Over this winter break, I made it my goal to get into reading. I used this time away from school to explore the many genres out there. Of course, I immediately took to TikTok to explore BookTok, and discover some must-read stories that “everyone” seems to be raving about. Contrary to the majority of TikTok users, I am not a Colleen Hoover super fan. Maybe I am not a romance reader, or maybe just not the biggest fan of the infamous It Ends With Us Story, however I decided to seek some more unconventional reads to find my story preference.
“Such A Fun Age” was the book that re-immersed me into the hobby of reading. The story is about a young black woman who works as a babysitter for white family. During her time here, she is accused of kidnapping the child. In addition to this overarching racial injustice, the main character Emira faces the typical challenges of being in your twenties and experiencing love, careers, and changing life dynamics. I couldn’t put this book down, and I felt that I could resonate with many of the characters in their desire for independence.
“Talking To Strangers” is one of those books that really make you step back and think about the interactions you have with people you know. This psychology book is not your typical personal growth reading- it is a reading that explores human nature to “default to truth” and see the good in all people. This book is an exceptional read if you are looking to be more self aware. Author Timothy Levine makes you question how even the most honest and credible people tragically trusted Adolf Hitler, American fraudster Bernie Madoff, and sex offender Larry Nassar.
“Concrete Rose” is the prequel to the book The Hate U Give. Concrete Rose shows the hardships of seventeen year old Maverick, who is facing the overwhelming obstacles of being a young black male, being a part of a gang he wants out of, and now acting as a teen parent. This book is an important read for everyone because it puts you in the shoes of someone experiencing systematic racism. Once you are subject to oppression, there is an endless cycle to get out of it. There is no “exit” to the gang life, and the “way out” of selling drugs is really just a trap.
Each of these books were completely different, however it was important for me to experience the variety of their stories to find out what I am passionate about reading. I have never considered myself a reader, and was even discouraged from reading after I was not obsessed with the romance books my friends were raving about over break. I have discovered that I enjoy books that make me a better person- whether that be listening to other people’s hardships, or reading about the human mind and how we interact with each other. I encourage everyone reading this post to give reading a try because reading really is enjoyable for all, it just may take a bit of discovery for you to find which books keep you turning the page!