Saturday 21 June 2014

Bookish Musings - Books That Changed My World

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Amanda is talking about the books that have influenced her reading, her life, and therefore her world. She definitely can't take the credit for the idea, but it's definitely worth a look. Hold onto your hats people, there's a history lesson coming..

Books can change and shape your world in a way only none readers couldn't imagine. They open up new worlds to you, teach you lessons that you wouldn't have learnt elsewhere, allow you to gain understanding on some of the most difficult and toughest subjects in the public eye, but most of all, they subtly change how you think, how you act and what you do with your life, and it's these three changes that I think give a book 'life changing' status. The inspiration behind this post came from Cait over Notebook Sister's post on 30 YA Books That Changed Her World and I absolutely loved reading about the books that have shaped her as a reader, so I personally wanted to do something similar and have a talk through how and why specific books have changed my world. Things might get a little gushy, fair warning to you all..

The Books

One Day - David Nicholls | Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher | Clockwork Princes - Cassandra Clare
Forbidden - Tabitha Sazuma | Is It Just Me - Miranda Hart | Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini
Awaken - Katie Kacvinsky | Anna Dress in Blood - Kendare Blake | Beg - C.D. Reiss | Wonder - R.J. Palacio
No and Me - Delphine de Vigan | Skulduggery Pleasant - Derek Landy | Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas
I hear you all asking 'why?' and 'how?' and honestly, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't delve deeper into why and how these books have changed my world. This is were it could get gushy..

One Day

Late Summer Holidays of 2012 I wander into my local library looking for a book. I'm not picky on what book I want, nor at all educated in the art of library hunting, book reading or blogging (Shocker! That came later..) so when I find One Day and recall that Carrie Fletcher had rated this her Number One book of all books, I take it out and gave it a try. It was the first time in years I'd lain in bed, lamp on, with a book and I balled my eyes out in the last few chapters. One Day was the book that helped me consider reading again.

Clockwork Angel

Fast forward a month and I'm sat in my school library, a favourite past time I used to do with my friends as a place to 'hang', (we were cool kids of course) and I see a book I've seen around Booktube a little, Clockwork Angel, and it's sequel, Clockwork Prince. It sounds pretty interesting, with a character sharing my surname, a historical, intriguing setting and covers to die for. I read them and love them, 5 and 4 stars, and during this reading, I discover Goodreads. Clockwork Angel was the book that helped me discover a world of books.

Thirteen Reasons Why

Christmas has been and gone and I've gained around 12 new books in an effort to kick-start a habit. I start off the year with Thirteen Reasons Why and realise that not all books are written to have a happy ending. While reading Thirteen Reasons Why, I start to notice the signs of depression and how similar those signs are to what I have in my life so that by the time I finish it, I'm in a puddle of tears, lost and confused and know for certain that I need some emotional support. Thirteen Reasons Why was the book that helped me gain perspective on my own mental illness.


I'm still early into my reading experience and decide to shake things up a little with a controversial contemporary, yes, I'm learning new words like contemporary by now, oooo, which absolutely blows me away. It's nothing like I've ever read before and nothing like I'll ever read again, and I start to take notice of other features when I'm reviewing books, the writing, the development of characters, and overall feel and atmosphere of the book, the maturity involved and Forbidden finds itself in my heart. Forbidden was the book that opened my eyes and mind to more controversial contemporaries and helped develop my reviews on Goodreads.

Is It Just Me, Starcrossed, Awaken, Anna Dressed in Blood, Beg

We're mid way through 2013 now and I'm feeling brave. I've bought, requested and been gifted books in genre's I'm unsure about or have never read before I think that it's time to trial out these new genre's. Biographies go down well when they're people I like, Greek Mythology becomes a staple favourite, Awaken kick-starts a wary relationship with Dystopians, while Anna Dressed in Blood makes me aware that horror is an option when it's not too scary. Beg on the other hand encourages my love for writing erotica and teaches me that it's not shameful to write good sexy, steamy bedroom scenes. These five books were the books that taught me to be more daring when it comes to sub-genre's and encourage me to create my blog, Book Badger.

Wonder, No and Me

We're now mid March '14 and Book Badger is doing well. I've also located better libraries and have started taking out books that interest me. Contemporaries are my thing right now, so I decide to trial two with younger protagonists that what I'm used to. Turns out this is an amazing idea because it's nice to read sad, touching books with younger naive characters to experience the world around them and how they see it, and what they find acceptable and normal. These books were the books that encouraged me to read more children's/middle grade novels and to also read books in one sitting - which is an absolutely terrible habit that results in more reading and less sleeping, bad bad bad, maybe..

