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  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

20 Books that will Leave You Speechless and Staring at the Wall

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Which books would you add to this list?

Books have an extraordinary power to transport us to different worlds, evoke deep emotions, and leave us pondering life's mysteries. Some books have a way of gripping our hearts and minds, leaving us speechless and staring at the wall as we process their profound impact. In this blog post, we present a collection of 20 remarkable books that have the potential to leave you in awe, reflection, and contemplation. From heart-wrenching tales of love and loss to mind-bending stories of self-discovery, each of these books will captivate you from the very first page. So, grab your favorite reading spot and be prepared to be immersed in a world of literary wonders.

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1. "Girl in Pieces" by Kathleen Glasgow:

In this emotionally charged and raw novel, Kathleen Glasgow takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey alongside Charlie Davis, a seventeen-year-old girl grappling with the aftermath of self-destructive behavior and a painful past. The story unfolds as Charlie is admitted to a psychiatric ward, where she begins her path to healing and self-discovery. Glasgow's powerful prose delves into themes of self-harm, addiction, mental health, and the strength of the human spirit. As Charlie navigates her journey towards self-acceptance, readers will be left speechless and inspired by her resilience and determination to rebuild her shattered life.

2. "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton:

Set in the 1960s, "The Outsiders" follows the gripping tale of Ponyboy Curtis, a young boy from the wrong side of the tracks, as he navigates the harsh realities of gang violence and societal divisions. S. E. Hinton's timeless classic delves into themes of friendship, loyalty, and the universal desire for acceptance. Through Ponyboy's eyes, readers are transported to a world of rival gangs and struggle, where the line between right and wrong is blurred. This unforgettable novel will leave readers staring at the wall, contemplating the complexities of human nature and the impact of socioeconomic divides.

3. "A Thousand Boy Kisses" by Tillie Cole:

Tillie Cole's poignant and heart-rending love story centers around Rune and Poppy, two childhood friends whose bond transcends time and distance. The novel explores themes of first love, loss, and the power of cherishing every moment. As they navigate the challenges of young love and unforeseen tragedies, Rune and Poppy's journey will leave readers with tear-stained cheeks, contemplating the beauty and fragility of life and the profound impact of true love.

4. "Cruel Prince" Trilogy by Holly Black:

Holly Black weaves a mesmerizing tale of Faerie politics, treachery, and complex characters in the "Cruel Prince" trilogy. At the heart of the story is Jude, a mortal girl living in the dangerous world of the Fae. Her struggle for power and belonging in a world that despises humans takes readers on a thrilling and unpredictable ride. The trilogy delves into themes of ambition, betrayal, and the lengths one will go to claim their place in the world. As readers follow Jude's journey, they will be left speechless by the intricate world-building and morally ambiguous characters.

5. "Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon:

Nicola Yoon's captivating novel revolves around the life of Madeline, a teenager who has never left the confines of her home due to a rare and life-threatening immune disorder. When Olly, her new neighbor, enters her life, Madeline's world is turned upside down. This touching and thought-provoking tale of love, risk, and self-discovery will leave readers staring at the wall, contemplating the boundaries we place on ourselves and the transformative power of love.

6. "Addicted to You" by Krista Ritchie:

In this New Adult romance, Krista Ritchie takes readers on an emotional journey of love, addiction, and healing. The novel follows the story of Lily Calloway and her struggle with addiction while trying to maintain a facade of normalcy. Through the eyes of the Calloway sisters, readers are immersed in a world of complex characters, intense emotions, and the power of unconditional love. As the story unravels, readers will be left speechless by the raw portrayal of addiction and the strength of familial bonds.

7. "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green:

John Green's touching and heart-rending novel follows the lives of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who meet at a support group for cancer patients. As they embark on a journey of love and friendship, they also confront the reality of living with terminal illness. Green's beautiful prose and insightful exploration of life, love, and loss will leave readers contemplating the fragility of existence and the significance of the connections we make.

8. "Haunting Adeline" by H. D. Carlton:

In this hauntingly beautiful romance, H. D. Carlton weaves a tale of love, fate, and the power of second chances. Adeline, a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage, finds herself drawn to a mysterious stranger who awakens emotions long buried. Set in the enchanting backdrop of 19th-century England, the novel explores themes of passion, sacrifice, and the pursuit of happiness. As readers delve into this evocative tale, they will be left mesmerized and captivated by the timeless power of love.

9. "November 9" by Colleen Hoover:

Colleen Hoover's emotionally charged novel revolves around Fallon and Ben, two strangers who meet on November 9th and forge an instant connection. They decide to meet every year on the same date, but life has other plans for them. As the years pass, secrets, heartbreak, and life-altering choices unfold. Hoover's masterful storytelling will leave readers emotionally invested in the lives of Fallon and Ben, contemplating the power of fate and the impact of profound connections.

