Putting Aside My Favorite Genre?

Most of you already know that fantasy is my favorite genre. It’s my love. Which is why I dedicated this blog to the speculate fiction I read. Sometimes I take a break for a romance review, or a non-fiction one, etc. But I always circle back to my main genre: fantasy. And lately, that hasn’t been the case. 

In October so far, I’ve read 1 fantasy book. In September I read 2 -aside from some of my Harry Potter re-reads of course. That’s ridiculous for me. Especially because while I’m writing this, I’ve read 20 books during that time -17 not including the Harry Potter ones. I can’t explain why I haven’t felt like reading fantasy as much as I otherwise do. 

The past few weeks, I’ve been in a mystery/thriller mood. The weeks before that, it was romance. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with expanding your genres, I’m not saying that. But I feel at times like I’m letting you guys down. I feel like, if you follow my blog, that’s because you love the books I usually read. Fantasy. And by not reading that genre, or speculative fiction in general, I’m letting you all down. 

It’s not that there are no fantasy books I’m excited to read! There are so many I want to pick up. Especially The Wise Man’s Fear, The Desert Spear and No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished. I’m really excited to read those! Yet I can’t seem to pick them up? 

I don’t want to let you all down. 
I want to tell you about all the amazing fantasy reads out there. 
I want to discover more amazing fantasy books. 
I just can’t seem to do so right now. 
I hope you’ll bear with me, while I go through some other genres. 


Have you ever gone through a period where you’ve stepped away from your favorite genre? Have you noticed the lack of fantasy here, or am I just making it up? Let me know! 

Why I Find It More Difficult to Rate Romance Novels

If you read my blog posts regularly you might know that while I do focus mainly on fantasy, I tend to break up long periods of fantasy reading with NA/Adult romance reads. If I’ve read too many heavy fantasy books in a row, I need a change of pace. Romance books tend to give that too me. They are easier, and much faster, reads -in my opinion. But while I almost always feel confident in my rating of fantasy books, I often doubt my ratings of a romance book. Why is that? 

I just want to make clear that this is not a romance-bashing post. I’m not at all saying they are an inferior genre. Please bear that in mind! I do love to read romance books 🙂 

ROMANCE BOOKS DESERVE AN HONEST RATING BECAUSE…

…they are also books. Just like any other. This really shouldn’t even be mentioned. But I feel like a lot of people tend to look down on the romance genre. That’s ridiculous. Why would a romance book by any less worthy of a rating than a general fiction or fantasy one? There is no doubt in my mind that they deserve an honest rating. Yet I find it much more difficult to decide on what that rating should be, than with other genres. 

IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO RATE THEM BECAUSE…

  • I don’t know which aspects to base my rating on. With fantasy books, I rate on the world, the plot and the characters – but what do I rate on with romance books? Should I rate on the chemistry? How the people treat each other? The side characters as well? I have no idea. The plot usually revolves mostly around the romance, so you can’t say much about that without giving anything away. 
  • I find it much harder to give them a 5 stars rating. What is the perfect romance? Does it exist? I know this is kind of a hypocritical point, because there is also no such thing as the perfect fantasy. 
  • Because romance is something a lot of us can relate to, I tend to judge it more harshly. It’s easier to rate a fantasy, because the world and everything is made up and you can’t relate to living in it. But a romance I can relate to! So it needs to be more realistic and that definitely makes it harder to create/read the “perfect” romance. 
  • What if I missed something really problematic, and I recommend the book? With romances, I can sometimes get caught up in the chemistry and the quick read. And at times, that leads to me overlooking something really problematic that happened in the book. What if I recommend a really problematic romance to others? 
  • Often there is a bad start to the characters meeting, and so the main male character can come off a bit rude. I love the banter, but I don’t think being rude/acting like an asshole is okay. There is no reason to ever act like a dick. Ever. 
  • Maybe I’m even a little bit afraid that people will judge me. There, I said it. People tend to be really judgey when it comes to romance. And while I think that’s completely unfounded, I don’t want to be judged at the same time. 

So maybe I should just start looking for a completely separate way to review the romance books I read! You know I use world-plot-characters for my fantasy ones. Why not use 3 other aspects for my romance reads? I’ll definitely stick with characters. Maybe add chemistry? What else could I add?

Reading Slump or Reading Meh Books?

Today’s post is the result of my reading habits in the past month. I usually never pick up more than one book at a time -unless one of them is non-fiction. However, I now have 4 books on my currently-reading shelf. That really happens only once or twice a year. As you can see, I’m reading 4 books: 

Knipsel currently reading.PNG

I first started reading The Emperor’s Knife (Knife & Tower #1) by Mazarkis Williams at the end of June. I’m not that far in, as you can see because I wasn’t really feeling it at the time. So I put it down. Then, in the middle of July I left for Turkey and didn’t take it with me. So it’s been on my currently-reading shelf for over a month.

On vacation, I started reading Shadow of the Raven (Sons of Kings #1) by Millie Thom. I received this book for review ages ago. It sounded really great: about Vikings, Danish raids, kingdoms conquered and families torn apart. Sounds pretty epic right? But I’m halfway through and not really committed to it. I’m not invested in the characters. The only character I was invested in was Eadwulf, but at the middle-point of the book, I just don’t understand his actions anymore. Plus, I feel like this book is so long! It’s nowhere near as long as the books I usually read, yet I felt like I’d been reading for ages and only got to 50%. 

Because I wasn’t feeling Shadow of the Raven, I decided to start The Tiger and the Wolf (Echoes of the Fall #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky while I was on vacation. I’m quite far into this one, so it wouldn’t take me all that long to finish it. Yet I don’t feel compelled to do so. I quite liked his other book, Empire in Black and Gold, but this book makes me feel so purposeless. I don’t know what the point is of the plot so far?