Skulduggery Pleasant

Throughout February - April '14, I take it upon myself to read my way through near enough an entire children's series and absolutely fall head over heels in love it. Skulduggery reignites my flame for underrated and lesser known novels, along with proving that children's books can still be entertaining, written well, be developed and contain a world, characters and plot amazing enough to rival Harry Potter. Skulduggery Pleasant was the series that allowed and still allows me to relive my childhood all over again with brand new worlds, magic and talking skeletons and taught me that children's books are worth reading, no matter how old you are.

Dangerous Boys

We've made it to May '14 and I've decided to buddy read Dangerous Girls with friend and counsellor, I kid you not, this girl is here for more than my own family sometimes, swear down, she's amazing, Charnell in one night and we end up absolutely adoring the experience, the book and everything in between. I discover a darker edge to contemporaries which are slowly becoming my favourite go-to genre and find that murder mysteries, much like Greek Mythology, are a feature I want to devour time after time. Dangerous Boys was the book that highlighted how far I've come in my blogging experience, the friends I've made since I embarked on this adventure, how advanced my reading has now become and just how much I love what I do.

I told you things were going to get gushy and I wasn't wrong was I? Personally, all of these books have changed and affected my life in one way or another, some like Thirteen Reasons Why affecting my life in much more physical ways in comparison to Wonder, which reminded me how cruel and misunderstanding society can be. There are of course other books that have shaped and changed me to become the person I am today; comics from my childhood have followed through to my reading habits now, reading books in one night have been taken to a new level thanks to Wonder and No and Me, while Beautiful Creatures and The Hunger Games encouraged and gave me the inspiration to create and start reviewing films on Book Badger. I've also come respect indie authors much more with a new found love for Aileen Erin and Christina Bauer, gained some staple favourite authors like Ally Carter, Josephine Angelini, Derek Landy and Abigail Haas and developed an unhealthy want for books with gore, murder, mystery and death involved. Books can easily change the simplest of things in our lives, from the decisions we make, to the people we spend time with, from what we like to what we now hate with a passion, from learning and educating yourself, to teaching others through your reviews, and it's these changes, these reflections that make me happy to be a reader. Books can and do change peoples lives.

How have books changed your life? Like me, did they encourage you start reading again, reviewing and/or blogging, or did it affect you in others ways, help teach you things and important lessons? Has it changed things you do, the way you think and your perception on things? What books changed your life? Let me know in the comments down below.


  1. *sniffles* This was so beautiful. OH HOW I LOVE BOOKS. *ahem* Okay, logical comment...logical comment.

    You obviously know what all my top picks are...but I kind of wish I'd squished Wonder onto the list too. Wonder was really sweet but so so sad. (Bittersweet?) I was torn between crying and hugging the book. It kind of weirded out that it was narrated by so many people. But honestly? It was perfectly written. I understood why it went multiple povs at the end. Brilliance.

    1. I can't help but agree, Wonder was wonderful! You're idea was fantastic though hunny, I loved it, you should be proud! :D

  2. Fantastic post Amanda! I loved reading about the books that have shaped you as a person, and I'm sad to say I've only read Clockwork Angel from your list. However, I hope to read the majorty of the others very soon. :)

    1. Thank you Ebony! The others are such important reads I think, so I hope you get to them soon! :)

  3. Yay! I totally stole Cait's idea too and have been working on mine! Your list is amazing and I love all the gushing and love you have given to these books!!!!! :) This is a brilliant post, so much book love that it makes me smile <3

    One Day... that book made me so angry/sad at the end! I just could not handle it, haha. Forbidden made my list too, that book is beautiful and different, unique and touching and oh, how it broke my heart. That one definitely got me to try more controversial topics when it comes to books. This list has extended my TBR list even more though because all the love feels contagious, I want to be able to experience them for myself.

    You already know you'll be seeing Dangerous Girls on my list. Mind = blown! Haha! New favourite author, me thinks.

    1. It was a great idea, am I right?! Cait should be extremely proud of herself, she's kick-started an idea she has ;)
      One Day and Forbidden, such great books for different readers and genres! And Dangerous Girls, always a favourite! :D
      Can't wait to see your post that's the same! Excited! :D

  4. This is why I love books so much. Movies and TV are great, but BOOKS just have such a bigger impact on LIVES. There are so many books that have changed me as a person or pulled things out of me that I didn't even know were there. I also LOVED 13 Reasons Why. It was a book I read when I first started getting back into YA again... and it's such a tough and amazing book. I just read Dangerous Girls a few weeks ago and MAN!!! That book messed with my head... I loved it! Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock really made me think about life a lot. Also Harry Potter was a series that really got me obsessed with reading (not that I wasn't always slightly obsessed). Great post and thanks for sharing!!


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