Books to Make You Feel Something


by Laksha Vijaikumar, Editor

These books make me picture myself as a young 22-year-old girl who likes the smell of books and is probably a little too sensitive, whose naivete and innocence have been stripped away by the cold, cruel world. These books will very much make you burst into tears after you read them because of how relatable they are. If you’re the type of person to listen to Mitski while you lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, contemplating the meaning of life, or if there even is one, then I assure you, YOU WILL LOVE THESE BOOKS.


Normal People by Sally Rooney 

2 people. Love. Angst. Denial. “Normal People” has it all. It’s centered around two people from different backgrounds, who defy the odds and fall in love. Marianne, the heroine, is reserved, pretentious, and believes herself to be better than everybody else. Connell, on the other hand,is outgoing, kind, and definitely the type of person who still sleeps with a teddy bear. These two personalities colliding definitely  makes for an interesting story. And Rooney’s detached form of writing makes me really tear up. Detached in the sense that despite writing words that evoke such emotion, you can tell that the words themselves hold no meaning due to the emptiness Rooney feels inside. I think that aspect makes the novel ten times better because #relatability. 

My Rating: 4.5/5


Mr. Salary by Sally Rooney

Another novel by Sally Rooney? Can you tell I love her? Her writing style is so simple yet so heart wrenching. She portrays the highs and lows of life. She is able to convey emotion in such a beautiful way that makes me, as a writer, insanely jealous. I digress, but don’t let the length of the novel-45 pages-make you question its quality, because I can assure you, this short story has changed my life indefinitely. In those 45 pages, Rooney is able to flesh out both the main characters, set the premise, and give an ending that shook me to my core. “Mr. Salary” is about a cynical grad student, Suki, who is in unrequited love with a guy she’s known her entire life. May I also add that this guy happens to be really rich, sarcastic, and tall? He’s perfect; I really can’t blame Suki for being head over heels for this dude for the past 10 years or so. If you want to read a modernized “Pride and Prejudice”, then “Mr. Salary” is the book for you.

My Rating: 5/5


My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Othessa Moshfegh

TOXIC. If I were to describe the main character of “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” with one word, that would be it. So, tell me, how concerning would it be if I were to relate to that main character on a spiritual level? She is I, and I am her. Exhausted with work and the shallow and materialistic atmosphere NYC breeds, the unnamed narrator of this novel works on hibernating for an entire year. This is probably one of my favorite books of all time due to its relatable nature and amazing prose. While the pacing is a bit fast, and the novel gets a bit repetitive towards the end, it’s a story I love regardless. 


My Rating: 4/5


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 

I really saved the best for last, huh? Norwegian Wood is the perfect bildungsroman novel, as it perfectly embodies the young adult spirit and the expectations placed  upon us. The novel follows Toru Watanabe, a college student, as he battles grief and love, while simultaneously trying to find his place in life. Think “Catcher in the Rye” but more emotional and with an actually likable main character. “Norwegian Wood” addresses serious and real problems that make it culturally relevant and very much needed. 

*This novel references suicide. If that is something that you’re uncomfortable with, I wouldn’t recommend this book*

My Rating: 5/5