bout of books 23 sign up post!

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Friends, it is time again for yet another BOUT OF BOOKS!!! Bout of Books is a week-long readathon created by  Amanda  that will be taking place from August 20-26, WHICH IS MY BIRTHDAY WEEK OMFG YASSSSSS (actual birthday is August 24). I am very excited because I will be taking off from work from August 23-26 and will thus be able to hopefully get monumental amounts of reading done. My hope is to read 5 books during Bout of Books so I can feel super accomplished and get a lot of ARCs read (which my boyfriend pronounces A-R-C as though he’s spelling it out. I always correct him but he does it now just to annoy me).

Here are some of the books I am hoping to read for Bout of Books:

Most are ARCs either from this year or from previous years that I still haven’t read (eek, I am terrible), UPROOTED is from the library and RUIN AND RISING is one I bought. I am most excited for WILDCARD because I loved WARCROSS so much. I’m also very much excited for GRIM LOVELIES, because I always thought Megan Shepherd should write fantasy and I haven’t read her since THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER series ended. JACK OF HEARTS sounds kind of like a dark SIMON VS. with sex which I am quite psyched for as well. On a semi-related note, I am also planning to save my viewing of the movie of TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE until my birthday, which will be a difficult feat because I am so excited for it it’s gonna be so CUTE.

icky but kinda good?? \\ you’ll miss me when I’m gone

Title: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Pages: 384
Date published: January 2, 2018
TW: self harm, suicidal ideation, teacher/student sexual content

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

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This is a complicated book that I have complicated feelings about. I will probably use the word “complicated” many times in this review. I read YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE kind of on a whim because I wanted to read something that was published earlier in the year that I missed. There were a lot of things I liked about this book…okay, scratch that, there were a lot of things I thought were objectively good about the book, but it also made me really uncomfortable to the point where I almost DNFed it and felt kind of sick to my stomach while reading. So let’s unpack some of my feelings on this book, shall we?

Adina and Tovah were very complicated characters

If I had to pick a word or phrase to describe Tovah and Adina, “one dimensional” would definitely NOT be one of them. Each character had a lot of negative characteristics and good things about them (okay, Adina maybe had more bad things than good things) but the negative things, especially where Adina was concerned, weren’t necessarily portrayed as being “bad.”

I really liked that Adina’s sexuality wasn’t portrayed as negative

Adina is a very sexual person and has a lot of experience sexually in the book. She had sex for the first time at fourteen and has sex with a couple other people other than that person before she falls for her viola teacher. I thought it was important that the author had Adina realize eventually that even though she wanted them to be, her former sexual relationships weren’t based on love, and instead were based on her trying to force people to love her through her sexuality. Adina is very lost throughout the book, and even though I didn’t entirely relate to all her experiences, I could relate to her in other ways that honestly made me a bit uncomfortable. I think one of the reasons I felt so uncomfortable throughout this book was because I did feel a kinship with Adina and her sexual side because I used to be that way, but she was so unlikeable and judgmental that it made it hard to realize that I might have been that way when I was young as well.

I was not a fan of Adina’s romance

I guess this is kind of a spoiler and kind of a trigger warning, but Adina does have a sexual relationship with her viola teacher. Because of one of my past traumas, I was REALLY uncomfortable with this. The age gap between them was similar to the one I had in my own experience, so it just hit too close to home for me. I also disliked that Adina didn’t ever realize that what Arjun did with her was wrong. Even if they both had sexual attraction for each other, he never should have acted on it because he was in a position of power over her, regardless of the illegality or legality of it. They are never discovered, and Arjun doesn’t face any consequences. Adina does realize that a secret relationship isn’t what she wants, but I wish more attention had been given to the fact that Arjun was skeevy for sleeping with a student and that there was a problematic power dynamic in their relationship.

