Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013 - Day 2 Part 2 - Genre Fiction

Day 2 of Armchair BEA is about blogger development and a genre discussion about fiction. I've already posted about blogger development.

Genre Fiction

What draws you to a specific genre? Do vampires, zombies, or witches float your boat? Or, do you prefer the heat of romance? Recommend your favorite genres and/or books and help build reader TBR shelves a bit more!

Truthfully, I like many genres. When it comes to fiction, the most important thing for me is that the book make me feel. If I can get wrapped up within the emotion behind a book, it doesn't matter what the genre is.

My love for reading got re-sparked after reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. At the time, I hadn't read anything like it. And I was surely surprised to find myself in love with a "vampire book." But this single vampire book not only re-sparked a love for reading for me, but it started a new love for paranormal fiction. I read every vampire book I could get my hands on after reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. But that soon branched out to werewolves, witches/wizards, faeries, zombies, angels, demons...any other supernatural or paranormal creature I could think of. I once tried to explain this to my husband by telling him that paranormal fiction just adds an extra layer of conflict to the story.

Zombies from my paranormal fiction reading led me into post-apocalyptic, and I quickly became fascinated by all of the ways that society as we know it could be brought to dust. And with that came thoughts and wondering about how humanity would cope and survive. While I used to shy away from scary movies, somehow I find myself in love with all things zombie related. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan was the first zombie book I ever read, and it changed my world. Of course, a zombie outbreak isn't the only way for the world to go to pot.

From post-apocalyptic, I moved into dystopian. What if the world didn't quite end, but it just wasn't really ideal either? Dystopian is the opposite of Utopian, which is an ideal world. I can't say for sure, but The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first dystopian that I remember reading, and yet again, the possibilities of writing and books and stories seemed to grow even more.

There isn't exactly a segue from dystopian to contemporary that makes sense, but I found myself reading a couple of books that just sucked me in emotionally and spit me right back out. Those books told me that I didn't need creatures that aren't real, the end of the world, societies falling apart, or anything "extra" to make a book into a great story. What I need is basic human emotion, that is real, and deep, and powerful. There are some contemporary novels that have turned me into a blubbering mess more than any other book or genre.

Of course, there are many other genres that I read occasionally, but not all of the time. I.E. sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, mythology, etc. But the common theme through all is the emotion behind the story. What's the use of an epic world created by the author if there's no emotion within the characters? What's the use of surviving the zombie apocalypse if there is no hope? What does is matter if vampires exist if there is no fear and no perfect love to cast out fear? What does it matter if society is in ruins if the characters who live there don't experience love? And that's what it all boils down to for me.

My favorite books from the genres mentioned above:

Paranormal: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Post-apocalyptic: The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, Deadlocked by AR Wise

Dystopian: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; Divergent by Veronica Roth

Contemporary: Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, and Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry,

Fantasy: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin

Sci-Fi: Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Partials by Dan Wells

Historical Fiction: Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Persuasion by Jane Austen

What are your favorite genres? What draws you in to one specific one? Let me know!

24 comments:

  1. Learning of your reading journey from Twilight to a vast variety now was quite an interesting one. I also learnt of a few books to look in to as I've been thinking of exploring paranormal/supernatural fiction some more.
    BEA is coming up with some great discussion topics.

    My Book Bubble

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much Jade! Paranormal used to be the only genre I read. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love dystopian, and Divergent is on my to-read list. Soon. I promise. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love how you wrote this post. Your transition from one genre to the next makes perfect sense! I wonder if that's how I've gotten to love all the genres that I do. I would have to go back and think about it but I think it probably is. You named off all my favorite genres that I wrote about :) You read The Wolves of Mercy Falls?! I haven't noticed anyone else that has read it besides me. I loved the series! I still haven't read THE SCORPIO RACES or The Raven Cycle series by her yet. I think she just published the next book in the latter series. Have you read those yet? I really want to read PARTIALS! I heard it was really good. I'm still kind of iffy on the historical fiction genre but I really enjoyed MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan.

