The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


My Timeless Books

No matter how cliché it sounds, books are a way to escape to another life. Reading a book takes me away from life’s real problems and allows me to focus on other characters’ worlds for awhile. I find this mostly in young adult novels as they capture the young imagination while counteracting fantasy with harsh reality.  One thing I have noticed about books is that not every book works for everyone, and in turn, some books just click with certain people. Here is a list of my timeless favorites; young adult books that will stay on my bookshelf forever.

 6. “Paper Towns”

John Green

I know what you are thinking, another cliché John Green book. Well, that’s what I thought when I decided to read it; another “amazing” book, only given that title because of its author and his self-proclaimed bookworm fans. But, it’s safe to say that “Paper Towns” was the book that changed my mind about John Green. I saw his books as needy and extremely angsty, but something about this one left me thinking about the plot for weeks. The characters were relatable and the plot wasn’t, but it reminded me of something that might happen. I won’t go into too much detail about the plot, but two teens set out on adventure that leaves one in search of the other (in more ways than one). It’s simplistic presentation and unexpected ending was disappointingly perfect. It was just one of those books that made me think, and isn’t that what we want out of a book? It’s a quick read, but one you won’t regret.

 5. “Wonder”

R.J. Palacio

“Wonder” is definitely a lower level reading book with lower level presentation, but the themes are anything but “lower-level.” It focuses on a boy with several medical problems going to public school for the first time. Although it centers on middle-school drama and definitely appeals more to younger audiences, it’s description of emotion and character makes the themes vibrantly relatable. It forced me to evaluate my perceptions and take a closer look at my surroundings. The multi-narration was interesting as well, as I found different relatable aspects in each character. This is also a quick read with a simplistic voice, but the relatability and heartfelt nature of the story makes it a timeless read.

 4. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Ransom Riggs

This has been one of my favorite books for the longest time. It’s a story based on a collection of black and white photos of young children in strange scenarios and costumes; a floating girl, two boys attatched by a snout-like pipe, etc. Really strange and creepy images that drive the story in a miniscule yet magnificent way. It’s not too creepy, as it is meant for young adults, but the way the author explains the quirky story, makes it one of those books I constantly go back to. It’s simply so outlandish, but amazing, that I always wish it to be real when I put down the book and am shoved back into reality. Riggs also put out a sequel, “Hollow City,” which was also quite good, but in the nature of series’, not as magnificent as the first. Unfortunately I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on Riggs’ book, but I personally can’t wait to read it again and again.

 3. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

J.K. Rowling

I had to… I love the Harry Potter series and could not pass up another opportunity to talk about it. No matter how crazy the plot grows to be and no matter how intense Harry’s life gets, the first book (and movie for that matter) will always be my favorite. The first book has a certain magic that you can’t find elsewhere. It’s a mix between Rowling’s magnificent writing and the magic of starting the series for the first time, or the thousandth. No matter how fantastical it sounds, this book will always be near and dear to my heart. I just live for that nostalgia I get when I read the first chapter and remember the first time I read the series and the first time I saw the movie. I think it’s important for everyone to have a series that gives them that similar feeling. Mine just happens to be the world’s most popular.

 2. “Eleanor and Park”

Rainbow Rowell

Once I got past my fear of delving into the realm of angsty young adult fiction, I actually really started to like it. So, naturally, I had to read one of the most popular young adult romances, “Eleanor and Park.” I read this book in less than a day this past summer and made my mom read it the next day as I became obsessed. It was finally a story that fell between perfect, popular boy meets perfect, popular girl, and two textbook definition nerds bonding over star wars. It focuses on Eleanor, a sweet red-haired girl with a broken background, and her relationship with Park, the most average of average. The way the whole thing unfolds is not too sappy and not too bland, with moments of color followed by dramatic scenes that reveal the truth in all of our lives. It was honestly one of those books that I just understood. It wasn’t something I identified with. But it was something about the way it was written and the subtle details of the characters made the story something I could not put down. It is by far one of my favorites.

 1. “Catcher in the Rye”

J.D. Salinger

Let’s admit it, we all hated reading it in sophomore english and hated writing the essays even more. But, reading this book with no hinderance of annotations or assignments or forced symbolism is so different. J.D. Salinger has a way of capturing something that us angsty teenagers often feel is uncapturable. This is one of those books that you read and feel different after. It makes you think, laugh, cry, get angry, everything. There isn’t much to say about it other than that there is little plot arch to summarize as there really is no plot. While this might make the book uneventful, it does not make the book surprising and relatable and crazy and uplifting and saddening and beautiful and hideous all at the same time. I simply cannot explain what this book means to me. Although a lot of people would disagree, this is a classic that I could read over and over and get something new out of every time.

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