When I first read this I was expecting a light-hearted fairytale story. It is called, 'Little Princess' after all. However, this is quite the opposite of a fairytale story. It's quite tragic and deep but packed with so many truths. Every girl longs to be the princess of her story, and little Sara shows how no matter what happens in your life, you can still be noble and kind. You can still be a princess.
A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Brief Summary: Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant.
“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”
When I was in my early teen years, I was obsessed with dystopian novels. It was right around the time my mom let me read Hunger Games (haha!) and I devoured every dystopian story I could check out from the library. The Giver was one of the top-recommended on my GoodReads list.
There isn't a day that I don't think about this book. And I read it... let me think... 5 years? Yeah. Woah! The entire series is worth binge-reading!
The Giver, Lois Lowry
Brief Summary: Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
“It's the choosing that's important, isn't it?”
This next book really focuses on friendships and breaking the stereotype of diversity within caste systems. Two girls who were born to live 2 different lives, get stuck in a tower together and realize that they are in fact quite similar. One of the things I appreciate from Shannon Hale's books is that she uses fairytale settings that apply to every young girl's heart and teaches a life-valuable lesson within the story.
Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
Brief Summary: When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years because of Saren's refusal to marry a prince she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment. But the friendship they have is so inspirational.
“Mama used to say, you have to know someone a thousand days before you can glimpse her soul.”
One of the top classics, a family affected by war and struggle and sisters. Lots of sisters. As a sister myself, this book was very amusing to read because Louisa really pins in on the life of young girls turning into women.
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Brief Summary: A talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
If you have been following my blog for awhile now, you will know that these books series have been my most-talked-about and cherished books. In fact, as I am writing this out I have the urge to grab one of the novels and flip to some of my favorite parts. Not only did these books change my perspective on how I can talk and walk with Christ, but they also gave me encouragement in praying for people around me. Especially for my future husband.
In the books, Christy writes letters to her future husband and throughout her life, you get to see a character who eventually becomes her husband in the end. It's a beautiful story, and let's just say Todd Spencer is one of the reasons I have such high expectations of a boyfriend.
Christy Miller Collection, Robin Jones Gunn
Brief Summary: After moving across the country with her family, Christy must begin her sophomore year of high school uncertain where she’ll fit in. As these memorable years unfold, Christy and her God-loving friends find out what it means to be a “peculiar treasure.”
“Sometimes the best answers to prayer are the ones God doesn't answer.”
I've always loved the story of Esther in the Bible. A girl chosen to be queen. But in this case, a princess. A young country girl gets sent with other girls from the village to be trained on how to be a proper princess. After years of pampering and learning, will this country girl be chosen to leave her family and be a voice for her people?
Princess Academy, Shannon Hale
Brief Summary: Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. Will she be the princess in the end?
“Look no farther than your hand, make a choice and take a stand.”
Anne with an "E" has been one of my fictional friends for a long time. She makes you want to look at the world differently. Her life will make you feel like you're living in a comedy. Anne and all of her adventures are daring and beautiful. Every girl deserves to have a chance in the world.
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Brief Summary: Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over. → My Review
“It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
One of my friends is the author of this book! She is super talented in creating characters that collide with a bit of Princess Diaries (Anne Hathway movies) and a bit of mystery. In the story, hopefully, you will see the threads of God in the lives of the characters. It's beautifully-done!
The Coronation, Livy Jarmusch
Brief Summary: The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Prince Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities. Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. Can the enemy's attacks through threatening gossip and riots from the obscure rebellion, along with a major event that will possibly change the nation of Tarsuerella forever, tear the Royal family apart? → My Review
"This moment was like no other. For now, the sun was setting on his father's reign as King, and tomorrow, it would rise as his."
What are some of the life-changing books that you read when you were younger? Or perhaps you have another favorite, share in the comments below!