• Kayla Proctor
  • Top 5 books that changed my life, and will change yours too: Kayla's Reading recs
Top 5 books that changed my life, and will change yours too: Kayla's Reading recs
Contributor
Written by
Kayla Proctor
June 2017
Contributor
Written by
Kayla Proctor
June 2017

Hello! I'm Kayla, and welcome to my very first blog post!

Today I will be recommending 5 books that influenced me in different ways. I've always been a fan of stories, but it wasn't until I hit my teenage years that I really started to appreciate stories for what they are. There is a sort of magic about them. They have the ability, if done right, to transport you to another world. They teach you the most important lessons and the story, the characters alone become a part of who you are. These are the types of books I will be recommending today! I'll be recommending these books, explaining the gist of them to you and also telling you why each story is so important to me. I hope some of you find one of my recommendations useful, and at the very least, leave my post appreciating stories like I do just a little bit more. :)

My very first recommendation is a very popular YA series written by none other than Cassandra Clare.

The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare are two different series with different characters, a different setting and time period but are centered around the same world.  The Infernal Devices is set in 1800 London, and the Mortal Instruments is set in present day in New York. The characters from each story are descended from a race called Shadowhunters. Together, their purpose in life is to protect the human race and rid the world of demons. Both series are full of witty characters, fast paced action and sweet romance. There is also appreciation for literature and music within the series, and I feel like those are two very important things to have in our world today. You'll find a handful of themes in these series, but I appreciate them so much because of the lessons the stories teach about love, about true friendship and about fighting for what you believe in, despite what other people may think.

My second recommendation is another fairly known trilogy called Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

This is a story about a girl named Juliette, whose touch is literally lethal. One touch, and you are dead. Because of this, she is an outcast in her world and is taken and held by people who want to use her abilities for their own agenda. This trilogy is full of great, complex characters, action that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and a suprising romance that'll make your heart sing. Its a story about self discovery, about love and about friendship.

My third recommendation is a classic, that most of you have probably already read at some point. If you haven't, well...you should! To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a book I was required to read in 8th grade. I loved reading back then as well, but I had a strong dislike against any books that weren't dystopian or romance. I read it mostly because I had to, but also I started to enjoy the story. During this unit, i'm pretty sure it was the most I ever participated in class. Ever.

The story is set in a small town in Alabama. It follows a young girl named Scout Finch, her family and the people in her town. Scout's father, Atticus, is an attorney and the story centers around Atticus who defends a young black man wrongly accused of rape. What I took with me the most is never judge a person on where they come from or the color of their skin. This is an important story that should be read by everyone at some point their lives.  It changes your view on the world and gets you to understand things from different perspectives.

My 4th recommendation is Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. This is one of the first contemporary novels I read and enjoyed. It's 300+ pages and I flew through it in one sitting. The story revolves around two teens named Eleanor and Park and we follow them as they find unlikely friends in each other and fall in love. It's one of the most sweetest romances you'll ever read and if you're a fan of books with complex characters, and a friendship and romance that will make you squeal in your seat (or whatever you're sitting in), this is a book worth reading!

My fifth and final recommendation today is a series that introduced me to the fantasy genre, a genre that is by far my favorite to read. Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan is a fantastic place to start if you are interested in reading middle grade/YA fantasy. I picked this one up even before I got the chance to read the beloved fantasy series, Harry Potter. It follows a young boy named Percy as he discovers he is not a simple human, but a demi-God, and the son of the Greek God Poseidon. We follow him as he discovers this secret about himself, and embarks on an advenure that leads him to Camp Half Blood, a camp for kids like him. This story plays a big role for me because it introduced me to my favorite genre, but also it taught me importants lessons about coming to terms with you are and embracing it, about friendship and about being brave even in the most crazy circumstances. Reading in itself is an adventure, but in particular, these five stories took me on a journey. If you're reading this, and you love stories as much as I do, I hope you'll give one of these a try!

Quote of the day: "A reader lives a thousand lives, and the man who reads none only lives one." - George R.R. Martin

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