When I was young, I spent most of my evenings reading before bed. One series I often read was Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter. The series follows the interactions between four clans of cats in the woods near a human neighborhood. While my love for the series stemmed from a fascination with cats, what intrigued me the most was the hierarchy of the clans, from leaders to deputies, medicine cats, and the main component of the clans: warriors. The warriors hunted, protected the clan against outside threats like badgers and foxes, and fought against warriors from the other clans. The idea was so creative to me that I begged my mother for the first book, Into the Wild, at an elementary school book fair.
I still have that copy, though pages have fallen out from my numerous readings. Slowly, I filled up my bookshelves with the series, which spanned a few subseries, each made of six books. To this day, it is one of my favorite stories. I started writing fan-fiction about the series, which eventually led to writing original work.
I don’t recall how I first heard of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, but I do remember reading it aloud with my mother when she had evenings off. I enjoyed the story and she enjoyed relaxing after work by hearing me read. When the following books were released, we continued our reading tradition. When we neared the ending of The Goblet of Fire, the suspense kept us reading late into the night, eager to see what would happen to the titular character.
However, after that, I received the book on release day and I ended up finishing it within a day or two. I filled my mother in on what happened during each book, rambling on about how good they were. The entire series, now filled with a few marks from when I reread them over the years, sits on my shelf, right next to my Warrior series. Every now and then I have a Harry Potter movie marathon with my best friend, who I met because of an Order of the Phoenix shirt.
If you read my fanfiction blog, then my third choice won’t be a surprise. I originally read Maximum Ride by James Patterson for my freshman English class in high school. Considering it was a required reading, I dreaded it would be boring. However, the back cover summary was far from boring with the mention of kids genetically engineered with bird wings. I sat down with the book and couldn’t put it down. After finishing the assignment for school, I promptly went out and bought the next two books in the series. Apparently a film adaptation is being released soon, and it doesn’t look promising. Still, Maximum Ride led me to other fantastic young adult series throughout the years. Along with Harry Potter and Warrior Cats, it holds a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
Photo Credit: Books and Cupcakes