In keeping with the theme of my blog, I decided to start bringing you updates of the newest and greatest bookish addictions in my life so I can share with you some awesomely bookish things or discuss if maybe we share the same bookish loves. It seemed like a great way to get a little discussion going in a very relaxed way.
This Edition’s Bookish Addiction? Fantasy. The RIGHT KIND of fantasy.
I always used to think I didn’t like reading fantasy. With the exception of Harry Potter (because come on… It’s Harry Potter), I was convinced it was just a genre I wasn’t ever going to LOVE. I tried reading LORD OF THE RINGS and it just never caught me. Everyone loved Julie Kagawa’s THE IRON KING but it just wasn’t for me. I had basically given up on fantasy unless it had involved wizards.
When I started blogging and reading YA, I gave fantasy a few more tries. THE IRON KING was one of them and I got more and more settled in my ways. But then I picked up GRACELING by Kristen Cashore thanks to some suggestions from my fellow bloggers and I LOVED it. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo convinced me that I was not giving fantasy a fair shot — I mean, amazing world building AND magic galore. This was totally what I loved! I just hadn’t figured out which types of fantasy I should be going after and which were not quite for me. I finally started figuring out the type of fantasy that I enjoyed and it’s somewhat specific: I enjoy mostly high fantasy with a medieval-type feel. Books that helped me realize this? GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers, RIFT by Andrea Cremer (I had not read any other part of the Nightshade series), and then finally, picking up George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for #SOIFRA.
I’ve figured out I don’t like a lot of fantasy that deals with different kinds of “creatures”, especially in modern times. For some reason, all of my fantasy needs to feel somewhat historical. I guess I don’t believe that it would happen in present day? I’m not totally sure how my brain even works… But my fantasy has to be somewhat… believable, despite the fact that it’s fantasy. I can wrap my brain around magic, spells, and some creatures like dragons but when it comes to fairies, elves, and hobbits, somehow I’m just not buying it.
I also love fairy tale retellings. THE LOOKING GLASS WARS by Frank Beddor was one of the first fairy tale retellings I read, followed by CINDER by Marissa Meyer and TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I already have the basis for those stories in my head since these are the stories (and Disney movies) I grew up with. If things start to get a little fantastical there, I basically already have a general idea and concept that the book may stretch my imagination a bit more than I’m used to.
The one exception to ALL of these rules was DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. Chimaera? In present day? Totally not my thing… But Laini Taylor did such a great job with this book that I really ended up loving everything about it! I was really transported into this world and somehow it all felt totally real to me. I guess sometimes I just have to throw my rules out and trust some recommendations!