I was born in 1995, so I grew up without the internet until I was about 12. I remember having to lean my iPod against the window in my mothers bedroom to steal my neighbors wifi. Even when I did have a cellphone, it was shared between me and my sister (made having a boyfriend awkward).

 

And at this point in my life I wasn’t aware of ‘anime’ as a thing. Inuyasha was that show that was on at 11pm I really liked. YuGiOh was life and Yami was my boyfriend, but I just thought of them as cartoons.

 

When I was 15 and was bullied into watching Deathnote I fell down the rabbit hole and haven’t really crawled out, the hole or my bed.

So what did I do before I had these beautiful mediums to enjoy everywhere? I read books. I read A LOT of books. I loved reading, I would read in class, (cause screw math right? Ehe..) I would read in cars, I would even try to bring books to amusement parks.

 

I had a special relationship with my librarian that the new Mary Kate and Ashley Mystery books would be withheld from the shelves until I had read them.

 

*nerd*

 

Confession Time, I’ve read all of the Twilight books.

 

So in my vast years of reading I got through so many series, and some of them I still love to this day. Of course I love the Harry Potter series, I wasn’t allowed to watch the movie until I had read the book(not a joke.)

 

These are just some of the series that brought so much happiness into my life.

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Warriors by Erin Hunter

This series I actually read backwards, because I accidentally purchased the 6th book first. The series has spanned 5 6 book cours and is still ongoing and remains to be one of my favorite book series. It does not age up with the reader, but it deals a lot with group mentalities and maybe religious notes. Dead characters reside in ‘StarClan’ and speak to the medical characters.

 

The stories generally follow the point of views of 3 characters, which changes every cour or so. It begins with Firestar, and moved to his children, and then his grandchildren. The characters live in 4 clans, ShadowClan, ThunderClan, WindClan and RiverClan and live by a warrior code.

 

Oh yea, the characters are cats too.

 

The more recent special edition stories are exploring the Warriors universe more, with backstories and little .5 stories. There is a graphic novel series with original content that is really interesting.

 

Erin Hunter, the author is actually a team of 6 people. They have 3 separate series ongoing. There is Warriors(cats) Survivors(dogs), and Seekers(bears). I’ve read Seekers and continue to read Warriors. Im hesitant to finish the cour im on right now because I read about a planned character death that im just not ready for!!

 

But seriously, this series has a great vocabulary and world design as well as complex characters that deal with real world emotions, like having to choose between clan loyalty and love.

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Pendragon by D.J. McHale

Now if you want time travel/universe jumping done right, this series is for you. I cant praise this series enough! I love it.  I actually just bought the first book for my little sister. The series is ten books long and each one is rather self contained. Each story is interesting and it feels like an adventure.

 

This series does age up with its reader, as towards the end you see the larger plot and the moral contradictions made throughout the series.

 

The plot is that Bobby Pendragon has been gathered by his uncle and told he has to save other worlds. Each world is nearing a tipping point, they can either fall into chaos or grow as a society. This is usually a natural progression but there is an antagonist who is working behind the scenes to bring about chaos. So Bobby has to try and help, but maintain the different worlds integrity. Meaning no outsiders clothes or items. The scenes where he realizes what clothes he has to wear are funny, and usually don’t include underwear.

 

I actually had to pre-order the final book, and that was 36 days of anticipatory hell! I recommend this series to anyone who wants to read about world travel. I know a lot of alternate plotlines have a weak black or white outcome, and this one.. Mmm, its just so good.

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Bartimaeus

Oh lord this series. If you ever wanted to read about a sassy demon, with copious footnotes on demons and historical events through the eyes of a demon, this series is for you! The series is 3 books long, and is more in the 15-19 age range, but its hilarious!

 

Essentially Bartimaeus is a djinn that is summoned each book, and forced on these adventures. The point of view changes between demon and summoner each chapter and the footnotes in Bartimaeus chapters had me in stitches. They provide so much juicy, yet irrelevant to the plot material. Sometimes they took up most of a page with their historical stories and information on different demons. And if there is nothing I love more, its backstory and lore!

 

The adventures and loud characters are such a draw to this series that I want more! Jonathon Stroud write more!! Gimme gimme gimme!

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And while its not a series, I’d highly recommend reading The Giver.

DO NOT watch the movie, you will want to bleach your eyeballs. READ the book. Its short, its concise. It gets its point across without any forced romance, and actually does a great job of creating this black and white world, emotionally and physically.

 

The movie made me want to cry.

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My final recommendation isn’t a fiction book, but it’s a kind of self-help/self aware book. “You Mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy“, is a book about ADD and ADHD. Growing up with ADD you get told a lot of things about yourself, and you don’t know why you are like that. The book is a pretty significant size, its 413 pages. But it is like reading all of those “you think that too! I thought it was just me” posts and it personally really helped me to be more aware of the way I was acting and handling myself.

 

An analogy that has stuck with me, that I use to explain ADD is that the brain is like a radio tuner. It automatically channels whole heartedly to the strongest station, not the most important station.

 

That is why you get distracted and completely forget about the task beforehand, because that is not the strongest signal anymore.

 

Anyways, while they may not be anime related, these books have had a real influence in my life and how I read and write.  If any of them seem interesting to you, please please pleaaase check them out. You wont regret reading these series. I love them, and if I was trapped forever with only these books, id be happy.

 

Man I really go to extremes in my hypotheticals don’t I?

 

So if you have read any of these before, let me know below! Id love to talk about them some more, and to get others reactions to them! If you have other book recommendations, let me too! I always love reading. My mom says I don’t read as much, but man if she saw my manga list.. I do still read a whole hell of a lot. I just read manga.

 

Well!! Thanks for reading!!

 

-jill

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