Top 5 Wednesday

Books For My Younger Self

younger self

Hello fellow bookworms 📚 It’s time for another Top Five Wednesday, which is a weekly meme which was created by Lainey and is now hosted by Sam! This week’s topic is Books For My Younger Self so the idea is that we should pick “Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self-confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.” which is such a cool topic to talk about!

This topic was perfect for me as I didn’t read a lot during my high school years (I’m still sad about this, think of all the books I could have read) and really hope that I would have had certain books to help me through difficult times and make me happy when things were getting stressful. This will be a rather personal post, as it of course directly relates to my younger self and the experiences I had back then, which are not all positive, as life tends to be. Let’s just say that this is a small window into my soul back when I was in high school.

Trenn Kopie

1. Queens of Geek (Jen Wilde)

“That’s what we do. We walk a tightrope every day. Getting out the door is a tightrope. Going grocery shopping is a tightrope. Socializing is a tightrope. Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak.” 

Not only would have younger me liked the fandom culture, which is super relatable, I would have adored the friendships and romance as well. This book is so right up my alley that I would have liked it at any point during the last years! However, specifically for my high school years this book would have had a monumental impact. I mentioned before how this book made me very emotional when I read it, because the anxiety representation was so on point. I felt deeply connected to Tay and her thoughts, it felt like she was me and this realness and her journey throughout the book felt so empowering too. She is getting out of her comfort zone, while staying who she is and she struggles with it. Tay was so relatable for me and she made me feel less alone with my own struggles. It felt like she understood me like no one else had before. I wish someone would have told me back than that it’s okay to be who you are, that it’s okay if I’m failing, because I’m trying my hardest every day again and again and again. This book made me feel like there is nothing wrong with me and that is a message that I would gave desperately needed in high school.

2. Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan)

“Piper gripped his hand and followed him, “If I fall, you’re catching me.” “Uh, sure.” Jason hoped he wasn’t blushing.
Leo stepped out next. “You’re catching me, too, Superman. But I ain’t holding your hand.”

I honestly wish I had read more Rick Riordan back then, because I only read Percy Jackson and loved it a lot. However, I never got around to reading his other books and it makes me a bit sad, as they could have become a great joy in my life. The reading experience would have been fantastic, because Riordan is one of my favorite authors and was back then too! It would have been great to have these books whenever I needed a laugh and a distraction when things were not so great. I could have especially needed this book during a very tough time, to tell me it was going to be okay again even if it didn’t look that way at the time. I’m still not caught up on the Heroes of Olympus Series (only 1 book to go), but I wish I would have binge read it back when I was in high school. It could have definitely saved me after a stressful day of school!

3. A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)

“He knew it would come, and soon, maybe even this 12:07. The moment she would slip from his grasp, no matter how tightly he held on. And he also knew he was going to get through it. It would be terrible. It would be beyond terrible. But he’d survive.” 

It’s personal sad story time, as this one is related to grief and my great-grandmother’s death. Now I would have liked 2015 Me to have this book at hand when it happened, because it was (fortunately) the first time I was ever confronted with heavy grief. I was very close to my great grandmother, she was always warm, kind and cared about me a lot. So the grief was intense when she died. Of course I knew this day would come – my grandma lived to be 91 after all and I’m fortunate to have spent so much time with her – but I still wished she was here, that she had witnessed my graduation 6 months after and seen me now. A Monster Calls deals with grief and that’s why this book would have resonated with me so deeply. My first encounter with this kind of grief could have been helped by this book. It’s Middle Grade, but I feel like it can apply to any age range. Every year I read it and I’m emotionally moved by how well this book deals with the topic. Just thinking about how it has been 3 years since my grandma’s death is honestly shocking me. It has been so long and I miss her every day.

4. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

“It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on, coughing and searching, and finding.”

I honestly think that past me would have really appreciated this book and took time to savour it. Back then I was loving historical fiction even more, so this would have been THE book for me to read! Apart from the genre being something I wish I had read even more back then, The Book Thief is also a very impactful book. It’s unique – being told through Death’s POV is something I have never seen before – and emotionally attachment to the characters is guaranteed. I have a lot of quotes I like from this book and while a lot of them are sad, the book is also about inner strength and enduring even in the darkest times. The main character uses words to describe her story and her love for books – them being an anchor among all the war – is something so beautiful it would have moved me. I think reading this book would have also reignited my love for reading in a lot of ways, so I wish I had read it or even known if it’s existence back then when I needed an impactful book to  read!

5. The Young Elites (Marie Lu)

“To love is to be afraid. You are frightened, deathly terrified, that something will happen to those you love. Think of the possibilities. Does your heart clench with each thought? That, my friend, is love. And love enslaves us all, for you cannot have love without fear.” 

