My Top 05 Favorite Books/Series
Sands of Arawiya by Hafsah Faizel
I have always been a big believer in having diverse books that differ from your typical white cishet cast of characters. Part of that was because I had never truly felt represented by a book and I believed that everyone deserved to feel that a book represented them. When I read We Hunt the Flame, I cried because it was the first time I had ever felt represented as an Arab. Even something as simple as the types of food that they were talking about, food that I could actually recognize for once, made me emotional. I want every poc and LGBTQ+ person out there to read something that makes them feel the way I did when I first read We Hunt the Flame. And that isn’t even the whole reason why I love it. The plot itself is absolutely amazing and it is top tier.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
This series has had a dear place in my heart for almost 7 years now. I first read The School for Good and Evil when my friend gifted it to me in the sixth grade in 2014. It is now 2021 and that series still holds a dear place in my heart. It is what got me interested into the whole idea of good and evil and what it means to be good and what it means to be evil. It truly showed that there was a gray line between good and evil. If I’m going to be honest though, I have put off reading the final book because I don’t want it to end. I plan to read it soon though.
Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab
This is another series that I discovered due to a recommendation from one of my friends. Back in high school, I had dragged one of my friends into the library and I was walking through the shelves, when she pointed out A Darker Shade of Magic telling me that she had read it and liked it. I already had a love for Victorian London because of The Infernal Devices, and so I instantly got hooked into this book. I love the magic system in the book and V. E. Schwab quickly became one of my favorite authors and an instant buy!
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Before delving into why I love the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, I feel compelled to note that I do not support Cassandra Clare for various reasons including but not limited to her fanfiction plagiarism, her supporting the doxxing of a minor, her incest subplots, and her lack of diversity and tokenization of most of the diverse characters that she does include.
That being said, I did absolutely love the Infernal Devices. I first read it 5 years ago in 8th grade and it has stuck with me ever since. I love to reread it and cry. Jem Carstairs is my favorite fictional character and he will always have a special place in my heart. This series got me fascinated with Victorian London.
Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida
This one is a little different from the others on this list as it is a manga and not a novel. To be honest, I have not actually finished the manga, I am currently waiting on a couple of the volumes to arrive as they are back ordered and sadly, they are right in the middle instead of being volumes from the very end. I have however seen the full show. It made me extremely emotional and it is definitely my all-time favorite anime. I have many thoughts on it and I could write essays on my analyses of it. I love it so much. I watched it almost a full year ago and since then I have rewatched it a great many times and plan to continue rewatching it.