It sounds like a tale of true love

Musing Monday highlighter

city of heavenly fire coverHONK HONK! That beautiful sound of the parcel delivery man honking his horn at my gate. I was still in my pyjamas, drinking my morning tea and scrolling through Tumblr. I wasn’t going to go out. I could just get whatever it was from the post office tomorrow. But then I remembered… City of Heavenly Fire pre-orders started shipping last week!

As I ran out of the house, unbrushed hair flying around my face, socks getting soaked on the grass (I did not have time for shoes), hands holding my bouncing chest in place (you know what I mean) I realised something.

I’ve called The Mortal Instruments my guilty pleasure series before but that isn’t entirely accurate.  Do I love this series? Yes. Is this series flawed? Yes. Do I get a magical feeling in my belly every time I read it? Yes. Do I feel guilty about it? Hell no.

I was running to meet the end of an era. The Mortal Instruments series is what I consider to be one of my ‘gateway books’, one of those books that has shaped my entire reading life.

It was my first urban fantasy.  One day Mum brought me home a copy of the first book, City of Bones, and I devoured it.  I read the next in the series and started demanding other urban fantasy books.

As I got older, I’ve found flaws in the stories, I’ve been frustrated by the pointless (aren’t they always) love triangles and I’ve seen the relationships through more cynical eyes.  But I still adore the books. They’re still entertaining. They’re fun, witty, action-packed with some of the most mind-blowing plot twists.  They’re one of the few novels I’ve read to represent an LGBT character and his struggle with coming-out without his sexuality becoming the feature that defines him.

I love The Mortal Instruments, despite its flaws, and I will be sad to see it end.

What were your gateway books? Do you have a series you feel a strong connection to, despite its flaws?

Musing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, in which we muse about books and reading.  Anyone can join in!


28 thoughts on “It sounds like a tale of true love

  1. I suppose my gateway read that bridged the gap between children’s books and adult reads were the Sweet Dreams series which could be bought in the local (rural) newsagents. It is hard to believe looking back that there was no real book marketing for this age group. My reading has developed but I will always look back and smile when I remember the American dream sold within their pages 🙂

    • YA is such a big market now, I can’t imagine being stuck in the gap between children’s and adults without it. I’ve read some adult books, but I find most of them (especially the realistic ones) unrelatable. I’m glad you found a good gateway anyway 🙂

      • When I read all the blogs I realise how different the book marketing is now, which is great. I’d like to point out I’m not completely ancient so it is remarkable how far things have swung in a relatively short space of time. I agree it is important to have books to relate to.

      • Haha I’m barely out of YA-hood (in my mind I’m not) but I can vaguely remember my library not having a YA section. I didn’t remember until you reminded me, but you’re right. Entire YA sections in libraries and bookstores have appeared relatively recently. I wonder what big changes will happen next…

  2. I can totally relate to the excitement of getting a new book delivered ! 🙂 But I don’t know if I have a gateway book though – I just kept moving from one crime writer to the next as I kept getting older and then suddenly started reading non-fiction in college …….

  3. BAHAHAHAHA. You crack me up. I held my chest whilst chasing my escaped cat. I know what you mean 🙂 I have the first in this series sitting on my TBR shelf. I’m scared to read it for fear of becoming completely and utterly consumed. But…I think it’s time. 🙂

    • It is time! The books are fun and always make me laugh. They’re both darker and funnier than anything they get compared to, if that makes sense.

      Haha if the parcel man is going to keep arriving before bra-o’clock he’s going to have to get used to me running to the gate holding my chest. This is the price we pay for book delivery 🙂

      • Bra o’clock. That’s just…I love it. Gonna use it.
        And that makes perfect sense! I haven’t heard it compared to anything as I never kept my ears perked. I also try to not get preconceived notions about books as I’ve got my own opinions that not many ppl agree with 😉 I can’t wait to start this one now!!

      • Yay! Yeah, I try not to read too much about a book before I read it, because I generally enjoy every book I read and some other people can be a lot pickier than me. Definitely try it, though. The first three books were supposed to be a trilogy and they’re perfect together. As more was added to the series it lost a little something but I still couldn’t put them down 🙂

  4. Brandie says:

    My gateway series are the Twilight Saga and the Crossfire Series (Sylvia Day). I know a lot of people dislike both of them, and I don’t care. They make me happy, regardless how ridiculous or bad the writing (I’m talking mostly Twilight there). I get SO excited when a new Crossfire book comes out (they are spread way too far apart). So I totally understand how you feel! Great post. I hope you enjoy the final book!

    • The Twilight books, strangely enough, were my gateway into a new taste in music. It’s a long story from them taking over my school to me finding a Twilight playlist of Myspace. But I used to love them, before I understood the abusive aspect of their relationship and I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I do love some of the characters though. I wish Jasper had his own book.

      Sometimes we can’t choose our gateway books. They choose us 🙂

      • Brandie says:

        Exactly! I wasn’t even into the paranormal genre until Twilight and it opened up a whole new world for me. Despite the bad writing and relationship – it helped me discover new books and I’m thankful. So did Fifty Shades. I have tried a lot of new books and I have both of those series to thank. 🙂

        I LOVE the Twilight Soundtrack. It is my favorite cd of all time.

  5. I love this post because it just proves the point that ANY book can be the one that turns someone on to a lifetime of reading!
    (I LOVE getting books in the mail–I order a lot of used books online and it’s like Christmas when they arrive!)

  6. Great Post! (and yes, I know what you mean). Nothing can ruin that initial love for a book. Analysis is great and we are prone to judge a book by it characters, plot, writing, etc. However, sometimes something is just too nostalgic or ‘feel good’ that we can return to it even after our educated minds have picked it apart. The truth is, why you like it doesn’t even have to make sense, we readers have that luxury because no book is the same to every reader.
    Personally, the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has always been my favorite. After encouraging my friends to read it, I got mostly negative feedback (especially from my feminist friends). Of course, they all make valid points, but I’ve spent years returning to this novel and its dark, twisted plot. I can’t get enough and I know it will always be that way. I could make a very educated argument for the book, but truthfully, I love it because it makes me feel good. And sometimes that really is the best answer.

    • Thanks for the great comment! I’ve considered changing some of my 5 star ratings because upon re-reading the book (or reviews) I notice misogyny, clumsy bits, plot holes or whatever. But I figure if I still get 5 stars of fun out of it, it’s still a 5 star book for me. I love it and I feel no guilt for that 🙂

      • No guilt at all! There’s no way to continue editing a review without compromising your readership anyway. It’s the initial response to completing a book that truly matters, I think.

  7. Aw, this is great! I did really enjoy books 1-3 but the series went downhill for me after that. >< I still purchased book 6 though, and I'll be reading it soon. Maybe. 🙂 My gateway to reading was probably Red Riding Hood (the one based on the movie with Amanda Seyfried). After that one, I just grabbed all the other popular YA books, read them, and have been an avid reader since. 🙂

    • I actually agree with you. Books 1-3 were fantastic, and the series was supposed to end there, but 3 more books were added and they weren’t as good as the original trilogy. I find that’s always the case. Any extension to a series never quite matches the quality of the originals. I still enjoy them though 🙂

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