Belated Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! In light of the recent celebration of motherhood, I thought of sharing some anecdotes about my mom, who also happens to be an avid reader. Mama and I don’t have the same reading tastes (she generally devours devotionals and self-help books), but when we lived under the same roof, she had a lot of things to say about my bookish purchases. You see, I belong to a Christian/Baptist family, so I’m expected to be very careful about the media that I consume. After all, books can affect my thoughts, which can then determine my actions.
Unfortunately, since YA doesn’t have a lot of authors with the same faith, some of the books that I own have worldly messages or ideologies. When I was in college, my collection started to grow, and Mama often wasn’t pleased with what she saw. Every time she came to my room, I feared that I would be subjected to another lengthy sermon about guarding my heart. There were times when she was so triggered by my book choices that she would confiscate them or ask me to throw them away. Of course, I didn’t want to be parted from my children, but I had no choice but to obey.
I honestly don’t want this post to sound resentful. If anything, recalling these memories as a young professional never fails to make me laugh. With that said, here are some popular novels that earned me a scolding:
Like most of my bookish peers, Twilight was the series that got me into YA. After reading The Chronicles of Narnia at age 12, I was looking for more books to placate my growing hunger for literature. When I turned 14, the Twilight movie came out and my brother James invited me to watch it with him. Afterward, I was a changed person. Haha. I wanted to read the books so badly. However, there was one little problem: I didn’t have money to buy them.
The answer to my “prayer” was a student convention in a faraway place called Bicol. Mama and Papa strongly encouraged me to participate, and they gave me pocket money to sweeten the deal. Naturally, after the competition, the first place that I visited was National Book Store (Bookstore if you’re a Grammar Nazi). When I saw that it had all four books, I was so happy. I bought them without hesitation, not caring about the consequences. LOL, 14-year-old me didn’t know any better.
When I came home, everything seemed okay. Mama asked me about my trip as I prepared to go to bed. Then, before I turned off the lights, she perused my unpacked things, wanting to know if I had bought some pasalubong or local goods for the family. Instead of food or memorabilia, she discovered four thick books. I hadn’t removed the shiny price tags, so I stood helpless as Mama put two and two together. To no one’s surprise, I didn’t sleep well that night. Rest assured that I still have the series on my shelf back home. Their yellow and moldy pages are a testament to how far I’ve come in my bookish life. 😀
This was the second YA series that I covertly bought for myself. I was 15 back then, and paranormal was still the prevalent genre because of the success of Twilight. I have to note that when I purchased The Mortal Instruments, it was just a trilogy, not the endless Shadowhunter series that it is today (stupid capitalism).
This time, my offense was less severe because I used my Christmas money from Papa. I consistently spent such monetary gifts on books, so I assumed that I wouldn’t get into trouble. Little did I know that Mama would check the summary at the back of City of Bones. We were already in the car when it happened. Upon seeing the word “demon” in the blurb, Mama threatened to bring me back to the bookstore and recant my purchase.
My grandmother saw me on the verge of indignant tears, and she somehow convinced Mama to let me be. Consequently, I was able to finish the trilogy in three days. It was that gripping for 15-year-old me. Mama was probably too carried away by all the holiday cheer to notice me reading. I eventually discovered that Papa was proud of my “accomplishment”; he even told my cousins about it. Come to think of it, that was the last time I read a book in one sitting. I wonder what happened to my brain? xD
Today, I’m no longer a fan of Cassandra Clare (says the dude who bought 12 of her books). The Shadowhunter world has more untold stories, but I’m not interested in reading them. Maybe someday? I’ve been thinking of rereading The Mortal Instruments just to see if I’ll still enjoy it now that I’m turning 25. Ugh, if only my TBR weren’t so massive!
I don’t remember exactly what made me buy this series when I was 17 or 18. Perhaps it was the cover? Or the fallen angel trope? The film adaptation of Fallen premiered a few years ago, and the cast even visited the Philippines. I guess the faces of the cast were charming enough to negate the bad plot. But I digress.
This might sound silly, but Mama’s issue with Fallen was the main character’s name: Luce. Does it sound familiar? If it does, it’s because it sounds like the name of the devil. This didn’t occur to me while reading the first two books in the series. And when Mama scolded me, I didn’t take her seriously. However, when I reached book three, I realized that her anger was justified. Luce turned out to be the devil’s ex-girlfriend. I couldn’t take the creepiness, so I gave up on the series altogether. I’m not sure if it’s still on my shelf back home. If it’s not, then good riddance.
Do you see a pattern here? Haha. I don’t have many things to say about this series. If I remember correctly, I bought books one and two together with the Fallen novels that I previously discussed. When Mama saw another set of blasphemous books in my room, she asked me to get rid of it. Still feeling guilty about the Luce thing, I immediately obeyed. I grabbed the books, found a matchbox, and went to the backyard. Indeed, I BURNED THE BOOKS. And let me tell you, it felt very symbolic. I didn’t care about the wasted money. Fallen angels are history, people.
Behold the only contemporary book on this list. Mama confiscated it because of the suggestive title. She didn’t believe me when I insisted that the book wasn’t all about kissing. I really didn’t want to admit that it was fluff. Before she saw it in my room, I had hidden it facedown underneath a pile of college readings. To think that she managed to find Anna despite my efforts to conceal it!
After a month or so, I found the book in Mama’s room. I was going on a trip somewhere, so I wanted to read it on the bus. Mama and I were waiting for my bus to arrive when I suddenly felt the need to pee. I really didn’t expect her to open my backpack while I was in the restroom. Wahaha! Of course, she confiscated the book again, and I left the city pouting like a kid deprived of his sweets.
Now, after watching LilyCReads‘s lengthy review on YouTube, I actually dislike Anna and the French Kiss. It’s too bad that Lily took it down. 😦 I can’t believe how my past self disregarded all the emotional cheating and girl hate in the book. I’ll save my other negative remarks for a different post.
In the end, Mama’s interference caused me lots of stress when I was younger. Nonetheless, I’m grateful because it spared me from the consequences of my not-so-wise choices. Also, not all people can say that their moms are interested in what they’re reading. Just the fact that Mama cares is a blessing. Although she no longer has that much power over my bookshelves, her opinions still matter because I know that they’re given out of love.
Have you read any of these books? I’d be happy to know your thoughts on them. 😀
Thanks for sharing! and DUDE, MY DAD’S THE SAME THING. Like he noticed the books on my shelves with the titles “Queen of Air and Darkness,” “Lord of Shadows,” “Bloodwitch,” and he’s convinced that I’m literally trying to bring myself down. Now I am a bit self-conscious the books I read and buy (sometimes). Like I just sold my “Monsters of Verity” series by Victoria Schwab just because I felt that it was too dark and I don’t think I want any of my parents to stumble upon it and read its contents. Like Kate (the mc) burned down a church. I had reasons to get rid of it. But I guess, at the end of the day, our parents do care about us and that’s all that matters. Great post. It was pretty relatable. 😂
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Wahaha I’m happy that you can relate to my experience! It must be a Filipino thing. 😀 I have a copy of This Savage Song, but I haven’t read it yet. I only bought it because of the cover. LOL is it really that dark? The duology is beloved on BookTube. It supposedly doesn’t have romance! xD Ooooh I bet Mama would have something to say about Kate hahaha. Parents like ours should form a book club. xD