Today is my 30th birthday, so I figured I would write a post to honor the books that defined me throughout my years. I think all book lovers can agree that we have individual books that will always hold a special place in our hearts. So I want to challenge you all to think about what those books are and maybe why. If you’re inspired to do a similar blog post, please let me know, I’d love to read them.
Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate – I never actually finished this series because it was so incredibly popular in my grade school. When growing up, we didn’t own many books, but I survived off of the books from my library (school and public). The Animorphs series was one of my first taste of reading a series and my first taste at fantasy. Looking back, I wish I would have been encouraged to read this series in order. I would check them out willy nilly or based on the animal on the cover. This series is one that I keep wanting to go back to and finally read it. It’s also the reason why I refuse to have fish in my room. Not even kidding, I used to wonder if my fish was an Animorph.
Nobody’s Daughter by Susan Beth Pfeffer- I read this book in middle school, and it was the first book that made me cry. It’s also one of the most depressing books I read in my early years. I still remember sitting in my desk, trying desperately to hold back tears. It was my first taste at getting a cathartic release from reading. This book taught me that you should always try to choose kindness.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter truly defined me once I found the series. When I first learned of this series that EVERYONE was reading, I refused to read it. At that time, I was consistently reading Mary Higgins Clark and forgot all about how much I enjoyed fantasy. I also was never lucky enough to check it out of the library when it first came out. When the second book came out, I finally had the chance to check out the very first book, and history was made. I realized just how much I loved fantasy, and it was the first time I read characters I could relate to. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were my best friends. I never indeed went to the midnight release parties due to my anxiety, but I always got the 3rd-7th book at the grocery store or Walmart the next day. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was my aunt giving me her copy of Goblet of Fire the day it came out. I’m not sure how she didn’t murder my uncle when he suggested it, but that moment in my life was pure magic. I will never forget my dad driving me across state lines to get the 6th book in the series, nor will I forget throwing the book when a loved character died while devouring it in New York (sorry for the dent in your dryer random hotel we were staying at). This series introduced me to a world I never wanted to escape. Harry Potter was the first series that I was able to immerse myself fully.
Flirting With Danger by Suzanne Enoch – This was the first romance novel that I ever picked up and as terrible as it sounds I don’t remember much of the plot or the characters. It’s weird to put a book that I read and don’t remember on this list, but it still defined me. This unremembered book opened me up to the romance genre. It wouldn’t be until I got a nook color that I would explore the genre and fall in love, but I am fortunate that the heart handcuffs caught my eye enough for me to spend my lunch money on it. This book was the first time I ever deviated from what my friends were reading. I’m so lucky I took the plunge.
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan- David Levithan is an author that I am forever indebted to. The Realm of Possibility has so many of my favorite quotes. The characters in this book were characters that I related to on a level that I didn’t know was possible. My best friend handed me this book when I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I devoured it in one sitting, and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone. These characters helped me in ways I can’t even put into words. I learned that I wasn’t alone in my feelings and that it was okay to be upset and that sometimes, life isn’t roses, and that is okay.
So, there you have it. These are the books that defined me. They shaped me as a reader and as a person. Nobody’s Daughter taught me to be a better person. The Animorphs Series made it impossible for me to have a fish in my bedroom. Harry Potter taught me that you could escape into a world and find friends along the way. Flirting with Danger taught me that it’s okay to read books that others might judge you for reading. And The Realm of Possibility taught me that I am not alone in my feelings of sadness, anger, and fears. So now I pose the question to you, what are the books the defined you?
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