Happy Tuesday! Today’s topic is ‘Thanksgiving freebie’ so I’m interpreting it as ‘fantasy worlds I’m thankful for’.
So basically, these are fantasy worlds I jumped into during important parts of my life, where they either helped me make some friends from shared interests or they were a safe haven when life was stressful. They’re worlds I think about all the time, even if I haven’t read the books they’re from in years.
Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama – I first got into this one when I was nine years old or so, when there were new episodes playing weekdays at 5pm after school. This was one of my gateway animes (I did later read the manga, so it counts as a book, shh). This was one that both my sister and my dad got really into too – and the three of us would watch the new episodes together. My husband and I right now are watching through the original Dragon Ball, and after we’ll pick of this series – it’ll be his first time watching it, I’m pumped.
Pokemon – Again, I got into this one really young, when I was around eight or nine years old. While the last one I used to bond with my family, this one really cemented me to my friends, particularly in fourth grade. None of those friends have really stuck, unfortunately, except for one or two. But it is how it is. Nine year old me though loved it. And now as an adult, I never really grew out of Pokemon. I feel like I’m not alone in this as well – that the creators know their target audience has aged and are still interested. I think it’s great, hah. The book I selected is the first in a series of chapter books written in the late 90s. I read this thing so many damned times, along with the rest in the series.
Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi – This is the first anime where I delved into the fandom online. I remember being fourteen or fifteen years old and discovering fanfiction for the first time. This is the series I mainly read from, and I wrote a fair few as well. I also ended up making lots of online friends through this series, most of which I still have today. I’ve even flown to the other side of the world to meet up with one of them at this point. Out of all the series, this is the one I have the biggest soft spot for and am most greatful for. My life and friendships would not have gone in the same directions without it. Honestly I probably wouldn’t have met my husband if it wasn’t for this show getting me into anime years before I met him, which led me to join anime clubs in college, which is where I did run into him.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I used to go to the library and rent and re-rent this book all the time. I’ve mentioned this book multiple times before at this point, but it’s really, really stuck with me. And thinking about it now, this is the first book I ever read that had a romance as a main plot line in it. I remember being like fourteen and absolutely swooning, as it was all brand new. I loved it.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – This book (and its sequel) were the first two books I ever bought with my own money. I remember my dad convincing me to spring for the hard back editions, as they would last longer, and I’m glad he did, as they did. I read this book and the second multiple times (but weirdly, never read the third? It’s on my list) and remember trying to write my own stories about people coming out of books as a result. I looooved this series.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – After Inkheart, this was one of the series I picked up next. I’ve read this first book I don’t know how many times, and this was another fandom I really got into. I remember reading and writing fanfictions and coming up with theories – the whole nine yards. This book was such a great escape. We do not speak of the movie. It does not exist.
Harry Potter – I think this would be on this kind of list for a lot of people. Growing up, I rented these books from the library countless times, and when I got my own copies, I read them to death. I used to be sooo obsessed with this series, and part of me still is. It’ll always hold a special place in my heart – it came to me during the perfect age range, and I ate them up. We do not speak of the author. She does not exist.
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – Usually when I mention Catherine Fisher’s books, I tend to focus on her Relic Master series, which I still think is seriously underrated. But this series, the Incarceron duology, also holds a place in my heart. I picked this up during my first bout at college. It was during a time when my living situation wasn’t great and I was spending as much time as possible outside of my apartment. I ended up on the campus library a lot, and I picked up these books during that time. Before that, I was in a multiple year long reading slump. I didn’t not read, but it was really slow – maybe ten books a year? But this book really got me back into it. It got me to make a Goodreads account honestly. So while I haven’t reread this book at all or anything, it really did help me cope with my life when I was 20 years old, and I really appreciate it for that.
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa – I chose this one because in addition to one of the best narratives I’ve ever read, it was one of the ones I read the longest. I picked up this series when only two volumes were out, and I bought the new release every time up until volume 27, the final one, came out when I was in my early twenties. I remember agonizing during the waits, because sometimes it would be months in between volumes and it really killed me. This series is one of the most consistently good series. No slow parts, no bad subplots, nothing. It’s perfection, man.
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – Third book pictured above! I picked this book up at the recommendation of a friend in college and I fell in love with it. This was one of the last books I read before I fell into that multiple year slump I mentioned, and it really was a high point. I’ve since reread it recently and adored it just as much as I did when I was 18. It really is a masterpiece and I know it’s a series I’m going to reread again.
And that’s it! Ten fantasy worlds I’m really thankful exist. Each one was a formative book to me, and they’ll always be in my heart cockles.