For those of you who don't know me, I'm a soon to be college graduate with a degree in Creative Writing. You may be wondering, "So what school is she planning to teach at?" Surprise surprise: I won't be.
The amount of public knowledge about the publishing business is infinitesimally small, and I was among the ignorant masses, even as an aspiring publishing professional. It took one really good class and a wonderfully experienced professor to open my eyes to how the life of a writer realistically should look.
I was seduced into changing my major from sensible Psychology/pre-Law to pursuing the dream of 12-year old bookworm me to realize what it would mean to grow up to become an author.
I won't lie, it's not as glamorous as you think. I've spent the last couple of semesters trying to rebuild my future after the hope of becoming a J.K. Rowling or Stephen King shattered around me (amidst rejection letters and brutal workshops).
It took a lot to get me back on track and to reconcile that I didn't choose to be a writer because of six-figure advances or movie deals. (Yes, those are still goals of mine, but further back in the ideal timeline that I thought).
I have only one thing to thank for resurrecting my passion for the literary community: books. It may sound simple, but it was the summer days under the sun where I soaked in the rays reflecting off the pages of a book that reminded me why I made the choice I did. I think there's a little hopeless romantic, passionate protagonist, blazing hero, or lamenting vigilante in all of us, and books bring out the true essence of every reader in a way that's sometimes shocking.
With a statement like that, you may not be surprised by the predominantly genre YA books in the list that follows, but I think every kid should start with series like these. The most invaluable resource a book can give you is other readers to interact with.
The series that I credit for inspiring me to pursue this tenuous career are as follows:
1. "Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”
2. "The Hunger Games.”
4. "Harry Potter.”
5. "Septimus Heap.”
6. "The Immortals.”
7. "The Night World.”
8. "Warrior Cats.”
10. "Hush, Hush Saga.”
11. "The Unwind Dystology.”
13. "The Shiver Trilogy.”
Whether these books fall into the realm of literary fiction or not is unquestionable: no. But I believe every reader needs to understand the reaches of the imagination and the bounds of storytelling before they try to break all those rules in the name of literature. My bookshelf still houses many, if not all, of these series and I will always be grateful to their authors for showing me what it means to be a writer.