I’d like to thank meltingpotsandothercalamities for this tag. Picking just one was hard, as usual, lol, but I had fun doing this. Check out her blog for book, webtoon, and anime reviews, as well as some original lists & recommendations!
This tag was created by Jen Campbell.
Pick ten books from your shelves that you associate with a specific time and place in your life. Tell us the story behind your choices and what the books are about.
I think I’ll try to list them in chronological order by whatever age I was at when I read them. Here goes:
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry & Wesley Dennis (Art)
First “big girl/boy” book I remember reading. There were about animals, specifically horses, which I loved, and I remember being quite proud of myself for getting through the series without help.
Synopsis: A somewhat historical story in setting that surrounds the life of two young children, a wild pony, and her foul on Chincoteague Island.
Guardians of Ga'hoole series by Kathreen Lasky
First series I remember stalking the the release dates for. This was sometime in upper elementary school, when the school library was my go to place for books. Looking back, I now feel sorry for that librarian. This was also the first long running fiction series I ever really got into. It turned out to be a story with much darker elements than expected, which, of course, is part of what made me love it so much.
My excitement for the 2010 movie adaptation was probably excessive.
Synopsis: Surrounds the life of a barn owl after being kidnapped from his nest by a dark organization who call themselves “The Pure Ones” (can you see where this is going?). Despite the captivity, main character Soren manages to hold to the hope in the stories his parents told of heroes, and works to resist their brainwashing and escape with a new friend.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
First popular teen series I ever read. I didn’t even know popular teen fiction was really a thing until someone recommended it to me. Not the best book for obvious reasons, but it is what got me out of my years long reading slump and into the world of YA.
Synopsis: Is this even necessary at this point? Emo vampires. Ordinary human girl. Unsettling romance. Nuff said.
Fell by David Clement-Davis
This was the first fictional philosophical read I remember picking up. It was also the first animal centered read I went to after popular fiction got me back into reading. Technically Fell is the sequel to The Sight, but I unknowingly read them out of order, and fell in love with this one more.
Naturally the synopsis would be a bit of a spoiler so I can’t give any specifics, but I can say it’s about a wolf and young girl, both outcasts, form an unlikely friendship. And that it was as they travelled together towards a shared destiny, each struggling to find the meaning of their lives and their place in it, that I excitedly whipped out my “book quotes” notebook.
Bitten by Kelly Armstrong
First Adult Urban Fantasy I ever read. I got into them after reading her YA The Darkest Powers series. Though I’m 99% sure I wasn’t quite old enough for that genre at the time, it started my long standing enjoyment of adult urban fantasy.
Synopsis: Starts off pretty normal: normal female werewolf and normal ignorant human bf, equalled a “normal” level of problematic relationship in Toronto. Till her old pack comes calling, mysterious murders happen, psychopaths run wild, humans grow suspicious…it all gets fascinatingly hectic.
Eon by Allison Goodman
This is one of a few very memorable reads from the time in high school where I finally got a spot as a library assistant. I was encouraged to read a wide range of books, and I think this was my first Diverse fantasy read.
Synopsis: Set in an Asian modelled fantasy world, 12 year old Eon, despite facing ridicule as “a cripple”, endured gruelling training for years in hopes of being chosen as an apprentice- a Dragoneye- to one of 12 dragons. And his hard work pays off. Which is all well and good, except Eon is actually a 16 year old girl, and girls are strictly forbidden from becoming a Dragoneye…like “we’ll lop off your head!” type of forbidden.
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
First graphic novel I ever read (about the same time as Eon). Aside from Archie comics and comic strips in newspapers I had never actually tried reading a graphic novel before. Even though I loved DC comic movie adaptations, I always preferred reading novels. But one day I finally decided to give one a try.
Synopsis: A middle-grade series about a kid who finds himself, accidentally, in the world of spirits facing understandable levels of terror, and a tyrannical king.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
There might have been one before this, but this wonderful series happened around the time book to movie adaptations were blowing up in theatres. This is the first (during this time that is) I remember watching the movie for before hearing about the books. Which made me one of the very few that didn’t despise the movie…till I read the series, watched the atrocity that is the second movie, and re-watched the first.
Synopsis: Another I don’t think needs saying, but just in case: young boy struggling to deal with a dysfunctional family and learning disability meets attempted assassination by mythological creature. Truths are unveiled. More assassination attempts. And a great mystery/action/fantasy filled adventure ensues.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (Story) & Fiona Staples (Art)
First comic series I really fell in love with (2015). While Ghostopolis is the first comic/graphic novel I ever read, Saga was the first that actually made me want to read more. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Ghostopolis, but unlike Saga, it didn’t make me think: “what is this!? I need more like it in my life!” It was this that officially jump-started my Image Comics binge session. It’s also the first graphic novel series I started collecting.
Saga Synopsis: Two opposing races in the middle of a galactic war find themselves falling for each other Romeo and Juliet style…just with a ton of crude language, attitude, fantasy, and advanced tech, and minus the mutual suicide and everything Renaissance. Once their relationship takes off, and becomes known to both sides of the war, the two lovers find themselves desperately protecting the lives of their less than orthodox family.
D. Gray Man by Katsura Hoshino
First shounen (YA for males) manga I fell in love with and started collecting. I actually didn’t start reading manga till a couple years ago (I wouldn’t touch it before), but my then newfound anime watching slowly changed my mind. The first couple manga series I picked up were…meh, but this one and Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura (the covers do NOT do the series justice) are the two that not only really got me interested in reading manga as a whole, but in starting my own collection.
Synopsis: Way darker than I expected. Ever had a love one you wanted to see back from the dead? Well in alternative late 19th century London it’s made possible by a man called The Millennium Earl. Which would seem like a good thing, if they didn’t come back as Akuma- a living weapon fuelled by human souls, and used by the Earl to wipe out mankind. Allen Walker, bearing the curse of an Akuma yet determined to save them, is just one of many Exorcists chosen (no consent needed) by the only substance capable of stopping Akuma and opposing the Earl.
Thanks for reading!