The year was 1999. I was at Target with my dad the day before a big road trip when he said “Why don’t you go pick out a book to read in the car?”
Okay first of all, like ONE book was going to get me through a two day road trip. Second of all, find a book at Target??? Talk about slim pickins. I was in the fourth grade or something, so I was pretty much looking for anything that had a horse on the cover. What I found changed my life forever.
What You Need to Know
Aliens Have Invaded Earth
Yeerks. They look like slugs. They crawl in your ear and take control of your brain and pretend to be you. Gross, right? And the worst part is, nobody would know you were a “controller”. And there’s no way to fight them, not without killing the humans they’re living in.
Heroes Morph into Animals
Hence Animorph. The Yeerks’ arch-enemies are another alien race called Andelites. One crash lands on earth and gives five random teenagers the technology to turn into any animal they can touch. And they turn into pretty much everything. You can imagine why, as an upper-grade reader, this really appealed to me.
Those Crazy Covers
The cover always features one of the heroes turning into whatever animal is featured or new in that book. And they are always, always bizarre looking. Honestly, that’s probably half the reason anyone ever picked this series up. Bonus, there’s a flip book of the cover image on the bottom corners of the page. A FLIP BOOK!!!!!!
There was a Nickelodeon Show
Yeah. It was basically exactly as bad as you would imagine. The show was on Netflix a couple of summers ago…
Over 60 Books
Seriously! There were 54 books in the series. In addition there were 4 prequels, 5 “megamorphs” (“mega” books told from all the character’s POV were THE DEAL in 90s series), and a choose-your-own-adventure book. And I now own them all. Oh yeeeaaah!
Doesn’t sound like something that would change your life forever, right? It’s probably not that great of a series, honestly. But when you’re a fangirl, what do you know?
Fandoms weren’t a thing in the year 2000, but I was an Animorphs fangirl. I had bookmarks, posters, bookends, t-shirts, homemade jewelry, everything. I read the entire series more than once. One time I did it in 2 months. Obsessed is a huge understatement.
It still affects what I read and watch today. The Host was pretty terrible, right? I read it anyway. The 5th Wave was a no-brainer. When Netflix put out Roswell I binged on that pretty hard. Any book, movie, or TV show about alien invasions, you can bet I’ll be there. Especially if the aliens can’t be distinguished from humans. (If you know any great, classic they-walk-among-us novels, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be your best friend forever.)
So if you’re looking for a campy, summer read and you have a couple extra hours to spare, pick one up from your local Half Price Books. If you’ve read them before, it might be a fun trip down memory lane. If you haven’t… well, it probably won’t change your life, but it should be an entertaining way to pass your afternoon!
In case you were wondering why my photo doesn’t include the original creepy cover, the explanation is pretty simple (if a little embarrassing). I read it so many times that the cover fell off. Yuuuuuup.