5 Books for When You Go Through a Big Life Change, but Everything Will Be Okay
Change is hard. It is also a guarantee. It’s just the nature of the entropic universe we’ve been given. Everything changes.
Sometimes, big changes are thrown at you like curveballs from life, speeding in from out of nowhere to smack you in the face. Other times, big life changes are expected and anticipated and yet no less difficult. Either way, with every big life change comes an adjustment period. So here are some books for when you go through a big life change, but everything will be okay. Maybe not perfect, and not the way they used to be. But, once the dust settles, you’ll make it.
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert
Sometimes changes come from without, and other times they come from within. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is for those who are on a path of self-discovery. Perhaps that self-discovery will surprise yourself and the people in your life, and maybe who you thought you were isn’t who you want to be. But with all journeys of self-understanding there might be a rough patch, but you’ll make it out the other side knowing who you are. And that can make all the difference.
Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her. She quit playing her beloved soccer and keeps her nose buried in her textbooks, on track to graduate top of her class.
But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a boy with a troubled past that she knows her parents would never approve of, and Birdie’s estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago, fresh out of rehab. Birdie begins to learn that who she wants to be might not be who her parents want her to be. As Birdie begins to spread her wings, long-buried secrets begin to rise to the surface and Birdie’s whole world is about to be turned upside down.
The PLAIN Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
Sometimes after a big life change it is easy to be afraid and let that fear rule us. This graphic novel is a testament to rebellion and healing through art, and the refusal to allow fear to take control of life.
After getting caught in the midst of a terrorist attack on Metro city, artsy misfit Jane Beckles is forced to leave her beloved bustling metropolis for the boring suburb of Kent Waters. At first, she thinks her life is over. but then she finds where she belongs: at the reject table in the cafeteria, along with Brain Jayne, Theater Jane, and sporty Polly Jane. United by a shared name and a frustration with the adults around them, they form a secret club dedicated to creating guerrilla artwork scattered across town. But for Main Jane, the group is more than just teenage rebellion. It’s an act of survival. She won’t let fear rule her life like it does her parents’ and neighbors’ lives.
For anyone afraid of the big, scary world we live in, this book shows that fear is the real enemy and that we can fight it with love and art. Main Jane is such an inspiration to me, and I hope that people who read this can connect with its message of passion and perseverance.
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Sometimes life comes a little too fast, sending you change after life-change in a succession that can make your head spin. Soon, you’re somewhere you could never have imagined, and it feels like the whole world has turned upside down. Six Impossible Things is for the person who knows the changes in their life have taken over and begun to spiral, but they’re trying to get back to equilibrium.
Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a whole heap of problems, including a reversal of family fortune, moving, new-school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, and a just-out gay dad. His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things. With an adorably awkward voice, this book follows Dan’s attempt to get it together when his life is falling apart.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Graduating high-school and going off to college is a major life change, and one that can be terrifying. Leaving behind your family, friends, and sometimes even the only home you’ve ever known is hard and exhilarating. There will be lots of goodbyes, followed by meeting a lot of new people, seeing new places, and more experiences that will drive you out of your comfort zone.
For Clare and Aidan in Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, they will not only be leaving behind their high-school lives but also (possibly) their relationship. Because on the night before they go away for college, they have twelve hours to decide whether to break-up or stay together. They’ll spend their night re-living their past, trying to find something to help them decide their future. This book explores the tough choices that come when life and love lead in different directions and is great for everyone heading off to seek their future in a new place.
The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
The loss of a grandparent is without a doubt a big life change, and one that a lot of us can relate to. The Loose Ends List explores what it means to let go of a dying loved one while learning to live life to the fullest.
Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops a bombshell: she’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dream come true – but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home. Because she’s dying.
With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell, determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets closer to her family, and falls hard for gorgeous Enzo. But Maddie knows she’s on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go during a summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.