Discussion Post- What Was Your Gateway YA Book?

Recently I started thinking about where my young adult book journey began. I grew up reading but throughout college the amount of books I read for leisure significantly decreased and it wasn’t until years later I started really loving to read again.

It wasn’t until I was married and working my ‘real job’ that I started becoming more and more interested in picking up fiction again. Where did I start? That’s easy, I am one of the many that was reintroduced to young adult books by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.

 Twilight (Twilight, #1)Eclipse (Twilight, #3)

New Moon (Twilight, #2)Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

I admit, it was a gripping read that I couldn’t put down. My excitement of the series decreased exponentially with each book but it didn’t stop me from wanting to devour all the books I could find in this ‘new’ section of the bookstore.


I know, I know.

It might be a tad embarrassing since so many people look down on the series but for me, it was an opportunity to relive those feelings from high school. Really, they were a lot of fun to read. And, the best part was that it led to many other books that I wouldn’t have known existed. I’m so curious to see how this series stands up against the test of time (and reading so many more books between then and now). I’ll be doing a reread in November–stay tuned for more info later on.

Of course, before Twilight I had read the Harry Potter series but never thought to look around for other books near that same age group. I thought of it as a one off series that would appeal to me. Little did I know that some of the greatest fantasy novels were filed under MG and YA.

Your turn- what book opened the gates to the wonderful world of young adult for you? Have you re-read this gateway book recently? Does it still work for you?



  1. says

    I feel like a lot of people got reading again because of Twilight, so no need to be embarrassed ;-). For me, it was Under the Never Sky, but not because I hadn’t been reading before, I had just thought this YA thing wasn’t for me! I actually still remember writing that review and concluding that YA wasn’t for me (HA!) since I hadn’t been in love with the romance. I apparently kept being sucked in because of book blogs though and clearly was converted eventually 😉

    • says

      I had always read my fantasy books but I tended to reread the same ones year after year. For some reason I had the hardest time finding another book/series to start with. Then came Twilight and all of a sudden the world opened up and books started falling from the sky. haha. You have most def been converted to YA 🙂

  2. says

    I suppose my first YA would have to be HP. I was young then though. And I was reading MG (Tashi! I read so much Tashi :P) ! I think progressing onto YA was a natural thing for me because I’d read all I could out of MG and couldn’t find anything else to please me so when I hit about 9 or 10, I thought I was super mature and moved onto YA hahahaha The thing is, I read strictly YA only for a couple of years and before Twilight there was little YA to be read–much, much less then what we have now. At about 12 or so, I thought I was super mature and I stopped reading as much YA as I did before and read a lot more of those “classics” and whatnot. I was reading YA in between but it just wasn’t as exclusively anymore, you know? This year I went back to reading exclusively YA because it meant that I could read more (in comparison to the amount of “classics” I could process), especially as I was busy this year but still wanted to keep my reading up! I’ve found a nicer balance but I’m seeing the end of my year being filled with a couple more classics now that the worst of this year is about to pass! Sometimes I think of the YA that was available around the first time I visited it and it was…not quality at all. There was a definite lack of in that category back then! I think I digressed…lol. Just a bit 😉 But great discussion post, Kristen! x

    • says

      I had stuck to adult fantasy (recommendations from my sister mostly) but had zero clue how to find books on my own. I really need to go back and read more of the classics. I’ve really not read any in the last few years. I had my kiddo and my attention span got so much smaller. I’ve not heard of Tashi. I’ll be looking that up 🙂 thank you so much for sharing your reading journey.

  3. says

    Aw, yay 😀 Awesome post Kristen. <3 Thank you so much for sharing your story, hih. I must admit that Twilight is the reason I started reading as well. I haven't read the books for 5-6 years now, but back then I had read them 4 times. And I loved them. So much. But now? HAH. I have read so many better books and I am not pleased with this series AT ALL. I have so much hate in my heart, hih. But they did get me reading. And I'm happy for that. But yeah. Not favorite books of mine anymore. (Though I love Edward. I will always love Edward. Probably.) Anyway. Love your thoughts on it 🙂

  4. says

    I’ll admit that I read the series and thought it was good (not insanely good, but good). It was my first foray into YA since I, myself was in that age group. After reading several series in the YA genre, I’m pretty much over it. I didn’t like the angst and crap in high school, why would I want to revisit it. I do still read some YA. The Hunger Games was a great series, even if I feel that the ending didn’t do the series justice. I do read some of my favorite adult authors who also write in YA. Overall, I tend to avoid it now, too many carbon copies of this format. Love triangles and high school angst. I know a ton of people who love YA, I’m just not one of them.