I thought the portrayal of Huntington’s was really heartbreaking

Sometimes, in books about illnesses that are physical, it can feel like an author is just ticking off boxes with symptoms listed. The portrayal of Adina and Tovah’s mother’s Huntingtons felt very natural, and it was heartbreaking to see how it was such a part of their lives. It was hard to read especially the twin who gets a positive result’s experience of watching her mother get worse as she dealt with her own issues with Huntingtons after Adina and Tovah get their results.(I’m trying so hard to keep this a spoiler free review but it’s very difficult!) The twin who gets a positive result starts thinking that she has symptoms of Huntingtons, and it’s very hard to watch but very well written.

I loved the Jewish representation

I was not raised Jewish but I consider myself culturally Jewish because my mother is Jewish and I identify strongly with that aspect of my heritage. It was fascinating to me to read about characters who practiced Judaism in their lives because I’d never read a book like that before. I thought the discussion of how the Jewish teens in the novel felt especially different during Christmas time stood out a lot and was a good example of what it’s like to have a religion that’s different from the mainstream. I liked that Tovah and Adina’s Judaism was part of the book but not what the book was ABOUT. I also loved the exploration of the phrase in the book that means “all of Israel” about the idea that all Jews are connected, because even though I’m not a practicing Jew, I’ve always kind of felt that way about other Jewish people.

basically, I thought this book was very good, but I don’t know if I’d say I enjoyed or liked it

This is a very excellent book in terms of writing, characterization, diversity, plot, etc. I can objectively say that it is a Good Book. However, I don’t think I could say I actually ENJOYED it because it was so hard for me to read emotionally. Still, I’d definitely recommend it to other people because it is so powerful and unique. I’m going to stop this review here before it gets any longer and just tell you to give this one a try if it slipped by you earlier in the year!

icky but kinda good?? \\ you’ll miss me when I’m gone

Title: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Pages: 384
Date published: January 2, 2018
TW: self harm, suicidal ideation, teacher/student sexual content

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

30339479

This is a complicated book that I have complicated feelings about. I will probably use the word “complicated” many times in this review. I read YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE kind of on a whim because I wanted to read something that was published earlier in the year that I missed. There were a lot of things I liked about this book…okay, scratch that, there were a lot of things I thought were objectively good about the book, but it also made me really uncomfortable to the point where I almost DNFed it and felt kind of sick to my stomach while reading. So let’s unpack some of my feelings on this book, shall we?

Adina and Tovah were very complicated characters

If I had to pick a word or phrase to describe Tovah and Adina, “one dimensional” would definitely NOT be one of them. Each character had a lot of negative characteristics and good things about them (okay, Adina maybe had more bad things than good things) but the negative things, especially where Adina was concerned, weren’t necessarily portrayed as being “bad.”

I really liked that Adina’s sexuality wasn’t portrayed as negative

Adina is a very sexual person and has a lot of experience sexually in the book. She had sex for the first time at fourteen and has sex with a couple other people other than that person before she falls for her viola teacher. I thought it was important that the author had Adina realize eventually that even though she wanted them to be, her former sexual relationships weren’t based on love, and instead were based on her trying to force people to love her through her sexuality. Adina is very lost throughout the book, and even though I didn’t entirely relate to all her experiences, I could relate to her in other ways that honestly made me a bit uncomfortable. I think one of the reasons I felt so uncomfortable throughout this book was because I did feel a kinship with Adina and her sexual side because I used to be that way, but she was so unlikeable and judgmental that it made it hard to realize that I might have been that way when I was young as well.

I was not a fan of Adina’s romance

I guess this is kind of a spoiler and kind of a trigger warning, but Adina does have a sexual relationship with her viola teacher. Because of one of my past traumas, I was REALLY uncomfortable with this. The age gap between them was similar to the one I had in my own experience, so it just hit too close to home for me. I also disliked that Adina didn’t ever realize that what Arjun did with her was wrong. Even if they both had sexual attraction for each other, he never should have acted on it because he was in a position of power over her, regardless of the illegality or legality of it. They are never discovered, and Arjun doesn’t face any consequences. Adina does realize that a secret relationship isn’t what she wants, but I wish more attention had been given to the fact that Arjun was skeevy for sleeping with a student and that there was a problematic power dynamic in their relationship.

