The other day, I reread a book I was OBSESSED with in high school and it brought up a lot of nostalgic feelings and I started reminiscing … and this is basically a long-winded way of me telling you that I’m *this* close to rereading like 10 books.
So I thought I should do a bit of digging through my Goodreads shelves and write about the books I used to adore, so you can see what high school Laura was like.
It’s probably helpful if I let you guys know exactly when I attended high school, so you can get a feel for the tone of many of the books I read so … 2006-2011. Ugh. I feel so old.
This post will forgo the books I’m still obsessed with like Pride and Prejudice, The Shadowhunter Chronicles, and Captive Prince – books I did read in high school and still love. Instead, I’ll talk about books that I’ve never mentioned before, or one’s I’ve only briefly mentioned in passing.
Let’s get to it!
I had to study this book in Year 8 for our English class, and at the beginning, I really hated it. Back in 2007, I was not a reader yet. Seriously, I couldn’t be bothered with reading back then, but I had forced myself to finish this book because I wanted to do well in class. And, lo and behold, at around the middle of They Came on Viking Ships, I started loving it. This was actually the book that sparked my life-long love of reading.
They Came on Viking Ships is about a young girl named Hekja who is kidnapped by Vikings and becomes a slave to Freydis, the female leader of a group of Vikings. Her only companion is her dog, Snarf. Hekja goes on a life-changing journey when Freydis decides to set sail to Greenland.
At this point in high school, I was really obsessed with Vikings. But I really loved this book because I adored Hekya and Freydis – I found them to be such strong, amazing women and I could relate to them so much. I also loved the romance in this book (no spoilers!).
Oh gosh, I read this book in Year 9, after my love of reading really exploded. I found it in my school’s library, under the Senior books (a collection of books that only Seniors were allowed to read because of the books’ mature content), but I was allowed to borrow it because the librarians knew I could handle mature books – there’s sex in this book, but not graphic at all. Typical for an all-girls’ Catholic school. though.
The Raging Quiet is set in medieval England and is about a young woman named Marnie who befriends a young Deaf and mute man, whom the village has isolated because they don’t understand him. But Marnie and Raver learn to communicate through hand gestures and they form a beautiful bond – but the village is fearful of them and soon the two are convicted of witchcraft.
I fell in love with this book because the romance between Marnie and Raver is so touching and lovely. Those two burrowed their ways into my heart and have never left.
On the Jellicoe Road was the first time I discovered that books can change a person. This book affected me on such a personal level, it hurts to discuss it. Let’s just say it had something to do with the representation of mental illness. I also read this book in Year 9, after I was steadily making my way through Melina Marchetta’s bibliography, because I had become obsessed with her at the time. I remember my mum had forced us to go to the Farmer’s Market the weekend I read this book and the entire drive there and back, I was reading this book – an achievement, considering I get sick when reading while driving.
On the Jellicoe Road is about a girl called Taylor whose mother abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road when she was twelve years old. Now seventeen, Taylor is now the leader of the boarders at Jellicoe School and has to deal with the upcoming territory wars with the Townies and Cadets – the leader of which is a boy she never wanted to see again. She also has to deal with the disappearance of her guardian and researching a manuscript about five kids who lived on the Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago.
All I have to say about this book is: ORIGINAL OTP!!!! THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK I READ WHERE I BECAME OBSESSED WITH THE ROMANCE TO THE POINT WHERE IT BECAME MY VERY FIRST OTP. And it’s a very intense romance too, which is, of course, my favourite kind. READ THIS BOOK!
There was a brief period – a year – in high school when I was obsessed with vampires. It started with Twilight and then upgraded to adult books, like The Sookie Stackhouse series. Although I never actually finished The Sookie Stackhouse books, I was super addicted to them for a while. It helped that I was watching the show at the same time.
Dead Until Dark is the first book in The Sookie Stackhouse series, which follows a young woman named Sookie in a world where vampires have come out of the shadows and live amongst humans. Sookie has always been interested in vampires, but she’s never gotten close to one, until one moves back to town and becomes her boyfriend. Sookie is pulled into a violent and magical world, but she soon discovers she might be a little more magical than she thought, too.
Oh, gosh. How do I even explain the perfection that is the Rainbow Boys trilogy? I found this series in my local library and felt an immediate connection to it. This was also around the same time (or maybe just after) I had read the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series, which is the first time I encountered a bisexual character on the page. This is the second. One of the characters in this series – Jason – slowly discovers his sexuality when he finds himself attracted to another boy at school. But Jason doesn’t freak and call himself ‘gay’. He acknowledges that he’s still attracted to women and actually refers to himself as ‘bisexual’. It was an amazing experience for me.
The Rainbow Boys trilogy is about Jason, a jock with a girlfriend but who is interested in guys; Kyle, who is deeply in the closet; and Nelson, the only “out” kid at school, who can’t tell the boy he loves that they should be more than friends. Over the course of three books, Jason, Kyle and Nelson grow and develop from frightened boys into proud, queer men. And it’s such a wonderful journey. I adore this series.
