So. 2019 hasn’t been the easiest reading year for me.
I know I keep saying that 2019 isn’t my best year and I know I’m not the only one experiencing this. But usually, when I have a hard year, books and other forms of entertainment will always be there to cheer me up. To transport me to another world and characters. But this year, they all have been disappointing me.
Maybe my year-long funk plays a part. Maybe it’s just me being on such a pivotal intersection in my life, that it affects my reading tastes. Or maybe it’s just a time for my reading tastes to shift.
Maybe it’s the big franchises ending with such a disappointing finale that really ruins the character arc. Whatever it was, I feel like 2019 is my most disappointing reading year ever.
Throughout the year, however, I realized several things related to my reading and in an extension, my blogging habits. Therefore, today I’m going to share with you some bookish-related reflections I have for the year of 2019.
01. 2019 YA fantasy releases are really disappointing me
I’m really sorry for all the authors reading this post. I really respect their hardwork and imagination, as a non-writer myself, it’s going to be really hard for me to write a book. Even if I’m a writer, there’s no guarantee I could produce a better work.
However, there’s just something about this year’s releases that doesn’t work for me. Maybe everything is just too flashy and trying too hard? With all the princesses and ancient magic and dragons, with all the “fire” and “storm” and “ashes” and “blood”, all promising epic fantasy full of devastation and ruin.
Except they don’t? It’s really rare the book actually fulfill to the promise of devastation, usually fell trap into barely-there world building, lukewarm plot that never took off, or cutboard character of “princesses saving the kingdom”, meeting ~mysterious~ prince and/or guards…. and ended up falling in love, totally forgot about the kingdom. This also works for other types of romance, whether it’s a prince, f/m, m/m, or f/f.
Or maybe they all just become too long? What happened to 300 pg books? Why they are all become 400 pages and above? I mean, if you have a lot of plot to explore or character to build, then sure. But not all authors can fill the space and often times, they really drag the story down.
02. Backlist books don’t mean they’re less good
Maybe because I’m really tired with all the new releases, I turned into backlist books and actually managed to finish several of my “old” series. And by old, I mean circa early 2010s, ye olden days where YA paranormal is THE genre.
Initially, I was worried that these books won’t hold up well. Brooding, possessive, alpha male and passive female character were running rampant in this era, it seems like they are present in all books! But the books I read turned out to be better than what I expected. Indecisive female MC may still be present, torn between saving their town or their supernatural boyfriend, but no alpha male spotted at all! 😁
Jokes aside, they really did hold up better than what I expected. The conflict mostly centers around keeping the ~supernatural secret~ from the towns folks, especially the mc family, while dealing with the evil threat. And the MC also deals with high school drama. After all the ~epic fantasy~ releases, it just feel really comforting to read these books. It’s like meeting an old friend, with simple and familiar plot and characters.
03. Reviews are not the most popular type of post, and I don’t really care
It is no secret that book reviews are one of the least popular type of post in the blogosphere, which is interesting since many of us started blogging because we want to share our thoughts on books with others. And maybe get recommendations.
I never really care about my blog stats so I always posted my book reviews here. But it’s really obvious this year, where I mostly post reviews as I didn’t have time (nor in the right space) to think about any blog post ideas. I’ve been posting more reviews than the previous year and it’s pretty obvious that my blog stats just plateau.
Does it feel nice? Of course not. I mean, I don’t care about the stats but it’s nice to have a discussion regarding the book instead of being glossed and skipped immediately because the posts are book reviews.
But in the end, I realize that I don’t really care because I enjoyed writing these reviews. Sure it doesn’t bring a high stats or engagement, but it feels nice to get some of your opinions out of your head. And who knows, maybe it can help people avoid/find their new favorite books- which is why I created this blog in the first place!
So those are some of the thoughts I have for 2019! Tell me, does any of you feel the same? Or does anyone experience genre shift or read more backlist books too this year?