If you're a football fan, you get asked where you were when you first witnessed your team winning a match. If you're a music lover you get asked which artist you went to see at your very first concert. But when you're a book lover, nobody asks where you were when you first discovered your favourite book.
So, even though nobody asked me, I'm going to tell you anyway.
I was in Primary School, aged 10, and it was Golden Time on a Friday. Many other kids decided to do colouring or play with the board games, but I decided to head to the book corner.
I didn't know what to read, and my school's library was a bunch of random second-hand books. I pulled one off the shelf, and started reading.
I guess my first mistake was reading the second book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and liking it. I only got to read the first chapter before the school bell rang for home-time, and I pestered my parents for the books until I got them.
By the time I was 13 I had read the entire series, more than once, and the Percy Jackson-verse had expanded to the Heroes of Olympus series. Both 'Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief' and 'Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters' had been adapted into films and although they weren't the most accurate films ever created (yes, I am still angry about it) but I very quickly became obsessed.
My second mistake was making friends who also loved Percy Jackson. I'd let them borrow my books and we'd geek out over Percy and Annabeth's relationship or we'd say how much we hated Octavius...if you know, you know.
The world Rick Riordan created became an escape for me. A safe place away from the struggles of Secondary School and being an awkward teenager. His world of monsters, demigods and Greek and Roman mythology grabbed me by the hands and took me on a journey that made me discover the word "fangirl".
I became a fangirl the way most people do, the escapism became so tempting that I fully immersed myself into the world. Every time someone mentioned anything to do with Greek mythology I would shout "that happened in Percy Jackson!" or I'd joke about wanting blue pancakes, or exclaim "this is a pen!" every time I picked up a pen. I'd even go to the beach and try to control the ocean, and yes I am ashamed that a part of me hoped that something would happen.
My third mistake was creating an Instagram account dedicated to being apart of the Percy Jackson fandom. By the time I was 15 the Instagram account "@demigod_fandom_" was created, and I posted and followed everything Percy Jackson related. Of course, by the time I was 15 my fangirling had expanded to a bunch of other YA fantasy and dystopian fandoms too, but the hold Rick Riordan's work had on me was unexplainable.
Being the aspiring author I am, I even created a Wattpad account under the same username. I decided to write a cross-over story of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games, and even though it is long deleted now, I've come to realise that the fantasy world rick Riordan created inspired me to become the writer I am today.
So, even though I'm now in my twenties and I own my own house and do all those grown-up things like paying bills and taxes, I am still very much a part of the Percy Jackson fandom and all the worlds that come with it.
The Magnus Chase series, the Trials of Apollo and even the Kane Chronicles all live on my bookshelf along with the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, and some of the new books are still on my TBR list.
I guess, in a way, these ramblings of my Percy Jackson obsession are actually a thank you. A thank you to Rick Riordan and his characters. To the worlds that made me laugh and cry. To the writing style that inspired me to become a writer and create my own worlds. A thank you even to the movies, because Logan Lerman really was the right person for the job. He was the perfect Percy Jackson and will always be my White Boy of The Month, every month.
I'm grateful for the fandom, and I'm grateful for the friends I made along the way on my old Instagram accounts. I wish I knew how they were now. I'm grateful for picking up The Sea of Monsters when I was 10 years old, and I'm grateful that the world of demigods brought me so much joy.
There may be other fandoms and worlds out there that I fell in love with after, but Percy Jackson is my OG.
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