I'm not complaining or criticising, I just find it curious more than anything else. I have, in fact, loved every one of the following books:
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott - When I first had the idea for this post, Shadows on the Moon is the first book I thought of. Poor Suzume. On her 14th birthday, she witnesses the murder of her cousin and her father right in front of her eyes. On any day that would be a terrible and traumatic experience. It never leaves her and she plans on an elaborate scheme for revenge in this beautifully told retelling of Cinderella.
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - Things aren't great for Meghan Chase either, in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series. Meghan Chase is getting by just fine until, on her 16th birthday, she discovers she is in fact part fairy and that her little brother has been kidnapped and replaced by a changeling. In order to get him back, Meghan and her best friend journey into a dangerous fairy world in order to rescue him.
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon - Here's another one on the main character's 16th birthday. She's out driving and inexplicably, she's drawn to a different road and discovers her parents' abandoned car on the edge of a wood. Despite it being a large forest, she knows just where to go in order to find the bodies of her mom and dad. That's really awful.
Divergent by Veronica Roth - For Beatrice Prior, her 16th birthday means choosing between her family and everything she's ever known, and choosing something more dangerous and daring. I absolutely adore this dystopian novel with the different factions and I love Tris and Four and all the great characters we meet, the action and the adventure of it all. But it's a lot of pressure for one birthday, isn't it? :)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Whereas in Delirium, Lauren Oliver places the future 18th birthday of our main character, Lena, as the defining birthday in which she grow up, and choose a future for herself. In other fab dystopic novel in which love is seen as an illness, Lena must choose which path to choose for her upcoming birthday - that of safety and without the threat of pain or heartbreak - or to turn away from taking the 'cure' and embracing love. Would you take the cure?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling - But it isn't all doom and gloom, at least not originally for Harry Potter, as on his 11th birthday, he finds out that there is more in his future than a room under-the-stairs of his horrid aunt and uncle's house and even though it does get really life-threatening a lot of times, at least he's able to find a place where he belongs and family and friends who care and support him.
And that's it from me. I'd love to hear of the books in which birthdays play a pivotal role that have stuck in your minds?