It’s funny to say now, but I hated reading when I was a kid. Every teacher identified reading as a problem area and always assigned the most boring and patronising books for me to learn with. Blah. Then in year five we read Rowan of Rin as a class. I learned quickly that reading could be fun and an adventure and went out to find the rest of the series. Thank you Ms Rodda for writing the best junior novels to escape into.
Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty – Show, don’t tell.
Not once are we told what the characters look like or how they speak. Moriarty lets them speak for themselves in letters and diary entries so the reader can build up the person with their own imagination. It’s nice not being told everything. But hard to put into practice as a writer when your editor keeps asking “what does this person look like?”
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – Fairy tales can be tweaked.
For generations we have been told that a princess must be saved by her prince charming from the wicked witch. Very anti-feminist. Ella on the other hand, well this is going to be a spoiler, she saves herself many times, the prince falls in love with her for being the flawed girls she is, and the wicked witch isn’t that bad. Sometimes the old stories just need to be reimagined in a different century.
Mills & Boons – My introduction into romance, relationships, and SEX.
School didn’t teach me sex education, every Mills & Boons novel that I could get my hands onto did. That’s it. That’s all I can say about one of the biggest publishing sensations in history; they taught me sex. And I started developing my high standards for men from the age of thirteen because of them. P.S. Still single.
Bet Me by Jenny Crusie – We are all flawed, including our happy endings.
Min is self-conscious about her body and that affects how she thinks other people perceive her. Cal is looking for the right woman and won’t commit for anything less. Spoiler Alert! Somehow, these two found a way, be it fate, chaos theory, Elvis, or a fairy tale, to be together when everyone else around them was saying that they shouldn’t. If they can accept their flaws and live in a bungalow with a shifty cat and a beast of a dog, then so can us people in reality. Love this book!
Too Good to be True by Kristin Higgins – It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or in a relationship, be happy being you.
Similar to Bet Me, this is about the flaws and being happy being you. In real life there is no prince charming and we shouldn’t focus everything on finding a man to be one. We are complete humans who can live full lives without a partner. Though it is fun to have one, we shouldn’t be defined or made to feel like we are worthless because we are single. Focusing on yourself isn’t bad, it’s actually a good thing to do.
Diary of a Submissive by Sophie Morgan – The continuation of my sex education, with kink.
Sex isn’t something we should be ashamed of. Nor should we be vanilla and hide our desires when we are with people we trust. Exploration sounds like fun. Wink, wink. I’ll let you fill in the blanks with your imagination. This was one very educational memoir.