My Fave Books Over The Years
Hello everyone, today is going to be a bit of a rambly post as I’m talking about books, and we all know how that is : ) I wanted to take some time to discuss my favourite books growing up and how they shaped me. This post is almost bittersweet because it’s reminding me of how much reading was once a part of my identity, and how frustrating it is now when I can’t find motivation to read. I have read exactly three and a half books this year so far; contrast that with 2015, where I read 17 books, in the month of August. Pretty drastic change lol. I’ve been trying not to dwell on it too much and let my reading fall back into place naturally, but hopefully this post will rekindle my spirits instead of quashing them.
Let’s go way back. Let’s go to Grade 1 where I read my first ever novel, “Dolphins at Daybreak”, The Magic Treehouse series book 9. Now, my teacher gave me this to read as part of my literacy, so that’s why I started with book 9. This series is where I first fell in love with reading and I went on to read all the books in the series – which was a lot – and even reread some of them too. If you don’t know, The Magic Treehouse series follows siblings Annie and Jack as they travel through time and go on cool adventures, via their treehouse. The books have pictures on almost every other page and I can read a whole one in 15 minutes flat now. Annie and Jack will always have a special place in my heart, even though I’ve outgrown them. One of my fondest memories of the books is first reading about how Jack was always pushing his glasses up his nose, because I had glasses too, and could totally relate.
Fast-forward to grade 4, I had been reading voraciously for three years at that point and was aptly labelled a bookworm. I honestly can’t remember life before I had my nose stuck in a book 24/7. Grade 4 is when I discovered one of my all-time favourite series: The Guardians of Ga’Hoole. This book follows a cast of owls and the epic quests they go on to save their realm from various villains and disasters. This book is the reason owls are my favourite animals. It covered so many great themes and conflicts too. From orphans, to friendship, found family, and the danger of following people blindly. I loved every second of it. They actually made a movie of it too, but I have never been so disappointed by a book-to-movie adaptation in my life. The series has around a dozen books and while they’re short, all things considered, they cover quite a bit of content. So when they tried to fit the plot of books 1-3 in one movie, it didn’t go so well. But I digress. This series will forever be one of my faves, and I recommend it to anyone between the ages of seven and eleven.
One of my next big kicks was The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey, the main cause of my fascination with the creatures. I read Eragon later. The series follows the adventures of David, his landlord’s daughter Lucy, and his landlord Elizabeth, who makes clay dragons that come to life. The book gets so much deeper than that, and brings in lore from many different cultures, but it was so much fun. I loved the fact that David was a writer. I loved that each of the clay dragons had their own names, personalities, and powers. My favourite was Gadzooks, David’s personal dragon who had his own notepad and pen, if I remember correctly. Another cool detail was the covers themselves, which are stunning. Each one features the head of a dragon and they each have symbols in their eyes, which represent some facet of the book, except the first one. I still can’t figure out if it’s supposed to be something or not.
One of my final favourites from grade school and going into middle school was the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage – which, if I remember correctly, I haven’t actually finished yet. Oops. I was a little bit older when the final book came out and didn’t have the time to reread the series and refresh my brain. Perhaps I will return to it soon. This series takes place in a fictional medieval world with kings and queens and wizards, and lots of magical creatures. It follows Septimus, an orphaned boy destined to become a great sorcerer, and Jenna, the orphaned princess. Neither of them know their true destinies when the books begin. I loved this series. The characters and stories were so rich with life, and just when you thought the author couldn’t possibly add anything new, she did. I also loved the author’s dedication to certain symbolism, like the number 7. Septimus means seven, and he is significant because he is the seventh son of a seventh son. There are seven books in the series and each book has 49 chapters, 7x7.
Now let’s push forward to the series that brought me firmly into the world of Young Adult Fiction: The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I read this series when I was 13, and it actually is what inspired me to write my first novel, Summer’s Revenge (coming July 21). The Iron Fey follows Meghan Chase as she ventures into the realm of the Fae after the kidnapping of her younger brother Ethan. This series has it all: impeccable world building, gripping conflict, in depth relationship, and a romantic subplot. Cue the fireworks. This is the story world I will return to again and again. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it had me on the edge of my seat. I truly don’t believe I would be the same person without it. I certainly would not have started writing when I did. So yeah, if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend. And if you need me, I’ll be diving into book one of a new trilogy the author released last month, set in the same world. If you need me, I’ll be with Robin Goodfellow, seeing what kind of trouble that faerie trickster will get into next and hoping that Ash and Meghan will make an appearance too.
And so concludes my stroll down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and this is of course, not an exhaustive list. I read so many books as a kid, I doubt I could ever list them all. And I have so many more to read, so many more adventures to live. I can’t wait to get to them : )
Thank you for reading and if you ever need someone to chat books with, drop me a line! Stay tuned for next week where I will be wrapping up my series on how to self-publish and as always, keep reading and writing.