When gazing lovingly at my bookshelves recently (as I often do), my Harry Potter books got me to thinking about the series I devoured throughout my childhood and into my teens. My mum and gran both encouraged me to read from an early age, and I very often had a book in hand, but these series in particular I would devour in one sitting, and eagerly anticipate the next book for however long it took to get to its release date.
Anyway, I thought it would be nice to chat about some of those books, so here I am!
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Alongside basically every person who grew up in the 90s, I was obsessed with the Harry Potter series. I first came across it when our teacher began reading it to us at school. However, as mentioned in my introduction to this post, I was the kind of child who devoured books in one sitting — and the teacher wasn’t getting through the story quick enough for my liking. My mum, the angel that she is, picked me up a copy from our local library and, from then on, every year, my amazing Aunt — who also always encouraged me to read — bought me the books every year when they released. I have such fond memories of eagerly awaiting these books, and discussing them in-depth with everyone I knew who was reading them!
Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
I first picked up Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging in my high school library when I was twelve years old. If I were to read this series now, I’d probably think it was pretty ridiculous, but I absolutely adored these books growing up. I remember curling up on the sofa and laughing out loud throughout every single one. Rennison wrote about teenagers in such a light-hearted yet relatable way, and reading about Georgia’s antics was always an absolute joy. This was a really great series to grow up with, and I’m glad that I took a chance on it.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
My best friend in high school and I were honestly obsessed with The Princess Diaries — to the point where we almost walked out of the cinema at the start of the second movie, when Mia declared that she was no longer dating Michael Moscovitz. (Not accurate to the books at all. Rude.) We would take turns reading the copies of each one of the books in this series from the school library and, when the library didn’t have them, she’d loan me a copy that her parents had bought her. I think I re-read the scene where Michael cooked Mia some food and told her how much he liked her about a million times! The diary writing style in these books made it incredibly relatable to read as a teenager and, although I don’t think I would enjoy them as much now, they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Definitely another obvious one, but these books definitely helped kick-start my obsession with paranormal romance, and really inspired my reading tastes from there onwards. Like so many others, the Twilight books were a formative part of my teenage years. I know they get a lot of stick now, but I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I re-read all of my favourite scenes over and over. I don’t remember getting caught up in a romance anywhere near as heavily as I got caught up in Edward and Bella’s story.
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
This book was another one that I picked up in the high school library. I was about thirteen years old, and my teacher saw me shyly looking at the older readers section and let me know that it was okay for me to withdraw books from there if I wanted to — so I excitedly took Interview With the Vampire home. I’d never read anything like it before and was utterly engrossed. It wasn’t long before I started reading the other books in the series, and before I had my mum hooked on them, too. I’ve read a few of my favourites from this series a good few times (The Vampire Armand about one thousand times), and I imagine I’ll read them again one day. They were a more mature window into paranormal and fantasy worlds than I’d read before, and I’ll always hold these books responsible for heavily inspiring my reading tastes to this day. (Even if I’m not so crazy about vampires anymore!)
What books inspired your reading tastes the most growing up? And what fond memories do you have related to those books?
— Shaunna x