The Power of a Book

October 25, 2023
Hannah Owens

Agoura Hills, CA, United States

Class of 2025

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Have you ever read a book that you couldn’t put down once you picked it up? Well, I just had that with an entire book series. 

Reading is one of the many activities I was never fond of growing up. My mother wanted me to read all the time, which made me resent it even more. There were few times when I would actively choose to read and end up enjoying the books. It wasn’t until I got older that I understood just how powerful and precious books can be. I recently finished reading the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah J. Maas. The books left me speechless and longing for more. To say I was saddened when reaching the last book is an understatement. This series has given me a new perspective on life and what it truly means to be loved. 

I began reading the series after finishing my Spanish final and waiting for summer to begin. I read the first three chapters and was merely focused on getting out of school. I put the book down without a second thought and didn’t touch it until I got to sleep-away camp in July. I hadn’t planned on reading the book, but every person in my unit was big into reading this year. I decided to open the book again and continue reading where I left off. As I began to read, I got trapped in the book and was unable to put it down. I was consumed by the incredible writing and the pure feeling of joy while reading. I finished the book that night and wrote to my parents the next day, begging them to send me the rest of the books in the series. I had never been more excited to receive a package of books in the mail than I was at that moment. 

The day finally came when I got that giant, brown, and extremely heavy box in the mail. I squealed with excitement and started reading the next book that same day. I read and read and read. I could not set down these books and was intent on moving along through the story. Whether I was reading in a hammock or reading at dinner when loud noises were all around me, no one could stop me. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading when I left camp to focus on summer school and my travels abroad. I picked up on the fourth book a few weeks after starting junior year and continued on until I reached the final book. I was ready to take on the next adventure that awaited me in this final story. I have been so busy with school and other activities that it was hard to find the time to read other than at night (which was not favorable). I finally found the time on a Saturday when my parents and I went to a peaceful spot near our house, and we sat and read all day in the sun. All day long, I sat and read my book page by page. I couldn’t get enough of it and only stopped for a snack or water. I finally had to put the book down at midnight to go to sleep. I picked up the next morning excited to see where the story went but also sad, knowing that the adventure would have to end. The last fifty pages of the book left me crying, smiling, and overwhelmed with emotion. My heart could not stop beating, and I had to take a moment just to breathe, focus, and reflect on what I had just read. I could not believe that the adventure was over, and I had to go and find a new one to begin. It was heartbreaking to have finally reached the end after such a long time. 

I reflected not only on the fact that I had just finished the series but also on what the author had conveyed in her writing. This series has given me a new perspective on my newfound passion for books and love. Within these books lies an entirely different realm of people and what love should be and feel like. The descriptions of true and raw emotions and what it feels like to finally find the right person after waiting for an eternity. And after finding that person, never letting go, and fighting to protect them and the people you love at all costs. 

I found such a calling and love for the series because I was able to feel a type of love and connection that I had never felt before. As I look back on her books, I understand the meaning behind many of the actions taken and what true love is. That good, bad, or indifferent, those who care and love someone will always be by their side. These books have given me the confidence and courage to write on a topic I am naive to. I hope others get to experience the same joy and passion I felt while reading these books. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to find someone who has as much passion and love as the characters in these books and would “go under the mountain” for me.

My name is Hannah Owens, I am a BBG from Echad in the Pacific Western Region and I love to try new foods!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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