me is that I am a book fanatic. Therefore, what could be more fitting than an article about five books that have helped me learn social, emotional, and mental skills in high school? I do want to point out that not all of these books will probably appeal to you, but if you need a reading recommendation, then I hope that this list makes it easy for you. These books are also just ones I have read, but most of them teach you about mental health issues, World War II, and racism among other things. I hope you enjoy reading this list and possibly reading these books. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

5. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better was published in 2019 and is, in my opinion, an absolutely wonderful novel. Again, but Better is about Shane Primaveri, a twenty year old college student, who feels like she’s been doing the college experience wrong. She doesn’t make new friends or date, is in a pre-med program even though she wants to be a writer, and is only doing things to make her parents happy. But now Shane gets a chance to study creative writing in London and have a better experience than before. This book is a great way to remind yourself to stay true to who you are and what you want to do. You don’t have to sacrifice your happiness for other people’s happiness and that is one of the major themes in this book. On top of all that, this book is full of pop culture references and humor that keeps the book light while also bringing up major themes of growing up and learning who you are and who you want to be.

4. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl is the diary of Anne Frank and was originally published in 1947, about two years after her death. This book is especially something I recommend reading if you like to learn about the Holocaust, World War II, and the effect that they had on Jews during that time. Not only does this book give you a look into what the holocaust was like, but it also shows what it was like from a teenager’s perspective. Anne Frank always tried to see the positive and fill tense situations with optimism, even while being continuously fearful for her life. This book shows just how much of an effect the Holocaust had and how one young girl was able to help keep spirits up in a household plagued by the doom of death.

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is a book written about racism and published in 2017. The Hate U Give is about Starr Carter, an African American high school student, who goes to a party one night and later sees her childhood friend shot and killed after being stopped by a police officer. After Khalil, Starr’s childhood friend, is killed, Starr has to choose whether to speak out against police brutality or stay quiet and away from the media. Fair warning, this book might make you shed a few tears, but overall, shows that speaking out against an issue is terrifying but that it ultimately has to be done. This book shows that someone needs to stand up for what’s right and that you can’t wait around for things to change on their own. It also showcases the importance of always being yourself and realizing that if people don’t like you the way they are, you can just ignore them.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Originally published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is, in my opinion, a hard but amazing book to read. It deals with a lot of terrible problems and shows the importance of having friends to help you make it through your traumas and problems. It can get pretty dark with talk of suicide and many other dark issues that plague high schoolers, so don’t read it if it will be triggering for you. As dark as this book can be, it still is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read and one that I believe helps open people’s eyes to the harsh reality of just how bad a lot of issues can be, especially if you don’t have a proper support system. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about Charlie, an introverted high school freshman learning how to navigate high school. He has past traumas that he learns how to deal with and starts to make new friends along the way who help him to understand who he is. Some major themes is this book are the importance of friends, dealing with PTSD and other mental health issues, and how everyone is important in this world. As I mentioned previously, and I cannot stress this enough, if you find talk of suicide, PTSD, or any other mental health issues triggering, then do not read this book. It talks a lot about these problems.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places, my favorite of Jennifer Niven’s novels, was first published in 2015. Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, All the Bright Places can be a difficult book to read at times. Two of the major topics discussed in this book are depression and suicide. So as I said before if you find either of these topics triggering then please don’t read this book. All the Bright Places is about Violet and Finch, two high school teens who run in different crowds and learn how to celebrate the good things in life together and take life one day at a time. I ranked this book at number one because it’s become a book that I make sure to re-read every year. I do this because I find that it always helps to remind me to see the beauty in ordinary parts of life.

I hope that this list helps you to find a meaningful book to read that will help you to learn how to cope with problems you have, understand what other people have to deal with, and stay positive when things are hard. These books are all very good but are all very different in themes and concepts. I think that anyone will find these books impactful in their life. Good luck with your reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s