Books That Defined My Decade

This post was entirely inspired by Kate @ Your Tita Kate’s post, The Books That Defined My decade. I never thought to even reflect on my decade, but after reading Kate’s post, I immediately wanted to do the same.

I have a terrible memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, which makes me feel like I didn’t genuinely exist until 2010. At the start of this decade, I was eleven years old, turning twelve that March and, at the time of writing this post, I am twenty-one, about to turn twenty-two this March. I went from primary school, secondary school, college and university all in this decade alone. And just thinking about that blows my mind. In some sense, it shouldn’t because it’s just time passing but, at the same time, that is a lot of significant milestones in my life. I went from a child to a young adult, and reading Kate’s post made me realise that’s not a small thing. Reading is a big part of my identity, especially during this decade is where I had more choice over the books I read. While Kate’s post is more about books published in each specific year, my list is naming the books that I read in that year that made the most significant impact on me. So not all of them were great reads, but I feel like they deserve some acknowledge from impacting me in some way.

I’m going off what years I’ve put in my Goodreads profile but I feel like I might be off by a year or so hence I’ve added some books here that I actually read in 2009.

  • Thief – Despite Malorie Blackman being of the UK’s most beloved children’s author, I never read her acclaimed series Noughts & Crosses. Instead of the books, I knew her by were Thief and Hacker. I think this part is due to the face we didn’t have her books in my primary school library. (Maybe we did, and it was always being borrowed?) But anyway, I found Thief by accident when someone had randomly left it lying around after Golden Time. (lol remember Golden Time?) Anyway, someone remind me actually to read Noughts & Crosses in this decade.
  • Theodore Boone – The early 2010s was before I joined proper social media, so my ability to find books were severely limited. I don’t even remember how I managed to find Theodore Boone because it wasn’t from my school library, nor did anyone buy it for me. But I loved this series a lot as a kid. I used to watch a lot of crime shows with my family, so reading a series set in a similar environment to all the shows I was watching, but with a protagonist my age blew my mind.
  • The Lighting Thief – Funnily enough, this was the last time I actually up a Rick Riordan book before picking up the second one in 2019. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but my school library didn’t have the rest of the series so sadly, and with my fish brain that forgets everything every five seconds, I never got around to finishing this series. I tried continuing the series, but life got in the way. I really hope to get back to this series soon. 
  • The Hobbit – The librarian at my secondary school recommended me The Hobbit! She saw me come in a lot during my first year and take out so many fantasy books that she was shocked that I hadn’t read The Hobbit yet. She was a strict librarian but was always really sweet to me and always gave me random facts about the books I borrowed!
  • Bite Club – The Morganville Vampires is one of my favourite YA series that I read in my early teen years. My memory of this entire series is so hazy, but for some reason, Bite Club, is the only one I remember the plot vividly and I don’t know why? I’ve always wanted to re-read the series again, as an adult and wonder how different my thoughts would be. A plan for post-graduation, and hopefully, I can make it a YouTube video as one of my resolutions this year is to make more visual media content!
  • Birth of a Killer – I should note this also includes the entire Darren Shan saga as well since I began the whole series in 2011. I loved the vampire trend in publishing, and it’s a shame it got a lot of hate, but I do see a lot more people talking about it more positively. Anyway, the Darren Shan saga was elite and twelve year old me loved this series with a burning passion. I read all the books from my school library, and Birth of A Killer was one of the first physical books I bought for myself! Mr Crepsley was one of my favourite characters in the series and getting to discover how he became a vampire was amazing!

Just judging from the top books from this year, I can tell immediately that this was the year I made my Tumblr. I use it once in a blue moon now, but 2012 was the year that started my four-year obsession with the site. My true internet birthplace. 😂 Before I left the site, I looked through my archives, and it’s a pretty good timeline of my teen fangirl years. It made me a little nostalgic, but honestly teen Zaheerah was so annoying, I feel so bad for my family who had to deal with my Tumblr phase.

  • The Name of the Star – Speaking of my Tumblr phase, this was one book that I read because of Tumblr. I don’t know if anyone reading this followed me from Tumblr to WordPress, but I used to be a massive British Youtuber fan, especially the ones of the early 2010s. I was obsessed with Charlie McDonnell who promoted this book as it was being sold in Waterstones for only £1 and my sister bought it for me. But I was so obsessed with this; you have no idea. I remember even writing a fan fiction which I rarely do because I loved the way Maureen created this strange book about a girl who can see ghosts after a near-death experience and then finds herself chasing after the spirit of Jack the Ripper. This one was so unexpected, and it was disappointing that I was not fond of the sequels as much.
  • The Maze Runner – Do I even need to explain it? Early 2010s Tumblr YA was basically TMR, Divergent and The Hunger Games everywhere. Minho is the best character ever and I refuse to elaborate on that.
  • The Fault of Our Stars – I have the biggest love-hate relationship with John Green. One of the reasons I didn’t enjoy my early days on Tumblr was that I followed whatever my friends liked at the time. And that meant watching all the big things Tumblr loved at the time because I was an insecure teen who really wanted to impress her new secondary school friends. And since I wasn’t allowed to leave the house as a teen, Tumblr was my way of communicating during off-school hours. So I forced myself to read most of John Green’s novels because that’s what all my friends were talking about. And looking back on it, I regret it because I feel like I missed out on so much because I was so desperate to keep my friends interested me.
  • The Hunger Games – If you knew me in secondary school, consider this a formal apology.

