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Dana Sinclair

3 Books That Got Me Through High School

I always had trouble wrapping my head around the statement “I hate reading”, but it’s a phrase that is uttered tirelessly in high school. Students look at reading as a chore, another assignment, but not me. I have always been an avid reader, and when I moved 300 miles from my home during my sophomore year, I turned to the most familiar thing I could think of: books.

I have always hated cliches, but it’s true when people say books bring to life a whole world. Reading can take you on a journey to places that you previously may have never imagined. There is something magical about reading a story and feeling like you know the characters in it finding an author that has written works that seem to be tailored just for you.

1.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”


The whole time I was reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful of a writer Fitzgerald was. This novel is an amazing story, but the author’s style of writing is what really stole the show to me. The way Fitzgerald is able to bend and manipulate the English language to tell the story is beautiful and inspiring. This was one of the books that really inspired me to better my writing skills.


2.1984 by George Orwell

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”


The first time I read this book, I was 14, and, besides Harry Potter, it was the largest book I had ever read. It was certainly the most difficult book I had read at the time as well. It was the first book I ever cried to while reading. More importantly, it was the first book that really made me think about who I am, the world around me, and my contribution to the world around me. This novel also helped me participate in meaningful and stimulating conversations that I may have previously been unable to contribute to without the knowledge and thought provoking insights that the novel provided.


3. Looking For Alaska by John Green

“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”


Nothing to finish the list like a teen fiction, and what better author than the modern king of teen fiction himself! John Green is popularly known for The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, but out of all of his novels (yes, I’ve read them all), Looking For Alaska was by far my favorite. Now, I dislike being corny almost as much as being cliche, but this novel really“spoke” to me on another level. I found myself relating to every character in one way or another and this made it easier to cope with the whirlwind of emotions we experience through our teens. Most importantly, it helped me shape my self-identity.



Books have been a rock for me my whole life. If you are not much of a reader, I hope my experiences with some important novels in my high school career has inspired you to crack one open. If you are a reader, what are some books that have been meaningful to you? What did you take away from those books? I would love to hear about it so feel free to comment!


About Dana Sinclair

Dana is a current high school senior who enjoys writing when she has a free moment. When she’s not studying, reading, or interning, she loves to go exploring the Bay Area with her friends. She loves discovering new activities and learning as much as she can. She hopes to help fellow students achieve their goal by sharing her knowledge on how to navigate high school life.

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