Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Experience with Percy Jackson (and The Heroes of Olympus)

 
Hello! So this is a crazy long post made up of just a bunch of random paragraphs.... Have fun reading that. Good luck skimming it. It was kind of nice to get all my memories of this series out in a more physical way either way.

The first time I ever heard of Percy Jackson? My memory is blurry, but it was somewhere around 2010 and I was about 9 years old. Or 8, who knows? (The struggles of being born in the middle of the year...) People I knew (I had a relatively friendless childhood by the way) had been talking about the new movie quite a bit, and I had convinced my parents to go see it because everyone I knew was seeing it.

It was also released just a couple years before I was diagnosed with ADHD, so it ended up becoming quite significant in that regard...

Long story short, I guess I loved the movie. I honestly don't remember. But at some point I got the recently released paperback box-set of all five books in my hand.

Now, before this I had liked books, but I had just barely gotten out of "chapter books" and the entire idea of fantasy kind of scared me. It hurts me to say I had basically limited myself to realistic fiction and mystery for a large portion of my childhood...

At some point I actually lied about having read the books to my parents because I had had the books for months and was embarrassed to have barely looked at them.

In 6th grade (right after I turned 11) I somehow convinced myself to actually pick-up this series.

When reading The Lightning Thief I actually left it out in a thunderstorm for some reason. Now it has water damage. And some weird orange spots. I don't know where those came from, but at least it makes my copy special.

I'm about to warn you. I don't really remember this part of the story. But even I am seriously bothered by what I think I might have done. Because it's cringe-worthy. If you're sensitive, look away now.

I don't think I read this series in order.

Not that I didn't know what order they went in (I mean, they were in order in the box), I just couldn't get into The Lightning Thief, and I have a vague recollection of deciding, "Oh, well I've seen the movie, so I already know what happens! I can just go on to the second book!"

*cringes at 11-year-old me* NOOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT

So I'm not sure if I actually read the second book first or not. Needless to say my memory of this time period in my life is fuzzy considering it was more than three years ago. I do recall being confused about some references being made to the first book (because the movie was just that different from the book), and I do know I read the Lightning Thief at some point. I'm just not sure what order I read all of the books in....

Anyway, I read a lot of these books in my sixth-grade classrooms, where I was frequently asked to put the book down so I could memorize a bunch of Latin and Greek prefixes and suffixes and whatever that seemed useless at the time, but ended up being annoyingly useful in the years to come.

I had to put down the book literally right before ***SPOILER FOR THE THIRD BOOK THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE READ BY NOW*** Bianca died in The Titan's Curse. It was painful.

So I marathoned this entire series during the first semester of 6th grade.

During Winter Break that year, I went to *drum roll* Target. Where I either discovered the Heroes of Olympus series or just went there to buy it. I don't remember. Either way, I went home with three shiny new books: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, and The Mark of Athena.

Unfortunately, The Lost Hero was in paperback which I apparently wasn't bothered with back then but is now a great struggle of my forever-growing bookshelf.

It took me less than five days to read all three of those books. THAT'S OVER 1500 PAGES!

I was becoming obsessive.

It is at this put in my story where I discovered BookTube. Like many who came before me, I found CassJayTuck. She made videos about books. The entire idea flabbergasted me. My life had changed forever. Probably not for the better.

So that caused a long chain of events and I eventually ended up here. *waves* Yes, I am here because of Percy Jackson. That is what this all comes down to.

BUT NOT SO FAST. In sixth grade I also met a girl named Dorothy (please don't be reading this, friend), who also shared my love for Percy Jackson.

And annihilated me in math, but I'm not going to get into that right now. Algebra I in seventh grade HOWWWWWW. She lives up to the Chinese stereotype too well.

Anyway, meeting her greater sparked my love for books and talking about books with other people.

During sixth grade I ALSO read The Kane Chronicles, which I also loved for obvious reasons.

Back to Winter Break. I finished The Mark of Athena. I didn't cry because I'm a robot like that.

I had my first experience of waiting for a book to come out.

IT WAS SO PAINFUL.

I busied myself reading all the other books I had discovered through the internet until that great day.

WHEN THE HOUSE OF HADES WAS RELEASED.

I had preorder it. Which was a rookie mistake I no longer do. It showed up around 7 on the release date. That was WAY too late for me, and I now just go to Barnes & Noble when I want a book the day it comes out. Amazon Prime, you failed me.

I spent that night reading in my basement. Because my house is too noisy.

It took me a few more days to finish it because I was in school, but I finished it and fangirled about it with the aforementioned Dorothy who had finished it days before. CAN I SAY OVERACHIEVER?!??!?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of my "friends" tells Dorothy about me mentioning her in this. SHE MUST BE MENTIONED OKAY??!?!?

After I finished The House of Hades, I realized I had to wait YET AGAIN for the next book. Lucky I had the internet to turn to...

AND THEN. THE FINALE. TO A SERIES THAT HAD TAKEN OVER A CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE PAST TWO (NOW THREE) YEARS.

The Blood of Fucking Olympus. Cursing highly necessary.

GAHHHH.

It was too much of a disappointment for words.

No, it wasn't a bad book. It was just an awful conclusion to a book series that had changed my life.

The entire series had built up to this one awesome point, and it was the most anticlimactic thing I have ever read.

This would be a perfect time to use the phrase, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

I honestly cried at this disappointment of this final installment. When I turned to the internet, many people had the same reaction.

You know what, this is making The Blood of Olympus sound like a horrible book, which it really wasn't, it just wasn't what I was expecting. This was the end. Of a series that had changed my life in so many ways. It's the primary reason why I'm such an avid reader, why I buy so many books, why I blog.

If you've read the book, I think you know what I mean.

My expectations were too high. Honestly, I'd grown out of the series a bit. I'd read so many other older, more mature books that Percy Jackson seemed amateur by comparison.

I was expecting this series to go out with a boom. Instead, it kind of awkwardly sizzled it's way out of existence.

I love this series. It's the kind of series I would mention in my autobiography as the books that got me into books. I adore them. I display them proudly. I forced my dad to read them.

I refuse to lend out the books just because of my memories with them. I can't imagine having a copy of The Lightning Thief without water damage and weird orange dots on every page.

But at the same time, I will be passing them down through the generations that come after me so other miniature humans can have the same experience that I did, but with less waiting.

Maybe I'll withhold the books for a year just to ensure the right kind of experience.

OKAY. This post had gotten just a bit too sappy for my taste.

Great series, my god you should read it over and over again and then force everyone you know to do the same. If you have kids/a younger sibling, make sure you pass it along to them.

I was thinking of making this a series. Like, "My Experience with Blank". That would be nice. Though I'll probably have to wait until I've actually finished whole series. Which believe it or not is not exactly common for me. I haven't even read Harry Potter yet. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I'M WORKING ON IT.) Maybe it'll be a really uncommon series that happens like once a year or something. I'll figure it out.

Thanks for reading!

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