I thought the portrayal of Huntington’s was really heartbreaking

Sometimes, in books about illnesses that are physical, it can feel like an author is just ticking off boxes with symptoms listed. The portrayal of Adina and Tovah’s mother’s Huntingtons felt very natural, and it was heartbreaking to see how it was such a part of their lives. It was hard to read especially the twin who gets a positive result’s experience of watching her mother get worse as she dealt with her own issues with Huntingtons after Adina and Tovah get their results.(I’m trying so hard to keep this a spoiler free review but it’s very difficult!) The twin who gets a positive result starts thinking that she has symptoms of Huntingtons, and it’s very hard to watch but very well written.

I loved the Jewish representation

I was not raised Jewish but I consider myself culturally Jewish because my mother is Jewish and I identify strongly with that aspect of my heritage. It was fascinating to me to read about characters who practiced Judaism in their lives because I’d never read a book like that before. I thought the discussion of how the Jewish teens in the novel felt especially different during Christmas time stood out a lot and was a good example of what it’s like to have a religion that’s different from the mainstream. I liked that Tovah and Adina’s Judaism was part of the book but not what the book was ABOUT. I also loved the exploration of the phrase in the book that means “all of Israel” about the idea that all Jews are connected, because even though I’m not a practicing Jew, I’ve always kind of felt that way about other Jewish people.

basically, I thought this book was very good, but I don’t know if I’d say I enjoyed or liked it

This is a very excellent book in terms of writing, characterization, diversity, plot, etc. I can objectively say that it is a Good Book. However, I don’t think I could say I actually ENJOYED it because it was so hard for me to read emotionally. Still, I’d definitely recommend it to other people because it is so powerful and unique. I’m going to stop this review here before it gets any longer and just tell you to give this one a try if it slipped by you earlier in the year!

WWW Wednesday \\ 8-15-18

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

Just Finished

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I was really excited to read this poetry collection because I was like BODY POSITIVITY and QUEER and BODY POSITIVITY AGAIN but…no. They were basically all cheesy love poems about clouds and stardust, the queer stuff was too subtle, and there was hardly any body positivity. The best thing about this book was the cover. I would seriously hang that cover on my wall if I liked the content better.

 

Currently Reading

As of the writing of this post, I am halfway through HONEYBEE by Trista Mateer and am about to start FOUR DEAD QUEENS. HONEYBEE is pretty good so far, though not as good as I hoped. It is also very queer and very obvious about it. I’m interested in FOUR DEAD QUEENS but a little nervous because it’s so hyped and I don’t really like thief books?? But we’ll see. I do want to read it because I am in the mood for a solid fantasy, plus FOUR DEAD QUEENS is the most dope title of them all.

 

Reading Next

I’m debating between THE CRUEL PRINCE and ALL OF THIS IS TRUE for my next read for ARC August. I’ve had my ARC of TCP since before it came out because I managed to trade for it, but have yet to read it for some reason. I LOVE Holly Black’s fae books though, so I’m not super worried that I won’t love this. I’m a little nervous about ALL OF THIS IS TRUE because one review I read said it kind of redeemed a character who committed sexual assault, plus I’m not okay with reading books that have sexual assault usually, so I’m a bit worried. However, it sounds like a cool thriller that otherwise would be right up my alley.

WWW Wednesday \\ 8-15-18

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

Just Finished

36812982

I was really excited to read this poetry collection because I was like BODY POSITIVITY and QUEER and BODY POSITIVITY AGAIN but…no. They were basically all cheesy love poems about clouds and stardust, the queer stuff was too subtle, and there was hardly any body positivity. The best thing about this book was the cover. I would seriously hang that cover on my wall if I liked the content better.

 

Currently Reading

As of the writing of this post, I am halfway through HONEYBEE by Trista Mateer and am about to start FOUR DEAD QUEENS. HONEYBEE is pretty good so far, though not as good as I hoped. It is also very queer and very obvious about it. I’m interested in FOUR DEAD QUEENS but a little nervous because it’s so hyped and I don’t really like thief books?? But we’ll see. I do want to read it because I am in the mood for a solid fantasy, plus FOUR DEAD QUEENS is the most dope title of them all.

