January 29, 2015

Young Adult Gateways

We all have that one book that got us into reading - whether it be reading in general or a certain genre. Well, it took me awhile to actually read more than just a few young adult books/series. I wasn't an adult, like a lot of bloggers I know, but I was definitely in the upper age range of YA. I'm not ashamed that it took me so long because I have discovered a ton of wonderful books in the last year and a half. While it would've been nice to discover a lot of the great series/standalones when other bloggers did, I got to spend several years rereading my favorites instead. I still do a lot of rereading but not nearly as much as I once did. (Curse my busy college schedule!)

I want to spend this post discussing the books that slowly introduced me to YA and then to some of the genres within young adult fiction.


My YA Gateways

In 2009, I discovered the middle grade/lower YA series, The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. When I was younger, before a long trip, my mom and I would go to the bookstore and I'd pick out some books so I'd have something to do during the long drive or flight. I remember going to Barnes & Noble and scanning the shelves. My mom was the one who found The Mother-Daughter Book Club and the second book, Much Ado About Anne. She asked me if I thought they looked interesting. I read part of the first chapter and was immediately hooked. (And I'll admit, part of that was because the first chapter was from the POV of a character named Emma.)
I read and reread those two books during the trip and was in love. As soon as I got home, I went online to see if there would be more. To my delight, an MDBC book released every year through 2012.
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In 2010, for my birthday, a friend gifted me a book she thought looked like something I would like. The book? Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. And I'll admit, on that first read-through, I thought it was good but I wasn't that interested. I skimmed through several chapters. Eventually, I reread it, as I often did because my bookshelves were severely lacking (compared to how they are now, at least). I fell in love with the story, and Miri, and Mount Eskel.
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But that was it. I continued to reread my childhood favorites and the middle grade series I adored (namely, Main Street by Ann M. Martin and the Sophie books by Nancy Rue and the Elsie Dinsmore books).

My Second Introduction to YA

I have this friend named Kate (who I've mentioned before). She kept talking about these two series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Gallagher Girls.
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I read the Percy Jackson books fairly soon after she recommended them (I read the series in March and April of 2011), but Gallagher Girls took me a bit longer, so we'll get back to that series in a minute.
My best friend since infanthood, Kelly, had been talking about The Hunger Games series for quite some time. In October 2011, I finally borrowed them from the library and read all three books in about a day. So I'm definitely one of those people who can say The Hunger Games trilogy was sort of my entrance into the wonderful world of YA.
I was still fairly exclusive, however, when it came to what books I read and reread. I wasn't exactly a book snob, but I was leery of most YA. Back then, I believed every single YA book was full of sex, drugs, and foul language. While that's the case with some, a lot aren't nearly as inappropriate as I feared. 
Back to Gallagher Girls. One day in June of 2012, I was over at Kate's house. We were just hanging out as usual. I'm not entirely sure how it came up in conversation but I ended up borrowing all five Gallagher Girl books (United We Spy didn't release until September 2013). I'm pretty sure I finished them in about two days. (Hey, it was summer. I had nothing better to do.)

My Official Entrance into YA
It took until May 2013 when I started following some book blogs and finally read more YA. I started with the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series by Jen Calonita (that first book was great; the rest got more and more repetitive). I also read Jen's Belles trilogy, along with Cinder and Scarlet.
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In June of 2013, I read books by Tamara Ireland Stone, Elizabeth Eulberg, Kiera Cass, and Jennifer E. Smith. By July, I was reading Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt, Michelle Dalton's summer romances, The Fault in Our Stars, and Divergent. I think it's safe to say I was officially hooked on YA. And I've never looked back.

1 comment:

  1. Huh. You know, I always thought you got into YA way before I did- mostly because a lot of the YA books I read (other than YA Christian fantasy), I heard about from you. But apparently you got serious about YA fiction just a little before I did.

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