When I was younger, I thought of reading as a task instead of something that could be done for entertainment. Whenever I had to read for a class, I would pick the first book that I saw at the small library in my middle school. I never picked books because they interested me, I would simply glance at them and, if they looked easy to read, I would check them out. My parents never encouraged reading. Don’t get me wrong, they were happy whenever they saw me reading for my book reports, but they never took the initiative to buy me books or take me to the library.
It wasn’t until the seventh grade that I realized that I didn’t dislike reading, I just never picked books that spiked my interest. Our seventh grade teacher dedicated at least an hour every day to read us Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. The book was nothing like the ones I had picked up before, and it was fun to hear my teacher read it out loud. This was also around the time when The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins became popular. It was a few months before the first Hunger Games movie was going to be released and I remember one of my classmates reading the book during some free time in class. I asked him about it, and he gave me a brief summary (without spoilers) and told me that a movie adaptation was going to be released in a few months. Immediately after he said that, I knew I had to read this book. I wanted to experience the story first-hand before going to the theater and criticizing the adaptation. I became Hunger Games obsessed—and I still am.
I still own a Mockingjay pendant and a Hunger Games journal which I’ve never used because I was afraid of running out of pages. The Hunger Games was all I thought about and I still hold the trilogy very close to my heart because it was my introduction to young adult books. But I did go on to read other books, such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (which is my favorite series of all time) and many others. Reading became a safe haven that would take me to different worlds, and it encouraged me to want to create a world of my own.
Fast-forward to college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. I was undecided for half of my freshmen year and I couldn’t choose whether I should major in journalism or creative writing. I ultimately chose journalism, but I kept creative writing as a minor. I enjoyed writing stories for my journalism courses because interviewing others made me break out of my shell. However, after taking my first workshop course for my creative writing minor I realized that I wanted more freedom and wanted to be more creative with my writing.
It took me about two more semesters to make a decision and switch my major to creative writing because I was afraid of failing at something that I enjoy. Ultimately, I overcame my fear and I changed my major. I realized that with creative writing, the possibilities are endless. I could write about anything and I was ready to dig into my life experiences to create meaningful stories. I was happy that I was going to do something that I am passionate about and was going to learn in the process. So, writing has become my safe haven too. I like to be able to put my thoughts into words and to be able to express my feelings through my writing. Like I mentioned, the possibilities are endless, and I hope that I continue to write and become a published author or work in the publishing industry.
I know that I still have a lot to learn and I am excited to have the opportunity of being a writer for Pine Reads Review and learn more about the publishing industry, which I hope to join one day. I am excited about the stories I will get the chance to read and the reviews and blogs that I will write. At Pine Reads Review, I will not only be able to do what I enjoy most, reading and writing, but I will also gain experience that will help me in my career.
PRR Writer, Karyme Cuadras