My Personal Canon
Books That Have Changed My Life
The Harry Potter Series
The Divergent Series
The basic premise of the first book is multiple groups of people who disagree on the most important trait in a person: bravery, intelligence, love/peace, honesty or selflessness. By the end of the series, they realize they value differently because their brain chemistry is off. I strive to be smart, brave, selfless, peaceful and honest in my everyday life. I have found myself thinking through a problem by wondering what each faction would do and picking the best option. This book really hammered down the idea that I don’t have to be the best at any one thing; that it might not even be healthy. I admire the main protagonist, Tris, because she is all of these traits, as her brain chemistry has healed itself. I have learned and changed to try to be the best I can as a person, not the best intellectual or any one thing, but the best person. We are not so simply divided into one category, so I think it’s best to embrace our differences and be all the things we desire to be.
This is probably my singular favorite book ever and it has resonated with me throughout the years. I have read it multiple times and can’t quite imagine my life without having read it. Excluding any other facets of the book, I just really enjoy the storyline and the characters. Ponyboy, Sodapop, Johnny, Two-Bit, Dally, Steve and Darry are wonderfully crafted characters with amazing back stories and different motivations. The main impact and life lesson from this book was the idea that right and wrong are not always as easy to distinguish as black and white. Johnny kills Bob in the book, but Johnny was still the victim. He and Ponyboy were being attacked and while it might not have been the best course of action, I don’t believe Johnny deserves punishment. I realized not everything was on one side or the other of the morality line.
The Maze Runner Series
A Mango Shaped Space
The Bible has been taught to me for as long as I can remember and I use many of those teachings in the way I try to act toward other people. I try to be that good samaritan and help people out with a problem. I do my best to love everyone and try to avoid judging other people. It helped to form a lot of my morals and ideals. I am a Christian, so learning the teachings of Jesus Christ is important to me. I try not to lie, cheat or steal. I try to live my life as a moral, ethical kind Christian, so I think the Bible has a lasting effect and likely always will.
The Boxcar Children Series
The Hardy Boys Series
I was first introduced to Frank and Joe in the 1970s TV show, which I devoured. I then borrowed my grandpa’s books from when he was a child and now they sit on my bookshelf. I read more recent versions of the series, ranging from the 70s until the current decade. I read more of these after I began to outgrow The Boxcar Children and it helped my sense of adventure flourish. They taught me helpful tricks and interesting facts. I first heard of chloroform and read tricks to help me if I was ever tied up. I have yet to display these skills, but these are books that have stayed with me and entertained me through times of boredom and sadness. Frank and Joe might be from the past, but they will forever be with me in odd little factoids that randomly come to mind. Maybe I’ll even read a few more if new titles come across my desk.
The Hunger Games Series
This was the book of our generation, as almost everyone I knew read it and loved it. Katniss is a girl who had imperfections and was not a happy-go-lucky protagonist. I loved that about her. I loved the way the romance was tied in. Suzanne Collins got me started on YA dystopian novels and I can’t thank her enough. Peeta is an amazing character and I love his selflessness. I want someone to love me the way he loves Katniss. It’s cheesy, but true. I have also loved archery, but with Katniss being very skilled in the field, it made me love it all that much more. Hunger Games is really about family and I love books that make me realize just how important your family is.
The Found Series
I have not finished this series yet and I’m not even sure if all of them are published yet, but this unique way of combining today’s world with historical fiction intrigued me. I love learning the historical pieces, but I also like the idea of ordinary kids being historically important, because it makes me feel like we can all one day be important. I love this series and hope to buy the rest soon and then maybe I can convince you better on why you should read it.
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
I enjoyed this book when I first read it for Book Battle years ago, but lately it’s become more relatable. The main character’s younger brother has cancer and last year, my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Both the brother and my mother were fine, but it was relatable to realize how to deal with that. The characters made me realize that cancer was beatable and my mom would be okay.
This book is about a teanager who switches bodies every day of their life, which they have grown used to by the time we get to know them. ‘A’ is the only nickname they have for themselves and ‘A’ has gotten used to their ever changeable life until one day. ‘A’ is in the body of Justin and meets Rhiannon, the girl of their dreams. Unfortunately, Rhiannon and Justin are already dating, so ‘A’ has to work hard for Rhiannon to first break up with Justin and then accept his crazy reality. The thing I learned from this book is to appreciate every day you are given. Constants are taken for granted and I try to appreciate my family, school, house and life that doesn’t change. Changes may happen, but the truly important things are always there.
The Fault in Our Stars
This John Green classic first came into my life a few years ago and it was the first book that made me cry like a baby. It’s mostly considered a romance novel and I had never really read much romance, but I could tell it was something special. It showed me love doesn’t have to be perfect and that it can come at the most unexpected time. Augustus is amazing and I have to admit I had(have) a crush on him. Hazel was as intelligent as I aspire to be in my life. The way that John Green writes is so inspirational and authentic. He writes like a teenager, but he speaks so eloquently at the same time. I hope to write like him one day.