What Was That Book That Totally Pulled You In?

I have had a book craving lately.  Yes, I know I am surrounded by books and yes. I have read some fantastic high rating books in my opinion as of late….


Here is what I am craving.  I am craving that book that pulls you deep within its pages.  The one that you one those first few pages and get a good sense of the scene being set and then….

Suddenly you are pulled fully into the book and you don’t stop to eat and barely stop for a bathroom break, as you read deeper and deeper into the pages – becoming almost one with the book, and the characters.  You are there in an almost 3D like way as they knock on doors, get in fights, share their secrets, fight for the cause, when they fall in love,… and when they fall apart.  And then…. sometimes…. in the really good ones…. we cry when they cry.

My question I am pondering this evening is what book am I describing here for you?  What book pulled you in like this and held you to that final page and you wished (WISHED!) that you could keep turning imaginary pages  beyond “the end” so you could know more, be with the book more….

For me…. I found that in all the later books of the Harry Potter series… probably book 3 and on.  I found this is Hunger Games.

I would like to know where you found it…. and what that felt like for you.

39 thoughts on “What Was That Book That Totally Pulled You In?

  1. I’ve actually been really lucky lately and read several books like that–Eyes Like Stars, which was brilliant; The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning.

    In the past, Anne Bishop’s and LJ Smith’s books have always sucked me in.

  2. For me the kind of book and reading experience you describe here happened to me with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I was completely immersed in the story and cried my eyes out a few times (and I am not a crier!).

  3. I found that feeling in Angel Star, Seers of Light, even The Pace – it’s like when I look up at the stars, or the sky I knew that these characters were looking up at the same sky…when I thought about a song, I knew these characters listened to that song…I saw there world in picture snap shots, I felt like they were moving, breathing beings – I could feel there hearts, and touch there souls…

  4. Carol L.

    Most definitely The Outlander books. ll of them. And because I put off reading them for awhile I was able to start with the first one and continue with the next 6. I was so pulled into this story to the point of almost being one with the characters. I cried, laughed and felt immense emotion.
    Carol L.

  5. For me, it has always been Anne Rice books, especially Queen of the Damned. I also agree with you about the Harry Potter books. Another one in recent years was The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. In the past year or so, it was Let Me In (or Let The Right One In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist and The Host by Stephanie Meyer (I’ve also enjoyed the Twilight series…don’t shoot me!). I just finished Hush by Kate White and it was the first one in awhile that I didn’t want to put down. The same with The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. There really is nothing like the feeling of being so fully engrossed in a book that the outside world doesn’t much matter. 🙂

  6. For me, it’s any book by Elizabeth Berg or Jodi Picoult…even Barbara Delinsky.

    Not for me the vampire books, or the urban fantasies…I choose the ones about families, issues, even cozy mysteries…I do enjoy a good Scottoline book, too.

    The list goes on. It’s a kind of book as well as specific writers…

  7. Sheila, the Harry Potter books were probably the ones that I practically inhaled. Especially with waiting for the last few. I did not come up for air. I’ve actually done that with some of Nora Roberts trilogies too. Should I confess that? 🙂

  8. The same book as in your case. The Harry Potter series. Especially book 3 onwards, which I am reading right now and just cannot seem to be able to close. At the same time, I don’t want it to end either, so I closed the book. How is that possible?

    1. Aths…. that final book…. how J K closed it to leave no doors open for more books…. my heart seriously hurt. I wanted to believe that maybe in a few years there would be more. I didnt want it to end….

      1. I felt the same when I finished the last book. It was so heartbreaking to know the series is over. I was willing to go through the whole wait process for the rest of my life if she would just write more Potter books.

        Did you read this post? It does look like she has plans to write another book, which can be a Potter book. I sure hope so!

  9. This may sound odd but I got sucked into “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova (about a woman with early onset Alzheimers) and stayed up way too late reading it.

    Also, Steig Larsson’s books suck me in every time.

  10. What a great question, my answers are from this year. For me it was Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer and Prophecy Sisters by Michelle Zink. I couldn’t wait to get to the end of each chapter, my mouth was wide open at times, I was daydreaming in the world of the books and felt like a fly on the wall so to speak.

    Jenners I can totally see how you put Still Alice, that is on my all time favourite book list now. Loved it.

  11. The last book to really affect me that way was The Hunger Games. You know a book has affected you when you turn the last page and can’t stop thinking about it for several days. I’m a lot like you because the Harry Potter books did it to me too. 🙂 I think as a girl it was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books–I spent a lot of time fantasizing about living in those books when I was younger.

  12. I agree with you and Aths: The Harry Potter books are great for this.

    I also LOVE Sarah Addison Allen’s books (Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon). They are so magical and sweet and I just can’t get enough. She needs to write faster!

  13. Hello! I clicked on a link to your blog from A Readers Random Ramblings.

    The Harry Potter series pulled me in so deeply that I’m still at Hogwarts! But the first series I ever read that took me away was the Mary Stewart Merlin trilogy, which I read while in high school (so very many years ago).

    I like your blog! I’ll drop in again.

    1. I love that “I am still at Hogwarts” LOL – I think in a way I am too. Every once in awhile a book comes along and I am so excited because I think maybe this will be the one to bring back the magic I found in the Harry Potter books… but as of this date nothing – no other books has captivated me like they did.

