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If You Like “The Fault in Our Stars,” You Should Definitely Read These Titles Too

If You Like “The Fault in Our Stars,” You Should Definitely Read These Titles Too

The Fault In Our Stars is a heart-wrenching young adult novel that centers on Hazel, a teen diagnosed with terminal cancer. Inspired by author John Green’s real life friend who passed away from the same illness, the novel is a compassionate look at incredible teenagers in adult situations. Recently made into a Hollywood film, the book is both humorous and emotional, but will surely leave you hungry for another compelling read. Look no further, as the following ten novels explore similar themes in incredibly different and original worlds.

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green

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    This novel follows a seventeen-year-old student as he embarks on private boarding school in another state. Nicknamed “Pudge,” the protagonist quickly finds himself being hazed at the hands of other students. Soon after, a prank war starts between Pudge and his friends. As Pudge grows into himself with the help of his new friends, he starts to fall for his friend Alaska. As the end of the school year nears, an accident grips the entire student body, forcing Pudge to reevaluate his actions. Also written by John Green, the author of The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska chronicles one student’s struggle to understand responsibility and the effects of choices as he comes of age.

    2. Paper Towns by John Green

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    Paper Towns

      Also from the author of The Fault In Our Stars, is Paper Towns. This novel follows Q, as he attempts to navigate his final year of high school. Q is soon reunited with a friend from his early years, Margo. Margo convinces Q to help her pull some final pranks on a few classmates. Q agrees, eventually pranking a bully from elementary school. Q and Margo refer to their town as a “paper town,” fake and one-sided, with no weight behind it. The group of friends is shocked when Margo disappears, leading them to fear she is suicidal. The group tries to discover the hiding place or burial site for Margo, forcing them to confront their perceptions of others as thin and one-sided as well. Through heartache and laughs, Paper Towns explores the crucial insight that the person we think someone is, isn’t always accurate.

      3. An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green

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        Colin, the main character in this novel, is eagerly trying to become a genius by seeking his eureka moment. Quickly dumped by his girlfriend Katherine, Colin is encouraged to take a road trip with his friend Hassan to get his mind off the breakup. Colin, having only dated girls named Katherine, seeks to quantify a relationship’s chance at success or failure in a new theorem. Along the way, the two find friends, one of whom Colin starts to fall for. As he struggles to control his feelings, Colin and Hassan grow in ways they never predicted. Also from the author of The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance Of Katherines shows readers the true unpredictability of human emotions and life. 

        4. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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          Divergent is an action-packed novel, the first in the Divergent trilogy. These books follow 16-year-old Beatrice in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Chicago is now divided into sections, based on emotional qualities. Called factions, groups accept members who are either selfless, peaceful, brave, or intellectual. Beatrice is caught between several factions, but chooses bravery. The teens then leave for their respective factions. Beatrice finds out the brave faction will only admit ten new teens, to be chosen via a series of challenges. Beatrice concerns herself with competing in these challenges, until one is sabotaged to incite a civil war between factions. A quickly paced, explosive novel, Divergent asks readers to challenge their identity and look at others in more than just black and white.

          5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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            If I Stay follows Mia, a typical teenage girl who wakes up to a snowy day that has cancelled school. Mia and her family plan what they want to do with their unexpected day off over breakfast. The family playfully finds themselves on the road, when Mia’s world is changed forever. The car crashes, and Mia struggles to absorb her reality. Seeing her family’s bodies, she stumbles on hear own injured form. Mia follows her body as medical professionals rush her into treatment at the hospital. Hearing from doctors that her parents are dead, Mia must make a decision between fighting for a life full of new, heartbreaking challenges, and leaving this world forever. Much like The Fault In Our Stars, If I Stay tackles adult problems in a compelling way and from a teen perspective.

            6. Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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              This novel follows introverted 15-year-old Charlie. Charlie starts the year absorbed in writing, rarely socializing. Charlie struggles on his own with graphic flashbacks, mental health problems, and has very little confidence. When Charlie meets Patrick and Sam—two students in their final year—Charlie starts to enjoy time with his friends. Charlie struggles with unrequited feelings for Sam, but expands his horizons and tries new things. Charlie ultimately suffers a breakdown, bringing up a long kept secret from his past. Another incredible young adult novel, Perks Of Being A Wallflower explores the very adult challenges that many teens face.

              7. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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                The Giver is a novel told from the point of view of an eleven year old boy. Named Jonas, this child lives in a futuristic society that has eliminated all hatred, anger, pain and unhappiness. All decisions are made by the state, and each citizen must take an aptitude test at age twelve to determine their career training. Jonas is chosen for a rare honor, when he is selected to be the next “receiver.” Jonas’s new training teaches him that society must keep all the horrible memories in order to retain the lessons learned there, without sharing them with the community at large. Jonas starts receiving these memories from the “giver.” Jonas begins learning the extremes of human existence, and realizes his society lacks real joy, excitement, and inspiration. Jonas learns that the society euthanizes individuals when telling the public they are released outside the society. Jonas devises a plan to bring the truths he has learned to the public, in hopes of saving them from a half-lived existence. While The Giver takes place in a different world than The Fault In Our Stars, the book still explores themes dealing with integrity and responsibility as Jonas transitions to adulthood.

                8. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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                  Sam is a popular, queen-bee type teenage girl, who is killed in a car accident at the beginning of the book. Despite the graphic events, Sam wakes up, as if her death was a dream. Sam soon discovers however, that today is the day of her car crash. Sam continues to wake up after her death, reliving the same day again and again. Stuck in the same routine, Sam is forced to grow as a person and consider others’ perspectives before she can be set free. Confronting our selfishness, Before I Fall is a poignant, hard-hitting young adult novel.

                  9. Cut by Patricia McCorkick

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                    Cut centers on the life of Callie, a quiet, lonely fifteen–year–old. Callie struggles with self harm, feeling stressed by her family and personal struggles. Callie is eventually admitted to a mental health facility, where she must confront her reasons for self harm and move beyond the fears that hold her back. A telling look at mental health problems among teens, Cut is an ultimately comforting and optimistic novel.

                    10. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

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                      The Boy In The Striped Pajamas takes place in 1943 Germany, through the eyes of a child named Bruno. Bruno’s father is given a new position, uprooting the family. The family moves into a smaller house, one neighbored by a prison like compound Bruno is forbidden from exploring. Eventually, Bruno meets a child who lives on the other side of the fence. Sheltered from reality, Bruno’s innocent view of a concentration camp is a truly unique perspective on history. A heart wrenching, original look at history, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas challenges readers and ultimately highlights the importance of empathy.

                      Featured photo credit: Ginny via flickr.com

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                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on June 2, 2020

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                      Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                      Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important”.

                      1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                      It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                      But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                      Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                      Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                      “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                      And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                      Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                      2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                      Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                      You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                      Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                      Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                      3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                      A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                      But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                      Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                      Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                      4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                      This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                      Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                      What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                      This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                      If you want to learn about some of the golden rules for goal setting that will help you set and achieve your goals successfully check out this article: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                      5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                      This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                      What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                      The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                      Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                      6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                      Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                      For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                      A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                      Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                      7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                      Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                      Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                      Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                      If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                      8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                      I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                      Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                      Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                      There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                      Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest!

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                      If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                      Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

                      More Tips About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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