12:00 pm EDT, October 28, 2014

Hypable staff challenge: The books that define Mitchel Clow

The five books that influenced me most all came in during vital growing points of my life. All changed the way that I think, and brought to light a lot of issues I wasn’t even aware I cared about until reading them.

There’s a book challenge going around various social media sites right now that requires you to list the 10 books that have affected you the most. Here at Hypable, we’re kicking off our own version of the challenge. While we may be doing only five books, we’re also going to tell you why they affected us — and maybe we can convince you to read them, too.

My books are listed in chronological order of me reading them, not out of importance. All of these fabulous books were equally important in making me into the, admittedly unique, person that I am.

‘Eragon’ by Christopher Paolini

eragon-book-cover

Eragon was my introduction into novels with heavy sci-fi elements. I ate up the magic spells, creatures, races, and lands. My imagination took off like wildfire about the possibilities of what would happen if dragons and magic existed. Essentially, after reading Eragon, I tasted this type of literature’s blood, and I wanted more.

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-book-cover

The entire Harry Potter series convinced me that reading was cool. Deathly Hallows convinced me that coming out of the closet was even cooler.

When Rowling’s final installment of the Harry Potter series came out, I obviously tore through it in one sitting. I was moved by Snape’s story and his continued hidden love for Lily. I was very saddened by how Harry’s eyes were the last hope Snape had of connecting with his lifelong love.

I refused to hide anyone I loved in the future from my family, and came out that same day that I finished the book. I’ll remember July 22, 2007 (I stayed up all night reading Deathly Hallows) for the rest of my life.

‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer

twilight-book-cover

When I first read Twilight, it was still a little-known series that only one of my friends had read. Twilight was my introduction to vampire mythos, and the next step in my pleasure reading after Harry Potter.

Twilight brought me into a world where being different mattered to those who cared for you. I found myself relating to how Bella wanted to blend into the crowd, yet she was still shoved into the limelight more than she cared for. The detailed day-to-day dramas Bella faced allowed me to understand that a lot of the confusing emotions I was experiencing were very typical of teenagers my age.

‘The Host’ by Stephenie Meyer

the-host-book-cover

The Host was exciting to me because it was defined as Meyer’s “first adult novel.” As I’d found Twilight so relatable, I was very pleased to find that Melanie/Wanda were even more relatable.

I could feel the cramps they felt when forced to sleep in the holes in the cave’s prison walls, and could feel the joy of the first kisses with both of their love interests. As much criticism as Meyer gets for her writing style, I can admit that she has taught me as much about love and loss as Rowling.

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

the-hunger-games-book-cover

The Hunger Games was another series that I started to read before it really took off. I was drawn in by the gladiator-esque dystopian story, but really found myself connecting more to Katniss’ pacifist struggle. I was just as disturbed as Katniss when she made her first kill, which is something that I would also have the same difficulty with doing, even in the face of a similar battlefield.

The hopelessness and depression that Katniss and Peeta express the night before being set out into the arena were emotions that I know I would feel if I was ever drafted into a war. I can only hope that the feelings Collins invoked in me via Katniss will never see the light of day.

Hypable Staff Challenge:

Find out what books define the other members of the Hypable staff who have taken this challenge:
Natalie Fisher
Karen Rought
Jen Lamoureux
Marama Whyte
Pamela Gocobachi
Kristen Kranz
Brittany Lovely

What are some of the books that had a lasting effect on YOU?

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