Top Ten Tuesday: Books for My Younger Self

There are so many books that I want my younger self to read, and it was difficult for me to list only ten titles. I’ve been reading since I was five (I’m twenty-eight now), but none of the books I read as a child and teenager made me feel seen. In a nutshell, I want young Lyra to see herself in books. As an Indian-Filipino child, I never saw myself in fiction. None of the heroines looked like me. Back then, there were also zero books with fat rep, and there were times I would feel so uncomfortable reading because there was so much emphasis in a heroine’s skinny body. Teen Lyra was also frequently bullied for looking different from her classmates, and books that mirrored how I look and my experiences would have been so helpful.

In this list, I included two YA contemporary books with fat rep, and where the plot didn’t solely revolve around the heroines feeling terrible about their bodies. These are There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon and To be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin.

I included three YA fantasy books with either Indian or Filipino heroines. I wanted to specifically include books where both Indian and Filipino mythology are explored, and are integral parts of each story. Star Daughter by Shveta Thakhar and The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi have Indian heroines, while Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco has a Filipino heroine.

I included a very famous YA book that had bullying as one of its main concepts – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson shows how the majority would often turn against you if you say something they don’t want to believe, regardless if it’s true or not.

I included two romance books where the heroines are fat, because, you know, love happens regardless of how your body looks like. Young Lyra would have enjoyed reading If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman (Filipino rep as well) and Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. (Yes, I started reading romance at a young age!)

Finally, as I’ve realized over the past few years, it’s important to know what’s happening in the world. It’s important to know who are being oppressed, and who are the oppressors, regardless of one’s age. These two books are dark, honest, and necessary. I included Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, which depicts the Duterte regime’s drug war against the poor, and The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, which explores the police’s racial bias against black people that had lead to countless murders.

What about you? What books did you wish you read when you were young?

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books for My Younger Self

  1. Love this list! I was also a girl that didn’t see herself in books until well into adulthood. This list is definitely something I would have loved to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Novels have come a long way since I was a kid. “Representation” and “diversity” weren’t buzz words back then. I love that there is so much variety in literature today – hopefully, all kids can now find books that help them feel seen.

    THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS is a great book. I lived in The Philippines for a year and it brought back some great memories of the food, the language, etc. It also informed me about a time in the country that I knew little about. I love it when I learn new things from books.

    Happy TTT!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man I’m loving this list. Patron Saints of Nothing doesn’t get enough love. Thanks for the excellent selection, there are a few here I hadn’t heard of but will definitely have to add to my list! ☺️


  4. I love this! Like you, I began reading at such a young age and fell in love with it! It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized ALL of my favorite books were written by people who looked nothing like me and (probably) had not experienced life the way that I had. Not only that, but the characters that I had loved looked nothing like me either. I’m so happy that we are starting to see a wider range of representation in literature, especially for young readers 🀎


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