Last night I was pondering what to read next. There are always so many great books coming out it is sometimes hard to choose. Most of the time I have a booked up reading list with deadlines looming, but for once it seems like I have caught up and now have the chance to pick and choose what I want to read.
In some ways this is more daunting than the deadlines. With so much to choose from, what do I read next? Like so many others I have my TBR shelf stuffed full of books I haven't read yet, so of course it makes sense to grab one of those, but what if none of those strike my fancy? I have read two outstanding fantasy novels recently--high fantasy, and I want more. I want another book that makes me feel as wonderful as those two did. Then I look at my shelf and shake my head nothing seems like those book--no suitable read-a-likes.
So what do I do when I can't find what I am looking for? I pick up several books and just begin reading the first few pages. The one that holds my interest may be my next read. The ones that don't, go back to the TBR pile. Sometimes I start several before I find one that hooks me, but this tells me something about my reading. I have to have a good beginning.
Authors, are you listening? Beginnings are everything. If I can't get past the beginning, getting to the stunning conclusion you wrote at the end will be difficult if not impossible. I am the type of reader who needs to be hooked from the first page, and the scary part of that is that I am not alone. When I booktalk to teens in the library so many of them tell me that they just couldn't get into the novel. It may be a fabulous book, but if it doesn't hold their interest in the beginning, only the persistent readers will make it to the stunning conclusion.
Teens have so much going on in their lives, and with everything happening so fast, a novel needs to draw them in quickly and keep their attention. The only way around this that has worked for me has been reading audio books--I can get past a slow start with a good audio, but most of the kids I see aren't big audio fans.
So what do I recommend, start your books out with a bang! Grab my attention so that you aren't another frog, and instead become the next prince charming I will be spending my time with. I guess that makes me sound like book slut, but what can I say I am always looking for that next great book. :)
Books with Great Beginnings:
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins--dramatic, very dramatic
- Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick--this latest installment had me salivating at the beginning
- Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder--on the way to the gallows
- Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey--witches, torture, how will she escape
- Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross--love the action
- Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer--this e-book really hooked me
- The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong--this one had chills going down my spine
Whether you start it off with action or intrigue, a book needs to give me a reason to keep reading. What about you? What makes you eager to start a new book? What books with great beginnings would you add to my list?