Let's Talk: Books That Intimidate Us

Friday, May 31, 2013




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What books have intimidated you in the past & what (if anything) made you read them or deterred you from trying?

This is a multi-part question, and I meant it to be that way because I think all of these things go hand-in-hand with one another. There are so many books out there on the shelves these days, it's an impossibility to even consider trying to read them all. So, instead, we find what works for us and what doesn't, and we develop our own relationship with reading and reviewing books. In most cases, this works beautifully. In some cases, however, I know that my preconceived notions have deterred me from reading incredible books.

Take, for example, Raw Blue. From day one of my blog, I made it pretty darn clear to all my followers that contemporary fiction was not my thing. I was firmly under the impression that all contemps were trite, cliche and riddled with stupid romance that is neither realistic, nor in any way beneficial to me as a reader. So, I adamantly stuck to my guns for over a year, and swore off contemps like the plague. Guys, it's not that I hadn't seen absolutely glowing reviews for this book because, trust me, I did. However, I was so stuck in this rut of bad representations of a really strong genre that I couldn't see past it. 

It actually took an invitation to a blog tour of this Australian gem for me to actually give it a go. I trusted the blogger who invited me, and I knew that she wouldn't have misled me about the quality of the novel. And, for the record, I was probably the most pleasantly surprised that I've ever been. This book is up there with my favourites of all time. It's meaingful, it's powerful and Kirsty Eagar is a true genius. This one should be on ALL of your lists. Please trust me on this one.

I'm ashamed that I still have prejudices towards the genre to this day though. Would you believe I still haven't read Anna & the French Kiss? I read the second installment and found it cute and fun, but I'm too terrified to be the only person that doesn't like the book to actually give it a go. I know I should read it, but I've yet to find a reason to actually force myself. Would you believe I was late to the game with Harry Potter, and I didn't even read the first book until three books were out? I was convinced that it was a children's novel only, and that it was beneath me. My sister convinced me to at least try it, and I humbly ate my words. That series is genius. GENIUS, I say!

But, for the most part, if bloggers and reviewers I trust make a strong enough case for me to try a novel, I'm willing to give it a go. I think that, more often than not, it's my own internal literary prejudices that, sadly, deter me from reading some great books. It's a disease. I'm working on it. Le sigh. 

19 comments:

  1. I used to feel the same way about contemps! More specifically, Sarah Dessen books. I just felt like the whole genre was going to be one giant cheese fest, but I was wrong. Lately, some of my favorite reads have been contemps!

    Right now, though, it's not a genre that intimidates me. It's any book over, let's say, 350-400 pages. They're just so...big. I just bought Game of Thrones, and my goodness, I want to cry every time I look at it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! More people that understand my initial hesitance to read contemporary! I've only read one of Dessen's books, but I was pleasantly surprised. I DEF understand reluctance to read massive books though. It's painful!

      Delete
  2. I absolutely loved Raw Blue too Melissa, it was just so heart breakingly beautiful. I'm usually one of the last readers to jump on a bandwagon, I'm always a little wary when it comes to books which have received a lot of hype. Like recently everyone I knew was devouring up The 5th Wave and it typically wouldn't be my sort of read, but a few weeks later i decided ti give it a go and I'm so glad that I did. I guess I'm just a little worried that I would end up like a little black sheep. Thanks for sharing another great post with us Melissa! I really adore reading your Lets Talk posts! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't it absolutely wonderful? Kirsty Eagar is a genius. I think I'm like you though - I fear being the black sheep that just doesn't get the hype haha I'm so glad you enjoy these posts, Jasprit! I always worry about babbling too much lol

      Delete
  3. I was the same way about contemps. I still have not read as many as I want to and because of you, I have so many on TBR list on GoodReads. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha you're welcome ;) blame the other bloggers, Ashley! they influenced ME!

      Delete
  4. I've never read anything by Sarah Dessen. I've also not read any of the Harry Potter books. However, I don't know that books really intimidate me. I read so much and so many books are on my TBR list, both on GoodReads and Amazon. It makes me wish I knew how to speed read, especially since I don't retain what I read anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on Sarah Dessen, but I do think you'll enjoy Harry Potter! One day, trust me ;)

      Delete
  5. I started with paranormal but then got bored with the same vampire storyline. Contemps have been my favorite and I get why you would feel them being repetitive, but me being a hopeless romantic and all, I'm never bored of them.I still haven't read HP, I feels very middle grade. Maybe someday I'll pick it up. The genre that intimidates me is dystopian because I feel like I'll tired of it if I read it too fast. But I did bought the 5th wave recently and I'm very excited to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on the paranormal storylines, Aman! I keep hoping for more excitement and a refresher to the genre. I think sci-fi is taking its turn though haha

      Delete
  6. OH, I totally declared that contemporary fiction wasn't for me on Day 1 of my blog too, but now I read so much of it! I think one of the best things about the blogosphere is that people are so passionate about the books they love and their passion makes you curious enough to go and pick up that book. And for me, a lot of those new books have been contemporary, which I am so grateful for. I love Raw Blue and Anna and the French Kiss was literally the ONLY contemporary book I'd read before I started blogging. Now, there are so many of them on my shelves! Great discussion, Melissa! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really couldn't agree more, Keertana! I think that it's wonderful when bloggers love books so much that they can share that passion with others and influence their book choices, too! That's how I've discovered some of the best contemps!

      Delete
  7. Love this post, I can totally relate. For me, it's not just genre or length but sometimes I get intimidated by covers too, although I'm not quite sure why! Hey, I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet either! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha I get intimidated by covers, too, Alise! I'm such a cover slut ;)

      Delete
  8. I've felt the same way about Anna and the French Kiss. Everybody has been raving about that book, but the hype scares me off. I feel like I'll be the black sheep and not like it. And for awhile, I also steered clear of contemporary books. I was all about fantasy, paranormal, whatever. But now that I've read more of this genre, I've realized how much I've missed out. I still LOVE fantasy above every other genre, but I have a greater appreciation for contemp. And I really want to read Raw Blue so I'm happy to hear you loved it. Beautifully written, Melissa! Sorry I babbled there :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Courtney! I think you'll love Raw Blue. It's nice to meet fellow bloggers who understand where my contemporary aversion came from haha and trust me...you didn't babble at all!

      Delete
  9. Hey Melissa and Courtney-I don't like Anna and the French Kiss and I've found some others who don't like it so if you end up not liking it either, you're not alone!

    For me, I tend to be most intimidated by classics but I find they're more manageable when I read them with other bloggers. Doing something in community gives me more confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Contemporary is probably my favorite genre. I haven't read Raw Blue, but it sounds like something I'd really enjoy, I think :)
    Anna & the French Kiss is wonderful, you should pick it up! (I read Lola... as well, but that book was just okay to me)
    But back to the topic, I have a few prejudices and biases as well. Especially towards (high) fantasy. I think it's because fantasy worlds never excited me much. But I read The Lord of the Rings and absolutely loved it. Also, The Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows now. So yeah, maybe I shouldn't write off the whole ya fantasy genre, just because I had a few bad experiences :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. It makes me happy that you gave the Harry Potter series a chance! It really is a series that's well done, with a story that's magical and wonderful and AWESOME.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover