Hello everyone, and welcome back!
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately—not really because I don’t feel like reading, but because I’ve been extra busy, which kind of makes my spare time feel like zoning out on the couch with Netflix and my cat time instead of reading time. Also, I’ve been feeling the itch to re-read instead.
Ever since my Harry Potter re-read (which I still don’t feel totally satisfied by, to be honest, because I’m really itching to get my hands on those illustrated editions), I’ve felt like more re-reads. Which is of course inconvenient, because I’m running a book blog here and reviewing new(er) things is sort of the point?
But I thought this would give us the chance to talk about re-reads, so here are the top five books (or series) I’ve really been longing to get back into.
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Let’s just address the elephant in the room: they made a The Golden Compass movie, and it was really not good. But this series is still a middle grade classic, and if you haven’t read it, you have to. It has everything: an intrepid young female protagonist, shapeshifting animal companions, armored bears, intensely cool magical objects, and more.
I really want to get back to these before the companion trilogy, The Book of Dust, starts up in October, so this re-read is totally justifiable, too. I just need to get a bit of momentum with my new book reading to give myself the time to see if these stand up to my nostalgia.
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
This is a summer camp YA so it’s totally in season for this time of year, but I’d also love to see how it holds up. I first read this when I was actually a young adult, at a time that I really didn’t read a lot of YA. (When I was a young adult, I took myself way too seriously.)
This is also a really lovely LGBT book and a bit of a rarity at the time, and even to some extent now: it’s about a lesbian, and there’s a bi girl in it. It was pretty important to me back in my YA days.
A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy by Sarah J. Maas
Okay, so honestly, the third book of this trilogy felt disappointing, and the first one dragged until the last hundred pages, and I mostly really liked the second one but it brought in a trope I loathe. So why would I reread this trilogy? Welp…
Do you ever read a series that you feel has just so much potential but it just lets you down? Have you heard of fix-it fanfiction? Were you ever part of the Twilight anti-fandom? You see where I’m going with this. (It could’ve been so much better and I just have to figure out where it went wrong so I know where in canon it needs to diverge to fix it and yes, that is ridiculous but there was so much potential augh.)
Naamah’s Kiss/Moirin’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey
Oh hi these are not YA (or middle grade or new adult), but sometimes I’m going to reach for adult sci-fi/fantasy if it’s really dang good, and these books are.
I always want to re-read the first trilogy of Kushiel’s Legacy in the winter (those Midwinter Masques!) but I am always more inclined to want to re-read Moirin’s Trilogy in the summertime, since Moirin reminds me of sunlight through tree leaves, open spaces, fragrant flowers, crystal-clear hidden springs—all the gorgeous outdoor things.
But I also really need to re-read Santa Olivia by the same author (though in a wildly different genre), because I remember enjoying it and I bought the sequel ages ago, but I’ve never gotten around to continuing because I couldn’t 100% remember what went on in the first book and I wanted to get a refresher before then, but then I went on to start a book blog and read one zillion new YA titles, so you know. Here we are!
Fairy Tales from The Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman
Kiiiind of a cheat because this wouldn’t actually be a re-read? I haven’t read this edition before. But I always really enjoyed reading fairy tales wherever I could find them growing up (I was, for some reason, a big fan of the totally amoral Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Tinderbox,” probably because it had three enormous dogs and I love dogs), and I want to see if I can find some old favourites. I also keep meaning to read this and then The Starlit Wood because it’d be awesome to put that in a context.
It also wouldn’t hurt if I found a great old favourite that inspires me to write my own YA retelling, because hey, on trend? (And also even if it weren’t, I love retellings a lot so if you ever want to talk about the early 00s trend of teen movie remakes of Shakespeare, I’m all ears.)
Have you re-read any old favourites lately? What are you itching to re-read in the long summer evenings? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll speak to you again soon!