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  • J. J. Hanna

How Could I Forget?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Sometimes, when you're reading a book, you read a scene and you just know it's going to stick with you for a very long time. As a result, every once in a while, those scenes (and therefore, those books) float back to the forefront of your mind and you find yourself thinking about them.

Other times, you find yourself thinking about books you didn't think would stick with you. They were, at the time, just another read. But into the future, they've become impactful and meaningful.

This is a list of those books that have stuck with me, whether I wanted them to or not. Usually because of certain scenes I didn't see coming or that resonated with me at the time, or that I really just enjoyed reading, or that stuck out to me, or... You get the picture.


***Books to be spoiled: Sinner (by Sharon Carter Rogers), Beast (by Chawna Schroeder), and Wild Magic (by Tamora Pierce)***

1. Sinner by Sharon Carter Rogers

If you're a regular on my blog, you've heard me talk about this book before. It is one of my ALL TIME favorites. I love it for a lot of reasons, but thinking back, there are four scenes that stick in my head:

a. The opening scene, in which our antihero beats up a corrupt catholic priest. That's not a scene that leaves your memory very quickly.

b. A scene somewhere after the start in which our antihero approaches one of the kids he saved to make sure he's okay, avoiding street cameras and other forms of identification as necessary.

c. A scene in which this same antihero is engaged in a gun fight in a parking garage. (I really enjoyed this scene.)

d. At the end of the book, there's a beautiful moment when the other main character makes a choice between maintaining the mystery and the privacy of this man or making thousands of dollars.

2. Beast by Chawna Schroeder

This is one of those books that caught me by surprise. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Even more, I didn't expect this book to stick with me. But it's been fighting its way to the front of my thoughts for a while now, so I've decided to give it some screen time, so to speak.

a. One of the first scenes in the book is a moment that sets the scene well for the rest of the book: the protagonist runs, like an animal, after a piece of food thrown by a man the protagonist refers to as Master.

b. There is a moment later in the book in which the protagonist is going through training by a character who seems to be neutral--neither good nor bad, simply fascinated and trying to do his job well. This creates an interesting dynamic.

c. One of the most powerful scenes in the whole novel is one in which the king sacrifices himself for the protagonist during a game of chess, and I've never seen that trope done that well.

3. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

I'm not as certain that this scene happened in this book, but I am certain that it happened somewhere in the quartet.

I have thought about this scene since the day I read that book, and I read that book when I was in fifth or sixth grade. It's been over a decade, and this scene still sticks with me.

At one point in the story, Numair takes Diane out to the woods to teach her how to control her magic. When she can't do it without her magic controlling her, he puts his fingers on her temples and creates a magical barrier in her mind to protect her from the raw force of her magic. And it's beautiful. And I love that scene. I'd have to go back and reread the book to tell you why, but it's just one of those scenes that got stuck in my mind.

I could go on and on with more and more books, but now I want to turn it over to you. What books continue to work their way into your mind? What books have you failed to forget, even if you wanted to? What scenes stick in your mind?

Tell me in the comments! BUT be courteous to the fellow commenters and put a spoiler warning in there for each book you'll spoil.


J. J. Hanna graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing. She's currently working with literary agent Cyle Young, learning to be a literary agent, and working as a freelance writer and editor. To hire her for editing, writing, speaking, or consulting, see the services tab. In her free time, she can be found cuddling with a cat, reading the latest suspense novel, or filming YouTube videos about the publishing industry.

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