This is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s challenge is Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For, in honor of this being the week of Thanksgiving here in the US!
I decided to list ten books that have seriously impacted my life, and tell you why. This list won’t be focusing on anything particularly “deep”, just books that I needed at that particular time in my life.
1. I’ve always been a total bookworm, but when I was in my late teens, friends and significant others convinced me that I was “too old” for YA, so I let go of the genre. For years, aside from a very rare exception, I only read horror and thrillers.
Last fall, however, I finally decided to give both YA and fantasy another chance, because I missed the genres so much, it was breaking my heart. This book was the one that made me fall back in love with the genre, and made me realize exactly what I had been missing. I devoured it (practically in one sitting) and was sucked wholeheartedly back into the world of not only YA, but also fantasy. Because of that, this book will always have a very special place in my heart.
2. How could I make this list without including this series? Harry Potter gave me so much over the years; it brought me friendships, helped me connect with my fiance, comforted me through many dark days in my life, and gave me this incredible group of magical friends to grow up with.
3. Every ounce of love that I have for genuine high fantasy stories, full of dragons and magic and mythical creatures and races, stemmed from this book. When it first released, I was 9 years old, and the librarian at my local library had specially ordered it for me, and her. She read it as soon as it came in and then gave me a call and asked my mom to bring me in to borrow it, because she knew I would love it – and she was absolutely right. I remember staying awake until 4am to finish it, and then turning around the next day and starting it again. It was pure magic for 9-year-old me, and I’ll never forget that.
4. This trilogy was one of the “exceptions” I mentioned in #1; I had no interest in reading this book, but a friend of mine begged and insisted for weeks until I finally caved and asked for it as a Christmas gift from my parents. I remember reading it right after the second book had come out, and I think I read it all in one day, and immediately had to buy the second book on my phone’s Kindle app or something because I couldn’t stand to wait until the bookstore opened the next day. 😂 It was probably the first series that ever had me so desperately on edge for the next release, so I’m always going to be thankful for that first feeling of, “oh my god, I HAVE TO FINISH THIS SERIES RIGHT NOWWWW!”
5. I am eternally thankful for this book, for two big reasons (besides the fact that it’s amazing): the smaller reason is that it was the first ARC I was ever approved for, and the larger reason is that it was the first book I ever read with on-page bi rep, and it positively stunned me. I’ll never forget the legitimate tears that filled my eyes when I actually read the word “bisexual” and when Grace described her sexuality in all of these ways that I related so hard to. I craved queer rep in books as a teen, and I am so thankful that today’s teens have books like this one to find themselves in.
6. I only picked this book up earlier this year because I thought the formatting was so unique that I couldn’t pass it up, and man, am I thankful that I did. I’ve never been a fan of space-themed scifi books before this book, because I never really gave them a chance, but Illuminae opened me up to a whole new sub-genre that I’d never given a fair chance, and now I love books set in space. ❤
7. I’ve raved about this book a million times, I know, but it is genuinely the most underrated book I have ever read, and I’m so thankful that it fell into my lap as a kid. It offers such a good reminder to love people past their struggles and obstacles. Its moral boils down, in a nutshell, to this: just because someone is difficult to get to know, does not mean that they aren’t worth the efforts.
8. Sarah Dessen was my introduction to the YA contemporary genre, and while Just Listen was actually the second book of hers I read, it was the one that really made me fall in love with the genre. While it isn’t my favorite anymore (by far), it carried me through many years of my teen life and I’m so grateful for the escape it provided.
9. Honestly? I haven’t even finished this series yet. I’m just naturally thankfully for any series I can feel as obsessed with and in love with as I do with The Raven Cycle.
10. This might seem like an odd one to put here, because it’s definitely not one of my favorite books, and I haven’t continued the series yet, but I have a very specific reason for being thankful for this one. I have a bad habit of getting into my “comfort zone” with books and refusing to pick up anything outside of it. When this book was voted in as a BOTM pick for my facebook group, Life & Lit, I had no interest at all in reading it. I didn’t feel good about skipping out on what was only our second BOTM ever, though, so I reluctantly picked it up a few days before the discussion… and couldn’t put it down. I was sucked in so much, and it made me realize that I have to stop letting myself get stuck in comfort zone “ruts” and start being more open-minded about the books I pick up!