I didn’t actually know what I was going to blog about today.
A lot of the time these days I kind of just…wing it. I was looking through my mum’s book cupboards for no apparent reason, and started thinking about how much my reading tastes have changed. Because they’ve changed a lot, and I want to know if this has happened to you guys as well. Let’s go through the list, shall we?
First, of course, is Harry Potter.
I started reading Harry Potter in year one or two, I think, though I saw some of the movies before then. I blame my mother for creating my obsession (and most of these are her books, though I’ve now claimed them as my own).
I’ve always loved reading, but Harry Potter really cemented that for me. My username everywhere, @theloonytuney, is a Harry Potter reference – a combination of Luna Lovegood and Petunia Dursley, who at one point were my two favourite characters (the more you know, right?).
At that time, all of my other favourites were fantasy as well. I loved the Ingo series, about dark, dangerous mermaids. I loved Eragon. I loved The Last Dragon Chronicles, about clay dragons that are actually real. I loved Septimus Heap and The Divide. I loved fantasy.
(this photo has absolutely no relevance, by the way, but I forgot to take pictures for this post so I’m making do with what I have)
Then came high school, which was a confusing time in my reading life, and fantasy wasn’t my go-to anymore.
I didn’t really know that YA was a THING. I read a lot of Jodi Picoult. I read a lot of classics, mostly to say that I HAD read them (hated Gatsby, loved Catcher in the Rye; hated Tess of the D’Urbervilles, loved Fahrenheit 451). I skipped between re-reads of Harry Potter, Sophia Kinsella, classics and kidlit.
Then I read The Princess Diaries, and The Fault in Our Stars. These were a couple of years apart – Princess Diaries came first.
And actually, I read Looking for Alaska before TFIOS even came out, but let’s leave it at that. And suddenly, there was a whole new world. I fell in love with YA contemporary. I started writing it. I think of my first real novel as the one I wrote in year 9 for NaNoWriMo – it was called MUTUAL WEIRDNESS and it was terrible, but I still love it. And I’m still very proud of the fact that I wrote it almost exclusively in my maths classes (I’m very sorry, Ms. Katyal).
I’m not so obsessed with John Green these days.
I’m still obsessed with Harry Potter (that will never change). And I do find myself going back to my fantasy roots now and again, because there are some things in fantasy that will always be more magical than in contemporary. But YA contemporary is my favourite for now.
I credit that a lot to the increase in diverse books and #ownvoices books, too.
There are only so many Sarah Dessen books you can read before they all start melding into one very white, very cishet book. These days, I can find whatever kinds of books I want to read if I look hard enough. It’s really interesting to think about how my reading tastes have changed over time, and imagining what it will be like in the future. Though I can’t imagine I’ll ever leave the YA community, who knows, I might end up drifting from contemporaries to murder mysteries (I wrote one of those too. You can read about it here).
Has your favourite genre changed over time? Which book started it all for you?