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In times like these, it can be all too tempting to go one of two ways: to become a hardcore activist and protest in the streets 24/7, or to turn into a puddle of blankets and never, ever, ever leave your house or speak to another human again. We get it. But there’s a happy medium (we promise!), and one way to help yourself discover that medium is through world-changing books like these. Because role models can help us in tremendous ways, and what’s a better role model than an empowering character in an amazing book?

Whether you’re all about young adult novels, ~classic literature~, or something altogether lighter, we’ve got you covered with these world-changing books that remind you that progress, and change, IS possible. We’ve just got to work together (and fight together, too) to figure out how to build the world we want to live in.

1“Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld

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One of the greatest dystopian, young adult sci-fi novels of all time.

2“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

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You won’t forget this story.

3“Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel” by Gary Shteyngart

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This is one of the strangest, saddest, and most curious books we’ve read. It feels right for the time.

4“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

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A seriously life-changing and view-altering read.

5“The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss

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Yes, really. This is one of the most uplifting, and relevant, books ever. Trust us!

6“Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson

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One of those books you get assigned in high school and actually fall in love with.

7“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

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We clearly couldn’t leave this off the list.