What do you do when you have more than 100 books piled throughout your room, unread and untouched? You start a book review blog.
100 Story is my personal project, a review site of fantasy, sci-fi, young adult and diverse books (with some other genres mixed in). Each year I run the site, 100 Story will review 100 books—check back in 365 days to ask me if that was too lofty of a goal. … It probably was.
Intermixed with those book reviews, there will be a variety of posts, such as this intro blog or my Favorite Reads in 2015 post. These posts might range from reviews of sci-fi/fantasy TV shows to current happenings in the publishing industry to whatever is on my mind day to day. The priority for these posts, however, will be to discuss diversity in literature. This wasn’t my plan at first, but the more I thought about 100 Story, the more I wanted it to have a focus on diversity. With the posts and the reviews, I will strive to include a representative mixture of literature. There are hundreds of stories out there, and 100 Story’s mission is to help readers find books that represent them.
[Go to the About page for more on 100 Story, its mission, how to get involved.]
My Reading History
My obsession with fantasy began thanks to an obsession with owls. In elementary school, I began my own quest to read every book in the library about the nocturnal birds. This led to my discovery of Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, a fantasy series in which the main characters were not humans, orcs, or elves. They were owls. My elementary school reading also included plenty of Cornelia Funke, starting with The Thief Lord and Dragon Rider and then morphing into a love for the Inkheart trilogy. My other beginning fantasy favorites were Patrick Carman’s The Land of Elyon series, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Garth Nix’s The Keys to the Kingdom series, and, of course, Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. Surprise, surprise: my fantasy obsession did not start with J.R.R. Tolkien.
My first foray into adult fantasy began when I saw the TV show Legend of the Seeker, which quickly convinced me to read The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, from which the TV show was adapted. I’m only three books into the series so far, but you can certainly expect to see some Sword of Truth books reviewed in the coming months.
My love for young adult was nurtured by the numerous major franchises: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. Plus, I took a young adult literature class my sophomore year at Ball State University—let’s just say that course made my love for YA lit permanent. A year after that course, I wrote a research paper on the portrayal of slavery in YA lit, and I continue to read a ton of YA every year.
Noticing a lot of fantasy and young adult books, but not a lot of sci-fi so far, right? Well, my love for sci-fi simply came in smaller, less common doses. My first major steps into sci-fi, not including watching all of the Star Wars films, were K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series and Garth Nix’s Shade’s Children. My sci-fi interests remained in a mix of other books, films, and TV since then, and I’m gradually becoming a more avid sci-fi reader.
Dystopian fiction has also been huge to my reading experience; some of my favorite books are Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Ayn Rand’s Anthem, and Lois Lowry’s The Giver (and the other books in The Giver Quartet). Beyond that, lately I’ve begun to pay a lot more attention to diverse literature and memoir. Fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, speculative, young adult, literary, diverse, memoir—genre lines mean whatever you make them mean; but now, hopefully, you have a decent idea of the kinds of books to expect see reviews for at 100 Story. My love for reading started with owls, but it has become so much more.