I think 2013 was the year we began preparing for GCSEs which probably explains why I didn’t read much. I could never really enjoy reading for fun when I know I have educational deadlines looming.

  • The House of Silk – My friend recommended this book to me and I vaguely remember enjoying it? Cannot remember a single thing about this book but I do remember sitting in Maths class talking about this instead of learning Pythagoras’s Theorem.
  • Shadow of the Redwood – This is my favourite gifted book story. My aunt, who had no clue what kind of books I liked, just walked into a store and picked this up. And the best part about this book was that it was the fourth in the series. (first of the second trilogy if I remember correctly, which is probably how she got it mixed up 😂) From what I remember, it was okay, for the book standards I had at 15. Despite the fact it was the fourth book, I got the gist of the series pretty quickly. Never continued it nor read the first three books, but it holds a space in my heart as one of the funniest things my aunt ever did.
  • Girl Online – I read this in the last week of 2014, and I don’t want to bring up my thoughts about this book again, now that we’re in 2020, but here is the reason I began a book blog, I guess? I remember being disappointed at Zoella for using a ghostwriter and not disclosing it. I saw this as an opportunity to get my opinion out, granted I did get some angry teens in my Tumblr asks, but it gave me the push to continue writing reviews.
  • Time Between Us – I remember reading this book in science class when I should’ve been revising. It was a fun recommendation I got from an Instagrammer I followed at the time. Another of one of her books ended being one of the first-ever NetGalley reviews I ever wrote!
  • After – Remember in 2014 we got the news this was being adapted into a movie, and we didn’t think it would happen? This book was so messed up; I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.
  • The Song of Achilles – I was studying The Iliad during my first year of college and reading this alongside it was a wild ride.
  • Angelfall – One of my dearest friends from college recommended this to me, and I am eternally grateful. She was also one of the people who urged me on to keep writing, so this book was an extraordinary place in my heart. Sure, it’s a little cheesy and dramatic but 17 year old me ate that up and didn’t care.

I think this was the last year I slowly moved away from Tumblr and started using Twitter and my site as my main form of social media? It’s quite interesting to see the shift in reading choices from here on out.

  • The Foxhole Court – Neil Josten deserves peace and quiet for the rest of his life. Thank you and good night.
  • Captive Prince – This??? book?? was so weird? Remember when everyone was obsessed with it?? The political plot was to die for but the sexual violence was too much for me to enjoy this series properly.
  • Check, please! – The cutest web comic ever. I haven’t check out an update in so long but it makes me really happy to see the author still flourishing.

This is when I joined Book Twitter and began to get most of my book recs from people I still follow today!

  • Love, Hate & Other Filters – The book that introduced me to #MuslimShelfSpace and for that I’m grateful.
  • They Both Die At The End – We knew the ending right from the beginning and yet I was still shocked Pikachu face at the ending.
  • The Hate U Give – Honestly, are you really on YA Book Twitter if you didn’t read this or at least heard of it?


  • The Poet X – The growth in this book was so powerful. What did we do to deserve it?
  • The Poppy War – Honestly, what the HELL?!
  • The Astonishing Colour of After – This book threw me off so completely. Rarely did a book make me cry as much I did reading this one. My heart aches just thinking about it.
  • Jade City – I don’t think I can sing anymore praise about this series than I’ve have. Can we skip 2020 and move onto 2021 so I can read the third instalment? Where’s the nearest time machine?
  • Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – The execution isn’t revolutionary but storytelling was so strong. I’m so glad this was translated into English because I have been wanting to read this one for ages. So short but packed an emotional punch.
  • Sword and Pen – Witnessing one of my favourite YA series come to an end was emotional. The Postulant 6 will remain one of my favourite YA book ensembles ever.

And that it’s for today. It felt bizarre writing this post because it made me think about my decade differently. The books I’ve read during this decade tell their own story. I apologise for the comments getting shorter and shorter with each book, I’m still on dissertation deadlines, but I wanted to get this post out now rather than in May which is probably when I’ll be active again. I still have some planned posts coming up in the next few weeks but, for now, thanks for reading!

Have you read any of these books? What do you think? And what books define your decade? Let me know below!

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