The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It remains one of my favorite books. I read it in high school. I find it so intriguing to be in someone's head while they are struggling through life and deciding what is normal. After all, it's a question I STILL ask myself. What is normal?
When I first read this book, identified with the main character through the first part of the novel to some degree. The time period she was living in probably had something to do with some of her struggles and her relationship with her mother, but I felt like she kind of gave up and let the world handle her instead of handling the world herself as I continued reading.
I think everyone goes through a confused stage, especially right after graduating high school or college. It is just important to get through that stage and be a functioning adult. I think everyone should read this book as a young adult and learn from it. It certainly had an impact on me and made me a little less passive about life.
I never appreciated Sylvia Plath's poetry until after I read this book. Once you have some sort of peek into her life, which this fictional story is based off of, I think you can appreciate her point of view a little more. I LOVE Mad Girl's Love Song, but it is a poem I would have never appreciated until AFTER reading this book and I still can't necessarily identify with it.