Let's Talk: Books You've Read Because of Other Bloggers

Friday, June 28, 2013




Let's Talk is a 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, if any, have you read only because a blogger's review convinced you to? Did they live up?

From day one of this blog, I professed my utter aversion to contemporary fiction, so to any blogger that has convinced me to read a contemporary book - major kudos to you! But seriously, before I started blogging, I would have read anything BUT contemps. I avoided them like the plague. Thus, my blog was definitely skewed towards the paranormal/fantasy realm (though it's been shifting lately, eh?) It took some coaxing, but some awesome bloggers definitely opened my eyes to what contemps have to offer.

This one simple book is what changed it all for me. Seriously. I'm being dead serious when I say this, and I'm pretty sure my review states as much. I was convinced to read this book by Linds, who used to blog over at Bibliophile Brouhaha. She and another great blogger, Nic, arranged an international tour of this one, and it absolutely blew my mind. The power, the raw, raging emotion, the subtle backdrop which almost serves as a character in its own right all work together to create a book that just exceeded all of my expectations. 

Kirsty Eagar rocketed to the top of my favourite author list simply because she managed to bottle human emotion and created a book that was neither trite nor cliche, but rather pulled me into the world with the characters and let me experience it through their eyes. Of all the books that bloggers have recommended to me over the past three years, this remains the most prominent standout. I tout the merits of this book every chance I get, and I say this...if you don't like contemps but you want to try to...start here. Start with Raw Blue. You won't regret it.

This isn't the only book that's been recommended and succeeded for me though either. I read the Summer series by Jenny Han thanks to the coaxing of Ginger from GReads. I actually finally read Anna & the French Kiss because I figured if Jenny from Supernatural Snark loved it, it had to be good. There were some letdowns, too, of course. For example, I read Incarceron by Catherine Fischer, and I was so lost that I had to set it aside and take notes. Those recs are definitely in the vast minority though.


28 comments:

  1. OMG IT'S AN AUSSIEEEEE BOOKKKKK! heheheeh being a proud Aussie and all, I'm THRILLED this book blew you away<3 But...I'm also ashamed to admit I've walked past this book in my local library/bookshop innumerable times and never bothered to stop and check it out :'(. *sigh* But I'm hoping to catch up on all the amazing Aussie YA everyone has recommended- INCLUDING THIS ONE- very soon :P

    AND YAY YOU READ ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS<3 It was soooo adorable! :))

    Lovely post, Melissa<3

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    1. READ IT, SHIRLEY! You have to! Do it, do it, do it! Peer pressure is good in this scenario ;)

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  2. I will hold my hand up here and say I've never read this! Nor have I yet read the Summer series or Anna and the French Kiss! :( I do quite enjoy contemps and have found a few that I love beyond belief, but I can still be wary of them from time to time. But as you said, if someone really loves a certain one and wants to shout it's praises from the roof tops, I am always open to trying it!! :) It might just be my next favourite book and I definitely don't want to pass that up! :)

    Great topic Melissa!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you need to read ALL of them, Hannah! They're fantastic. All of them. I promise!

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  3. I bought copies of Raw Blue and Sweet Evil due to yours and Jenny's fangirling. ;) Haven't read either of them yet though (ooops!)

    Small Review alerted me to Tighter by Adele Griffin (Which I LOVE!)

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    1. Hehehe I think you really need to read Raw Blue, Leanna! You'll love it. I just know it! :)

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  4. WHOO, glad it's an Aussie book. Aussie contemps have sonething special about them. Weird but trueeee. One major book I read under friend recs was Vampire Academy. It wasn't as good as I expected though.

    Great choice, Melissa! <33

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    1. So true, Melanie! I've said it a million times, but I think there is something in the water in Aussieland that makes the contemps so dang good ;)

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  5. I read Anna and the French Kiss off of blogger recs. The cover and title sounded dumb and I wouldn't have picked it up on my own. And I loved it of course. I read Incarceron pre-blogging. I did like it a lot. But I was quite disappointed with the sequel Sapphique.

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    1. I'm with you on Anna, Alison. I would never have read it by myself!

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  6. I'm STILL not a huge contemp YA fan, though I do read it. And emotion-filled books are the kind I usually avoid like the plague but this one...yeah. I totally get why you're all about it.

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    1. I'm so the opposite haha if I'm reading contemps, I want emotion, rather than fluff. That's why I love blogging. We're all different ;)

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  7. Bloggers are so great and I find so many new books to read and authors. I picked up the Downside series ( terrible). I also found out about Barrons and black Dagger Brotherhood ...I know all adult books. I would have picked them up unless the blogger were talking about these series. Now I need to read vampire academy.

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    1. I was pleasantly surprised by Vampire Academy, Julie. I thought it was a really fun series!

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  8. Bloggers are constantly making me read books that I would never pick up by myself. Jasprit at the Reader's Den and I share similar tastes when it comes to books, so whenever she's reviewing a book and giving it 5 stars, I'm adding a book to my tbr. Most of the time they live up to my expectations.
    It's funny how you despised contemporary books and now all of a sudden you are devouring them! Ah! The power of book bloggers! :)

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    1. Seriously! I mean, contemps are still WAY hit or miss for me, but I never you used to try them at all! :)

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  9. I am definitely influenced by other bloggers. I am reading books all the time that I never expected to read, contemporary is definitely on that list as well. I love paranormal, fantasy, dystopian and ZOMBIES. Never thought I would like a contemporary romance book as much as I've enjoyed some recently. I do get burned out faster on the contemporaries, but there are some out there that I have really fallen in love with - White Trash Beautiful, and the Ten Tiny Breaths series, for example.

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    1. I get burned out on contemps a lot, too, Toni, but some are really, really good!

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  10. I definitely read Raw Blue because of Linds as well Melissa! SO GLAD she was so emphatic about it, I just couldn't say no to her and it was one of my best book decisions ever. And you convinced me to read The Long Weekend which ended up being AMAZING and I can't thank you enough for encouraging me to give it a try. Such a good book.

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    1. I'm so glad you read The Long Weekend, too, Jenny! I loved that book...it's awesome :)

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  11. I def read Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because of you! And so many more. Lol.

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  12. I agree completely - I read so many good books thanks to other bloggers. In fact, ALL the Aussie books I've read are because of other bloggers, who I'm so grateful to because Aussie books like Raw Blue are just the best! :D

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  13. I keep meaning to read RAW BLUE - but that book is so ridiculously hard to find! I'll probably end up purchasing a copy online one day. The SUMMER series! I forget which blogger convinced me to check that out, but I'm glad they recommended that series. Such great books!

    Fabulous post & topic :)

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  14. Sounds like a really good book if it blew you away so much! Sounds like I need to get a copy of this!

    New follower via bloglovin, GFC, Twitter and Goodreads!

    Tina @ Pagesofcomfort.blogspot.com

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  15. I never would have picked On The Island if it wasn't highly recommended by so many bloggers. And it did ended up being the best book I read last year. I love how open we all are to trying new books and I'm so glad that you are enjoying contemporaries. Great post, Melissa!

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  16. I read this one thanks to some GoodReads reviewers and friends and it remains one of my all-time favorites. There's something so honest and raw about the story and the writing.
    I owe another Goodreads friend eternal gratitude for talking me into Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy... that one quite literally changed my life.
    There have been recs good and bad, but like you, I know who to listen and it usually ends well.

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  17. Dang I know there are several that were but I can't think of any at the moment. I love bloggers and they are basically my sole source of recommendations because I know who tends to agree with me and who tends to disagree.

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