I found Jellicoe Road because I read an interview that YA Highway had with Melina Marchetta, and I thought the concept sounded interesting, so a few weeks or months later I picked it up at the library, not knowing at all that I would fall in love and discover my first favourite book ever. Before Jellicoe Road, whenever people asked my what my favourite book was, or what I thought the best book ever was, I shrugged and said I liked too many books to answer that, or that I had a hundred favourites. Now I have an answer, and it's this book. Of course, this led to me wanting to gobble up everything Melina Marchetta, and I did so and loved it (with the exception of Looking for Alibrandi, but I think I'm going to give that one a second chance).
Okay for Now I put on my TBR list because I liked the cover, and picked it up at the library eventually. Even when I started it, I didn't feel like it was anything special, just a simple story with a fairly typical character. I'd read a bunch of books in a similar vein; the cutesy, small town MG. However, there was some moment two thirds of the way through when something clicked and I saw just how brilliant Gary D. Schmidt's writing was and all of the cleverly subtle things he did to craft a beautiful story, with intricately complicated and tender characters and the main character maybe was typical, but Doug is now my precious and one of those characters I'd protect at all costs.
So there is no step by step guide on how to find your favourite book. All of my favourite books I've just stumbled upon. I had no idea when I opened Okay for Now, or even when I was halfway through, that it would end up being one of my favourite books of all time.
How do you find your favourite book then? Read. Read lots. There are many quotes from people about how there is no one who doesn't like reading, just people who have not yet found that one book that they love. There are soo many books out there, and I promise you, there is one for you. There is one book that will make you feel not alone and special and warm and fuzzy and make you think or whatever you need to love a book.
But you also need to work to find that favourite book. You need to read lots, because if you never read, you are obviously not going to find your favourite book. I read 109 books this past year, and I really only fell in love with a few. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed a lot more than that, but not all of them make me feel incredibly, undeniably happy or blown away. And despite that, I trudge onward, knowing that any of the next 100 books I pick up could be my new favourite. But I will have no idea until I read them.
What's your favourite book, or have you not found yours yet?
"There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book." -Frank Serafini