Books That Make Me Feel Empowered
Penguin Teen is doing a three day photo challenge inspired by a new book they have coming out called “The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe” by Ally Condie. The challenge for today is, “Books that make you feel empowered.” Compiled below is a list of books that have inspired me and continue to inspire me. They are in no particular order.
One of the first books I read in this pile was, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. It is a book I have read every year of my life, since I first read it. I found Lucy especially inspiring. She always thought and found the best in people, something I have worked on more as I have gotten older. I loved her honesty. There is a point where her older siblings are telling the man they are living with that there is no way Lucy can be telling the truth. The man asks essentially asks if she has always been a truth teller or a liar. They admit that she was always been a truth teller. She has always been so truthful that her older siblings, even though they do not feel there is any chance what she is saying can be true, it makes them stop and think. The forgiveness and grace she shows her siblings is incredible. I love the wonder, imagination, and how she views the world. I could write a whole paper on Lucy, so I will rest there for now.
“Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt, was a book that completely made me change my world view. As a kid I wanted to live forever. This book really showed me what the down sides of living forever would be.
Mia Thermopolis in “The Princess Diaries” gave me the confidence to embrace my inner geekiness and awkwardness. Meg Cabot’s entire series still does that. You can be geeky and awkward but still be full of poise and grace. Mia has been with me from middle school all the way through getting married (just like Mia.) I felt like I have got to live my life alongside of her.
The four friends in “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” was another inspiring book growing up. Very much like my best friends and me, sometimes people look at us and go how are you all friends. Our lives are all over place and all so very different. That is what I love about my friendships as well as those of the four friends in the book. You can all be different, love one another, and have each other’s backs. You can get each other through thick and thin, and you will always have love and forgiveness for each other. It is almost closer to being siblings than friends.Auden was a lot like me growing up, very focused on grades, activities, getting into college, etc. Sometimes I did not understand what the word fun meant. Auden herself was relatable but not her family situation. Eli comes in and shows her it is okay to let your hair down here and there and try new things. I had friends and still do have friends that push me out of that comfort zone and I love them for that as well as Auden and Eli. If you have not read “Along for the Ride” you need to! It is still my favourite Sarah Dessen book of all time.
Emma Mills is a newer authour on my radar. I love that she takes enemies and molds them into friends. I have had people over the years that I have judged too quickly or they did me. Those that do give second chances can become beautiful friendships.
If you need a book to help you through grief, I recommend “P.S I Love you” written by Cecelia Ahern. Whenever I have lost someone close to me, I reread this book. I find Holly’s journey to be so incredible and inspiring.
There are many characters in the “Divergent” series that inspire me in totally different ways. I do admire Tris, as she is the complete opposite of me, but she possesses many traits I wish I had.
Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” is inspiring because he fights for what he knows is right and does not loose is moral compass when the world tells him he should. People do admire people who stick to their morals and do not waver. Also, sometimes things do not go the right way, justice is not served, but he handles it with dignity.
Books set during wars are especially inspiring to me, especially when characters achieve the unachievable, break the mold, stand up with the morals, and inspire the human spirit. I feel that way especially with both “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak and “The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict. First, I love Liesel Meminger fights the Nazi’s in an unconventional way. Secondly, I find Hedy Lamarr inspiring because many thought she was just a pretty face, but she left an abusive relationship leaving everything behind, moved to another country, started all over, and then invited something that could have shortened the war. Even though the powers at the time did not go for it (because she was just a pretty face) she kept persevering in her life and still accomplished much.
Esther from the Old Testament is a woman I have looked up to for years. Again, like many characters mentioned, she has extremely good morals and sticks to her guns so to speak. She stands up for what she believes in even when it could mean death.
Most books mentioned so far, if they are a series, have been the first in their series. I chose “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” because I adore and admire Luna Lovegood so much. Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I admire and celebrate her uniqueness as well as my own. Most people look at her funny, but she is not bothered by it in the slightest. She just does her own thing.
Lastly, in terms of books in the photo, I have “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. This is not my favourite Austen novel but out of all the heroines I do think I admire Elizabeth the most. She is witty independent, and has a hard time admitting when she is wrong. I can relate to that so much.
There are a few books I could not find (as I am still unpacking,) but this is a pretty good representation. One of those books was “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon. Growing up I always found teens that were a little shyer, sometimes sheltered, and not connected to the world in a typical way were characters I could really relate too. Even as an adult I still find these characters inspiring. Another character I always found inspiring and still do as an adult is Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde.” I know it is not a book, but when I am facing obstacles that seem impossible or people telling me I cannot succeed in what I am doing, I channel my inner Elle Woods to prove them wrong.
What I noticed was after compiling all these books, they are all women that inspire me (either authour, character, or sometimes both.) All amazing heroines, in various ways, living out their true and authentic story. These women have helped me with grief, bravery, self-confidence, change, authenticity, and general life lessons. I think many of these authours and characters will continue to empower generations to come.
I would love to know in the comments which books you find empowering and why.