 

Reading Next

I’m debating between THE CRUEL PRINCE and ALL OF THIS IS TRUE for my next read for ARC August. I’ve had my ARC of TCP since before it came out because I managed to trade for it, but have yet to read it for some reason. I LOVE Holly Black’s fae books though, so I’m not super worried that I won’t love this. I’m a little nervous about ALL OF THIS IS TRUE because one review I read said it kind of redeemed a character who committed sexual assault, plus I’m not okay with reading books that have sexual assault usually, so I’m a bit worried. However, it sounds like a cool thriller that otherwise would be right up my alley.

Top Ten Tuesday: favorite bookish blogs/websites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Apparently I’m in the mood for meme posts so here’s a TTT for a SECOND WEEK IN A ROW! shock horror.

This week’s topic is to share ten blogs or bookish websites that you like.

  1. Paper FuryIf Cait’s blog isn’t on over half of the lists this week, I’m going to be super surprised and stage a riot. How do you stage a riot on the internet? Idk but I’ll try. She is probably the most unique blogger out there, which is likely why she is so popular. She is a delightful bean and lets her personality truly shine through her posts. I love all of her posts, from her reviews to her posts about writing, which are always the best and super helpful.
  2. Goodreads. Goodreads is the ultimate book lovers site, and honestly, you can try, but nothing will ever beat it. Really the only thing I can think of to change this site that lets you organize your books by shelves, keep track of what you’re reading, rate, and review books, would be to add half stars. I can spend hours on Goodreads and it is a truly amazing thing.
  3. Drizzle and Hurricane Books. If you haven’t had Marie comment on one of your posts yet, I would be very surprised, because she is probably the most active blogger in the community, at least in my opinion. In addition to enjoying talking to her through comments on our blogs, I also just love her posts. We have similar reading tastes so I especially like her reviews, and enjoy the bullet point reviews quite a lot. She also writes great posts with blogging advice, which I find helpful even though I’ve been doing this for quite a long time.
  4. Edelweiss. This list isn’t really in order, but I would probably put Edelweiss up before NetGalley. I find it easier to browse because there are more options, I can set up my homepage so it shows recent YA books, and I can browse publisher catalogs and tag books that I want to request directly as physical ARCs or make note of ARCs that are going to be available on Edelweiss eventually. Plus, Edelweiss is where I get all of my HarperCollins eARCs, since I have had no luck trying to contact them for physical copies.
  5. The Writing Hufflepuff. Michelle is such a delightful person, and her blog is equally delightful. Her posts on writing are ultra relateable, and I love her posts that feature book aesthetics. I always feel a burst of joy and happiness when I see a new post by her on my WordPress reader or Bloglovin feed.
  6. NetGalley. NetGalley is basically where I go for all of my non-HarperCollins eARCs. Because I am a librarian and member of the American Library Association, I am now autoapproved for a bunch of publishers, which is obviously great for my blog as well because more books = more reviews + books to post about! I don’t find it as easy to browse as Edelweiss but it is faster and generally has a less obnoxious interface.
  7. Word Wonders. I consider Fadwa at Word Wonders basically the celebrity diverse book blogger of the blogging community. Her reviews are always so on point and I adore her discussion posts, both the ones she writes personally and the ones she hosts by other bloggers. Word Wonders is just such a thoughtful blog and is one of my favorites.
  8. Instagram. Bookstagram is one of my favorite things. I find scrolling through my Instagram feed so relaxing, especially since over half of it is book photos. I haven’t figured out how to be successful on it personally, but I’m having fun experimenting and like just looking through everybody else’s photos.
  9. Vicky Who Reads. I only discovered Vicky’s blog somewhat recently, but all of her posts are excellent, particularly her discussion posts. Her posts on diversity, especially those dealing with privilege, are always so well-written and eye-opening. I’ve learned a lot from her, and I really hope that other people do as well, because everything she says about diversity and privilege, particularly within the book community itself, is so on point.
  10. Litsy. Litsy is actually an app, which I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It’s basically a combo of Instagram and Goodreads, and acts as a casual book diary. I’m not as excited about it as I was when I first discovered it because I find it difficult to discover people to follow who are specifically into YA, and there’s not really a way to search for that.

