My Top 5 Inspiring Contemporary Books

I’m such an emotional book reader and a sucker for contemporary romance. I have read my fair share of classic literature, but blame it on having a quarter – life crisis that I actually find these modern-day reads so much more appealing and interesting.

Just this year alone, I’ve read more than 250+ contemporary books. Addict much? Yes, yes I am. But here are some of the books that truly made an impact in my life:

1.) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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I remember early last year when I was on the hunt for a new good book to read, so I went to the bookstore and decided on this book’s eye-catching cover. I didn’t know much about the plot and how the story will develop but I decided to just dive in headfirst anyway.

Just thinking about this book brings back so much heavy emotion that might cause me to tear up while writing this article. It’s that kind of emotional read. By now, we all know that the main premise of this story revolves around two young cancer patients and their different perspectives on life and love is with their condition. But what really got me was the raw and honest insight into the deeper appreciation of the smallest things in life, which gives a whole new meaning to “living your life to the fullest” and not taking a single thing or person for granted.

Favorite Quote: “There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

2.) Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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Definitely one of the best and most emotional-heavy books I’ve read in 2013. Sometimes you really just have to fight hard to find the beauty in tragedy and loss, and that’s what this book is all about.

I guess what I loved best about this book was that it was way more than just a romance story. There were at least three storylines that were connected beautifully, all of which show the fragility of human life, of living life to the fullest, and finding beauty and light even in the darkest of days. It’s a fact that this story will gut you to the core, but that’s just because it would also give you some of the funniest and humorously heartwarming moments as well. The pain becomes even more unbearable because of all those fleeting happy moments. But even if that’s the case, it’s all the more reason to cherish those happy moments that we were blessed to experience in the first place.

Favorite Quote:“And so we endure. We have faith that there is a purpose. We hope for things we can’t see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can’t contain it.”

3.) Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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In my opinion, one of the best young adult books in my generation. Just like Charlie, I find myself being one with the songs I listen to and the books I read, and yet I still manage to have a lot of questions left unanswered about my life and the world around me. I truly believe everyone will see a bit of their selves in Charlie’s character and this book will surely make a person want to take some time to reflect and discern about their experiences and their future.

Perks of Being a Wallflower doesn’t really give you the answers and solutions to life and its complications; rather, it helps in putting things in perspective and knowing that life should always go on and move forward no matter how shady or dubious the road to the future may be. This book is not about the cliches in life–it’s about just how real life is and how even a person consumed with deep thoughts should still participate in his/her life here and now. This book is as honest as it can get.

Favorite Quote: “So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

4.) Divergent by Veronica Roth

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This is one of my most beloved young adult series and books. I know that it’s been constantly compared to The Hunger Games because of the dystopian setting, but I actually liked this one more. Divergent shows us just how far our choices in life will take us. And that it’s definitely not all rainbows and butterflies, it’s about bravery and sacrifice—which is in a way one and the same.

Probably the best things that stood out for me in this story is the fact that I can actually relate to Tris’ (main heroine) growth from being a meek and timid girl, then transforming into a fierce and strong fighter. It taught me that not all of us are born warriors and fighters but just having something to fight for is enough for us to be stronger and more motivated. There are other facets within this story—politics, romance, loyalty and camaraderie—and all of which highlights the importance of how important it is to make your mark and carefully discern each and every single choice you make in life.

Favorite Quote: “Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up. I’ve seen it. It’s fascinating. Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.”

5.) Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

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This one’s not your typical angsty teenage girl meets equally angsty teenage boy who then find love and solace with each other, because they didn’t—not that easily, at least. Sea of Tranquility is one of the most highly regarded new adult novels and with good reason. The story goes beyond the annoying angsty aspects, which are more often than not present in the new adult genre today.

Both the characters—Josh and Nastya/Emilia—are deeply damaged in more ways than one. And when circumstances brought them together, they found a kindred spirit and intimate connection with one another that provided them comfort amidst what they’ve been through. It was a really long journey for them to save each other but it was worth every page getting to their happy ever after. This story is one of those that you’ll need some time to think it over and over after you’ve read it. Honestly, it just made me believe that in this fucked up world, a happy ever after—or at least something that closely resembles it—is still possible with the right person.

Favorite Quote: “I need to know that there’s a way for people like us to end up okay. I need to now that there even is such a thing as okay, or maybe not just okay, maybe even good, and it’s out there and we just haven’t found it yet. There’s got to be a happier ending than this, here. There’s got to be a better story. Because we deserve one. You deserve one. Even if it doesn’t end with you coming back to me.”