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Read It and Keep: Five Books You Need to Read Before You’re 20

1.) The Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky​                                           

Courtesy: Variety Magazine

Say hello to Charlie – a boy with the innocence of Scout Finch and the soul of Holden Caufield. Allow him to take you on a journey through his life and pry open something inside you that you didn’t even know was there. The value of the ordinary in this novel includes everyone in all walks of life. The bittersweet tragedy and heartbroken joy of this novel will leave you with the conviction to keep an out for those who observe. So grab a blanket, tissues, this book and be prepared to raise a glass to the wallflowers.

2.) The HelpKathryn Stockett​​

Courtesy: Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press

Ever heard the saying: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important?” This great saying lies within an even greater book. Be transported to Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960’s. Undoubtedly, The Help is an expose on the racial injustice that took place in this time period, but like always, there’s more to the story. Get ready to make friends with Skeeter, laugh ‘till you cry with Minny and pray with Abileen. This book will have you laughing then crying with the turn of the page. I’ll just be honest, this book will surprise the crap out of you.

3.) To Kill a Mockingbird  – Harper Lee

Courtesy: The New Yorker

How long has it been, six or seven years, since you read this 20th-century treasure? I invite you to dig out your old high school paperback of To Kill a Mockingbird and relive the days of Scout, Jem and Dill playing pretend in the yard. Anguish with Atticus as he battles a fight he knows he cannot win. Find the innocence that society from time to time seems to forget, yet hold dear the purity of this book. Harper Lee sheds light on the South’s dark history while boldly calling to arms those who choose to remain innocent.

4.)  The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger

Courtesy: Variety Magazine

The timeless novel Catcher in the Rye tells the loving tragedy of Holden Caufield – a misunderstood character that takes us on a path through the joys and pains of simply living life and sometimes just not understanding it. Grow up with Holden in this beautifully descriptive novel. If you like having your thoughts provoked and your worldviews questioned, then this is the book for you. Holden’s universal struggles and kindness makes one feel as though they are not so lonely in this world. With Holden, there is no right or wrong – just discovery; discovery of what makes humans human.

5.) The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ Years Old – Hendrik Groen​​

Courtesy: Teller Report

You know, the best books are the ones that bring you joy with a lesson. The 83 ¼-year-old Hendrik teaches us not the glory days of his youth, but the simple, almost maddening days of his senior adulthood. Hendrik’s spunky humor brings warmth to your heart. Although, his honesty of what it’s like to live in an assisted living home might possibly bring you to tears. Don’t fight this, embrace it with an open mind. Allow this book to make you aware of someone other than yourself. Laugh along with Hendrik and his merry band of travelers as they teach you to bring your mind outside of itself.

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Staff Writer for Her Campus FSU
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