Ok, so this is a weird book to have been obsessed with, but I was. At the time (and I guess I still am), I LOVED conspiracy theories … and nothing is more interesting than conspiracies in Da Vinci’s paintings (whom I love). I actually read this book in four Health classes in high school, while my teacher ignored me because he knew I didn’t care about sports. (I got a D on the final exam, lol.) And after I read this book, I went on a tour through Dan Brown’s other books, devouring Angels and Demons, Deception Point and Digital Fortress.
For those who don’t know, The Da Vinci Code follows symbolist Robert Langdon, who is taken to a crime scene at the Louvre: the curator has been murdered and his body is covered in strange symbols. Working with cryptologist Sophie Neveu, they find themselves in a race against time, following clues that lead to Da Vinci, all the while being pursued by an unknown villain.
I started reading this series in 2010 and I’ve never looked back. The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson is the funniest book series I’ve ever read. I actually started rereading these books a couple of years ago – I think I managed to read the first five? Anyway, I still loved them as much as I did when I was 16.
The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson is about a teenage girl in England and her group of hilarious friends, all of whom are boy-crazy. Georgia has to deal with her weird-ass parents who embarrass her all the time, her psychotic three-year-old little sister, and her pet cat Angus, who is still a bit wild. Georgia is hilarious, but more than that, I absolutely adored her relationship with Dave the Laugh: they go from friends to so much more, and it’s just lovely to see. I love them.
This book series destroyed me. I remember becoming obsessed with this series very quickly. I devoured the first book in a day, and binged the rest of the series not long after. Tally is one of my favourite female characters, and Zane and David were one of the original love triangles I came across. And when I found out that there will be three more books in the series starting this year? Yeah, I flipped out.
Uglies series follows Tally Youngblood, a young girl, who, on her sixteenth birthday, was supposed to undergo an operation to make her ‘pretty’ – like every other sixteen-year-old in her world. However, when her close friend goes missing – suspected to have run away and joined the people who live outside of the city, who refuse to be operated on – Tally is forced by the government to go after her … or she’ll never be pretty.
I’m a bit hesitant to reread this series, not gonna lie. The concept sounds a little offensive and I can’t remember how accurately Scott Westerfeld managed to deconstruct it, BUT, since there will be more books, I definitely want to reread the books before I read book 4. So…
Ok, so, for a long time during high school, I was OBSESSED with Karen Rose’s romance suspense novels. Each book followed a different pairing, but all had to do with a crime/mystery and had a couple struggling to be together. There are three books in the massive 20+ series called the Daniel Vartanian trilogy that follows the same plot line, but with a different pairing in each book. And, ya’ll, it’s amazing.
Scream for Me, which is the second in the trilogy and my favourite, follows Daniel Varantian, an FBI agent who is sworn to find perpetrator of killings that mimic murders from thirteen years ago, which were committed by his serial killer brother. His search leads him to Alex Fallon, a nurse with a troubled past.
This series, and the other books in the wider series, are fucked up, but god did I love them. I had read the first 10 books in the whole Romantic Suspense series, and today there are 22! That’s wild! But also I can’t see myself ever rereading this series, even my beloved Daniel ones.
Remember when I said I loved vampires? Yeah, I fucking loved vampires. Anyway, this year I read the very last book in the Vampire Academy series and my mind was blown. I was obsessed with these characters for years and now I finally got to read their finale. And it was amazing as I suspected it would be. Also, ROSE AND DIMITRI FOR LIFE!!!
Vampire Academy follows Rose Hathaway, a dhampir (half human, half vampire) who is sworn to protect the full vampire race, the Morois. Her best friend Lissa is a Moroi and the last of her family’s royal line. Rose and Lissa are forced back to school a year after they ran away, but are brought back to imminent danger … which includes the 24-year-old teacher Rose begins to fall for.
*sigh*. I absolutely adore this series and on one hand I really want to reread it, but on the other hand, what if I hate it now? That’s a worry. But I do know of some people who have reread it and still like it, so…
This book is very random because I had to study it for Year 12 English and I suddenly fell in love with it. I’m not even sure why, to be honest. It’s a good book, but the level of obsession was strange, even for me. I loved the main character, Anna, and I loved her tale of triumph and what she accomplished. The ending was strange but also strangely fit? Anyway, I was also obsessed with the romantic pairing in this book: Anna and Mompellion. And I also loved Anna’s obsession with Mompellion’s wife, Elinor.
Year of Wonders is set in a medieval village in England, where a bolt of cloth carries the plague to the town. Through Anna, a housemaid and healer, we follow the villagers in the year 1666 as the disease conquers the town and superstition takes hold of the villagers.
The angels obsession came soon after my vampire one, beginning with Hush, Hush. I loved this series when I first read it, and the other books were amazing. I especially adored the last one! Also, I think this is the first book where I read a really good male-female friendship with Nora and Scott.
Hush, Hush is about a girl called Nora who finds herself in the middle of an ancient battle between angels, after a handsome stranger named Patch moves to her school.
So I’m really torn with wanting to reread this book and being terrified that I’ll hate it. I’ve read a few reviews from trusted friends who all commented on Patch’s abusive behaviour towards Nora that I either forgot or didn’t notice the first time round. Honestly, I think this book and the series is going to piss me off or upset me, so I don’t think I want to reread it at the moment.