Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is currently being run by That Artsy Reader Girl. A prompt is given each week, and I hope to do it every week so I always have something going up on Tuesdays. This week I am talking about books that hold specific memories for me. So we are getting personal today, something I am not shy of doing and I actually prefer it. I like being open and honest about my connection to certain books because of my life experiences. So let's dive in and of course I'd love to know some of yours!
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy ParishAmelia was MY GIRL when I was little. I found her so hilarious and the humor in this book just got me. This was one of the first books I read on my own and I was really proud of myself for it, but I mostly just loved her because she was such a ding dong. I have memories of laughter, happiness, and just loving her stories.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollWhen I started showing more interest in reading on my own of course my family reveled in being able to buy me my own books to enjoy. Alice was one of them, and I ended up falling in love with this story. It is probably my all time favorite book and I want to one day collect ALL of the editions of this book. I really loved how nonsensical the story was while also being stuffed with so many great characters. I remember having dreams of Wonderland all the time and always having a tattered old copy in my bag. Until I found Harry Potter, I re-read Alice all the time and it was the thing I turned to when I wasn't sure what to read next or if I had an especially good dream and wanted to dip back into the world. This book just means a lot to me.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThis book will probably be on many lists today, and rightfully so. I may have distanced myself from the author in the last year or so but I will always love Harry. I love re-reading the books and re-watching the movies. My biggest memory when it comes to Harry Potter is reading them with my Nan, who got me my first book and read them with me. She was just as obsessed with the books and movies. We would read/watch and then write up little trivia questions and quiz each other. It was the best and anytime I miss her I go back to our home, Hogwarts. I make sure I always wear my necklace while reading also, so it's like I am re-reading the books with her. The necklace is something my parents bought me after she passed, it's from the funeral home that they went to so they could get her cremated. Inside the golden heart necklace, that is sealed shut, holds a small amount of her ashes. I wear it daily and having her with me everyday makes me feel better.
Twilight by Stephanie MeyerAfter I got into Harry Potter, I stopped reading and basically only re-read Harry Potter over and over again. Until someone recommended me Twilight and I fell in love with new stories and reading again. I still loved re-reading Harry Potter and do it pretty often still, but Twilight reminded me of how amazing new books and stories can be. Plus those cliffhangers GOT ME each time and I remember finishing the first one and NEEDING the second one. I had to wait for books three and four to be released, which was even more torture. Although these books get a lot of slack I think that they did a lot of good things for the young adult genre and even young adult book-to-movie adaptations. Twilight still holds a big piece of my heart. One day I'd like to re-read it but it's a bit terrifying because I'm worried I have gotten too critical and I won't like them as much as highschool/early college Heather once did.
I read this series when I was in college, I started either my freshman or sophomore year and I fell in love with the story. I never thought about it until now thinking of books for this prompt, but I think The Hunger Games series was my stepping stone for not only reading dystopian books but also it showed me how important it was for me to stand up for what I believed in. Which is something I have carried with me for a long time. I think this was around the time I was getting more and more into politics and even fictional politics was enough to fuel that fire. I think, like Twilight, the Hunger Games franchise really did wonders for young adult books and adaptations. Of course, just like Harry Potter and Twilight, there were a lot of "copy cats" that came afterward it's success, which I shamelessly read, and I think having a bunch of young adults questioning the government, standing up for themselves and things they believe in, and feeling like they have power despite being young was an incredible thing to see.
