Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten "Gateway" Books

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, as they are "particularly fond of lists".
This Week's Topic:
Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey (so your list could be a mix of a books that got you into reading, an author that got you into reading a genre you never thought you'd read, a book that brought you BACK into read)

My Answer:
For most of my life I read strictly YA. I didn't start reading books that catered to an adult audience until my mid-to-late twenties. I could shoot myself now for all the wasted years, but what could would that do.  

Title:         Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author:     J.K. Rowling
Series:       Harry Potter, Book #1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Even though I have always loved reading, between the ages of about 17 to 21 I fell out of the habit. Between being ridiculously angsty in high school to moving away from everything I knew for college -- happily, mind you -- I stopped reading for pleasure. My mom suggested I read Harry Potter to get back into it, and at first, I resisted at first thinking I was too old. But eventually, I saw loved the movie and fell in love. So much so I bought the first book directly after leaving the theater, finishing it in two days. Then bought all of the other books that had been released, locked myself away in my dorm room for an entire weekend and devouring the series nonstop. And from that day forward, I was back in the game!

Title:         Succubus Blues
Author:     Richelle Mead
Series:       Georgina Kincaid, Book #1

Succubus Blues

I might have never graduated from YA if it wasn't for Richelle Mead. I fell in love the Vampire Academy series, and I remember having nothing to read while I was waiting the next VA book to be released. So, I looked up Richelle's other books and at the time, she only had Succubus Blues out. Loving Richelle's writing style, I decided to give it a whirl and I AM SO GLAD I DID. Not only did it introduce me to Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy genre and books geared to an older audience, it introduced me to Seth Mortensen!!! Swoon.

Title:         Slave to Sensation
Author:     Nalini Singh
Series:       Psy/Changeling, Book #1
Narrator:  Angela Dawe

Slave to Sensation

After Succubus Blues, I fell back into YA for a while until I stumbled across this audiobook. The story interested me so much, I decided to try it out. I consider this series my first experience with Urban Fantasy, due to the fact that there was so much more world building and fantasy elements in this series compared to  Mead's Succubus series. Not a critique, just the truth.

This was also the first book where I didn't chuckle about sex scenes. I had never read a book with hot and heavy scenes before, and my my my was I surprised. It wasn't cheesy, with talk of cleft chins and milky-white breasts. There were strong females and dominant, masculine men who were also sensual predators who weren't afraid to demand what they wanted from their lover. And...it... was.. hot!!!

Title:         Storm Front
Author:     Jim Butcher
Series:       The Dresden File, Book #1
Narrator:  James Marsters

Storm Front

I would say that until I dove into The Dresden Files, I only read Urban Fantasy and Fantasy books that appealed more toward women. This was the first adult book that I read with a male lead that was actually written by a man. I love the fresh perspective, but more than that I love Jim Butcher's sense of humor and writing style, the overall story, Harry as a protagonist and the addition of James Marsters just puts the cherry on top!


Title:         Fifty Shades of Grey
Author:     E.L. James
Series:       Fifty Shades, Book #1
Narrator:   Becca Battoe 

Fifty Shades of Grey

I hate never read a book that was strictly about romance. Yes, I had read books with teen romance -- like the Babysitter's Club, lol -- but of course that doesn't compare. I jumped on the bandwagon and gave it a whirl. And I liked the idea of it and the steamy scenes but not the characters so much. What was up with Ana's inner goddess... weird.

Title:         Corralled
Author:     Lorelei James
Series:       Blacktop Cowboys, Book #1
Narrator:  Scarlet Chase


Ermahgerd. I love cowboys. But, I didn't know that until I picked up this series. Part of what I love most about this series is that unlike Fifty Shades of Grey, you get a genuine plot with all the sex. All of the books link together and further the plot and the relationships in the story. The sexy stuff is a bonus ... a most excellent bonus!

Title:         Ready Player One
Author:     Ernie Cline
Narrator:  Wil Wheaton

Ready Player One

I'm not going to lie. This read was my Audible accounts doing. It only took two words to catch my attention -- Wil Wheaton. He has a perfect speaking voice and his delivery in this book was flawless. I will never stop recommending it. Even more than that, the writing and the story were amazing. I'm too young to understand all of the 1980s nostalgia, because I spent most of the decade as a small child, but that much more a fan of the decade through Clines' obvious passion. 

Title:         Messiah
Author:     Boris Starling


.... oh, I remembered something. I read this book during my "out of the game" period. It sounded interesting, but I remember being mostly shocked reading it. It's one thing to see Hannibal Lecter do his worst on screen; it's another to read about a madman's handiwork. To get inside their head. Chilling and very, very disturbing. I'm pretty sure I blocked out the detail.

Title:         Boulevard
Author:     Steven Jay Schwartz
Series:       Hayden Glass, Book #1
Narrator:    Ray Porter


I'm a fan of audiobooks and have a long list of favorite narrators. When I find one I like, I start gobbling up their works. Which is how I came across Hayden Glass.

I'm not going to lie. This character scared the crap out of me. Not only was he hard to sympathize with, he was an addict and in a serious amount of pain. This book explored more darkness that I was prepared for. And Ray Porter did his job too well. I don't know if I will ever finish it.

Title:         The Summoning
Author:     Kelley Armstrong
Series:       The Darkest Powers, Book #1
Narrator:  Cassandra Morris

The Summoning

I've never really had a book that I completely obsessed over until I read this series. I read it first and have all the hardbacks; but then I discovered the audiobooks. And that started what I like to call my six-month itch. It is how it sounds. Since finishing the series, about twice a year get pulled back in. I revisit the audiobooks "cover to cover" so to speak. I can't help it. It's rare that I love a protagonist, let alone equally love her love interests, sidekicks, enemies and the overall story arch. To be honest, so far, it's only happened once. Plus, I can never ever express how much I love Derek Souza. I wish there was more...

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