Armchair BEA day 2: Favorite Genres

Posted May 29, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 39 Comments

The genre chat for Armchair BEA is fairly introductory today, but I’ll go ahead and restate the idea found on the Armchair BEA website:

The book-ish focus will be 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!

I learned early on in life that I’m a pretty indecisive person. I can make quick decisions when it’s absolutely necessary, but on the whole, I have trouble deciding what I want or like. As such, it’s much easier for me to say what I don’t like: I don’t like the color orange, I don’t like vampires, I don’t like sour candy, I don’t like romance novels, etc. HOWEVER, I will try and talk about some of my favorite genres.

I’ve been reading mostly YA in 2013, so most of these titles will fall in that!

Favorite Genre 1: Action! Adventure! Fantasy! Science Fiction!

I’m just coming around to the idea that I might actually like science fiction, but I’ll include it anyway. Some of my favorites include some pretty well-known ones, but I’ll try and vary it a little:

The Hunger Games
Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings

I feel these are all pretty well-known, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

WHY is this not more popular? I don’t understand. It’s Dystopia at it’s best, horrifying and chilling and heart-stopping. It can be hard to take, but it’s SO WELL DONE!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I’ll admit I’ve only read the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, but that’s because it left me so emotionally spent I wasn’t able to move on to the second right away. These books=amazing.

Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer(part of the Lunar Chronicles)

The first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, both of which are must-reads. Marissa Meyer has managed to do something that’s become rather overdone(fairy tale retellings) and spin it in an amazing direction with science fiction elements.

YA Contemporary

I’m not sure why, but I’m really not a fan of Adult contemporary. I’ve only read a few, and disliked every one I’ve read, but I’ve really begun to come around to YA contemporary the past year, and here are some of my favorites:

Smart Girls Get What They Want 

My favorite “light” contemporary read. This book is fun, but it’s also incredibly witty with characters who are refreshing.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Break my heart, why don’t you. I’m not normally a “near-death” or “death” experience reader, but what really drew me to If I Stay was Mia, the main character. It’s rare that I connect with a main character SO strongly.

I’m not always the best at recommending books, but those two genres have become my favorites lately! I’m also a big fan of memoirs, but my fingers are telling me to stop typing at this point, so perhaps that’s a topic I can tackle another day?



39 responses to “Armchair BEA day 2: Favorite Genres

  1. Albert Fripp

    I’m mostly drawn to books with characters that I can relate to and feel a strong emotional bond with. As such I tend to read a lot of the coming of age genre. They also take me back to my youth which I remember so little of so it brings a lot back to me. The best coming of age novel I have read in the last year has been Max Zimmer’s Journey. A teenage Mormon boy in the 60’s pursues a life playing the jazz trumpet. He idolizes the greats of the jazz scene at the time and wants to be part of it. Something that doesn’t fit well with his family and religion with issues of racism and bigotry. It’s the first in a trilogy and I’m really excited to pick up the next one. Insightful and inspiring stuff.

  2. It really is easier to say what you don’t like, I completely agree. I find that with genres and when I actually read a book.

    Unwind… my friend has been trying to get me to read that for so long! I definitely want to, just haven’t had the chance. And omg you have to finish the Chaos Walking series! Yes, totally emotionally spent after each book but oh so worth it. I threw the first book at a certain scene because I was so mad. I wonder if you could guess. lol 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my post!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  3. I usually stay far away from any book that sounds like a tearjerker, but so many readers had loved If I Stay, that I decided to give it a try. I ended up loving it, as well as Where She Went. Cried my way through both, lol.

  4. I love all the books you posted above. Just my style. Especially Unwind.. that book is amazing. I am behind on reading right now.. trying to get this re-read of the last Harry Potter read!

  5. Lindsay

    I am going to go get all those books! Knife of Never Letting Go and Unwind have been on my want list forever – I’m so happy to read that they are fabulous. It’s nice to “meet” you!!

  6. YES! I love meeting people who love similar genres. I think that might be my thing with adult contemporary too. Like when I read an adult contemporary book, I can’t relate to the relationship at all, and while I’m older than a teenager and the relationships in YA don’t mimic my CURRENT relationships, I at least have that experience and can relate. Unwind is SOO good. If you love Dystopians, especially!

