People always ask me what my favorite book is, and though I've come across many splendid stories throughout the years (The Alchemist, The New York Trilogy, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The James Bond series to name a few), there has never been a book that inspired me more than Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli.
I'll never forget picking up that book in the sixth grade. It was required as assigned reading, and it had all the qualities of chick-lit that made me want to gag. Baby blue cover, with a stick drawn figure of a girl and a star over her head. Barf city, population me. However, as soon as I began reading, I fell in love with the characters.
Leo Borlock was the typical high school boy, the type of character most kids could relate to. He didn't like being the center of attention, and enjoyed blending in with the masses. Like most people, he wasn't very special. Then came Stargirl Caraway, whose views on life were so completely out of the norm that she was ostracized from her high school peers (the horror of every teen). However, despite this, the two manage to fall in love. I won't spoil the rest, but the message struck my twelve year old self with the force of a baseball pitch. I had never experienced such a raw and candid look into the supposed lives of teenagers and it has influenced my writing style today.
That being said, I highly recommend you give it a read. It may be geared towards a younger generation, but the themes are still relevant to my life today.
If you guys have a favorite novel and wish to share, feel free to leave a comment!