Books,  Fun,  Lists

Top 10: Books with the Biggest Bang

I was tagged by Sandie Docker to list the Top 10 books that have had the biggest affect on me. waves

Random fact: I can totally type with my eyes closed! 🙂

So, I’ve talked about the books that have had the biggest influence on my writing HERE and also HERE. I tried to put these books in order, but that was hard, so this may or may not be in any kind of order.

ahem Books that inspired me, changed my life, or I couldn’t forget about long after reading them:

10* In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
This is the only book on the list that I don’t like. Not at all. But it affected me. Here’s why: we’re the same age and wrote similar stories at the time I found her. This book showed me that I wanted to be better, so I worked harder. I can’t for the life of me figure out how I read this book in 45 minutes while watching The Simpsons, it’s not that short, but it happened. I remember the word nonchalant being used too many times. I remember the MC being emotionless in a bad way. I remember being thoroughly unimpressed. That is all I remember.

9*  Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
Speaking of emotions, this is a book about personified emotions! I freaked out about this book a little bit last year when I read it. It made me feel like I would never ever ever be the kind of writer I want to be, but I loved it so much. It’s creepy and beautiful and suspenseful and has a love triangle in it that actually didn’t piss me off in any way. Usually I hate love triangles. They never pick who I want them to pick. Lol! But in this book, I didn’t care. Because I trusted Kelsey, and she totally delivered! There are some really nice twists here, some surprising, some less so.

8* Fat Chance by Leslea Newman
I talked about this in the Best of the Best post, too. I was too young when I first read it, but it gave me a really interesting fascination with eating disorders (in a good way). Told in diary-form, I can’t count of number of times I read this book as I was growing up, gaining more and more understanding about eating disorders, bulimia, and body dysmorphic disorder with each read.

7*  Fear Street Books by R.L. Stine
I wouldn’t be attempting to write what I write now if I didn’t fall in love with these often ridiculous books when I was, again, too young to be reading them. The first time I read one of his YA books, THE FIRST HORROR, I sat in bed terrified to leave it, and I had to pee so bad. I finally made a run for it, but that feeling of paralyzed fear, there’s nothing like it. I became an instant horror fan, and watched all the bad movies I could get my hands, trying to recreate that feeling of terror. I finally did when I was 20, and I’ve been a HUGE sissy when it comes to horror ever since.

6* Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Emotions. That’s all. Lol! This book made me SO crazy. I screamed at it. I cried. I cheered. It just made me think so much. I don’t think I’ve ever hated and loved a book at the same time so much in my life. (Yes, I know it’s the movie poster and not the book, but that poster is bad-ass.)

5* Hannah by Kathryn Lasky
Another gorgeous, GORGEOUS read. Historical (early 20th century, I think) MG mermaid book. I was in complete awe. At the same time, whenever I wonder if I should give in to my mom’s peer pressure to write middle grade, I think about this book and remember how much it pissed me off that it was middle grade. Yes, I LOVE this book, but it would have been perfect (I think) if it wasn’t written for 10 year olds. The main character is 15. There are just themes you can explore in YA that you can’t explore in MG. I’m being selfish, I know, but I seriously consider her to be the most talented writer on this list! Plus, I freaking love mermaids.

4* The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
This book is over 1000 pages long. It took me 50 pages to get into it, but it was SO worth it. This was my first Anne Rice book (why I picked the thickest one, I’ll never know), and never in my entire life have I been so knocked off my feet by a plot. I mean, the things this woman thinks up to write! What she created…I really don’t have words. But if you love crazy, freaky, insane shit, this is your book.

3* Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Come on. You knew this was going to be on here! Lol! She created such a huge, gigantic world, it really just blows my mind. Her patience and creativity and patience. And perseverance. I have two Harry Potter quotes on walls around my house, and I swear, time stopped when I read them. Just the simplest things. And to think I almost didn’t give them a chance.

2* Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Yeah. I wanted to BE Jo. She was my hero. She inspired me to try writing a novel at the age of 12. It was no good, but I had to start somewhere! I still remember the first line of this book, and I have watched the movies so many times it would be embarrassing if it wasn’t so good. And every time, I scream for Amy’s blood. You know why. I still hate her to this day. She doesn’t deserve Laurie, and I will never forgive Jo for turning him down. This is why this book is number 2. I still get emotional about it.

…………..DRUMROLL…………… though this shouldn’t be a surprise either:

1* The Forbidden Game Series by L.J. Smith
Hands down my most favorite book of all time (I have the 3-in-1 edition), and the most worn out book on my book shelf. The cover is literally taped on (with the clear tape, the good kind). I fell in LOVE with this world of mystery and riddles and lust. And dudes, this had EVERYTHING I ever wanted in a book! And it had the BEST kissing scenes ever! Thirteen year old me was in book heaven, and it not only got me back to reading darker books (my favorite!), it also got me writing darker books as well and completely turned my writing around because at only 13, I was already growing extremely bored with what I was doing. But not since. L.J. Smith will always be my number one, even if I never read any of her new stuff. The old stuff is gold, and I want my collection buried in my proverbial pyramid with me.

Okay, so, now I get to tag some peeps! ^^ I tag Jodi because she’s always saying she has nothing writing-related to talk about. 😉 And I tag Sunflower Michelle, though I think I already know one book that should be on the list! (Starts with A, yes? ^^)


  • sandiedocker

    Great list K. I love how you included a book that you didn’t like. I almost included one in mine too. The Essence of the Thing. I still have no idea what happened in the end (I’ve re-read and asked friends), and I’m not sure what the point of the story was!
    Love it when books connect with us emotionally. What all aim to do as writers.

  • eric keys

    Is it pathetic that I’ve only read one of the books you listed? I enjoyed The Witching Hour a great deal. I was eager to read Lasher – this was back when it was first released – but life sucker-punched me several times around that time – and quite a few times afterward – and I never got around to reading it.


    • krystal jane

      Yes! I started rereading it, and so far it’s still as good as I remember. I love The Secret Circle, too. I love everything but The Vampire Diaries, actually. I didn’t know they tried to make a show out of it. Boo. Definitely check out Some Quiet Place. It is amazing!

  • Jodi

    Yay for Fear Street! I used to inhale those books when I was a kid. And yes, they were RIDICULOUS (I’m pretty sure R.L. Stine featured the same protagonist in every single book, just slapped on a different hair color and a different name). But still, the author did something right, because for a middle-grader, those little paperbacks were often chilling, and impossible to put down.

    I love it that you identified Catching Fire, rather than Hunger Games or Mockingjay. Every year I complain to my students about what I call the “sloggy middle book” of any given trilogy, but I tell them one of the exceptions to this rule is Catching Fire (which happens to be an amazing smack-in-the-middle-of-the-trilogy-book, for all the reasons you already stated).

    Laughing at your very sound reason for tagging me! (And by the way, we both coincidentally happened to mention each other in our most recent posts. Great minds…).

    • krystal jane

      Definitely couldn’t put them down. I remember my hands being ICE COLD when I finished that second horror book because I hadn’t moved them except to turn the page for over an hour! I would share the Goosebumps books with my brother. We would talk about them and laugh, and then go to the library and get a handful more. Lol!

      Great minds… *taps temple* ^_^
      <3 Catching Fire Forever <3

  • authorcrystalcollier

    What an interesting list! I haven’t even heard of half of those, but now I’m super interested in checking some of them out. Love the hop.

  • Raised A Reader

    Ah, the Forbidden Game–that book was so good. It’s basically the only one of L.J. Smith’s old books that I have yet to acquire, but I’ve read it three times from the library. One day, I know I’ll give in and just buy it already, but until then I’l leave to re-read the Night World series again, haha.

    • krystal jane

      Yes! I totally have everything before the turn of the millennium! *hugs collection of books* I’ve been wanting to reread the Night World series. I haven’t read it in 10 years! I’m rereading The Forbidden Game now. So good. ^_^

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