Forever by Judy Blume
This book…this book gave me my first look into the huge world of romance. My older sister gave me a huge box of books she had outgrown. Forever was in there. I was sucked into it almost right away. It was originally published in 1975, however, because of its realism, it still holds up today.
Forever is the story of two teenagers and their evolution into a relationship that becomes sexual. When I first read it, I was barely a teenager myself and this was startling for me. It’s isn’t erotic; it’s real, and the entire story stays with you. One quote in particular was one I’ll never forget.
“You can’t go back to holding hands.”
Isn’t that the truth?
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
This is a book I read over and over while I was at college. I adored it. It had swearing and a rebellious main character. At seventeen, it spoke my language. Holden Caufield is lost—he simply doesn’t fit in and I felt that to my core. It would read his story again and again, feeling, for once, as though I did fit in with the world around me. Even if that world was a book.
You can see why the book world is now my happy place, right?
I felt Holden’s emotions, felt it every time he confused and adrift. There are many times I feel that now. So even though it is somewhat dated now, Catcher in the Rye is still a book I revisit.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This book is unforgettable for a very different reason. I picked it up because of my love of vampires, and although I ended up with a very different version of that, it is not dramatic to state that reading this book changed my life.
It really did.
After I read the series, I started to write my own stories. I’d written before, but not with as much relish or speed. Something about the series had me putting pen to paper and writing my own novel. I started out with some fanfiction on Twilight, but then shifted over to my own characters. The rest, they is history, as shortly afterward, I got my first publishing contract.
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Dark Hunter series of books are my favourite, so much so that I even have a dark hunter tattoo on my wrist. Throughout the series the character Acheron plays a huge part. Before this book there are fourteen others in the series, so I waited so long for Acheron’s story. When I got it, it was like a punch to the gut. I cried so many times, and even when he got his happy ever after, I still cried. Anyone who has read it will understand my emotions.
The first half drains you, ripping every tear from your body until you are dry. The build-up to the ending is slow and gentle, just what is needed after so much sadness.
Acheron is a book I waited years for and it didn’t disappoint at all.
Hawthorne & Heathcliff by R.K. Ryals
I thought I’d add a more recent book to the list. This was my most favourite book last year. Again, I cried. There’s a theme here, huh?
This is such a tender book. One where the gentle words and flow of the plot actually leave you feeling lost after you’ve finished. There’s a continual sense of foreboding due to a couple of paths the story takes. The first one is hard and difficult for the reader to see a way out of the despair, and even with that level of sadness, the author still manages to be kind to the reader and her characters.
The second path is something the reader understands must happen, but hates the mere thought.
As soon as I read the ebook, I had to own it in paperback too. I had to have it displayed on my bookshelf. I fangirled about it to my friends. I fangirled to the author herself.
It’s quite simply a book I wish I’d written.
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