    • Glad to know I’m not alone in my color dislike, haha. Smart Girls Get What They Want definitely impressed me. It was light & fun, but well-written with great characters too. I’m sure it’ll be a frequent re-read for me.

  7. Unwind definitely does crosses over to horror. I don’t generally like horror, but I stomached it for the story. I hope to never read anything more horrifying in my life, though!

  8. Same here! Can’t go wrong with either one of those books. And Unwind is probably *the* best YA Dystopian I’ve read, other than The Hunger Games(and even then, it’s a close call in my book).

  9. If I Stay’s quite emotional, good when you need a cry, but SO worth it. And I hope you LOVE Scarlet. I thought it was even better than Cinder, which gives me a lot of hope for the series as a whole.

  10. Haha, I’ve totally recommended books I haven’t read before. I think it comes w/ blogging and just being so overwhelmed with bookish knowledge all the time. The Knife of Never Letting Go is intense, but GOOD.

  11. My journey to sci-fi has been slow too–I’m definitely into sci-fi lite right now. I think I like sci-fi when those elements help advance the story, but not necessarily when the Sci-Fi is the CENTER of the story.

    • Gayle Forman has that style of writing that can seem simple on the surface(not very flowery pose), but has so much depth to it, which I think is why I love her books.

  12. Kelly

    The Chaos Walking trilogy literally took out my heart and ate it for breakfast. My nerves were fried for a few weeks after finishing it too – just SO good!

    I never considered myself a big sci-fi fan, but lately it seems like I’ve liked a lot of it so maybe I am!

    • I haven’t finished the Chaos Walking trilogy yet because of that very reason! I feel I’m not emotionally prepared for it.
      The sci-fi thing is definitely recent for me, within the past year. It seems there’s been a lot of good YA Sci-Fi that’s made me really appreciate the genre.

  13. Christine P

    Can I just say, after stopping by for the very first time, you and I are one in the same person. Action, Adventure, dystopians, sci-fi. FAVES! And I’ve tried the whole adult contemporary thing and didn’t make it half way through the book. Even though I’m 21 now, I still feel like I’m young and relate so much better to younger people. Reading about 30 somethings going through relationship problems seems like it’s a conversation I shouldn’t be involved in. Is that weird? I wish I could explain it better. But yes, contemporary YA all the way! I’ve never heard of UNWIND before. You make it sound really good, though! I’ll have to go check it out and add it to my TBR list. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 New follower!

    My Genre post

  14. I wholeheartedly approve of your first four choices in genre category #1. As for Unwind, I read it but it was simply TOO disturbing for me. I think it not only toes the line between dystopian and horror, but crosses over it at many points. Although I can see its merit, it just wasn’t the right book for me, especially when I’ve been able to find so many other thought-provoking books about similar issues that aren’t quite as horrifying. I really need to get on reading both Scarlet and The Knife of Never Letting Go! Some great picks here, Stormy!

  15. I love how you included Unwind. That scene… still gives me the chills. I think the case with Unwind is that it was the right novel published at the wrong time. Can you imagine how much buzz this novel would have gained had it been published during the current dystopia craze?

    I really want to read The Knife of Never Letting Go. It came recommended by so many people, and yeah I guess I’ve heard that it’s quite emotional, but I don’t mind emotional books.

  16. Lexxie

    I have both Unwind and The Knife of Never Letting Go on my TBR – I might just have to make sure I read them sooner rather than later! I love a good dystopian – and Unwind was written well before it was fashionable to talk about dystpian literature 🙂

    I agree, sometimes it is easier to say what I don’t like than to say what I do like… I’m so easy to please 😉

    Thanks for stopping by my Better Blogger/Genre Fiction post earlier.

    It’s nice to get to know you!!

  17. Harley Bear (@HarleyBearBooks)

    I don’t like orange either lol. I liked Cinder too. Haven’t read Scarlet yet, but I will eventually lol. I have If I Stay, but have been nervous to read it because I hear it’s so emotionally distressing lol.

  18. I bought my sister The Knife of Never Letting Go on a whim and she hasn’t read it yet, but I’m glad you liked it! At least I know I have good taste in books I know nothing about, haha. The only ones on your list that I’ve read are Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games — looks like I’ve got some more books to add to my to-read list! Great picks 🙂

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