There are four series of books that come to mind when I think of authors who have influenced my desire to be a writer.
The Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer
The Twilight Saga gave me back something that I lost for a few years, my love of reading. I watched the movie first, and even though I love them now because they stem from the books, back then, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I couldn’t see the attraction that many people claimed the books had, so I decided I needed to go to the source and read the book for myself. I sat up until 4:00am that first night. There was something about Bella and Edward’s young love that took me back to the time I was young and fresh and innocent. I came to the series late, so the next day when I went back to the store, I was able to buy the rest of the books in the series. I devoured them. I gave them to my friends, who looked at me a little dubiously, but called me later, cursing me for their lack of sleep. So Twilight brought back my love of reading, which, in turn, brought me to begin writing.
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
As a reader, I never took much notice of writing styles. A good book was a good book. I didn’t know what attracted me to the story, just that I liked it. I read without noticing the manner in which a story was told. Past tense, present tense, first person, third person, sentence structure and flow meant nothing to me, but Hunger Games changed this. Suzanne Collin’s wrote with a simplicity that kept me spellbound, and I had to find out why. It was a difficult one to recommend, though. Most conversations went something like this.
“I’ve just finished this great book. You should read it.”
“What’s it called?”
“The Hunger Games. It’s brilliant.”
“So, what’s it about?”
Here, I would usually pause and try to think of the easiest way of saying it without it sounding so brutal. But there was no other way to put it. “Ah, it’s about these kids killing each other in a reality TV-style show, ordered by a sadistic futuristic government.” At the dubious looks that statement received, I would usually add, “Just read it. Trust me.”
Gone Series – Michael Grant
The Gone Series by Michael Grant is a little easier to recommend than the Hunger Games, though possibly more gruesome. It’s about a town where all the kids, fifteen and under, suddenly find themselves alone, cut off from the rest of the world by a giant dome. No adults. No supervision. No idea of what happened to the older members of their families. And then they start to develop powers. Some of them use these powers for good. Others do not. It can get rather brutal at times, but the characters and story development kept me glued.
The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
I have just received my copy of the last book in this series. I’m waiting for someone to offer to take over my life for an entire day so I can put everything aside and dedicate myself to delving into this delicious book, but I don’t see it happening. And by delicious, I really do mean delicious. Maggie’s use of words is magical. There is no other way to put it. I first came to love her for The Scorpio Races, but the Raven Cycle series is even better. Probably because there is more; four books, instead of one.
So there you have it. My YA series reading recommendations, well, the ones that influenced me the most, anyway.
Have you read them?
Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
What are your YA series recommendations?