 

what I would do if I didn’t blog about books

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the changing landscape of book blogging. Even though I will personally always love blogging, and will probably do it for a very long time, I can still see that book bloggers as influencers on the internet are becoming somewhat less relevant. We don’t see as many blogs with 10K and up followers anymore, and other types of media, like bookstagram and booktube, are the ones getting those kind of numbers now. I’d like to think book blogging still has a place in the book influencing world, because it’s hard to think that something I love to do so much and put so much time into might become outdated at some point.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think about what I would do if I didn’t blog about books and did some other type of book influencing. Obviously since I’m a librarian I don’t have to worry too much about keeping book influencing as part of my life, since it’s literally my career, but I like to have my own corner of the internet as well. So, sometimes I just think about what I might do if I wasn’t a book blogger.

 

lifestyle blogger

I have started enjoying reading lifestyle blogs like The Everygirl, Bustle, and PopSugar a lot more since graduating college. I feel like those are often very relevant to my life and seem to often be catered to people in my age group (mid-20s). I thought about adding lifestyle stuff to one of my old blogs, but I thought it might be too niche to have a bookish lifestyle blog.

 

instagram

I’ve often discussed my struggles with bookstagram on this blog, but I do love the idea of someday if I ever save enough money to take a class in instagramming. I think I’m kind of finding an aesthetic on Insta now, which helps, but I don’t know if I want to limit myself to just books because there are so many bookstagrams out there that are better than me. I also played with the idea of starting a bullet journal instagram, since I would always have a lot of content for it because I journal almost every day, but I am not a great artist and would probably have a very all over the place bujo aesthetic there, too.

 

youtube music channel

I’ve also been thinking about other hobbies I might want to take up. I feel like reading and blogging and writing aren’t exactly hobbies for me because I want to make a career out of them and use them to enhance the career I have, so I have been craving finding something I can do for fun that’s low pressure but gratifying. I like the idea of having a youtube channel where I write songs based off of YA books I read and do covers occasionally. I love to sing, but I’m very self-conscious about it and am not sure how good I actually am. I also don’t have a way to accompany myself, so have been wanting to look into inexpensive keyboards or synths to play around with. I used to love writing songs, and I feel like it could be fun to play around with.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me

Okay, so first of all, this post title is probably more dramatic than it needs to be because what I’m writing about is just books. It’s just books! Books are good! Books are not scary and bad and problem! At least most of the time. Also, apologies for the weird and rambling nature of this post, it’s just a lot of words and thoughts spilling out with no organization, so sorry.

Anyway, onto the point of the post: I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and, specifically, my reading tastes. I know my tastes and reading habits have changed a lot since I graduated college and specifically since one of my best friends from high school died of a rare heart condition, as I discussed in this post, but it’s just frustrating that I can’t read what I used to love reading.

I can’t read serious or depressing contemps anymore. Even if the book has nothing to do with my own experiences and I can’t find any way to relate to the protagonist’s situation, I just can’t do it if it’s depressing and serious. I get too stressed out and reading books like that caused me anxiety. I tried to read YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE by Rachel Lynn Solomon recently, and throughout the whole book I practically felt sick to my stomach because of one of the “romances” and because it was just too dark for me.

I know there’s nothing WRONG with gravitating more towards fantasy and fluffy contemps, but it just doesn’t feel like ME. I used to love gritty, lyrical, sad contemps and everything I read had to be SAD and INTENSE. Now, I just can’t read stuff like that. There are lots of books like that that I would like to read, but whenever I try to read one, I find myself wanting to DNF it because it’s too anxiety producing. Is there something wrong with me? Is it my PTSD kicking in? I know in my head it’s okay to read other things, but I just miss my old reading habits.

I don’t know if I should abandon those types of contemporaries completely for now or keep trying to get myself to enjoy them again. I know there’s no reason I HAVE to read that kind of book, but I just miss it. I miss being able to read whatever I want and have an emotional response, but not an emotional response that made me want to stop reading.

