Stories Find Us and We Find Them

As many of you know, I’ve been reading through the Grishaverse books recently. But you probably don’t know how much time I’ve spent thinking about this idea that stories find us when we need them the most.

As I read through the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I wasn’t impressed with the writing. However, I still found myself enjoying them. I read the entire trilogy in about a month, and if I’m being perfectly honest, they were exactly what I needed. While my personal life was chaotic and messy, the Grishaverse gave me a place to escape to and hide in for a few moments each day. For me, that is one of the most powerful elements of stories: How they can provide us peace and escape from the real world when our lives become overwhelming and stressful.

So, while I still judge the Shadow and Bone trilogy for its amateur writing…I’ll always hold them close to my heart because they gave me exactly what I needed during a very stressful time in my life.

Stories find us when we’re ready for them. When our eyes are wide and our hands are little, there are some stories better left untouched. When we no longer have to stand on our tiptoes to reach the bathroom sink, that’s when we think we’re ready. But not yet, comes a whisper from above. We are too eager for lessons far too mature—so ready for the understanding of adolescence, unaware that we can never go back.

Stories find us when we need them the most. When we scream into a pillow after losing our hearts to broken pieces of forever, and it is only through another’s struggle that we begin to make sense of our own.

Stories find us when we are ready to accept them for what they are: flawed, delicate, dangling upon the edge of glitter and devastation.

Stories find us only when we are willing to embrace them for who they are: bloodshot eyes and broken shambles of lives never lived, never breathed. Stories find us when we enter the darkness and become unreachable.

Stories find us when we discover what we seek: connection, love, relatability, a sense of belonging.

Stories find us when we understand their power. Authors witness readers relaying tales of the meaning that these stories hold for the ones who live. They listen as fans sob into microphones, detailing how a little paper creation changed everything. They read anonymous comments on YouTube fan edits where girls and boys and teenagers reveal how stories saved their lives from suicide, abuse, neglect, overwhelm. They read the words that spell out “This story found me at the perfect moment.”

But not everyone is saved in the same way because there is more than one way to be saved by a story: by character companionship, by the love story of the two who thought they were unlovable, by the whimsy of magic they used to believe in, by the redemptive arc of the one who was irredeemable, by the reconciliation of unspeakable trauma, by the mere escape of storytelling.

Stories find us when we are ready to welcome the lessons, warnings, opportunities, and lives that they embody.

Let’s Talk!

Which stories found you at the right time? Was there a part of this post that felt more relatable than another? Let’s talk all things stories in the comments below!

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Bree Dawn is a voracious book dragon who believes in the power of stories. As a young girl, she always begged her parents to let her read “one more chapter” before bedtime. As an adult, she uses this same passion to craft dark stories with hopeful undertones for young adults who seek a glimmer of light in this dark world. Bree is currently working on her dystopian fantasy novel while consuming as many stories as possible.

4 thoughts on “Stories Find Us and We Find Them

  1. I read this twice. Just YES to all of this. You so perfectly explained what the right story is like for people. When I first finished Shadow and Bone, I thought they meant very little to me. But it’s been two years since I read them and I STILL think about the series. The emotions, the characters, the themes, the pain, the plot, EVERYTHING. They are far from perfect and have so many flaws, and yet they were so meaningful to me. Sometimes powerful stories can be poorly-written stories, because they can be more than just the perfect prose and the right words. It’s about the characters feeling REAL and the EMOTIONS beyond the words. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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