    • says

      I loved The Hunger Games. I thought it was such a strong series. there are a good amount of YA that has gone away from the typical trope but it’s a bit harder to find. A good amount of the fantasy is very strong.

  5. says

    I think my first YA book was Princess Academy, back in 2010, but I didn’t really delve into YA until last May (and I can’t believe what I was missing out on). So if I remember correctly my gateway YA books were Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita.

  6. says

    My experience is very similar to yours!! I read Harry Potter when I was younger but didn’t really look into reading anything else in the same age group. Then when my cousin high recommended and basically pushed the Twilight books on me I read them. I enjoyed them but again, didn’t look into reading anything else. Then, like you, it wasn’t until I started working full time that I started really reading. For me it was because I got a Kindle! BEST investment I ever made 😉 I picked up The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare because the movie was coming out so I decided to check the books out. I fell in love with the story and her writing and loved her The Infernal Devices trilogy even more!! Now I’m so happy I discovered YA and I can’t stop reading 😀

    • says

      I purchased a NOOK and I was reading like crazy. Esp on lunch break, etc. It really opened up my reading too. And YES to TID. I adore that series and feel, like you, it is the strongest of the two. Yay YA.

    • says

      I completely agree about the good company! Say what you will about Twilight it opened the door for reading for so many people. I never exactly stopped reading but I had the hardest time finding a new book to read so I reread the same dozen books over and over and over again.

  7. says

    This is a really interesting discussion, I love this question. I had two gateway series to YA, I used to mainly read MG(when I was like 13). Then I read The Mortal Instruments, the original trilogy, and I really liked them when I first read them, but I didn’t even realize they were considered “YA”. I didn’t know anything about YA, and they didn’t really make me want to read a bunch more. Then I read Hunger Games, and I devoured the first two books, and waited impatiently for the last. That’s the series that really made me want to read more YA, which eventually lead me to blogging. =)

    Lovely post!

  8. says

    I don’t think I really had a gateway book, I’ve pretty much been a reader my whole life! I did devour HP, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Cirque Du Freak when I was younger, but I’m not sure those were gateway books. I did read the Twilight books all except for Breaking Dawn, which I DNFed.
    -Jon from Bookish Antics!

  9. says

    Yeah, mine is Twilight too. I loved reading all through high school, but at a certain point I was so inundated with assigned reading that I actually forgot what I liked to read. For years, I didn’t read much at all 🙁 But then came Harry Potter and Twilight and I realized I didn’t have to read adult books.

    So technically, Harry >> Twilight >> City of Bones/Mortal Instruments.

  10. says

    I don’t think I truly stopped reading YA but I know I took a long break from reading in general and Twilight was what brought me back to it.

  11. says

    I remember reading Twilight when it first came out and I’m pretty sure I really enjoyed it than, haha. But than as more books came out, it sorta went down hill from there :p I guess Harry Potter is my first-ish YA. Oh or Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants! There’s a series called The Enchanted Forest Chronicle by Patricia C Wrede that I loveeeeeeed too, though it’s sorta MG.
    Great discussion, Kristen!

  12. says

    It was The Hunger Games for me! My story is similar to yours… my reading for fun had really decreased in high school and college, and it was sometime after school and marriage and working that I picked up The Hunger Games after hearing many recommendations, and after devouring the trilogy I started seeking out more books like it, and the rest is history!

  13. says

    Haha I LOVE this post 🙂 My gateway into YA was the Mortal Instruments series. That was the first series I read that really made me love reading and introduced me to the genre of Young Adult. I still have a fondness for the series, but now that I’ve read many more books I see the flaws and such in TMI… That series will always have a special place in my heart though!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Kristen!

  14. says

    Same here, Twillight was the book that introduced me to YA. Before that I read a lot of high fantasy. I read a few dutch YA books, but only a few and usually wanted fantasy books so I went to the fantasy section instead of the YA section which had mostly contemporary romances I thought.
    And then I saw someone reading twillight and I liked the cover and bought it as well, they didn’t have the dutch version so i went with english. Twilligt not only introduced me to YA, but also to english books in general. I am still gratefull for that. It might not be the best series, but it’s also not the worst and when i read Twillight I felt that feeling that I was finally reading the type of books I wanted to read.