If anyone has dealt with similar experiences, please feel free to share. I am just feeling down about it lately and beating myself up for it a bit.

ARC August Plan of ATTACKKKKkk

It is already one week through ARC August and…I haven’t read a single book?? I have honestly been feeling a little book slumpy/book hungover since reading WARCROSS (I know, I’m talking about that book on literally every post this week I’m sorry I just love it so much!!) and not in the mood to read anything else, even though I have a WILDCARD ARC and so many other ARCs I could read. I just…ugh, I need a plan. A plan of ATTAAAAACCCKKKKKKkkk for ze books.

I recently started making a written record of the ARCs and eARCs I have, starting with my eARCs for this year and my eARCs that I still want to read from last year. I want to start knocking off some backlist titles as well as some titles from just earlier this year that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

So, my basic pattern plan, even though I can never stick to a reading schedule because I am a huge mood reader, is this:

2018 eARC–>2017 eARC–>physical 2018 ARC–>REPEAT!!

I am hoping this plan will aid me in getting out of my slumpiness and help me knock out a good number of ARCs before the end of August. Plus there’s Bout of Books during my BIRTHDAY WEEK in a couple of weeks and I plan to use my staycation to read the crap out of some books I’ve been meaning/needing to read.

Anyway. Here are some of the books I want to read for ARC August now with this pattern:

 

Honestly I really just want to take a break from reading for a couple weeks but I always feel so guilty about not reading. So maybe one of these books will catch my attention.

what makes a book “favorite”?

As you know from my recent review, I read and loved WARCROSS last month. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I might even call it a new favorite. Calling WARCROSS a favorite book made me start wondering what it really means and can mean to call a book a favorite book, because there were some things I didn’t like about it as well as things I loved. So, this post is all about what it means when we say a book is our favorite.

 

–you loved the book

Obviously, this is the main thing that makes a book a favorite: you have to LOVE the book. I did love WARCROSS overall, and I just had the “favorite book” feeling, so I now call it one of my favorite books.

–but I didn’t LOVE everything about it. Can the books we love have flaws?

After reading WARCROSS, I definitely don’t think a “favorite” book necessarily means the book has to be PERFECT. I thought some of the characterization of the Warcross teammates was lacking and could have done without or with more of the romance, but this didn’t deter my enjoyment of the book, and I think that’s the key thing. If you love a book with all your heart despite some flaws, it’s okay to call it a favorite! No book is perfect, frankly, so I think it’s totally reasonable to call a book a favorite even if there are things you don’t love about it.

–but it’s super different from what I usually call a favorite

WARCROSS, for me, is waaaaaay outside of the norm for my reading tastes and habits. I hardly ever reach for sci-fi or thrillers, but this book just captured me in that immediately loving the book type of way. I also think it’s very possible, probable, and totally okay for the type of book we usually call a favorite to evolve! I used to be super into dark, lyrical contemporaries, but lately, I’ve been a lot more into fluff contemps and fantasy, so books I consider favorites are changing from what they used to be, and that’s okay!

–is it okay to hold different genres to different standards?

I’ve also noticed lately that I tend to be a lot more forgiving of certain genres where I might not be with contemporaries. I think this is for a couple of reasons: I use fantasies, fluff, and non-contemp genres for escape, while I use my serious contemporaries for comfort and not feeling alone. I feel like I’m more likely to love a book I’m reading as an escape from real life more easily and despite flaws than I might for contemporary. I’ve also read more contemporaries than any other genre, so I’m a lot harsher with my critiques of them because I’ve read so many. I’m just starting to get into other genres, so I’m more willing to overlook things that I wouldn’t in contemps just because I’m enjoying the exploration of new things so much.

 

What it really comes down to when you call a book a favorite is honestly just that you love it though. A book doesn’t have to be a perfect work of art for someone to be entertained by it or cry buckets of punched feels tears over it or to make someone happier for a while. Reading tastes change and evolve, so it’s okay to call something a favorite now that you wouldn’t have a few years ago. Basically, it’s up to you what to call a favorite book, because only you know how much you loved it!

 

Did any part of this post make sense? Are you less critical with some genres than others?