This post was edited on November 9, 2020 for updates and corrections
First, a confession, I haven’t finished a book in a while… Like a long while!
I always told myself that it was because I was too busy or there was just something else I should be doing instead of reading, but that wasn’t always the case. It was actually a mixture of not finding the right book and of course, not actually wanting to read.
For a long time I thought that I could force it, but all that did was rack up my library late fees and leave me with a lot of half started books.
Also, I just started watching a lot of Netflix which I’m sure contributed to my short attention span and it just further prevented me from finishing an actual novel.
Regardless of that, I do still love reading and have started fitting it into my life again.
My book preferences have evolved. Even with not having read much over the last couple of years, I find that different kind of books catch my eye.
Which makes total sense, considering I did start reading religiously when I was 12 years old. It be a little sad if I still liked the same kind of books as I did when I was that young.
So on to the books. And these are books that just stand out in my mind because they are essentially the books I still sometimes find myself thinking about from time to time.
Starting off this list is actually the very first series I read which also happens to be what really got me into reading when I was 12. And that is The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
So this is a thirteen book long series that chronicles the lives of the three Baudelaire orphans after their parents die in a tragic house (or more like mansion) fire.
It is a great series for children, I definitely think that if I went back and re-read it, I would definitely still enjoy it. Although, I do think that I would find more issues with it now more than I ever did when I was younger. Especially because towards the end of this series, in my fist and only read through of it, I had already started to think that the plot was too recycled from book to book. I feel like those last three books were a struggle to finish and I don’t entirely remember what happened in those books. Which is why I’m considering having another go at the series, I don’t think reading it again would ruin the series for me but it would definitely drop on my list of favorite books.
Though I credit The Series of Unfortunate Events as the books that ultimately got me into reading, I credit Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson as the book that kept me interested in reading.
I’m so happy that this book, as I found out when I finished it, was part of a three or four book series (at the time anyways) and not just a stand alone.
The first Maximum Ride book The Angel Experiment dates back to early 2005, and I didn’t come across it until around 2007 so by then there was two more books out which were, Schools Out Forever and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. So I had a good amount to get through which was nice because I really liked the character. Then while I was still reading those first three books the fourth book titled The Final Warning was released. I read that too but didn’t like it nearly as much.
Despite the total flop that book four was I was already invested in the characters and their stories. So you better believe I was super excited when James Patterson announced book five, Max. I had gotten most of my friends to read the series too and we all pitched in to buy a copy of the book and share it (we were small middle school childs at the time which is why one of us alone could afford the book).
I will say, the more recent additions to the series are not my favorite but I am such a sucker for Maximum Ride that even today – I eagerly await for any news related to the series.
I want to say that the next major series I read was Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Maybe it’s because I read it as a young teen as opposed to a small child that although I really like the series, I don’t consider it a huge part of my childhood.
The main reason I read it was because I jumped on the whole “book-to-movie” bandwagon. I started with Harry Potter, both because it was the most popular book to movie adaptation out at the time (at least that I knew of) but also because I’d already seen pieces of some of the movies. I’d never seen one of the two or three movies that they ran on ABC around Christmas time all the way through, and I got to the point where I just wanted to know what they were about.
So I read the books and as I finished one I would watch the movie, then I moved on to the next book and movie. At the time I think only movies 1-4 were out but all the books were already published. Vaguely I remember hearing that the studio working on the film adaptations wanted the actors to age a little so they waited some time before starting the production of the later films.
The funny thing about reading Harry Potter was that I didn’t fully appreciate the series until I was an adult.
I in no way agree with J.K. Rowling’s recent (2020) statements. I opted to leave this section on the Harry Potter series in this post because I did dedicate a lot of time to this series as a young reader, but it will probably be the only time I talk about the series publicly. If I ever decide to re-read the series (because I had planned to) I will not talk about it simply because I don’t support J.K Rowling and I wouldn’t want to bring attention to her books. Also, I will not be purchasing the books unless they are like used copies, and I have also decided to no longer buy any official Harry Potter merch.
Being the young impressionable teen that I was in like 2008, of course I was a Twiheart/Twihard!
My friends really got me into this series. I wasn’t convinced by the book alone, but after watching the first movie I was completely invested in the story.
After the buzz around Twilight faded I know a lot of people bashed the series. I never really said anything for or against it. I thought it was funny, and I liked that people were talking about something I knew about.
Also, when I was completely obsessed with this franchise, absolutely no one in my family cared. Then all the movies came out, they became old news, and they eventually got aired on regular television and oh my god – my parents watch them almost every time. They have the audacity to look at me and say, these are actually really good, when I catch them watching them.
I think the series has it’s flaws but overall it’s a good story. I appreciate it because it was the first YA novel I read. Maximum Ride is also YA, but I don’t know, it’s different. Like the Max Ride series would never have such a “racy” scene as the Bella and Edward honey moon scene in Breaking Dawn.
I definitely got pulled into the Vampire themed stuff through Twilight. I read The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd as well as part of The Vampire Diaries, and then much later on The Vampire Academy.
I don’t know how popular YA was before but I really think the YA genre came to a high point when I was a young adult. So around 2007 or 2008.
At the time, and even looking back now, it felt like every YA book was getting a film adaptation.
Another book I decided to read because it had a movie out (or it was in the works) was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Correct me if I’m wrong but The Hunger Games was a trailblazer for the dystopian future theme. Even if it was not the first book, it is essentially the book-to-movie adaptation that was the catalyst for all the other books that sort of centered around the same theme to also get a movie.
I loved The Hunger Games. I think the films did a great job at capturing what’s on the pages of each of the books, with the exception of a few things. The concept of The Hunger Games is perhaps my favorite out of all the other dystopian future novels.
Shortly after reading The Hunger Games I read part of the Gone series. It was another dystopian future novel but not really, not entirely. Also, I didn’t finish it because not all of the books were out yet and I wasn’t invested enough in the story for me to look forward to the releases of those remaining books. I was very into this category of books though, so at the time I also gave Divergent a try but it was just not my cup of tea.
In 2019, I did read The Maze Runner, which I like really struggled to finish. With this book, I really just recommend watching the movie. It may not be entirely accurate but I definitely thought it was better than the book.
The last series that really stuck with me, was Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.
A lot of people will say that like, Harry Potter was their childhood and all that, but looking back I sort of consider the Percy Jackson series a bigger part of “my childhood” than Harry Potter ever was.
Which is weird because I read them around the same time and I might have actually read the Percy Jackson series after Harry Potter. But, when I think “childhood” I think, Percy Jackson.
I’ve read the entire first series but am still working my way through the Heroes of Olympus series, the second series featuring Percy Jackson as a main character. I’ve read a lot of spoiler over the years but luckily have avoided spoiling the ending for myself. Which is awesome because I just have Blood of Olympus to finish off the series. I also own the very first book in the Trials of Apollo series so I really need to get on that and read those two books (I’ve had them for forever but have yet to read them.)
But yeah, this is my list. As you may notice most of the books on my list are children’s books or YA and that is because I did most of my reading from ages like 12 to 16.
Now as a 24 year old, I’ve yet to find a book more geared towards adults that leaves a significant impression on me the way these books did. I’m still looking for it!
I’m just glad that I’m reading again.