I don’t even know how to start this post. This is pretty much just a list of books that blew my damn mind either because of what the writer accomplished, how they made me feel after, or because they changed my life. Here we go! (note: I’m trying to remember all the trigger warnings for these books but I might forget some)
Eleanor Oliphant. Holy shit. I did not know what I was getting into when I read this book. I had it for awhile before I read it and once I did *head explosion* Eleanor is like me in many ways and I never expected to see that as a book character or a character in a ridiculously popular book. Eleanor’s weirdness, her struggles with mental health, her meh feelings about other people…I was in shock. And the ending. Holy Hell. I also love when a character is shown in the process of healing and that is considered a happy ending. I own two copies of this book for a reason. I freaking love it. TW for suicide
Sadie blew my mind from the first page. As soon as I realized part of the book was written like a podcast, I fell off my couch in despair. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?! I had listened to Serial. Why didn’t I think to format it into a book?! What a genius idea!! I did not know yet that Courtney Summer is a freaking genius (subscribe to her newsletter!). I think about this book at least once a month. It’s absurdly good. It’s sad but not in a hopeless way. I know some people are iffy on the ending, but it’s exactly what I needed.
Color Me In was a rollercoaster ride and I was in tears for most of it. If you read my review of this, you know the Bat Mitzvah scene ruined me. I’ve never cried at a real Bar/Bat Mitzvah but this one…ugly sobbing!
I also learned soooo much from this book. I thought I knew what Black people were talking about when they talked about their interactions with the police and other white people in the world, but this book showed me I had no idea. I don’t think I’ve ever been so afraid for characters before than when I read certain scenes in Color Me In.
I also didn’t have the traditional Jewish experience growing up so I highly related to Nevaeh in the moments where she had to learn Hebrew and go through the Bat Mitzvah process. It was all very unfamiliar to me too.
I also related to the having a shitty father thing but that’s another story lol.
Ok, so I cry while reading most books. I can watch a sad movie or TV show and feel almost nothing, but a book…I’m done for. The tears can spill for any reason. I think it’s because it’s in my head instead of in front of me on a screen. Idk. With all that in mind, I think I sobbed for a full 30 minutes are finishing Every Note Played. It ripped my soul out and threw it on the ground. It hurt parts of me I didn’t know existed. I guess that’s what happens when the person writing the book is an expert in the field she’s writing about. She makes it so real that it might as well be happening to you. I donated money to an ALS organization after reading. It punched me hard.
I think about the ending of this book at least once a week. The way this is written makes me want to cry because it expertly done. I know there are some who have problems with some of the descriptions of characters or because of the foggy formatting and that’s fine. We all have very valid reason for DNF-ing.
For me, this book changed what I thought a book could be. I thought this was just going to be another mystery with some fantasy elements. Cool. Great. NOPE. I screamed when I realized what was going on because I had not a clue it was coming. The work I know must have gone into this to make it right astonishes me. I kind of want to give away the ending here, but I want you to have the feeling I had when you get to the end. I can’t take that away.
Oh boy. Here we go! Sawkill Girls. My love of loves. I’ve recommended this book to EVERYONE. This was the first book that made me wonder about the NYT bestsellers list and it’s validity because…HOW THE FUCK IS THIS NOT A BESTSELLER?! How were people not screaming about this book?!
Claire Legrand weaved a badass, femenist tale with monsters, magic moths, and an other world. It’s got THREE LGBT+ characters. Marion and Val are either bisexual or lesbians and Zoey (my favorite character!!) is ace. In one scene, a bunch of dudes pit them against each other and they turn around and fight the dudes TOGETHER!! Excuse me while I go grab my baseball bad to kill a misogynist demon. TW for choking, killings, death, mention/allusion to sexual assault/rape
I think I’ve said it before, but if you don’t know, I’ve been on a Holocaust book ban for about two years. I can’t read about the Holocaust, Nazis, or any WWII story related to those horrific things. Right now, it seems too real. It’s not fun or an escape.
Annelies was my one exception. Anne Frank has been a figure in my life since I was in elementary school. She was the only Jewish girl I knew and I only knew her from reading her book. So when I read that this book was coming out, I knew I had to have it.
Real talk: I was worried. I always get worried when a male author writes about someone I look up to (we’ll get to that more later). But David R. Gillham knocked it out of the goddamn park. The anger, the guilt, the sadness, the loss of hope. What else would Anne feel after surviving the camps?
This book made me wish with everything I have that she had made it. That she had survived. That she could have met little girls from all around the world and given them a piece of hope. That she would have learned to live again.
Ok, I can already guess what you’re thinking. WTF is this book doing on a list with the others?! This one is purely fun! Which if you’ve read some of these books, you know is sorely needed.
I have watched and LOVED the BBC’s adaptation of Robin Hood. It’s corny and delightful. It also happens to star Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisbourne. Be attracted to whoever you like, but look up a video of that show and tell me Marion doesn’t need her eyes checked for wanting Robin Hood when Guy of Gisbourne looks like that. (yes, I know attractive people can be pieces of shit. I read the news!)
This book gives me everything I wanted from that show. Also, a lady with a cloak and a bow and arrow is what I aspire to be so…
THIS BOOK. I cried and cried and then cried some more. This book is about grief and what that does to people. It follows two very different women and looooooooooord. It made me rethink my life and I cannot recommend it enough. Just…make sure you’re in the right mindset. TW for miscarriage, loss of a child, and cancer.
Would you like to cry for hours? Then read this book lol. I’m not entirely sure why people either love or hate The Binding. Is it because it’s a tragic story featuring gay characters? Or is it the non-linear timeline? It does have a happy-ish ending.
But whatever reason people don’t like it, I got lost in it. The way it deals with memories and what happens when they are erased. It was very well done. Because despite wanting to forget bad memories, I don’t think I’d actually want them erased. They are a part of who I am and who would I be without them? TW: suicide, homophobia, mention/allusion to sexual assault
I know I mentioned it in my review for this book, but I am incredibly interested in any story about Nellie Bly. She is one of my role models. She is brave af and tenacious and an all-around badass. This was another book where I was worried when I first heard about the book because…male author writing about an iconic woman, but David Blixt blew it out of the fucking park. I read this in two days and think about certain parts of it at least once a month. It’s so damn good. TW: parts of this take place in an insane asylum…so take precautions if you need to. it’s not pretty. Also, sexism/misogyny
You know what all these books have in common?? They made me ugly cry lol. Six Goodbye We Never Said was no exception. I signed up for the blog tour for this not knowing what I was getting myself into. This is another book that changed the way I thought about myself and was a catalyst to changing something in my life.
How this doesn’t have at least 4 stars on Goodreads I do not know!! Is it the way the stories told? Clearly, I love a nonlinear story structure. I also love two characters struggling with their own shit, but also fighting for one another.
Note: there is no romance in this book. at one point, you might think it’s going to happen, it’s not. this is a friendship book and there are not enough of these. TW: death of a parent, talk of mental illness, mention of suicide
Ok, now that we’ve cried together or…you know what I’ve sobbed over, tell me what books have made a big impact on your life! What books blew your mind??
3 thoughts on “Books That Blew My Mind”
The ending of The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was definitely mind blowing! Great list!
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Thank you!! And right?? I screamed. Loved it.