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenFor a couple years I said that this was my favorite book. I loved this book so much and like many Nerdfighters across the world, it broke my heart. I had read a lot of John Green books in the past and although I really enjoyed them none of them made me as emotional as TFIOS. However, his most recent book Turtles All the Way Down definitely beats TFIOS for me because I saw a lot in myself when it came to the anxiety representation. However, with TFIOS I think it resonated with me a lot because I felt so much empathy for the two main characters. Normally with books I can at least see parts of my life in the stories, and with this one I related to Hazel being content staying home and reading. Not feeling like she HAD to do something amazing with her life in order for her life to be worth it. But at the same time I related to Gus's absolute NEED to want to do something with his life to feel like he's made an impact and difference. I felt both sides at such a painful level that by the end of the book I felt like John Green had opened my chest up and I felt sad and vulnerable. I think a lot of John Green plots make me feel a bit sad and vulnerable. In the best ways.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David LevithanDash & Lily is my go to Christmas book read. I actually haven't been able to review it because I lost my copy. I am so excited to have found it because I miss this story so much. I have read it every Christmas (minus the last one) for I believe five years? I am not sure. But every time I even think of this book I want hot cocoa, Christmas lights, sugar cookie candles, and just everything Christmas. It's so cute and I highly recommend it. I am not typically someone who loves romance heavy stories especially in the younger side of YA but there is just something incredibly sweet about this story that I can't help but love it. Plus the humor is really great and I think the two authors and their styles worked well together. It's set in New York City so of course it makes you want to experience the holidays in one of the most decorated places ever during that time of year. Overall, it just reminds me of Christmas.
Ramona Blue by Julie MurphyI read this book as I was letting myself try out the label of bisexual out loud to others instead of just hidden away in my head. In the book Ramona starts off identifying as a lesbian but as the story progresses she realizes her sexuality is more fluid than she originally thought. I think this speaks to a lot of people who take on a label in the LGBTQ+ community at a younger age and then as they evolve and grow they may feel differently (or not, of course). I think a lot of Ramona was going through resonated me in different ways and I am super appreciative of this book. It got a lot of backlash before the release because some readers were upset that it seemed like Ramona was being "turned straight" when she starts having feelings for a guy but by the end of the book she still identifies as "not straight" but she isn't fully sure what label she is comfortable with because her sexuality is fluid. I have a strong connection to this book and it's been way too long since I've read it.
Faith by Jodi Houser (Valiant Comics)Faith is my favorite superhero. Seeing a fat main character as the hero, and their weight not being mentioned or brought up at all throughout the story is something I've never experienced before. Which is sad, and needs to be more common in stories with fat characters. I think it was easy to do because you know Faith is fat from the art, and with a novel it's something that has to be brought up at least partially because the reader has to know that the character is fat in order for there to be representation. But I want to read more fat characters that are capable of being the hero, being in love, being confident with how they look. I am sick of fat characters being the punchline or being the goofy sidekick. I want more. I want to see myself in more books (and of course beyond books, movies, tv shows etc). I think Faith is an absolute perfect place to start. I cried like a dang baby when I read the first volume, and I cried when I found out that Faith was getting her own movie. She means so much to me.
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn MarshThere is this quote from Catcher in the Rye that has always kind of stuck with me since I read it, which is "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.That doesn't happen enough." And I think although it's true that it doesn't happen enough, I've been really lucky that it happened for me with this book. Sarah's a friend of mine, who I love forever and encourage everyone to not only read this book but to follow her on all her social media accounts. During my reading of this book (for the first time, and second, possibly third) I have found myself messaging her, "WHY?" "THIS IS SO GREAT" etc and it's been a really cool experience. I don't think I've experienced it before, and I really like being able to give back and show my enthusiasm for a book I love to the person who wrote it. It feels a little like giving back, saying thanks, and of course I love building up and supporting good friends. Sarah's a good person and deserves the world. But she's also incredibly smart and this book proves that. It's this amazing and intriguing fictional world where there are different types of abilities and our main character Odessa is a necromancer. She deals with grief, addiction, heartbreak, finding herself, falling in love, and I just love the main character. I love this story so much and I cannot wait for the next book (and final book, something I found out recently and now I'm broken up about it). But my memory for this book is being able to actually talk to the author about it, to be able to be a little light of encouragement to cheer her on whenever she crawls out of the writing cave. I love it.
Thanks for reading!