2019 Bookish Reflection

 

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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?Β 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.

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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.

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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?

tasya


16 thoughts on “2019 Bookish Reflection

  1. This is such a great post and honestly one that I needed. I think I really enjoyed more contemporaries this year instead of the fantasy ones, and I definitely agree. It can be super comforting to reread or pick up backlist books. Just because they’re a few years old, doesn’t mean they’re any less good. It can also be disheartening sometimes to see that our reviews receive the least engagement, but this is when I have to remember that it’s one of the primary reasons I started blogging in the first place!

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  2. I love this post! You touched on a lot of great points. This year I only read one 2019 release. Otherwise, it has been all backlist books for me and it’s been awesome. I love finding old gems that I never got the chance to read before. I also agree with you, was well as Tiffany’s comment on reviews. I started my blog to share my thoughts on books with others and to have discussions over them. Although it is sad to see not many people being as into them, I also still love writing them!

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  3. I love this post! This year wasn’t the best reading year for me. I read 100 books, which is a personal record, but I had quite a few disappointing reads. YA fantasy was a big disappointment for me and most of my anticipated releases let me down. I can totally relate to your third point.

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  4. I so agree about the 400 page books! And the fantasy genre has been disappointing too. I’ve taken to checking the page numbers before requesting because I’m not up for 5 books at 400+ pages each. I’m willing to give under 400 page books more of a chance. And I’ve actually switched over to a more heavily review centered blog. It’s what I have time for if I want to keep blogging.

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  5. I definitely agree about book reviews doing quite bad compared to my other posts. Unlike you, though, I’ve been feeling like writing anything but reviews, basically through the entire year, so I’ve barely written any reviews, haha. I’ve had a lot of great ideas I was so much more interested about than reviews.

    I’m sorry 2019 wasn’t a good reading year for you, Tasya. 😦 I struggled a lot, as well, and didn’t read as much as I had in the previous, idk, six years?

    I’ve gone back to backlist books a lot, as well – I especially love series, because I can rush through the whole thing instead of having to wait for the sequel to come out. Also, I agree about this year’s releases – a lot of the hyped fantasy books were super-disappointing to me. I did have more luck with new adult romance releases – those tended to live up to my expectations! πŸ™‚

    Great post! πŸ™‚

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  6. I’m so sorry that this reading year has been a little difficult for you, but I’m happy to hear that the older series you needed to finish ended up being better than you thought they would, that’s always a nice surprise, isn’t it πŸ™‚
    And I understand what you mean with reviews, they’re certainly the less popular kind of blog posts everywhere, but as long as you enjoy writing them, that’s what matters the most! πŸ™‚

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