10. "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson:

In this powerful and groundbreaking novel, Laurie Halse Anderson tells the story of Melinda, a high school freshman who becomes an outcast after calling the police at a summer party. As Melinda navigates the aftermath of trauma and her struggle to find her voice, readers are taken on a profound journey of healing, self-empowerment, and the importance of speaking up. Anderson's sensitive portrayal of difficult topics will leave readers speechless and inspired to break the silence.

11. "They Both Die at the End" by Adam Silvera:

Set in a world where individuals receive a notification on the day they will die, Adam Silvera's thought-provoking novel follows the lives of Mateo and Rufus, two strangers who connect through an app designed to bring together people on their last day. The book explores themes of life, death, and the human desire for connection and meaning. As readers accompany Mateo and Rufus on their final journey, they will be left contemplating the value of each precious moment and the legacy we leave behind.

12. "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt:

Donna Tartt's spellbinding novel revolves around a group of students at an elite New England college who become entangled in a web of secrets, obsession, and tragedy. As the narrative unfolds, readers are drawn into the dark and captivating world of these intellectually gifted but morally complex characters. Tartt's immersive storytelling and exploration of human nature will leave readers staring at the wall, captivated by the intricacies of her narrative.

13. "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone:

Tamara Ireland Stone's thought-provoking novel centers around Samantha McAllister, a high school girl harboring a secret struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As Samantha discovers a hidden poetry group, she finds solace, understanding, and friendship. Stone's compassionate portrayal of mental health issues and the power of creative expression will leave readers moved and inspired to embrace their true selves.

14. "Girl Interrupted" by Susanna Kaysen:

In this haunting memoir, Susanna Kaysen shares her experiences during her time in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. Through her honest and introspective narration, Kaysen delves into the complexities of mental health, societal norms, and the impact of being labeled as "mentally ill." Readers are taken on a profound journey as Kaysen challenges conventional notions of sanity and normalcy, leaving them contemplating the nature of mental illness and the importance of individuality.

15. "It Ends with Us" by Colleen Hoover:

Colleen Hoover's powerful and thought-provoking novel centers around Lily Bloom, a young woman who finds herself entangled in a tumultuous relationship. As she grapples with her past and present, Lily is faced with heart-wrenching choices that will impact her future. Hoover masterfully explores themes of love, resilience, and breaking the cycle of abuse. Readers will find themselves immersed in Lily's emotional journey, reflecting on the complexities of relationships and the courage it takes to make life-altering decisions.

16. "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven:

In this beautifully written and emotionally charged novel, Jennifer Niven tells the story of Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, two teenagers struggling with their own inner demons. As they embark on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and love, they find solace in each other's presence. Niven's sensitive exploration of mental health issues, grief, and the transformative power of human connection will leave readers staring at the wall, contemplating the impact of their actions on the lives of others.

17. "How It Feels to Float" by Helena Fox:

Helena Fox's stunning debut novel follows Biz, a teenage girl struggling with her mental health and the loss of her father. The book navigates the complexities of grief, identity, and self-discovery as Biz grapples with the blurred lines between reality and her own mind. Fox's lyrical prose and nuanced portrayal of mental illness will leave readers spellbound and contemplative about the delicate balance of the human mind.

18. "The Way I Used to Be" by Amber Smith:

Amber Smith's poignant and emotionally charged novel follows Eden McCrorey, a young girl whose life is forever changed after a traumatic event. The book takes readers on a harrowing journey of survival, healing, and the impact of trauma on one's life. Through Eden's eyes, Smith explores themes of self-blame, resilience, and the power of finding one's voice. The story will leave readers deeply moved and contemplative about the long-lasting effects of trauma and the strength it takes to reclaim one's life.

19. "If He Had Been with Me" by Laura Nowlin:

Laura Nowlin's heartwarming young adult romance centers around Autumn and Finny, two childhood friends who have drifted apart. When they unexpectedly reconnect, they find themselves questioning missed opportunities and the possibility of a second chance at love. Nowlin's heartfelt exploration of friendship, fate, and love will leave readers swooning and reflecting on the people who have shaped their lives.

20. "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart:

E. Lockhart's gripping and suspenseful novel follows the story of the Sinclair family, who spend their summers on a private island. The book is filled with family secrets, deception, and a twist that will leave readers reeling. As the narrative unravels, readers will find themselves contemplating the destructive power of lies and the consequences of keeping painful truths hidden.


The 20 books on this list span various genres and themes, but they all share one commonality - their ability to leave readers speechless and staring at the wall in contemplation. From tales of resilience and self-discovery to explorations of mental health, love, and the human condition, each book has the power to transport readers to new worlds and challenge their perspectives. Whether you're moved to tears, left in shock, or filled with introspection, these books will leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind. So, embark on a literary journey and immerse yourself in the unforgettable stories crafted by these talented authors. Happy reading!


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