Books That Shaped Me: Part 2

This is a continuation of my list of books that shaped me that I started in this post. These books in this post though are going to be ones that I read a little later in my reading “career”. Basically that means that these are the books that I was completely obsessed with while I was in middle school.

Books by Jodi Picoult

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I think the first book I ever read by her was The Pact and the Between the Lines books she wrote with her daughter are still some of my favorites!

Books by Maureen Johnson

I need to get her Truly Devious series still!! She is an auto-buy author of mine and also one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter.

The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast

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One of the girls who was in my middle school friend group recommended these to me and we both obsessed over them for most of eighth grade. Like we were reaaaally obsessed.

Twilight

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Except I had the lovely movie cover mass market paperback edition from my grandma lol. And to this day I only like the first two books!!

Graceling

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My grandma bought me this book and Twilight for Christmas when I was in seventh grade. I think I read both of them before I even left my grandma’s house that winter break. Though I’m not a huge fan of the two other books in this series Graceling is still up there as a favorite.

The Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter

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I got the third book in this series without realizing that it was the third one (I feel like this happened to me a lot with series when I was a kid… But a lot of books I read were okay to be read out of order so I guess I never really thought about it a lot.) and then had to go back and get the other ones. I really want to reread this to see how it stands up today!! I know my library has all the books so maybe I’ll work through those this summer.

The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick

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You guys!! I didn’t realize that there was a seventh book!! I need to get this now to complete my collection! I really want to reread this series this summer too. I love these books!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

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Books by Ellen Hopkins

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I don’t really read her books anymore, they just make me sad. But I loved how they were written in verse because it made them so quick to read. I do want to reread some of them though. Especially the Crank books because those were the first ones of hers that I read and I’m not sure if I’ve reread them at all since the first time.

I think through middle school and into high school I started to read a lot of “darker” books. Like Ellen Hopkins and I mean even Jodi Picoult has very heavy themes in her books. There are a number of books that I really liked to read that I will not be sharing because I just feel like they’re unsuitable to share. I’ve moved past that stage and that’s all I’m going to say.

So I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list of books that I read in my middle school years! And I figured I’d share this video with you guys from the YouTuber BooksAndLala because she’s started to do a series where she’s reading specific books that she loved during certain years when she was a kid!

I’m going to try and make a third and final post in this series with books that I read in high school. A lot of stuff I read in high school was more rereading stuff I’d already read and lots of reading slumps from having to read so much for school already. Hopefully I can throw together at least a few more books to share though! Also I have to ask, who else had a Twilight phase? Still can’t believe how much I loved that book! Now I just love to laugh at it. Anyways, enough from me, have nice day everyone!

 

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Rereading Old Favorites

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I have a whole shelf on my bookshelf of books that I once held extremely near and dear to my heart. These books had a huge impact on my “youth” and they’re ones that I won’t be able to part with any time soon. Though some of these books have stood the test of time, there are many that make me cringe when I reread them.

I will say though that I don’t look at old middle grade novels in the same way that I do some of the old young adult novels that I read. I feel like to now critically look at a middle grade novel just doesn’t make sense, of course the characters come across as immature and naive and the plots are incredibly basic, middle grade is a whole other level of thinking and comprehension. I am obviously no longer the target audience! However, if any of you would be interested in me going back and critically looking at old middle grade books I would love to do a post like that… (This is me saying that I’m probably going to do this even if no one comments on this post about that particular topic).

On a “spiritual” level, I still love books like Twilight and those dystopian novels that were published really early on in that craze, but I also wouldn’t list them on my favorite books list right now. Even books I’ve read recently that I was obsessed with tend to have something fundamentally wrong with them and I have to look past that in order to read them with the same joy I had when I first read them.

Now I think that moving forward and reading new stories and learning new things will always teach a person to think more critically about things that they used to like… Or at least I think that’s what we all hope for people and ourselves as we learn new things. Books that we read in the past are super important to who we become as adults and I think it’s important to be able to talk about the books that we loved then and even if they don’t stand the test of time they can still mean something to us.

It’s too easy to be embarrassed about favorite books and want to hide our old or even current reading tastes because we may like problematic stories or stories that haven’t aged well or even stories that once seemed so mature and amazing that now have just lost their touch. I don’t think that we should be quick to condemn things we once loved because they aren’t “good” today. I think we should discuss and call out things that haven’t stood the test of time and be inspired to read better books and tell new stories.

I was just inspired to write this post from seeing people rereading Twilight recently and also from writing my Books That Shaped Me post. I think it’s funny to see how immature and bad some of my old favorite books are compared to some of the books I’ve been reading more recently. It’s just interesting to see how things change over time!

Do you guys have any books that you feel embarrassed to say that you still love?