For this special Valentine's Day series, we asked our readers to tell us about the first book that stole their heart. Here are some of our favorite stories. They range from joyful to wistful, hilarious to poignant — but each demonstrates the ineffable experience of falling in love with a book, an author, or a fictional character.
The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle
During my first stint as a library volunteer, I was asked by the librarian to read three nominated books and participate in the ALA voting for that year. I don't remember the two other titles, but the book that won my vote and my heart was The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle.
I read this book three times that month before realizing that I had to have a copy for myself. I was in seventh grade but grew up in a financially disadvantaged family and never purchased a book of my own. As my mother would say, "Why waste money when you can read any book you want ...