Here’s a confession that isn’t going to be easy… Promise you won’t tell anybody? Right – I have never read any of the Percy Jackson series.
I know! I know! It’s terrible. It’s awful. It’s practically a crime in the book world! If I was saying this on tumblr I might actually have been hunted down and locked away, but, I’m afraid it’s true. Talk to me about camp-half blood, Greek mythology or funny dyslexic heroes and all you’ll be met with is a blank stare and a polite cough.
It’s not that I haven’t tried. Trust me – I have. I bought the book earlier this year and intended to have finished the series and be excitedly scribbling out fan-fiction by the end of June. I would finally be part of this manic Percy craze that had consumed the universe. I felt like reading this series would be my rite of passage into the book blogging world, I would be accepted into some kind of unspoken cult!
But, it just didn’t happen. I have picked up Percy Jackson a countless number of times, my determination growing more forceful every time – I would read this book. I would! But, each time, without fail, I would reach chapter four and lose all interest, my motivation vanishing like it was part of some clever magic trick. If this is frustrating for you, imagine how irritable it got me. I was trying so hard, so ridiculously hard, to read this book and make the world happy but I just couldn’t do it. It was just so… boring.
I could practically hear the pitch forks being sharpened as I wrote that word. Boring. I found Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief monotonously boring. So shoot me! Tear up my membership card and ban me from the metaphorical bookblogging club! It’s true! For a girl of my age Percy Jackson is boring.
My issue, I think, is that I never read Percy Jackson as a child. If I had read it aged 9 or 10 like everybody else then I know it would consumed my world in one large bite. But read it for the first time now, it just doesn’t do anything for me. It’s a children’s book. The writing style is meant for children. You can’t expect me to switch from my heart diet of teen fiction and angst to a simplistically written fantasy just like that! I can’t connect with the characters or the story because there just isn’t enough depth and substance for an older reader to work with. This sounds so pretentious, but it wasn’t Percy Jackson’s plotline that turned me so completely off, but the writing style simply wasn’t sophisticated enough for me.
I know a lot of Percy Jackson fans my age and older and they will defend the series with their life. They are completely unable to understand what’s stopping me from diving head-first into their world. They would happily read that first book over and over again forever if they had to, why shouldn’t I be able to do the same? But, for them, the first Percy Jackson book is a nostalgia thing. It holds meaning for them as a book that was so important to them growing up. They can read that first chapter and feel like the excited little kid again. For me, Percy Jackson holds no meaning or significance. It is just another children’s book that sadly I have long since outgrown.
‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ I think is a prime example of this. I can switch from ‘The Lord of the Flies’ to that faithful first book so easily you would think they were of the same genre. Harry Potter is familiar and warm for me. It reminds me of being 7 years old and yelling the word ‘muggle’ at anyone who crossed me. It brings me back to one of my first experiences of getting excited over a book or a series. However, I know that if I read that book now, it wouldn’t do anything for me, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it.
You don’t expect a teenager to shop in the children’s section usually. You don’t ever see a sixteen-year old girl walking out of Waterstones excitedly with the next ‘Goosebumps’ book in her hands. In fact, some would even ridicule me if I did. So why should you expect me to react any differently to Percy Jackson. I will not deny that it is well-written book with a spectacular plotline as long as you do not deny that it was not intended for my age range.
I’m sorry. I really am sorry. For writing this blog, for thinking these thoughts, for not forcing myself through Percy Jackson in the first place! I don’t mean to offend such a massive, passionate fanbase or ridicule your personal reading tastes – if you’re excited about Percy Jackson then that’s fantastic! But, Percy Jackson just isn’t for me. He wasn’t there when I was the book-curious 8 year old who needed him and he’s only now appeared that I am a teenager reader with no interest whatsoever. I’m going to stop pretending that I’m ever going to read the series. I’m going to put the book on my bookshelf and it probably won’t move for many, many years. This is just way that I feel. I’m sorry, Percy. I’m sorry.