Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Was Your First? Genre-Introducing Novels

Grab the Totally Twilight Button!

What Was Your First? Genre-Introducing Novels

A large part of Twilight's magic for me was its novelty. I had never read a vampire novel. I hadn't even read a paranormal romance before Twilight. The standard conventions of paranormal romance: insta-love; brooding, mysterious guy with supernatural power; love triangle; life threatening danger - all of this was new to me.

Twilight felt fresh and wondrous. I think we can all agree that Twilight is not the best written series. I've read other books since Twilight that follow the same pattern but are better written, have more developed characters, sexier romance, and better world-building. But not one of them has captured my heart in the way that Twilight did and continues to do.

Would I have felt the same if I'd spent the previous several years reading books like Vampire Academy, House of Night, Vampire Diaries, or other series? I can't be sure, but I don't think Twilight would have held the same cache.

Like any first, the first book in a genre that you come to love will always be memorable. Twilight will always hold that distinction for me. It didn't re-introduce me to reading, but it did introduce me to paranormal romance and re-kindled an obsession with young adult novels.

Some of my other "Firsts"

Fantasy: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Historical Fiction: Ann Rinaldi's books - especially A Break With Charity

Historical Fantasy: The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray

Contemporary Fiction: Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin - okay, this was a long time ago

Dystopia: The Giver by Lois Lowry (although it didn't make me a lover of the genre - just that book)

Science Fiction: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (still not a sci fi lover though)

What are your firsts? Do you think any of them would hold less magic if they were the twentieth book you'd read in that genre?


  1. I'm not sure if Twilight was my first taste of Paranormal Romance, I think I may have read some others before. I can't say for sure what a lot of my firsts are but I'm pretty sure my first Dystopian was... that one by William Nicholson... The Wind Singer or something? >.<

  2. I must also admit Twilight and Harry Potter kickstarted a lot of my reading!

  3. I had to think hard to remember my genre-introduction books as I've always been reading multiple genres. I remember my first historical romance was Victoria Holt's The Silk Vendeta, and my introduction to historical fiction was The Blue Bicycle by Regine Deforges. My first paranormal read was Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

  4. Up until last year, I was such a big paranormal/supernatural reader that I didn't really think contemporary was for me. I mean, who wants to read about real life issues when you have your own to deal with? But then I tried a few based on recommendations/reviews, and it was like a fire lit inside of me. I couldn't get enough!

    So glad I let go of my apprehensions because now I know about the epicness of Marchetta, Forman, Elkeles.

  5. You know, I never thought about this before. I normally chose books (and still do) based on interest. I do know that TW was my first paranormal romance. "Interview with the Vampire" was my first vampire book. "Maus" my first grapic novel. "Death Note" was my first manga. "Looking for Alaska" was my first re-entry into YA when I started library school.

  6. I think Twilight might have been my first vampire book as well! I can't remember so many of my other firsts, they're all starting to blur together a bit. I know Lord of the Rings was my first fantasy series and I loved them to pieces:)

  7. That's the great thing about Twlight, it's like a gateway book into PNR :P
    My first PNR book was the Night World series by LJ Smith I think...which I read when I was about 12/13. I was hooked from then!

    My first dystopian was The Declaration by Gemma Malley! Such a good book.

    Harry Potter was probably my first fantasy because I was like, 7 when I read that XD

    The Cait Files

  8. Harry Potter is definitely a first and so is Twilight. The Dragon Prince trilogy was a first for high fantasy and Dune was a first for sci-fi.

    I don't think Twilight would've captured my heart as much as it did had I been a reader or lover of paranormal romance before I read it. But, I think the other three first would've because they do have good writing and great world building. They'll definitely stand the test of time. Whereas I think Twilight will keep being reintroduced to each generation, but I'm not sure previous readers will keep to it like they do other favorites. It'll be interesting to see how everything works out.

  9. I loved Harry Potter already but Twilight brought me to reading young adult novels and its was cool.
    The Hunger Games introduced me to Dystopian novels and been on that kick ever since.

    For sci fi-- its been the Gini Koch Alien series..I am very picky about my sci fi. Great Topic

  10. First paranormal book that I could not get enough of were the animorphs books. I loved the idea of turning into some creature.

  11. Man oh man, this question takes me SOOOO far back!

    Fantasy: Narnia Chronicles, then David Edding's Belgariad
    Dystopia: Oh, la! This takes me back: The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher, the Ninteen Eighty-Four, then The Hunger Games :D
    Vampires: Interview With The Vampire
    Paranormal: Twilight--I owe this book SO much
    Historical Fantasy: The Children of Green Knowe--this was my first ever book obsession. I must have been, like, eight.
    Science Fiction: Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy :D
    Contemporary Fiction: It must have been something like Babysitters or... oh my goodness, Friends 4 Ever! I LOVED those books :D

    Hehe, I'm having a massive attack of nostalgia :D

  12. Great post! My first paranormal romance was the Mediator series by Meg Cabot. My first vampire book was Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. My first fantasy read was also Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. My first Historical Fiction book was Snow Flower & the Secret Fan by Lisa See. That was a while ago! I love that book so much. The first Historical Fantasy... I'm not sure. I think it was Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.

    Contemporary Fiction: Maybe All-American Girl by Meg Cabot, but I'm not sure. It was one of her contemporary books.
    Dystopia: Matched by Ally Condie and I haven't stopped reading the genre since.
    Science Fiction: Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury -- Amazing!

  13. I think one flew over the cuckoos nest.... not 100% sure though it was in high school

  14. -Twilight was THE book that really got me into reading and it was my first ever Paranormal Romance which is now my favorite genre(: It might not have been as memorable, but I would still have loved this book all the same.

    - Harry Potter was one of the first Fantasy books I had ever read and is of course one of my favorite series ever!! Even if it was one of the last books I had ever read it would still be just as memorable and special in my heart(:

    -The first book I ever read by choice and the first ever Mystery book was "Sherlock Holmes in Sneakers" I remember checking it out multiple times from my elementary school library. I will always remember this book because it was the first one I ever truly loved (Wow that sounded like a confession LOL) I didn't really like reading back then (in fact Im sorry to say I hated it) but that book made me give reading a chance and I will always remember it fondly.

  15. I have a lot of respect for popular books and authors because they give people a passion for reading. I was just formatting a post titled "Do you read popular books?" basically stating that although Twilight, and other popular books like Beautiful Disaster, are not the "best" novels per se, I love them because they initiated then re-ignited my passion for reading. As I know they did with countless others, so for that they deserve to be recognized, which is just what you did! Great post!


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