Random Musings

Books That Poked My Heart in Peculiar Ways

Books have the power to affect us mentally and emotionally. Some has greatly touched our lives which we can never forget. I had been a book lover since I was a kid. My grandma used to scold me for staying up too late but I’d look for a flashlight instead, read a book all night long and wake up in the morning feeling groggy. Or sometimes never wake up at all since I am already awake. HAHA.

There are some books I’ve read that I just forgot about. Some disappointed me, some are just okay but there are also some which I would never ever forget for what they made me feel.  I made a list below for the books which left me astounded or the ones who made me feel something I’ve never felt before. I may have forgotten some of them since I have read a lot of books already. I will just update this post and add them once I remember.

1. The Bell Jar
– The Bell Jar was written by an American writer name Sylvia Plath. It is said that the book was of her own life story. A month after the book was published in the United Kingdom, Plath committed suicide.  The story is about Esther Greenwood who is intelligent, beautiful and talented. She travels to New York after winning a contest to guest-edit a magazine. Her stay there triggered a mental breakdown.

Though very confusing at first, the book made me contemplate about my life for how many weeks. It touched me in almost every way because her thoughts were frighteningly same as mine, especially the thought that I was never good enough and I do not have anything that I am really good at. There are a lot of readers who felt the same thing as I did when they read this book. Esther’s emotions and thoughts felt real and made me question what I want to do with my life. I felt the same things as she did and after reading this, I wonder when my own Bell Jar would descend on me again.

2. Paper Towns
– Paper Towns is one of the best-selling novels written by John Green. It was published on October 16, 2008. Even before his other best-selling book: The Fault in our Stars became famous, I have already read almost all of his books because of Paper Towns. John Green cited lines from The Bell Jar and Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman which was a plus for me. The book tells the story of the adventure of the protagonist Quentin Jacobsen and his childhood crush Margo Roth Spiegelman before she left. Quentin saw clues which Margo left which led him to believe that she left it for him to find and discover her whereabouts. Quentin, together with his friends, embarked on a journey to look for Margo which not only led him to her but also found out who she really is along the way.

Like The Bell Jar, this book also left me contemplating about life and what I really want to do with it for weeks. *spoiler alert* I love how Margo viewed her old town as a Paper Town with Paper people in it. She thinks that people are fake and are living a fake life. She hates the thought of living a boring life that most people follow just because they think it’s the correct way of living. I’m not really sure what’s in it but it sure as heck poked my heart a little.

Photo credits : damnedbythelight.tumblr.com

Photo credits: damnedbythelight.tumblr.com

3. We were liars
– We were liars is a young-adult novel written by E. Lockhart, and was published in 2014. This is a story of Candence Sinclair, her cousins and an Indian boy named Gat who she fell in love with. They came from a wealthy family and they always meet up every Summer to visit their grandfather’s private island. However, an accident happened to Candence one summer, which led her to lose her memories of what happened. She was unable to visit the island until 2 years later. She was initially mad at her cousins and Gat for not responding to any of her letters but when she came back, she was reunited with them. There, she slowly regained the horrible memories which led to her accident.

Before I read this, I have already read reviews online and knew that there was some kind of twist in it. I usually read the last page of the book and know it’s ending before reading it from the start. HAHA. But when I read this, I controlled myself. It is kind of unsettling, in a way that I do not understand it until now. I really do not know why. It also gave me the creeps whenever she’s talking with her cousins or Gat. I knew in my mind how it would end but I was still surprised when I reached the ending. It was a great read and left me dumbfounded as I finished it.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why
– This young-adult novel was written by Jay Asher which was published in 2007. The story started when Clay Jensen, discovered a shoe box containing cassette tapes from Hannah Baker; his crush who recently committed suicide. He listened to the tapes which led him to discover the reasons why she killed herself, and that he was one of them.

After reading 13 Reasons Why, I pitied the people who harm themselves and worse, on those who ended their lives. It made me reflect that even the simplest thing that you do to others can affect their lives a lot. Especially to those people who are very fragile, like me. I can relate to Hannah a lot because I have experienced some of what she’s been through. I’ve been depressed for the past years and what made it even worse is I have no one to talk to about it. If I did, it just frustrates me because they only dismiss it saying I am only self-pitying and over-reacting. They do not know how it kills me inside. Thankfully, I survived. Unlike Hannah and the others who are now too late to be saved.

5. The Fault in our Stars
– The Fault in our Stars is another book by John Green which was published on January 2012. This is now very famous and you have probably read it already or saw the movie adaptation starred by Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff (*squeals*). As you all know, the story is about Hazel Grace Lancaster, a cancer patient who met Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor on one of the support group session she is forced to attend to. Both fell in love and the ending will make you cry. A lot.

Actually, I do not like this book anymore and I’ve never watched the movie after it caused a hype and became mainstream. I hate how other people became bookworms even if they are not. I hate how they say their favorite author is John Green but when asked what books they have read, they{ll answer, TFIOS and nothing else. HAHAHA. But anyway, I’ve read this book even before it came to the spotlight. I fell in love and broke my heart with it. I’ve shed buckets of tears because of this and thought if I’d also meet a guy just like Augustus. HAHA.

6. Pet Sematary
– This is one of the horror novels written by Stephen King. The story started when Louis Creed and his family needs to move to a new house because of his work. They became friends with their neighbors named Jud and Norma. When their pet cat died, Jud introduced him to a pet sematary near their house that goes beyond which was an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Indians. He buried their pet there and was shocked to see it alive the next day. However, he noticed changes on the cat. He hunts for mice and birds but only rips them apart without eating it. When his 2-year-old son was accidentally killed by a speeding truck one day, then you can only guess what he did after that.

