You know when you finish an inspiring book, and you just feel…energized? Ready to fight all injustices. Ready to take on the entire world. It’s exhilarating. Hope is a powerful sensation that can be kindled on the page and rapidly spreads out into real life. So, if you’re a hope-chaser, an inspiration-enthusiast, here are some books to add to your ever-growing list. Books that will leave you feeling excited and engaged, challenged but hopeful.
Family, freedom, fate. Those are just a few of the themes present in As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow. When calls for freedom break out across Syria, Salma Kassab must reckon with the realities of her new life. Once a pharmacy student, she is now volunteering at a hospital for the wounded. Salma, unsure of how to leave Syria, is torn between her love for her country and her need to protect her family and herself. Salma’s journey will 100% ignite a sense of hope within you as you read through this incredible novel.
Both Danna Mendoza Villarreal and Raúl Santos are going through…a lot. Danna’s grandfather is losing his memories—and then there’s her complicated relationship with her mom. Raúl hasn’t seen his mom for a couple of years after she was wrongfully incarcerated; things don’t get better when his mother unexpectedly returns, different than she was before. But—and this goes out to all of you out there who love a written-in-the-stars love story—together, Danna and Raúl discover new ways of healing themselves and the people they love, proving that even when everything going on is downright terrible, there are things worth hoping for.
Okay, this is a list about hope, right? So, obviously, I had to include Hopepunk, a novel literally about a girl named Hope. When Hope’s older sister, Mavis, is outed by the girls’ youngest sister and is subsequently sent off to a conversion center, Hope is left with a broken family. But rock-obsessed Hope finds an outlet in rebelling against her conservative Christian upbringing by starting a band—and taking down Alt-Rite, a hate-fueled band run by her one-time crush’s brother. Pretty gnarly, right?
For Mateo Garcia, the deportation of his parents from the United States to Mexico isn’t some far-off fate, it’s an ever-present possibility. And then, one day, it’s a reality. Mateo is forced to question what it means to be an American, and how to keep his family and his world intact. Mateo bravely faces this terrible nightmare, with hope propelling him forward, and helping him save his family.
It’s 1943 in Amsterdam, and Hanneke finds hope in the small things, in small acts of rebellion that avenge the lives lost in the war—including her now-deceased boyfriend. But, when she is confronted with the task that will put her and those she loves at risk—you know, something that will be seen as big act of rebellion—Hanneke ultimately confronts the horrors of the war. Full of history, delicate plotlines, and heroism, this one is a real page-turner!
Leigh Chen Sanders is grieving. Her mother died by suicide and now Leigh must grapple with what that means. When she goes to Taiwan to spend time with her mother’s parents, she begins to unravel her family’s — and her own — history. This beautiful story brings hope to the most devasting of situations as Leigh finds a way to live without her mother.