1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
    I was 12 or 13, had experienced a trauma in the last 18 months, and was going through puberty. It was the perfect storm & this book was my safe haven. It was the first book to leave a lasting impression on me. I was emotionally hooked, invested in the story, and completely taken away by the characters. This is becoming more than a list, so I'll end it by saying I've reread this book at least 8 times, and still get something new from it with each read.
  2. The Drifters by James A. Michener
    Not enough people appreciate the beautiful & poignant writing of Michener. This particular story of young adults trying to find, save, and destroy themselves in the 1960s shaped my teen years for the better. Reading it again after finishing graduate school shaped my late twenties. I love this book!