Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar was anthemic to me as a sixteen year old. I was deeply depressed, masking it with every godforsaken activity known to man: martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, which I studied for 7 years), flute (youth orchestra, marching band, flute choir, chamber music, private lessons), choir (girls choir in high school, Peabody Children's Chorus until I was 14), musical theater (summers at Slayton House until I was 14, high school productions through senior year, from the pit to the stage), and reading. Lots of reading. I knew nothing of Plath's troubled marriage, turbulent adulthood, and eventual suicide; I knew only of the prose it held, and how it resonated with me.
I often wear a quote from the book, a literary necklace from the New York Public Library at Bryant Park: "i am i am i am" - a daily reminder of self-worth.