Portals to Whyland is a 3-novel + 1 novella YA portal fantasy series. If you've read them, you already know that, if you don't, know that it has magic, portals, other worlds, adventures, and some romance. This post is about my suggested reading order and why it's a little weird.
Some people might find it funny that I usually suggest readers start Portals to Whyland with Kissing Magic. "Isn't it the second book?", some might ask. Well, the answer is yes. And no. Kissing Magic starts a brand new romantic plot and it's where things get a little more mature.
The previous novel, Step Into Magic, is lower Young Adult , maybe even upper Middle Grade and can be read as a standalone. It's more about new discoveries, experiences, and I think it's a fun read for younger teens. Some older readers who don't like lower YA for younger teens might be frustrated.
Older teens and adults are usually more interested in the romantic plot, and in this case I suggest Kissing Magic, which is followed by Within Magic. It's a sort of enemies-to-lovers romance with some twists and surprises. I planned it as a brand new plot, in fact, and it just so happened that the plot involved characters from a previous novel... I have a huge problem, see? I let my characters dictate what I write. I actually really like Kissing Magic and Within Magic, so in the end it was not a bad idea. The issue is that I got a weird YA series... So it has a weird reading order. I'm still trying to figure out how to number the books.
Oh, there's an intro novella as well, right, The Spell Speakers? Well, it's a prequel but I started writing it after I started Kissing Magic, so in a way it connects with it really well. Some readers start with it. From there you can jump into Step Into Magic or Kissing Magic with more background information. You can also read it after reading the main series. If you like the characters, it can be a lot of fun! But it's not really part of the series, and it's just fun material.
I swear that next time I'll write a series with a more normal order and won't jump from lower YA for youngish readers to regular YA. ?