Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Books I Thought I Would Hate: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Looking back on it, Percy Jackson is kind of the reason I got into writing. After joining a Percy Jackson roleplay and realizing too late that I was the worst godmodder ever, I eventually realized that writing by yourself is way more fun. So I did.

It’s weird to think that if I never read this series, then maybe I never would have written fan fiction, or gotten the ideas for my stories. Maybe I still would have. Either way, I’m grateful for Percy Jackson—he’s contributed to me ending up here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

via That Was Not in the Book

Why I Thought I’d Hate It:

I don’t even know. I come up with stupid reasons to not like things. Maybe it was the fact that it was a popular series in my fifth grade classroom, maybe it was the fact that a lot of boys liked it, maybe it was the fact that I was in love with Kate McMullen’s Myth-o-Mania series and I refused to believe that anything could ever be better.

It was recommended to me several times, though. I guess my classmates were smarter than me—they could see that I knew everything about Greek Mythology, was learning the Greek alphabet, and was more or less a teeny fangirl at the time.

They knew that this was a match made in heaven. (Probably not. But it sounds better that way.)

via Wikipedia

What Changed:

I feel like the first recommendation I listened to was from this kid named Grant. He had red hair and a nice sister, and he was like, “You should really read this book.”

And I watched him do book reports on it, heard so many great things, and so finally, I picked it up, if only to read it and hate it in order to spite him.

Surprise, surprise, Percy Jackson made me fall in love with his series with the FIRST SENTENCE. The rest, as they say, is history.

via Hypable

Why It Turned Out I Liked It:

I feel like Rick Riordan has the twelve-year-old audience kind of nailed down. His humor, the Greek mythology comparisons, the intensity of the stories, the relatability of the characters… It was all perfect for me at twelve years old.

Percy Jackson became my favorite series quickly. It became so easy to place myself into his world, which I did, frequently. I know I reread that book more times than was healthy (my poor copy is practically falling apart) and I actually have made a spreadsheet with every character named from the original series.

Rick Riordan gave me a rope to cling to, and then I just swung.

I didn’t always agree with Rick Riordan’s interpretations of the gods (more so now than I did then) but I loved the characters. I loved the stories. I used to motivate myself by refusing to let myself do anything less than what Percy would do in the same situation—no way that seaweed brain would ever beat me out.

Percy Jackson was also the first series where I really started writing fan fiction. I’ve always had fan fiction in my head, as long as I can remember, but I never considered writing it down before. Suddenly I could put these ideas to paper, everywhere, and Percy was really a staple that helped me get through middle school.

Of course… Percy Jackson also brought me to a dark time in my life. It came to be that I wanted to be the perfect demigod I had made in my roleplays more than I wanted to be Heather. Nowadays, I’m very conscious of how I present myself everywhere I go and separate myself from my writing—thank goodness.


I’ve never really gotten back into Rick Riordan books since. It’s not that any of his books are bad, but they have become sort of redundant for me—I am no longer the intended audience, and trying to force myself back into my twelve-year-old shoes is unhealthy if not creepy. But that’s okay. I found hope in the story when I needed it, and as I closed the last page of The Last Olympian, all I can remember is a deep sense of satisfaction and closing.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

What were your expectations when you started reading Percy Jackson? Were you right?


14 comments :

  1. THIS SERIES IS SO AMAZING, ISN'T IT? Gah! I'm so glad you finally gave it a try and ended up loving it, even if you were a bit skeptical about it at first. Percabeth though --> ♥ Fabulous post Heather, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was one of my favorites! :) Percabeth is indeed the ship to top all ships, right? Thanks for stopping by, Zoe!

      Delete
  2. I totally understand not reading books just because I don't think I'll like them for no real reason. There have been a few I've put off reading because of that. I didn't even start the Lunar Chronicles for ages because I thought I wouldn't like them. Silly me. I actually stumbled upon the Percy Jackson books not long after I got onto a bit of a Greek craze myself. I based my initial reaction off the back of the book though, and the strong character voice there is just what I love to read, so I knew I was going to love it. I haven't read the original series in ages though. The movie though... *hard glare* Ruins EVERYTHING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like we should just have reader's intuition by now, doesn't it? But PJO and the Lunar Chronicles would both be worth it! I haven't read it in a long time, either; like Harry Potter, I guess I'm afraid I'd just be disappointed. :P But yeah, the movie? WE DO NOT SPEAK OF IT.

      Delete
  3. I adore the fact that you read this to hate it but ended up loving it XD I read some of Percy Jackson before, but I think I read it a little too late because it felt kind of too childish for me. I thought the voice was really engaging, but couldn't connect to the characters much. But there are always books you think you'll dislike but end up liking, or books you think you'll like but end up casting into the deepest hellfires. Or to bagel-eating Death, that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. XD It was awesome no? And yeah, I feel like if you joined the fandom after you were twelve it would be a lot harder to enjoy it as much. It's just not a timeless tale. :P

      On another note, I'm beginning to sense a trend in your comments...

      Delete
  4. I haven't read the Percy Jackson series, but I do know what it's like to go into a book or series thinking I'm not going to like it just to end up with a totally different opinion. I just started The Hobbit, for instance. I'm loving it so far. And I didn't think I would! It's always nice when that happens, even if I did so want to be right. Which I almost always am. *cough* :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *nods* Pleasant surprises are the best! I haven't finished the The Hobbit (I started once, but never finished) but I hope you enjoy the rest of it! :D

      Delete
  5. That was me too! Like, I wasn't sure about the series at all, but finally my cousin badgered me about it a bunch, and I know that he loves some of the same books I love, so I borrowed his copy. And then I read the whole series like seven times. I definitely agree that he has the twelve-year-old mind down, and I love his sense of humor. I haven't read the rest of his published books yet, and while they don't necessarily appeal to me as much now that I'm older, I do think I want to read them eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? It's totally worth it! And yeah, definitely very twelve-year-oldy, and that's good, but also reduces the appeal as you get older. However, Rick Riordan did publish some adult books, so I might check out those to see what's up...

      Delete
  6. Cool post! Honestly, I don't remember if I had any expectations going into Percy Jackson (my best friend called me a Seaweed Brain, explained where the term was from, and told me I had to read it, so I did, lol) But I remember adoring it from book one, and, like you said, the rest is history. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You? A seaweed brain? Never! But I'm glad you liked the series; it is definitely a fond memory for us all. :D

      Delete

Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!