    My genre post

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great point on books that can make you feel! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Emma @ Words And PeaceMay 29, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    I maybe an alien myself here, lol: I have never read Twilight!

    I enjoy a lot HF; one reason being I enjoy the way an author builds a story on an important background job of serious and accurate information. so in that sense, I enjoy the mix of reality ans fiction

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ashley @ Wholly BooksMay 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Oh my gosh! We had the exact same experience! My love for reading was resparked after watching and then reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer!! Also, you have some amazing books listed above!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahhh I'm waiting for my copy of Grave Mercy from TBD!! I have been dying to read it! I also just got Vampire Academy & City of a ones! Can you tell I'm making it a mission to read as many series as I can this years.! Lol ;)
    U have gr8 taste, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so glad that the world is creating more and more fans of Post Apocalyptic fiction. I loved Forest of Hands and Feet. Once June is Audiobook Month is over, my weekly Post Apocalyptic feature will be back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm happy to hear that one book managed to help bring you back to the reading world!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pamela/BadassRomanceMay 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    What a wonderful post. I am happy to be reminded that I want to read Grave Mercy! I'm new to Armchair BEA, mostly read historical fiction and romance but this week is inspiring me to branch out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh yes. Divergent is a must read! I hope you can get to it soon! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's the only way for me. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my! How have you not read Twilight? You must rectify this! But yes, you make some good points about historical fiction! So true! Thanks for your comment!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love it when I find a kindred book spirit! Nothing beats that! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Grave Mercy was much better than I was expecting. I hope you enjoy it when your copy arrives! And I'm so glad you enjoyed Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments. There's definitely nothing wrong with reading as many series as you can! Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh yes...it's a genre I never thought I would like. My husband actually picked out The Forest of Hands and Teeth for me. We went to the book store and he announced that he was going to pick out a book for me and I didn't get any say in the matter. I LOVED it! I'll have to come check out your Post Apocalyptic feature when you start it back! Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I highly recommend Grave Mercy! I hope you enjoy it! I definitely think that it's worth branching out sometimes. You never know what you might like! I hope your first Armchair BEA experience is going well! And thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! I bet if you look back that's exactly how you've moved from one genre to the next. I've definitely read The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I've actually read all of Maggie Stiefvater's published work as far as I know. Will be scooping up The Dream Thieves as soon as I can! Definitely I recommend Partials as well. I haven't had a chance to snag the sequel, Fragments, but I'm hoping I'll get it for my birthday coming up! I haven't read Maid of Secrets. I'll have to keep my eye out for that one. Thank you so much for your comment and for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Twilight was one of the first books that got me into reading! Same with City of Bones, except it's not really a favourite of mine anymore, it feels like it's dragging on waaaaaaaaaay to long. I really liked Shiver as well, and Divergent... and The Fault in Our Stars... haha. Oh and Pushing the Limits. Awesome choices! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Cassandra Clare and I have been on a roller coaster of a journey. I love one of her books and the next in the series...not so much. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  22. It was much the same for me, Sandy: Twilight completely took me by surprise in how much I loved it (I read it before it became popular, which may have helped), and led me to two years of reading loads of paranormal romance as well as YA. I think in a way it changed YA too - after Twilight, publishers not only started looking for more of the same, but they put more effort into promoting and marketing them too. They have such pretty covers now! So different from before (and the YA that was published when I was a teen in the mid-late 90s had the daggiest covers!).


    Genre labelling does tend to bring out my pedantic side, though - Brontë and Austen didn't write historical fiction, they wrote contemporary fiction - for their time! You must have included them in your post on the Classics I'm sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. We definitely have some better covers these days than we used to. That's for sure. As for the genre labeling...I think that's a lot more subjective than we sometimes think. I definitely included them in my classics post. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete