I finished school six years ago and that fact really freaks me out. I’m getting old, friends, and that unsettles me very much. But whatever. I didn’t actually start to really love reading as much as I do now until I started secondary school when I was 11, which is a little weird to me because I’ve been able to read since I was 2 (thank you, mother). My primary school didn’t have a proper library but obviously secondary school did and that was basically where I could be found when I wasn’t in class. I didn’t read every book in the library, but I did read a lot of them and some books that I read then are still my favourites now. Others, not so much.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld – This was probably the first YA book that I’d ever read and it still sticks with me to this day. Fun fact, though: I accidentally read Specials first, not realising that it’s the third book in the series. Oops. When I went back to Uglies I absolutely loved it. This book is the one that started not only my love of YA, but my love of scifi too. I went years without a copy, which is disgraceful, I know, but now I have them and I can reread them as much as I want. Huzzah.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – I will admit that I had a pretty eclectic reading taste when I was a teenager. I tried to read as many classics as I could because I thought I was smart enough for them, but in reality I ended up either giving up on them or just finding them tedious (I once tried to read War and Peace and gave up after three pages because I couldn’t be bothered). Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of those books that I didn’t find tedious. I was sort of indirectly recommended this book by an old friend on Piczo (good grief, i feel old) and went searching for it in the school library and ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I’ve actually studied it twice now and I still enjoy it as much as I did back then.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Here’s a fun story about this book: my English class in Year 10 (or 9th grade) was supposed to study this book for our GCSE exam. We read exactly one chapter before one kid in the class declared it “too hard”. One chapter. The teacher held a class vote and all but two people voted that we continue reading this book instead of changing it. We ended up reading Of Mice and Men instead, which is not one of my favourite books. I ended up reading To Kill a Mockingbird by myself because I liked what I’d read in that one chapter and it’s still one of my favourites too this day. I still haven’t read Go Set a Watchman, which is weird because I almost died when it was announced.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld – Hello, favourite book ever. I was 15 when this book was first released and because I loved the Uglies series so much I wanted it before my school librarian had even processed it into the computer system. I absolutely adored it and as soon as I heard about the second book I immediately requested that the school order it. Did it ever arrive? I don’t know because by the time it came out, I was gone. The gap I had between reading the first and second book was so long (i.e. a couple of years) that I obviously had to go back and read the first book. I didn’t mind, obviously.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer – When I was younger I was a huge Twilight fan. Huge. This book is probably why I’m so obsessed with vampires now, and it’s definitely why I’m so lenient with what “rules” apply to them (spoiler: there are no rules when creating vampires, do what you want as long as they’re dead people who drink blood). I don’t really like it now because I’m older and my reading tastes have changes, but I do still kind of defend it at times. I defend the vampire lore in it, I mean, not Edward’s creepy overprotective behaviour. That shouldn’t be defended.
The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson – If you grew up in the UK, you will have read at least one of Jacqueline Wilson’s books. She’s probably the most prolific children’s author here so every child has read her books either alone or with a class. I don’t think she was my favourite author as a child but I do remember liking her Tracy Beaker books the most. But that’s probably because I watched the TV show when it was on.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I’m cheating with this one because I wasn’t at school anymore when I first read this book, but I was still in education so I will count it. It’s actually pretty rare that I enjoy books that I have to study but Frankenstein is now one of my favourite books, and not just because I was born on Mary Shelley’s birthday.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot – I didn’t read this book until I was in secondary school because I was actually too young to read it when it was first released. The movie was one of my absolute favourite things in the entire world when I was little so of course I wanted to read it when I was old enough. I was kind of disappointed at how different it is to the movie, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen – I’m pretty sure that most girls go through a phase where they’re obsessed with the 1920’s until they realise how terrible the decade actually was. I was definitely like that and that’s what attracted me to this series in the first place. I’m not as much of a fan of Anna Godbersen as I used to be (mainly because i haven’t read anything by her since this series ended)), especially after reading The Luxe, but I do remember liking her books quite a lot way back when.
Dracula by Bram Stoker – Want to know how much I like this book? Last week I dragged my parents all the way to Romania because of this book. Yeah. I was around 14 when I first read Dracula, and honestly, it took a couple of reads to really like it as much as I do now. Even studying it hasn’t stopped me from liking it.
What were your favourite books when you were in school (or if you’re still in school, when you were a kid)?