I mean I love this book in general, so of course I would recommend it to younger me: the villain arc and later development in here is fantastic and ends in a way that I found deeply resonating and realistic. The thing I like most about the main character Adelina though, is that I can understand where she is coming from. She has been constantly mistreated and it has caused her to hold her emotions tight and coil hatred around her heart. This of course hasn’t happened to me, but I guess that we all feel used, mistreated and not understood at times. It’s sadly inevitable and I felt like that too a lot of the time in the less nice periods of high school. What Adelina is feeling isn’t pretty, she makes horrible choices, but I found it refreshing that we see a main character struggle so much. It’s okay to be angry and hurt, it’s okay not to be okay. In the end this book ends with a message of light despite darkness, emphasising that despite all the hurt you can still change, you can let go of the darkness and hold on to the light. (Wow this is getting metaphorical. I can only highly recommend reading the books, they are great!)

Talk Kopie

What books do you wish your younger self had read? 📚

26 thoughts on “Books For My Younger Self

  1. Ahhh I love this post so much, Caro!! I adore The Young Elites (as you know, hehe), and I only just finished reading it for third time, so seeing someone else love it makes my heart warm. :’)

    And The Book Thief is such an amazing book—I actually read it in both German and English; I still have to watch the movie though, have you seen it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lily! 💕 I love these books so much, they are really underrated 😱💕 I really have to reread them soon! ❤️

      I have seen the movie and really liked it! The end was brutal, as now you‘ve got it visually too 😥

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  2. This is such a wonderful and honest post, Caro, I loved reading this so, very much ❤ I wish I had a book like Queens of Geek earlier on as well, the anxiety rep was brilliant and I loved these characters and their friendships so, very much as well ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read PJO when I was in middle school and I love his works ever since! But honestly, you can still enjoy RR books even in your current age. I’m 25 and I still devour them LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh these are brilliant picks for this weeks topic Caro. 🙂 Queens of Geek is a book I would have loved to have read when I was younger, or even just four or five years ago, because some of the things the characters said would have been a huge help for me when I was suffering from anxiety issues.
    The Book Thief is an all-time favourite of mine, and yeah one I wish I’d picked up sooner than I did. There are a lot of emotions in that one, the way Death told the story stayed with me for a long time, and it really packs a punch doesn’t it?
    Great picks, and great post as well. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 ❤️ Yes, I wish I had read Queens of Geek even sooner, especially when I was in my first semester of university, because it really could have helped me!
      The Book Thief is a book I only read last year, so pretty late 😱 I really packs a punch and totally made me cry at 2am, because it was so heartbreaking 😧 (and very unique!)

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  5. Hi Caro! I just found your blog and I’m excited to read more of your posts! (And your blog design is so beautiful and unique — I love all the little teacup designs in your background, and Alice in Wonderland theme you have ☕️💕).

    Rick Riordan’s books were a huge part of my childhood throughout elementary and middle school, and I actually made a lot of friends by bonding over the Percy Jackson series and The Heroes of Olympus series. The humor, introduction to Greek and Roman mythology, and the witty banter between all the character will forever be something I hold close to my heart. 😊

    I’ve never read Queens of Geek, but now that I’ve read this post of yours, it sounds like a book I would really enjoy and love. I also definitely need to get around to reading A Monster Calls and The Young Elites, too. Thank you for sharing your connections with these books, it definitely made me interested in reading all of the books you have on this list 💕 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kinds words 💕 I hope you enjoy my posts! (are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland a well? 😄)

      That’s fantastic! I only read the Percy Jackson books back then, but I loved them a lot and now I have read almost everything Riordan has written – his humor and dealing with mythology never fails to amuse me and make me love his books 😍 What is your favorite book by him?

      I can highly recommend it, the anxiety rep is so well done and both the characters and their friendships are really heartwarming 🙂 Thank you for reading, I hope you will love the books should you decide to read them 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the story of Alice in Wonderland, but I admit, I’ve never read the original book by Lewis Carroll. But that’s going to change real fast because I recently finish reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer — and oh my goodness, if you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I think you’ll *adore* Heartless 😊 It’s Meyer’s retelling of the backstory behind the Queen of Hearts, and all the references to the little oddities and peculiarities of Wonderland were so so fun to read! I would definitely recommend it 😋

        Just curious, why are you an Alice in Wonderland fan? Is it because of the original book, or the movies, or just the story?

        And hmmmm I can’t really choose a favorite Rick Riordan book… but I think I will always hold the original Percy Jackson series & The Heroes of Olympus series close to my heart, since both of those series sparked so many discussions & friendships for me when I was young 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I actually read the first book, but I have not read Heartless yet, even though I love Marissa Meyer 😱 I’ll have to read it soon, as I love all things connected to Wonderland 💕

        Oh that’s tough, I think it started with the first movie, then I read the book and began loving all of it 🙂

        They are definitely the original favorites for me, even though I have yet to read the last Heroes of Olympus book 😱

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