Someday this pain will be useful to you
Peter Cameron

In a world where everyone thought to have discovered their original way of being, what happens when you’re not sure of have understood yourself completely?

James, a eighteen years old boy, works at an art gallery, loving to be alone and dreaming about escaping in a rural place, starting a new life. What seems to be a clichè, soon begin a diary of sharp thoughts about discovering who we are and growing up, about how to be alone or with someone else, love, life, carreer and being who we really, in our deep, are.

You’ll be in love with James (despite sometimes you’ll hate him for his being so mean and arrogant), this new post-modern Holden Caufield. Maybe this book will be useful to you, reader.

Grow up
Ben Brooks

Have you ever watched Skins, the tv show? If you haven’t, the series talked about a bunch of different teenagers and their complicate lives, from school to first love, from drugs to homosexuality. Here, Ben Brooks mixed all those themes creating a novel that can be surely be a tv show: Jasper is trying to express himself in a world that blocks him everytime he tries to do something. He uses drugs, he is on erotic chats and loves to stay awake at night and drink beer from the bottle; he falls in love, he tries to find a job and grow up, despite of all his fears. But surely, he tries to express himself while searching who he is in all the things he does. If you love story of coming-of-age, then shop it immediately.

I’ll give you the sun
Jandy Nelson

Sometimes young adult books speak more than “adult” narrative, maybe because they touch a part of us that we often forgot to have, working with our nostalgia and melancholy.

This book, readers, is about two people who struggle to express themselves, doing it with the only way they know: art.

Noah and Jude are twins that a tragedy divided years ago, but art makes them stay united, expreimenting pain and making it a beautiful mixture of colors and lines.

For all the novel, we listen the two voices as they are breathing near us, touching our hands and hearts, following them while they express themselves with art and learning how to do be who they really are without any trace of fear. This book will really give you the sun, warming your little heart.

Orlando
Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf tried for all her life to be who she really was, but only in books seems to reveal herself and this one, readers, is her masterpiece about being who we really are.

Orlando is a prince that one morning wakes up as a… princess.

What seems to be a casual incident will soon began a big question mark for the main character, understanding who he really is, finally listening the shouts from the bottom of his heart. If you struggle about gender or sexual identity, this book will help you expressing yourself. Because nothing can be repressed, as long it regards affection.

The bell jar
Sylvia Plath

Despite being famous as a poet, the best work of Sylvia Plath surely is this book, a fictional autobiography where she talks about being forced to repress who she really is: Esther/Sylvia has a beautiful husband, a beautiful work at a women’s magazine and beautiful children, so why she feels so depressed and asphyxiated?

All the novel is a trying to figure out how to express who she really is with all her relatives and is around her; unfortunately, only suicide seems a solution, making her understand how sometimes repressing who we are make us living under a bell jar: a gold cage, but always a cage. If you’ve ever feel opressed or in need of breathing, just read it.

The dreamers
Gilbert Adair

Few people know that the famous movie of Bertolucci was taken from this book of Adair an that the conclusion is completely different (and, in my opinion, better). For those who have lived under a dome, The dreamers (movie and firstly book) narrates the life of Mathieu when he met two brothers, Isabelle and Theo, under the scenery of ’68 revolution in Paris. All the novel is about the childish game the play, the discovery of sex and the innocence of love, but especially about expressing who we are through rebellion, in a world where nobody seems to understand how young people can feel about future. For those who fight everyday when they wake up and love endlessy, with all the top of their hearts.

Henry & June
Anais Nin

Even if it seems, I’m not so in love with threesome, but also this book is about it: the (real happened) love triangle between Anais Nin, his friend and famous writer Henry Miller and his wife. What a best choice to represent herself than a diary?

This book is about a girl that finds her place in the world and does it through the best form of expression: love. Loving that couple was for Anais Nin a faster form of growing up and understanding how the world goes and how she will express herself, becoming the famous erotic writer that today we appreciate so much. If you’ve ever loved, you’ll have to read it.

Belle du Jour
Joseph Kessel

Even if the movie from Bunuel is beautifully made and Catherine Deneuve best respresents the story, the book from Kessel (where all started) reports the thoughts of the famous icon of sexual liberation of the Sixties. Severine is the represention of Es and Ego, the everyday battle that infuriates in us as we wake up: should I be who I really am or remaining what society wants? Severine breaks her world in a day, creating and alter ego, Belle du Jour, to express herself with the clients of a brothel. Icon of a generation, this character is the first person that comes up in my mind when talking about self-expression: a woman that fight with the system, becoming who she really is.

Becoming
Laura Jane Williams

Imagine if after several years of relationship and a proposal, your fianceè cheats on you. Imagine your reaction, your being mad, your closing in yourself.

Laura Jane Williams reports us a different version of how facing this thing: she started a trip around the world to express herself with… sex. She enjoyed more than 20 guys in 20 different countries, becoming who she is through the love and the nights with those men.

She taught us how self-expression, sometimes, happens with the body and after the bigger pain of all for a lover. If you’re curious or just ditched, put this book in your Amazon’s cart.

The virgin suicides
Jeffrey Eugenides

I love Sofia Coppola: all of her movies are beautifully directed and made; but the book came up first from the movie, so here I am talking about Jeffrey Eugenides. Why Lisbon sister have to be in this list? It’s soon explained: Lux Lisbon is the perfect representation of how we can express ourselves in a world that chokes us, starting from our parents. She loves, she enjoyes being alone and she make through all the little big problems of being teen putting herself in everything she does. This book is a good choice if you have parents that don’t let you be who you are; if you want to learn how to express yourself, read it. You’ll thank me.