Top Ten Tuesday  – My ‘Gateway’ Books. 

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is:  The Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

My childhood (Books that turned me on to reading)

 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  I was given Charlotte’s Web when I was in first grade for Christmas.  I immediately began reading this book to my father, and then my mother, and then anyone who would listen to me.  It was the first book I remember reading ‘by myself’ which probably meant I partner read with the adults in my life.  But I was reading and I was proud!

charlottes web

Judy Bloom’s books  (Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing,  Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and the rest of the Fudge Books)
fourth grade nothingsheila the great

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.  I absolutely loved these book!  I read them over and over and over again.  I wanted to ride Aslan!

narnia

High School and College Years

The Flowers in the Attic  Books by VC Andrews.  I don’t remember what my fascination was with this books but I read them all.

flowers attic

Stephen King    I loved reading pretty much anything he wrote but I think Pet Sematary and It were the ones that got me hooked.

it pet sematary

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I got into these books in College and loved them.  Although once Lestat became a rock star, I kinda lost interest.  Rock star?  Really?

interview with the vampire

As an adult:  (Books that turned me on to different genres)

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowlings.  This was my first trip back into reading children/young adult books.  My kids were still too little for them when I started the series but I really enjoyed them.  I discovered magic and fantasy were fun reads as well.

Harry Potter

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers  Say what you will about this series, but I really enjoyed it.  It was my next step into YA Fantasy.

twilight

The Giver  by Lois Lowry and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins were the books that got me interested in reading Dystopian Fiction.

giverHunger games

Garden Spell by Sarah Addison Allen was my introduction to a genre with in adult fiction called Magical Realism.  I love it and have since read a few books in this category but Sarah Addison Allen has stayed my favorite author in this genre and Garden Spells is my favorite book that she has written.

garden splls

 

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Review – Pandemonium

pandemoniumTitle:  Pandemonium (Delirium Series #2)

Author:  Lauren Oliver

Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian

*** This review contains spoilers if you haven’t yet read Delirium  ***

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

 

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

 

What I thought

 

Pandemonium switches back and forth between Lena’s story “THEN” and “NOW.”  “THEN” starts from where Delirium leaves off.  Lena has just escaped to the Wilds, while, sadly, Alex didn’t make it.  She is alone, scared and unprepared to live in the Wilds.  “NOW” is the new Lena.   She has survived the Wilds with the help of group of other ‘invalids’ and has become an active member of the resistance.     I listened to this book as an audio download and the switching back and forth at times could be confusing.  I have a feeling that if I had been reading the book instead of listening to it, these changes would have been easier to follow.  That said I really did liked the way Oliver used this back and forth technique to tell her story.   We were able to see a new confident Lena in her role as an operative for the resistance, while, at the same time, see the journey she took to get there.  We saw Lena grieve after losing Alex, falling into despair and then growing stronger and remaking herself into someone new, someone who could face her new reality.

I really liked the “new” Lena.  She is spunky, take charge and no nonsense, and I like that.  Her eyes have been opened to who the enemy really is and she is fully engaged in the resistance.  The new Lena doesn’t need a guy to protect her.  This new Lena can take care of business on her own and she does.

Serving as an operative for the resistance, Lena is living ‘under cover’ in New York and attending DFA (Deliria Free America) meetings and keeping an eye on the DFA Leader’s son, Julian Fineman.  Lena and Julian find themselves kidnapped and must work together to escape.  This is where the new Lena really comes into her own as the hero and takes charge of the situation for herself as well as Julian.   I like Julian, but he is no Alex.  He is broken, confused and scared after having been a kind of poster boy for the DFA for years.  He really doesn’t seem to be a match for this new Lena.

I won’t say anymore, because I don’t want to give anything away.  As always, Oliver’s writing is wonderful.  This book takes on twists and turns.  Although I will say there were some predictable bits as well that I wish weren’t as transparent as they were.  We will see where the final book in the trilogy, Requiem, ends up.