The Books That Killed My Innocence

Fairly recently, a friend came to me asking if I knew of any books that were, ahem, like Fifty Shades of Grey. As her literary-minded compatriot who has a reputation for reading trash that should belong in the gutter (and who has not read Fifty Shades of Grey but kind of figured out what it was about based on the collective societal hullaboo), I had to think long and hard on what I would recommend. It’s difficult to refer beloved stories to others who don’t understand that books are like your soul and blood all bound in pulp pages and black print, but I was determined.

Our conversation was actually quite hilarious with both of us whispering behind our hands like someone might overhear that we were discussing dirty books. While I wanted to hand my non-reader buddy the Holy Grail novel that would make her as enamored with the book world as I, my suggestions steered into novels that truly ruined my innocence and became my most beloved books of all time. If you’re on the hunt for something arousing, amazing, all-inspiring, and jaw-dropping, try these on for size. And also remember my penchant for science fiction and fantasy. And as always, they generally come in threes.

  1. Kushiel’s Legacy, particularly the Phèdre Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey.
    1. Diabolical women of all shapes and sizes, ladies of the night with a desire for pain, an ultimately sexy man who carries knives strapped to his forearms, Carey’s Kushiel historical fantasy series is not for the faint of heart, but reading it made me faint. With happiness.
  2. The Dark Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
    1. The first scene has an enslaved male having his genitals eaten by rats.That’s the first scene. So yeah. It’s pretty intense.
  3. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
    1. While the corruption of innocence doesn’t truly begin until you’re at Book 6 or so, Hamilton has a way of making a girl blush. At one point, the sexy becomes so sexy that you won’t even care for it anymore because you’ll be looking for plot. But for an uncaring innocent new beginner, that failing is so far away you won’t even have to think about it. Just revel in Jean-Claude’s cross-shaped scar and uber curly black hair.
  4. The Doctrine of Labyrinths series by Sarah Monette
    1. Moving away from our female driven protagonists, Monette’s series feels like it is more of a study in manipulation as two brothers go through madness, incest yearnings, lots of sex in all the different ways, and the ultimate best part where there’s lots of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Bromance. Can it get better? Nay, it cannot.
  5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    1. I might have been too young to read this, but I clearly remember a ghost giving a blowjob to a man driving a truck.
  6. The Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice
    1. Okay so she doesn’t go by Anne Rice, but it’s her. And while this series truly educated me as to the differences in sexual preference, it was a little bit overboard for my friend who promptly said she’d stick to the Fifty Shades movie and would read on with Insurgent or Mockingjay. While my failure to produce a suitable novel for my friend does sting, I can’t take it too hard. Me, I’m embroiled in the search for the Dark Tower. No one can pull me out of that quest. Not even Katniss.
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