I added this to my list because my experience while reading this was very unusual which I would never forget. I read this during a cold, long night and while the protagonist was slowly being succumbed to madness, I was also mentally affected making me feel like I, too, was going insane. I’m not sure if it’s just how awesome Stephen King wrote the book or it’s just there’s something making me feel that way. I stopped reading the book at night and finished it in the morning though. HAHA. I still love this book together with Carrie and The Shining.

So these are the books which strongly affected me in a way. What are yours? Tell me about it!

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  • Reply ROBERT LEE

    The thing with books, same goes for movies, is that as the decades pass by, what was once captivating could either fade into obscurity or remain captivating. Situations and priorities change.

    And then there are the ones that you read a long time ago and you continue to have a strong emotional attachment.

    9 April 2016 at 7:23 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      I agree! I have read a lot but most have been forgotten but there are some that will stay with you. 🙂

      9 April 2016 at 8:27 AM
  • Reply Mirriam

    I loooove books! I’ve read the GRRM’s Game of Thrones, Paulo Coelho’s, and a lot more. Currently reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Will include these on my list. Not sure about TFIOS and Paper Towns though cause they are dramarama haha

    9 April 2016 at 8:49 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      I’m also planning to read War and Peace! It’s one of Tolstoy’s best novels. I also love his Anna Karenina. 🙂

      10 April 2016 at 12:38 AM
  • Reply Jing De Jesus

    Love reading books and the smell of each pages gives me that unexplainable feeling! Haha! Have you watched Fault In Our Stars in cinema too?

    9 April 2016 at 10:18 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      I haven’t watched it yet. After it went mainstream, I lost interest in watching the movie. Haha

      10 April 2016 at 12:39 AM
  • Reply Marge Gavan

    In your list, I’ve read two books, The Fault in our Stars and Pet Sematary.

    The book that really affected me emotionally is Tuesdays with Morris, while the one that did me in psychologically is The Hiram Key.

    9 April 2016 at 12:42 PM
    • Reply aikacallora

      I haven’t read Tuesdays with Morris but my friends are always telling me to read it. Maybe someday. I will also try The Hiram Key. I love books that affects me psychologically. Hahaha. Thanks a lot!

      10 April 2016 at 12:41 AM
  • Reply Kati Balayan

    Have you ever felt being empty after finishing a really good book? Like you had this special attachment to it and you never want it to end. I felt that way with The Fault in our Stars too before it got too mainstream. I share your sentiments!

    9 April 2016 at 8:19 PM
    • Reply aikacallora

      OMG. I have those moments too. It’s really hard for me to move on after reading a good book. 🙂

      10 April 2016 at 12:45 AM
  • Reply Jennifer

    I am a lead bookseller in the children’s department of my local bookstore. This is an amazing list. But I think that Pet Sematary should be #1!

    10 April 2016 at 1:24 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      Wow! Can you tell me your recommendations which are not listed here? 🙂

      10 April 2016 at 5:48 AM
  • Reply Madz

    It’s been a long time since I read a good book.I hope I find sometime between mommy duties abd house chores.

    10 April 2016 at 2:16 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      Oh, I do hope you’ll find some time to read. But of course, mommy duties are a priority. 🙂

      10 April 2016 at 5:50 AM
  • Reply Jessica

    Great list! can’t blame you why those books poked your heart in peculiar way. I always prefer books then a bit disappointed upon movie adaptation. Hehe. More good readings for you!

    10 April 2016 at 7:15 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      Me too! Sometimes I watch the movie first before reading the book. 🙂

      10 April 2016 at 5:29 PM
  • Reply Melissa

    WE ALMOST HAVE THE SAME LIST!! Huhuhu. Paper Towns, Thirteen Reasons Why (LIKE REALLY) and The Fault in our Stars. I love reading the books before they become movies though, there’s so much more room to imagine and breathe in books. 🙂

    10 April 2016 at 5:48 PM
    • Reply aikacallora

      I agree! I’ve never been impressed with movie adaptations except for Harry Potter. HAHA

      10 April 2016 at 6:26 PM
  • Reply Maaya Legaspi

    I’m not really into books but I’ve read quite a lot of it. hehe. And I also liked The Fault in our Stars. I’m also into Nicholas Sparks’ books. If I have more free time, I would definitely try to read again. hehe. Good list btw! 🙂

    11 April 2016 at 4:22 AM
  • Reply Airina April Bernabe Desuyo

    Wow nice selection of books! I actually haven’t read any of them as when I see that a book is TOO popular, I tend to stay away from it. But with the way you describe each, I would definitely look into these books when I see them.. at Booksale or Warehouse Sale! haha.. books are too expensive noh?


    11 April 2016 at 5:20 AM
  • Reply Adel C

    Thanks for your list, Aika. I haven’t read most of those books so now I know what to look for on my next visit to a bookstore. I love fictions. But I’m forced to set them aside to read boring stuff for now. 🙂

    11 April 2016 at 2:35 PM
  • Reply Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I definitely agree with you with 13 Reasons Why. I loved this book. It hurt and it made me yearn to strangle the kids. It reminded me of certain parts of my childhood too.

    12 April 2016 at 1:43 AM
    • Reply aikacallora

      Hahaha! That’s too harsh but yeah, it really made me sad. I was even hoping that there was a twist in the end. Haha

      12 April 2016 at 7:41 PM
  • Reply Chirag

    Not much of a book reading person, but, guess am gonna give a try to the ones you mentioned 😀

    13 April 2016 at 10:18 AM
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