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Let’s Discuss: Books That Changed Your Life

Oh, NBD, we’re just talking about books that CHANGED OUR LIVES FOREVER.

Just being all casual-like today…

Let’s Discuss: Books That Changed Your Life

books that changed your life ya books

While I think the phrase “this book changed my life” is grossly overused, I cannot fight the truth of the statement in my own life.

I would LOVE to know what books have had an impact on you – or dare I say – changed your life forever?!

For me, I have some key points in my life that are marked by amazing stories:

High school: Year 1: To Kill a Mockingbird. I was just starting to read the classics my freshman year of high school, and we were assigned this book. The recent death of Harper Lee reminded me how much I fell in love with this story and how it opened my mind to things I never considered before.

High school: Year 3: This crazy girl in my AP Composition class handed me Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, and my life was changed. This novel opened me up to reading high fantasy and introduced me to some of my favorite books of all time.

College: All Years I was an English Lit minor in college and, man, did I read a lot of eye-opening books! A few notable authors I loved during this time was Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie, Sharon Shinn and Stephen Chbosky.

Back to YA: Although I’ve always read YA, when I worked at Books-A-Million in my poor post-grad days (re: see the verrrrrry first few posts here back in 2009. Actually don’t. They’re very sad. I was jobless and depressed :/ ), I picked up The Hunger Games, Graceling and Storm Glass. These books sucked me RIGHT back into YA in a second. Graceling is a YA classic in my book – an absolute must-read.

Contemporary Books: For a VERY long time, I only read fantasy or scifi novels, but a few years ago I finally tried contemporary books…and promptly wanted to kick myself for missing out. Books that truly changed my reading life were: anything by Kasie West, Breathe, Annie, Breathe, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Since You’ve Been Gone.

What periods of your life have been marked by GREAT books? What books have spurred you on to try new authors or genres?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Danaie Verrett

    I have been wanting to read Graceling and To all the boys i loved before.


    Books that have changed my life:
    1. Pride and Prejudice—I fell in love with love and with reading. I have been a Janite ever since my first Austen book which I read in 6th grade (I think it was abridged.)
    2. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns—I was in a non-reading phase of my life for over ten years. This book brought me back.
    3. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis—I read them as a girl; I read them to my girls when they were young; we read them again together when they were teens. The whole series has been so important to my family.
    4.To Kill a Mockingbird—I didn’t read this until I was an adult, so it hasn’t changed my life, per se, but it has certainly given me cause to stop and think
    5. A Wrinkle in Time by L’Engle—this was my favorite book as a kid and it touched me at some deep spot. I can’t even tell you how important this book was to me. I reread it to my children when they were elementary school age and I wondered what I had thought was so special. Sometimes it is not good to reread old favorites for fear that the memory will become tarnished.
    6. Modern or more contemporary authors who have affected my life: John Green, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and so many others. When I first became a high school librarian I had so much catching up to do since I wasn’t a big YA reader before then. John Green (Looking for Alaska) was one of the first YA authors who really rocked my world and made me realize how special YA Lit can be.
    7. Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden—I am rereading this small volume right now. Housden makes poetry accessible by his explanations and descriptions. He points out the symbolism and explains meanings of phrases. For the first time in my life I actually started loving poetry. I read through his whole Ten Poems series.

  • Great post idea! Books that changed my life: Jane Eyre, The Brothers Karamazov, and Surprised by Hope. Several others have left remarkable impressions on me, but I would say these are the ones that actually changed my perspective about life.

  • Tine

    The book that changed me the most was definitely A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was summer, I was out of books to read and the library was closed, so I picked it up from my mother’s nightstand & just started reading. I was about 11 years old (I think) & it left a REALLY big impression.
    Other books are Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, If this this a man by Primo Levi and Cassandra Clare’s books. That last one is in this list a bit because of the stories themselves, but mostly because Cassie basically educated me on LGBTQA, feminism & all that sort of stuff on her tumblr (which I read through because of her books).

    Sharon Shinn is still on my reading list, but I’m really excited to get to her books!