The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
There has never been a book series that has impacted me the way Harry Potter has. It blows my mind how J.K. Rowling created a world that felt so real as I flipped through the pages of each book. I so badly wanted to part of the wizarding world. There were many nights when I would fall asleep holding a book. The late hours of the night would force my eyes shut as I tried desperately to figure out who the Half-Blood Prince was.
There were nights I dreamed of walking through Hogsmeade and flying my Nimbus 2000 around Hogwarts. Like many Harry Potter fans, I was stoked to create a Pottermore account when it the site was made. My friends and I would spend hours arguing which house was best. And maybe a few comments on how terrible it would be to be a Hufflepuff.
Harry, Hermoine, and Ron’s thirst for adventure is contagious. I felt as if I went on every adventure they went on. I was excited for each adventure waiting on the next page, but felt bittersweet after each one ended.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
I jumped for joy in Barnes and Noble at the sight of a new 50th anniversary edition of The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton’s masterpiece, that she penned in high school, is my favorite book. I’ve read it so many times I can recite the first few pages verbatim as a theologian would recite a passage of scripture.
Ponyboy, the narrator, speaks to my poetry-loving soul and the story is just painful enough to be cathartic. As an avid-fan of this novel, I find deep, meaningful inspiration in my mundane daily tasks by telling myself to ‘do it for Johnny.’ The movie adaption is timeless but know that the extended version is a must. To be young is to love the characters in this book. Stay gold young adult novel readers, stay gold.