I’ve been out of high school for ten years now. I know, I’m getting old, please send help! But I was looking at my bookshelves the other night and got rather sentimental looking at some of the books that meant so very much to me when I was younger. I am so much of a different reader (and different person, thank the Lord) than I used to be, but so many of these books are still some of my all-time favorites. I also believe these ten books shaped me as a person and ultimately lead to me becoming the person that I am today.
➽ The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
I still consider this one of my favorite books of all time. This was the book that made me first realize how much I loved lyrical writing. The descriptions in this book are so haunting and are still able to evoke so much emotion from me to this day. This will always be one of the most beautiful books I’ll ever read, and it’s easily my most read book behind all the Harry Potter books.
➽ Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black
You all might have read the story about how this book (and a Borders Outlet employee) changed my reading life in my review for The Cruel Prince, but this is the book I am most thankful I read while I was in high school. And this was the book that made me fall in love with all things Fae. Nothing but love and respect for my Fae Queen President, Holly Black.
➽ Mary, Mary (Alex Cross #11) by James Patterson
For a very long time in my life, I would have said that the Alex Cross series was my favorite series behind only Harry Potter. Like, I was obsessed. I know I picked Mary, Mary, but it was only because Kiss the Girls (book two and my true favorite) is still in my old bedroom back in Michigan at my parent’s house. My grandma is the reason I’m the reader I am today, and she still only really reads mystery books, so I guess that just rubbed off a bit on me when I was younger, because I could not get enough of James Patterson’s stories. And I am not sure I’ve touched a James Patterson book in the last decade now.
➽ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I feel like this is the book that every high schooler reads and loves, and my edgy self was no different. I remember being so damn blown away by the poem and seeing it was written on a paper bag. Like, freshman Melanie was shook. But I still love this book, and I’ll still defend this book, because it honestly changed my life and truly made me feel not so alone.
➽ Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
This will probably forever be my favorite classic. And this is still one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. I weep when I think of how beautiful the passages and messages are in this book. And even though I discovered this my sophomore year of high school, I ended up writing a college thesis about Ethan Frome that was longer than the damn book, because it impacted me so profoundly. This book will always be a part of who I am, and I’ll cherish my many copies forever.
➽ A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Okay, so the summer going into junior year I was working at this local ice cream shop that was only open during the summer time, and I made the mistake of brining this book to work so I could finish it on my lunch break. You all, I was weeping in the back of this local mom and pop ice cream shop that people from my church owned. And it’s always a memory I will remember. I loved Nicholas Sparks when I was in middle and high school (I’m telling you guys, I was emo), but this one was probably my favorite of his. This was also probably the first book I read that dealt with a teen having cancer, and maybe that impacted me to be passionate about the things I am now, because I’ll always love this book. Hell, I’ll always love the movie, too! Mandy Moore is such a babe!
➽ Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning
I hate using the term “book boyfriend”, I truly do, but Jericho Barrons was my OG book boyfriend. Without question, he was the first character in literature that made me feel some type of way. I was a senior when I first stepped into this angsty fae filled Ireland, and I’m still reading KMM’s books a decade later. I have no shame. The nostalgia of this series is something I don’t even have words for, but I love thinking back to reading them. And I totally remember finishing this in my parent’s basement while running on their treadmill. Then I immediately got off and was so sad to find out no others were released yet.
➽ A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) by George R.R. Martin
People think that ASOIAF is only popular now because of the show, but I promise you there was a huge midnight release party at Flint’s Borders back while I was in high school. Was it Harry Potter level? No. But it was still a big turnout. Maybe it was because I played a lot of D&D and MTG (not to make a gross stereotype that only *nerds* like ASOIAF), but me and so many of my friends loved this series and we were so excited to get our hands on a new book. Little did we know…
➽ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling
Again, friends, I’m old. I grew up reading Harry Potter, and Harry wasn’t that much older than me when I first read about him. And we even actually became the same age upon a release (because the movies made the last few come out two years apart)! I truly believe no other book series will ever mean more to me than Harry Potter, and I feel bad putting it on every list, but it is truly deserving of every list because of the impact it has made on me not only as a reader, but as a human being. Also, the sheer amount of times I reread this series in high school is a number I don’t even want to know.
➽ The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Okay, I wanted to save this one for last, because I might get some shit for it. But hello, my name is Melanie, and you know what I will always love? The Catcher in the Rye. Out of all the classics we read my freshman year, I didn’t connect with any of the characters the way I did with Holden Caulfield. Is he a self-centered, pretentious, privileged, little shit? Yeah, he is. But guess what? So was I (#roasted). This book just spoke to my heart and soul and I’ll always love it, and I’ll always see myself in Holden, struggling in that in-between of being a teenager becoming an adult.
Okay, I hope you all enjoyed! I know, I know, I’m an old lady! But I just felt really compelled to write this post up for some reason. Maybe I’ll do a reread of each of these and see how I feel now in 2018? I mean, I legit already want to reread Tithe, so I think it might be a cool idea to do some of the others that I haven’t touched in a while, too! But I hope you all have an amazing day, and thanks for coming down memory lane with me! Happy reading, lovelies!