Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, is having a contest/giveaway over at her blog! With this contest/giveaway, you can win 19 signed booksPLUS some swag and a box of Turkish Delights! Doesn't that just sound effing amazing?! What do you have to do, you ask? Well, that's simple, just write about the book (or books if you have more than one) that you're thankful for! What book has had an impact on you that you will never forget?
Personally, I have a lot of books I'm thankful for. Books I've enjoyed reading because they were fun, or insightful, or heartbreaking. Some of my favourite books include The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, Mostly Happy by Pam Bustin, The Giving Tree by Shel Silvestein, Ellen Hopkins' novels, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. All these books have touched me in a way that sent pangs echoing in my chest, jerking tears from the corners of my eyes, and the depths of my gut. They have become some of the books that I am most thankful for being written.
However, one particular book I appreciate the most - the one that broke my heart into a million pieces because of its truth - is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I know, I know, pretty cliche choice, but this book...this diary...from a girl who existed so long ago, was so eye-opening and so heart-wrenching. She was 13 years old, going-on-fourteen. She had her whole life ahead of her, she was wonderful and such a normal young teenage girl. I admired her because she lived through such a time and still kept her spirits up, she kept strong, even if the whole world seemed to be pushing her and her family down. She was just a girl. A normal girl. But she was killed. Her diary her lasting legacy. When I first read the book in sixth grade, I was completely stunned. I asked myself how someone could possibly be so cruel? How could anyone like Hitler have existed? Why had someone so innocent, so full of life, been sentenced to a fate so horrible? How could so many people have suffered?
This book showed me what pain was, but it also showed me the brightness and light behind that pain, the routine of life that we take for granted. It hit me hard, the thought of Anne being real, of her going through the things she wrote about and walking through reality, writing down long passages and lines about what had happened in her day. It crushed and rushed at me, the thought of her being sent to a camp. The thought of her dying. She was real. She had once been alive. She had breathed this oxygen that circulates around us. And so her diary, this book she so loved, I am thankful for. I am thankful that the Holocaust, mere numbers and history to some people, was made more personal through her.