You're The Voice: Heidi on falling in love with popular fiction
I must mention what a fine week this is, as I assume for most of us summer holidays have already come to a head. It’s time to kick back and catch up on some tasteful holiday reading, I say…
In this blog, however, we’ll be doing nothing of the sort. Instead I’ll be venerating some of the much loved books of my 11, 12 and 13 year old self, in other words the pre-teen audience, reminiscing in the somewhat faded glory of acclaimed books such as the Cathy Cassidy books, the Twilight series, the Georgia Nicholson series, and of course the slightly rough around the edges, CHERUB series.
Fond memories indeed!
I am more of a classics fan now, but I do remember the days where hype did draw me in. The days where I found myself salivating over newly released Stephenie Meyer novels, or being tantalised by the allure of buying the complete collection of Cathy Cassidy and Louise Rennison books, or even holding my breath to get through another instalment of the CHERUB series. These were truly monumental and magnificent epochs throughout my introduction to the world of reading and it would endlessly please me to share my experiences of these books with you.
So, without further ado, let me unlock my thoughts on the many fantastic books that have dominated my childhood.
Cathy Cassidy and her colourful novels have served me well. They’ve been nothing but an inspiration to me and I revisit them on a regular basis due to their light-heartedness and the author's ability to create such pretty imagery. Cathy Cassidy introduced me into the all-absorbing feeling of falling head over heels in love for characters in books and, to an extent, appreciating the beauty of literature and realising just how delightful and writable the stories of our immediate world can be. It is extremely difficult for me to select a favourite novel of hers as they are all so wonderfully whimsical in their own right, but I can tell you that I’m definitely tossing up between a top four, they are: Ginger Snaps, Driftwood, Scarlett, and Dizzy. Four fantastic books, they are!!
Now on to the Twilight series… [Speaking of which, wasn’t Breaking Dawn—Part 2 great?]
In Grade 6, when I first picked up a battered copy of Twilight at my school library - an action which had taken place by many other kids in my grade that year - I felt a nervous thrill resonate through my body. You see, that must have been the first time that I began to grasp the fact that so many individuals had read and loved the book before me, and somehow, in spite of this I found a means of making it my own. What did I do? I read it in the rain! I know, this is not the way you should look after a book, especially a library book, but it just felt right for some reason. I absolutely loved how the pages were dotted with splodges of rain, but most of all I loved the way reading Twilight in the rain made me feel, I felt sooo gloomy and raw and strong. It really set the scene and I developed an instantaneous connection with the book. Anyway, I ended up having to buy the book from the library, but the thing is, I was okay with that, because that copy of the book was of more valour than any store-bought copy. You see, it had been loved and shared by so many, with each person transferring their own mark upon the book, each making it their own… this is what made the book metamorphose into something truly special in my eyes.
Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson series is yet another fantabulous series that I encountered in my pre-teen years. At the age of 13 I first delved into Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and well, I hated it!! The main character, Georgia, was sooo frustrating, stubborn and vain, and I hate these kinds of qualities in a main character. How can you continue on reading a novel when you absolutely despise the person who’s telling it to you (Georgia Nicholson that is, and not Louise Rennison)? Despite these initial difficulties, as Year 7 was finishing up, I tried again with the series thanks to many of my friends urging me to do so. This second time, with a new approach, I learned to absolutely love Georgia and her whacky world of boys, embarrassing parents, candid friends and just very British humour! If you haven’t yet come across the Georgia Nicholson series in your reading exploits, I encourage you to do so.
Lastly, we’d better discuss the CHERUB series. This pre-teen targeted series was, surprisingly, a highly interesting read, although a tad repetitive at times. Exploring the world of drugs, sex, corruption, war crimes, and cults all through the eyes of kid spies I found hard to swallow, but it sure captivated me and opened me up to a new perspective of writing: the action genre. In primary school, the series was all the hype, especially for boys… In retrospect, I should have approached the books differently but as I am reporting on my thoughts as an 11 year old on this series, at the time, I found the books quite gratuitously vulgar… One book I really did like in the series however, was Maximum Security.
Anyhow, I’d better end this blog discerningly and wish you all a great lead up to Christmas. Here’s an instruction for this week, and I’ll take it in my stride as well: catch up on some old favourites of yours, I guarantee it will balm you up with warm, fuzzy feelings to get you in the spirit of Christmas.
So I’ll end with: “Have a holly jolly Christmas!”