  15. says

    Twilight was a lot of people’s gateaway into YA I think. It was so big!

    I honestly cannot remember what my YA gateway was, but I know my gateway into the world of fantasy was The Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth (it’s sort of MG/YA). Before then I was reading Nancy Drew mainly, and whatever book had horses on it. After the Starthorn Tree I found Forsyth’s Adult fantasy novels, then sometime after I must have found some good YA fantasies that opened up the world for me.

  16. says

    The book that really, truly opened me up to the YA book world was Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsay. Yeah, I read some books in the YA genre but it wasn’t until I read that one that I really started actively shopping in that section and generally becoming obsessed with YA books.

    Twilight may not be the best fiction in the world but I enjoyed it as well. I know that’s sort of taboo in the book world, but there are plenty of more embarrassing books out there, so I’m going to disregard any of Twilight’s flaws at the moment – especially when I’m reading it.

  17. says

    I love that GIF; it pretty much sums up how I feel about that series!

    I can’t recall a specific book that pulled me into reading YA. I started reading YA when I was a teenager, and I just never stopped. That’s why I read Twilight in the first place: I was trolling the YA shelves at the local library.

  18. says

    I’m an adult who didn’t discover YA until a few years ago and yep, it was Twilight for me too 🙂 I loved the first book, and read partway through the series before dropping it-I think Twilight could have been made into a single with a few tweaks and then left at that lol. After that I read the Harry Potter series, which I enjoyed, and then the Hunger Games trilogy totally sucked me in and I’ve been reading a lot of YA ever since 🙂

  19. says

    I read all four books in one day, so I cannot really comment on it. lol. The books that really brought the YA world to my attention was the Study series by Maria V. Snyder.

  20. says

    Aww, I love this topic! I was an English Lit major in college, so I read all the “high brow” adult lit stuff; it was only after college and after I took a somewhat long hiatus from reading that I got into YA/more romance-y type books. And I’ll just say that I’ve never been a happier reader. 😀
    First for me was The Hunger Games, because everyone was reading it, but what REALLY got me into the genre was On the Jellicoe Road. It blew my mind, and from there I started reading YA like crazy.

  21. says

    I started blogging around the time I switched from Adult to YA. Before that I didn’t even know there was such a things as YA, so I can’t really point out which book brought me into the YA business. I just slowly transitioned from adult to YA.

  22. says

    I started reading for fun when I was 16 years old, and my gateway into reading was also Twilight. After that, I seriously got into YA, and have discovered a lot of amazing books. So really, while Twilight does have its faults, I owe it a great deal.

  23. says

    I didn’t have a gateway YA novel. Mostly because when I was a young adult myself (er…over 10 years ago) I was already an avid YA book reader. For me, I always stuck to books that were geared toward my age group. Now, I’ve never graduated from YA/MG/children’s book in my adulthood. I’ve stuck with what is comfortable. I’m unapologetic, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on great books because I refuse to grow up.

  24. says

    Ooh! I like how your post led so many others to comment and admit that their gateway YA book also was Twilight. I wasn’t a fan of that book but whatever gets people reading is a good book. For myself, I don’t think there really was a gateway YA book. I naturally progressed from MG to YA when I was 12 or 13 and have been reading YA since then. I read the occasional adult fiction book but my reading choices still largely encompass YA book because they still capture my attention. Plus, in recent years the focus on YA has expanded so much and so many quality books are released every month, I’m bound to keep reading YA for many years to come 🙂

  25. Courtney Parker says

    My gateway YA would be the Sweep series. It was just really an amazing and magical series. Before that
    I liked to read but when I finally got my hands on this book series it was over. I became head over heels in love with books. I read the whole series in a week which at the time I was so proud of myself considering there’s about 14 books. The books were all about this young girl who discovers she’s a blood witch and that she was adopted.

  26. says

    I must blame my ex for continue to recommend me YA books, since we both loved HP and he recommended The Amulet of Samarkand and the Percy Jackson series, and then I read Twilight while he shook his head, but I must say I never really stopped reading YA, and a pair of years I discovered GoodReads and I discovered sooooo many more books! It’s damned overwhelming!

  27. ВалокМеленки says

    RE:Discussion Post- What Was Your Gateway Young Adult Book? Валок Салфорд Струнино


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