T5W: Gateway Books to Young Adult


Top 5 Wednesday is a book meme created by Gingerreadslainey, and hosted here if you’re interested in participating!

This week’s theme is ‘gateway books to your favourite genre’, and I really had to think about it. I’m a fairly eclectic reader, enjoying everything from memoirs, to scifi, to a great contemporary read. I took a good look at my shelf and my favourites, and I had to conclude that I do seem to read and enjoy a lot of young adult reads.

So today I present to you, 5 gateway books to young adult reads! Just as complex and intelligent as books aimed at adults, I find they’re too often overlooked. I’ve mentioned some of these in other posts, but that’s because they’re fantastic and should be read!

The barometer I’ve used here is my dad. Some of these are books that I’ve gotten him to read and some of them are books that I think he would read. He now sometimes pursues YA on his own! If my dad can get behind Young Adult books, so can you.

eragonEragon, by Christopher Paolini

While this first book was made into an absolutely terrible film, and is quite honestly a bit of a simplistic Tolkien mirror, it’s the first of a quartet that is honestly worth your time. They contain a protagonist that grows in mind and spirit, a fantasy storyline that is fairly fast-paced, and a cast of interesting characters. I sped through them, and so did my dad.

For fans of classic fantasy, a la Tolkien and Eddings, just in an ‘easy reading’ sort of way.

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Cardenders-game

A science fiction novel that’s been adapted into a well-received movie, this book is actually the beginning of an excellent series, and the jumping-off point for a second. While this book wasn’t written with the intention of being YA, it has been marketed as such for a while, and has certainly been enjoyed by children of all ages. I read it for the first time at 12, and then again at 16.

Definitely for fans of science fiction interested in exploring complex moral issues.

stolen-coverStolen, by Lucy Christopher

A very intense novel, the entire thing is a letter from a captive to her kidnapper. You’ll either love this book or you’ll hate it. The author is very gifted with storytelling, and basically explores Stockholm Syndrome from the inside. A book I haven’t read in ages but that has stayed with me for years.

For fans of contemporary thrillers and psychologically challenging books.

Sabriel, by Garth Nixabhorsen-1

The first book in a series, it has incredibly extensive world building. With different types of magic systems, and a protagonist who must learn a legacy of binding the dead, it’s certainly a page turner. It involves very interesting necromancy, and an antagonist who moves the story along at a rapid pace.

For fans of high fantasy and cool magic systems.

white-catWhite Cat, by Holly Black

One of my favourite teen authors, this is another book that you’ll either love or hate. The protagonist is an ungifted guy in a family of curse workers – people with various magical gifts. He starts having bizarre dreams about a white cat trying to tell him something, and must try to figure it out while navigating strange family secrets.

For fans of the paranormal, this is Supernatural meets the mafia.

There were other books that I would add to this list, but most of them speak for themselves, so I’ll add them here as honourable mentions. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, His Dark Materials, and anything written by Tamora Pierce are all well known and worth reading.

I hope that if you’re not familiar with Young Adult novels, I’ve helped to open a new door for you!

Have you read any YA novels that have convinced you that it’s a genre to look for? What is your favourite genre of books, and a gateway book you’d recommend for it?

4 thoughts on “T5W: Gateway Books to Young Adult

  1. YA is my jam; I get my Dad to read it too!!! My gold star review for a book is when he likes it. Ugh, that Eragon movie was the first time I was truly disappointed by an adaptation. I went with my little brother when we were in middle/high school and walking out of the theater were saying, “Well that was terrible,” and proceeded to start a very long list of all the important things they left out. I just read Sabriel for the first time last year, and really liked it! My favorite thing about her is that she basically makes good decisions, unlike a lot of modern heroines who are constantly blundering about and regretting everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason, I didn’t see your comment until today – talk about delayed response!

      Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who finds their dad a good barometer for YA! Another terrible book to screen adaptation was The Golden Compass. If I could cry for every moment in those movies that they messed up, I’m pretty sure the world would drown in my tears.

      Sabriel is definitely a heroine that’s more logical than most. I found that as a young teen I identified more with Lirael though, despite her worse decision-making skills. Have you been keeping up with the series? (I still haven’t read Goldenhand!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, you’re not the only one behind on their commenting. 😉 I actually still need to read Abhorsen, though I own both it and Clariel. It’s one of those series I know I’ll get to, but I tend to want to squeeze in lots of new releases in between picking up something older. The curse of too many good books!


  2. Interesting list! I have to say I’d never heard of either “Stolen” or “Sabriel” before they sound REALLY good and I’ll definitely have to go check them out on Goodreads! I have White Cat sitting on my shelves and can’t wait to get to it as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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