As a very delayed finish for “Getting to Know Me” Month, I decided to shift away from the usual territory of anime and games and talk about something that I feel is rather underrated in this geek culture.
Books were probably the first thing that ever got me interested in genres like Fantasy or Sci-Fi which are very prominant in anime. I can remember reading super late at night and almost sleeping through my alarm for school It’s one of the things that inspired me to write. So, that being said, prepare for the list that was the most difficult to write.
10) Sword Art Online By Reki Kawahara
This is what I consider a new love. I adored the anime and decided to seek out the light novels. What’s fantastic about these books is they are so different for what is in the anime, mainly due to the first person narrative from Kirito. It develops his relationship with Asuna more and makes them an even stronger couple than I already thought they were. It’s an engaging story that is part of what made the anime such a phenomenon.
9) The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colefer
For a young adult series, this book is rather underrated. There is so much going on with the characters and the story but the most interesting thing is the world. The mystical world of LEPRecon and the magical police force is such a unique concept. Additionally, Artemis is such a fantastic antagonist/protagonist. Each story is a guessing game as to if he will be the hero to save the day or the villain causing the headaches for the magical world.
8) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lindi Taylor
Continuing on the subject of unique stories, how about a story that takes place in Prague that has to deal with angels and chimera? Karou is a young human girl who was adopted at a young age by a chimera family who as her to go on magical hunting trips to search for special items that brew wishes. When she meets an angel who is hellbent on killing chimera, she starts a journey that makes her realize there is more to her life than just a little magic. From the witty characters to the incredible twist at the end, I cannot recommend this book enough.
7) Ink by Amanda Sun
Written by a fellow anime fan, this book follows Katie Green as she spends time in Japan as an exchange student. She doesn’t get to have a normal semester, however, since one of her classmates Tomohiro seems to be drawn to her in ways they don’t understand. There are interesting elements of Japanese lifestyle and what it’s like to be a cultural outsider. My favorite parts are the elements of Japanese sprinkled in the dialogue. It creates a more authentic feel with the characters without alienating the readers. Fans of anime series should absolutely give this book a look.
6) A Wrinkle in Time by Madaline L’Engle
A surprisingly interesting story given that it’s supposed to be for middle school level readers. Even today, there are times when I read this story and I don’t understand everything going on in it.The story follows Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace through different dimension while they search for Meg’s and Charles’ father. Elements of complex physics theories are sprinkled in to explain what seems to be magical in the worlds. It’s a unique way to present the already incredibly layered story.
5) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Nothing is better than a tongue in cheek author who knows the troupes of his own story and calls himself on it. After being orphaned when their parents died in a terrible fire, the Beaudelaire Siblings are forced to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf who is pretty much the worst human being imaginable. They’re forced to live in awful conditions, endure an abusive relationship, and the eldest is told she has to marry this relative. And that’s all just the first book, there’s thirteen in the whole series. From terrifying operations in a dingy hospital to hypnotists causing deadly accidents, this is one of the craziest but most exciting series I’ve ever read.
4) The Giver by Lois Lowery
This is one of the few books that I was asked to read in school that has stuck with me. There’s so much about this story about conformity and struggling with identity along with censorship and even emotional manipulation. My absolute favorite thing about the book is that it accomplishes all these points without being too preachy. I desperately want to talk about more, but that would give away some of the best points about the incredibly careful and craftful writing. It’s a few quick read, but one that has really shaped the kind of person I am today.
3) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Oh my gosh! There is nothing like a good Southern romance with a little supernatural elements thrown into it. Of all the young adult stories I have read, the relationship between Ethan and Lena is one of the most touching and realistic relationships I’ve ever seen in the genre. The best part is that they aren’t perfect. They both have flaws and they both have completely irrational moments as teens, but that’s what makes them both so endearing. The other great thing is that each book doesn’t settle around the ‘will they, won’t they’ plot. They clearly love each other and they both work hard to make their relationship a success. This isn’t even touching on the aspects of magic and the beautiful Southern setting. It’s a fun and unique story that is still my go to when I need a little romance in my life.
2) The Cirque du Freak Series by Darren Shan
This is the hardest series to put into words in terms of how much I love these books. It’s such an engaging story and one of the only series where I actively lost sleep over reading them because I refused to stop reading until I was done. There’s so many elements that work. The characters are unique and memorable, Darren’s narration is fun and gripping, the world of vampires is exciting and deep. I know there’s more to the series that I absolutely adore but I can’t even think of everything right now. All I can do implore people to read these books.
1) The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Obvious choice is obvious, but it’s impossible to deny how much this series has affected me and how much it means to me. This was the book that inspired me to want to write, be it as an author or as a blogger. This was the first book that completely engulfed me with the sprawling settings, the dynamic and diverse characters, and the story unlike anything I had ever seen before. These are stories I have laughed over, these are characters that have shattered me with their deaths. But the thing that’s wonderful about this series is that everyone has something different they love about it. Everyone will talk about this series with a different light and have a different memory attached to it. It’s not the most perfect series, but it’s impossible to deny how much it means to others and how much it means to me.
Thank you so much for checking out this list! If you guys have any suggestions, I would love to expand my personal library so leave your favorites down in the comments.