Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Then Vs. Now: Mary Downing Hahn

Last week, Jonathan and I went to go see Space Jam, one of my favorite movies as a kid. It got me thinking, how much stuff have I forgotten about and should I try and revisit some old childhood favorites as an adult? 

Childhood me

I've always been a huge bookworm. As a kid, I devoured books nonstop and pretty much read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Eventually, I did begin to acquire some favorite authors and after re-watching an old favorite movie, I've been reflecting back on my childhood favorite books to learn more about myself, my tastes, and just relive some good memories. There is nothing like finding an old book you used to love and being able to go back and feel the same feelings it gave you when you first picked it up.

As a kid one of my all-time favorite authors was Mary Downing Hahn. If you don't know much about her, LET ME TELL YOU! She writes a ton of middlegrade/YA horror novels and ghost stories and I absolutely love all of her stories. She actually wrote one of my absolute favorite books, Daphne's Book which is good and amazing and I re-read it about 900 times as a kid. 

Recently I found some more of her books at my library and immediately felt the need to just read everything of hers again and finally read the books I never got to. So I picked up a copy of Deep and Dark and Dangerous and started it at work yesterday.

As I was reading, I realized I was trying to make myself feel the same way I felt as a kid reading MDH's books. As an adult, I feel it's a bit harder to delve into the books with the same wide-eyed excitement and thrill when I've read so much YA and New Adult recently. I kept shaking my head and couldn't shake the disbelief and eyerolled hard at the characters choices.

I ended up taking a break from the book because I realized I couldn't enjoy the book while attempting to juggle the role of being a "grown-up" and also trying to fit the nostalgia glasses over my adult eyes (yay for bad metaphors). So I came home, this morning while laying in bed I decided to just go into it. Forget the author, forget my expectations and just READ.

Man, I really enjoyed the book after that. I think because I had this expectation that "This is an MDH book and I loved her books so I need to love this" made me feel more conflicted when my adult mind couldn't get into it. I also rarely rate and read middlegrade books because I find it difficult to critique when I am not the target audience. However, I really just enjoyed the story and being able to kind of go into a book where things are spooky and ghosts are real and feel that curiosity and chill that I did when I was a kid.

I definitely plan to read more of her books and check out a few of my old faves as well. 

What childhood faves have you revisited? Let's chat about it!

Always Raineedayze

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