Stories that made Lasting Impressions on Me

There are many books that have affected me, either by the incredible plot, the characters, or better yet, the combo of the two. Last year, I fell for so many books and stories. I was popping them like candy.

I read a menagerie of genres from fiction, non-fiction, biographies, you name it - whatever suits my fancy. But what keeps me is the well crafted story that plays like a movie or a series in my head. When I was in primary school reading never interested me. Sitting still and struggling with the words, pronounciations, it was torture for me. I even was put in reading development classes to help me catch up to my peers. It’s wild to think about this now, as an adult who has been an avid reader for decades now.

The first stories that made an impact on me when I was young was The Return to the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. They were the first novels I had read on my own and that in it’s own right was a big accomplishment. I always and still do, graviate toward adventures that are outside of the realistic world. I always enjoy the stronger personalities, especially female characters.

I devoured the Harry Potter books. I had gotten the first three books (at the time they were the only ones published). My husband (aka Handsome) was on my heels reading the books. It was great fun chatting and idealizing what the movies would be as they were coming. My best friend keep talking about a new vampire series that I should read and I always put it off, because I typically didn’t like horror or paranormal at that stage of my life. However, one day I picked up Twilight on a Friday afternoon, was back at the store for the remaining books, and finished the entire series by Monday (yes, I called in sick to work and there was a lot of food delivery that weekend). For each of these series, I’ve re-read them countless times and have both hardbacks and eBooks.

My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and it was filled it up so quickly. Some of my favorite authors were writing paranormal romance and a local author, Sherrilyn Kenyon (now Sherrilyn McQueen) was the one who motivated me to attempt my first novel. I took a few writing courses and took off on a 5 year journey of learning and writing lots of duds. I met Sherrilyn at book signing event for then the new series, The Nick Chronicles (still my favorite Dark Hunter, in the Dark Hunter Series!) in Nashville and you’d thought I had met Tom Cruise or Oprah Winfrey. I was smitten! I mentioned I was a writer too, and it was the first time in my life that I realized it wasn’t going to be hobby but something I would pursue.

I fell for fantasy (and all the subgenres), which in hindsight wasn’t much of a leap for me. In the last several years, the stories that impacted me fiction wise are stories like; This Savage Song - VE Schwab, Scythe - Neal Shusterman, Divergent - Veronica Roth, Me Before You - Jojo Moyes, The Martian - Andy Weir, and The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaimen, just to name a few (which is super hard by the way!).

Two books moved me and have impacted me not only as a writer but as a reader. I will be rereading these for years to come.

Two of my all-time favorites (one just added last year is):

Addie LaRue - Victoria Schwab

I love this book so much, the backward and forward in history and time. The tragedy wrapped in the independence and strength of a woman to survive and see the world.

As a writer, the prose was beautiful to me. The beautiful representation of showing versus telling. I imagine I will get something new each time I will read this.

Stardust - Neil Gaiman

This has been a favorite book of mine for years. I have reread this so often, and although rare to most movie adaptations, I think the movie version is fantastic.

As a writer, I love the quirkiness of the story that is an adventure. I adore the play on words that are twisted in use, from their literal meanings to something a bit unique.

I'm the type of reader and writer who enjoys stories that move with actions and reactions. I enjoy the twists and turns of the unexpected with new. If the character is relatable, better yet, an ensemble, I'm in until the end. Stories to me are a great escape.

Are there stories that made an impact on you? How so? I'd love to know in the comments below. Always good to add to my TBR.