  14. James Clemens “Banned and the Banished Series”. It’s my favourite series to date, and it was one of my first fantasy series. I have read, re-read, and read it some more, and I never seem to get enough of it. I was drawn right in with Elena and followed alongside her the whole way. Other than that, recently, I’d have to say Sara Zarr’s “Once Was Lost”, and I’ll go with the general consensus as well. Harry Potter reeled me in as well. They are all definitely on my re-read list.

  15. For me the book that affected me the most like that is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was in grad school at the time and I remember hiding out in my dorm room reading the book for hours, not even stopping to eat. My reading experience was so intense that I’m glad that no one else was around to distract me.

    The Kite Runner, The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire also pulled me in but to a lesser extent. I came close to that with Sarah’s Key but the parts that were set in modern times kept pulling me back out of the story. I have a feeling that the next book that will totally pull me in like Deathly Hallows will be Mockingjay.

  16. Cristina

    For me there have been countless books that pull me in and don’t let go, but my two most memorable will forever be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene. P and P pulled me into a world of history and romance not to mention Elizabeth Bennet’s spunk given the time period. As for Summer it was the first book that ever made me cry which was a surprise for me as a teen, I hadn’t been aware a book could do that until this one! I recently re-read Summer… and it still choked me up. I was ecstatic when I discovered there was a sequel to it. It wasn’t as poignant at Summer but still a good read.

  17. ALL of the Harry Potter books did that for me! This Present Darkness did that, too. More recently, Forget Me Not totally sucked me in! (I just posted the review for that this morning!)

  18. Books that really pull me in seem to be few and far between, but I’ve had a couple lately that have done just that. I finished Catching Fire today, and yes, it *totally* pulled me in! Also, last week I read Before I Forget by Melissa Hill. I was a little wary about it at the beginning, but it didn’t take long until I was hooked, and by the end the pages were flying by.

  19. The first one that comes to mind is the Kushiels series by Jacqueline Carey. The first book has a lot of world setting to do, but bear with it! They are terrific! The second, Kushiels Chosen is my favorite.

  20. Definitely the Harry Potters!
    Also, Memoirs of a Geisha. Captivating!
    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, (I could relate to her sense of loss, so identifying with a character on the awkwardness and longing I felt growing up really struck a chord with me!)
    The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, and the subsequent Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells. I felt attached to more than one character in both books and thought about their lives throughout my day as if they were real people!
    Also, the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles are so vivid and rich you feel like you are walking the night with Lestat. I really enjoyed the Tale of the Body Thief.

  21. With 40 years of reading behind me how can I possibly answer this question. So many books – but lately…….
    The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

    How do I know they’re special ……I cry!

  22. I’ve currently got a few books awaiting a read but I’m worried I won’t be able to lose myself in them! It’s silly really because I’m likely to love them all but reading this I’m reminded of how I forgot time and space a few weeks ago because of The Return by Victoria Hislop. I think I may have found that again in The Book Thief, if slightly differently because of the style.

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  24. Oh my gosh…definitely the Harry Potter books, The Shell Seekers by Rosemunde Pilcher, Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Ya-Ya books by Rebecca Wells and several of Maeve Binchy’s books…

    Great Post Sheila!!

  25. The Harry Potter books are the ones that truly suck me in so that I can’t eat or sleep until they’re done. But there are some others that have come close… anything by Catherine Center – her books are just filled with heart. And I personally found the Eragon books do this for me too, but I know some people really dislike them.

    On the lighter side, the Spellman books by Lisa Lutz will whisk you away with their charm, but they’re not deep enough to absorb you so much you forget to do the normal human functions.

  26. I have read many great books lately. But one that just starts from page one and you are lost. Hmmm, some of the reads lately start a few pages in, not many mind you. But I am thinking the last one like that for me was by Kelly Meding, Three Days to Dead. The mystery and action of the Urban fantasy starts right off for her.

    Hope you find that great book! I have to agree Hunger Games really is a rare find. And was amazing. 🙂

  27. librarypat

    I find it interesting that so many of us got pulled into the Harry Potter books (me too). A sign of just how good they are. I still need to read the last book. I’ve had it, but have made myself wait to read the book until right before the movie. I didn’t want to get ahead and spoil the movie.
    I tend to get pulled into any really good book. I’ve been reading a wide variety lately but nothing has pulled me in too deeply. I’m now finishing BREAKING DAWN from the TWILIGHT series. The books are quick reads and I really do want to know what is going to happen. That is keeping me in the book when I should be doing something else. It is an observers interest. Not the same as being pulled into the story and being there with the characters and feeling their pain, happiness, and concern.
    Funny, but the books that have pulled me in the most lately have been children/teen books. Partly because I was reading a lot of them and partly because there are some really good books coming out in that market. The Eragon series, is one, and there is a new Fablehaven series out for younger readers that I’ve gotten into with my grandson.

    The last book that really tore at my heart was for 8 to 12 year old -UMBRELLA SUMMER by Lisa Graff. It is a quick read, but I highly recommend it to everyone. It is a heartwarming and heartbreaking book on dealing with loss.

    1. Pat, I was thankful for all the Harry Potter comments because I thought maybe it was just me that all these years later still rank them as top notch reads. As a person who reads a lot, I would think that other books would capture me as deeply but that is not the case.

      I have not started the Fablehaven books yet (I have the first one) and have to admit that I have set the books up in high hopes that they will bring back the Rowling magic…. I am almost afraid now to begin them…..

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