On Monday, I had to take the train to Brussels. And I was thinking which book I wanted to read on my way there. And I didn’t feel like reading any of the previous three. So I decided to start The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This one, I’m really enjoying. I’m advancing quite fast while reading, which is surprising for a non-fiction book. 


So here’s what I’m asking myself. Am I in a reading slump? Or am I just reading books I think are average?

Maybe I’m not enjoying/finishing the books I’m reading because I’m in a reading slump. That has happened to me before. When I’m in a reading slump, I can’t seem to commit to a story and finish it. So maybe that’s the reason I have 4 books on my currently-reading shelf. But if I really think about it, I do feel like reading. That’s not usually so in a slump -at least for me. That’s why I’m thinking it may not be a slump? I do want to read. That’s proven by the fact that I’m really into the Happiness Project and read about 100 pages yesterday evening. 

So maybe I’m just not impressed by the books I’m reading. I’m not really captivated by the first three reads, and therefore never really have the motivation to continue. Maybe it’s because to me, they are quite “meh”. You know? Those books that aren’t bad, but aren’t amazing either? They don’t really jump out at you. That’s how I feel about the books I’m reading now. They aren’t bad, certainly not. But they don’t feel special to me either. I’m not really attached to the characters, which means I’m not that motivated to find out what happens to them at the end of the book. 


Have you ever had this problem? Do you think I’m in a reading slump, or is it just the books? I feel bad DNFing Shadows of the Raven because it’s a review book. What do you think?

On Giving Authors a “Second Chance” | Inspired by The Infernal Devices

Today, I’m writing a kind of different post for you all. I guess you could say it’s a discussion post -or maybe it’ll just end up being me rambling about authors and series to you. As you can see from the title, I was inspired to write this post after finishing The Infernal Devices trilogy, by Cassandra Clare. 

Here’s the thing. I have never made a secret of the fact that I am definitely not a fan of her The Mortal Instruments series (pictured above). I’ve only included the covers for the first 4 books, because those are the only ones I’ve read. I was really put off by this series (although I quite enjoy the TV show), and I feel like that’s mostly due to the characters. I didn’t connect to Clary, Jace or Simon. I wasn’t invested in their story. I felt like it was too dramatic -honestly, how many horrible/weird things can happen to two people?? Overall, I’m one of those people who feel like this series should have ended at book 3. 

I’m sorry if you love this series, but that’s just the way I feel. Now, flashback to 2013, when I read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, the first book in her Infernal Devices trilogy. 

I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed the first book in this series. Yet I heard/saw a spoiler in a BookTube video on part of the ending (although it wasn’t all that much, now I’ve read it for myself). After that spoiler, I didn’t feel like continuing the trilogy soon. 

After reading that book, and deciding I didn’t want to continue soon, I read some pretty amazing books. 2013 was the year in which I picked up reading again. So when I thought about continuing the trilogy, I was hesitant. Here’s why. 

“I didn’t really like her TMI series -the drama, the characters, etc. And I’ve read so many amazing books since, my reading standards have increased so much. So I probably won’t really like the trilogy now. Plus, I already know that spoiler I saw…”

Those were my reasons for not continuing. Plus the fact that reading her books is so confusing. There are so many books and novellas set in the Shadowhunter world. IN WHICH ORDER DO YOU READ THEM? 

But then this thought crossed my mind. 

I really couldn’t care less if someone spoiled me for the ending of The Mortal Instruments. I’d kind of like to know how it ends, but I can’t be bothered with reading them. Yet I would be upset if someone spoiled even more of the ending of The Infernal Devices for me. 

So if I’d get upset at a spoiler, I must still be interested in reading it. Last week, I decided to give it a go, and pick up Clockwork Prince. I’m so glad I did. I ended up absolutely loving the story line and characters. In fact, I was invested enough to continue immediately with the final book, Clockwork Princess. 

Having finished this trilogy today (Sunday 29.05), I’m so glad I gave Cassandra Clare another go. True, her TMI series is not for me. But that doesn’t mean none of her books are -even if they are set in the same world. I ended up absolutely adoring the characters. I laughed, I was angry -and I even go watery eyes. I will remember some of these characters for a while to come, especially Jem. 

Yet here is my problem. I want to try and read more of her work, but don’t know where to start or what to do. For example, I don’t want to read TMI. Yet I need to know how it ends. I love Magnus, but I dislike the other TMI characters. So should I read The Bane Chronicles? The Shadowhunter Academy novellas? Lady Midnight? The only thing I know for sure, is that I’ll probably give the adult books she is going to write about Magnus a try. I do love Magnus. 


Have you ever given an author whose work you didn’t enjoy a second try? If so, did you end up enjoying it? Which author was it? And of course, if you have any advice on what to do with my issue on which of her books to read mentioned above, help me! 

Why I Don’t Understand The Term “Young Adult” Anymore

I have been thinking about this topic for quite a while, but I haven’t really made a post about it. I guess I was afraid people would take this post the wrong way? I want to say that I am not bashing YA books, or its readers. I read books marketed as YA often too, so I have absolutely no problem with the books themselves. What I do have a bit of an issue with, is the fact that it’s named YA (young adult). Hear me out. 

Apparently, according to the American Library Association defines the YA category as aged between 12 and 18. That is absolutely ridiculous to me. I would classify that as “teen fiction”. However, I guess that doesn’t sound as great? To start my reasoning as to why this should be called teen fiction, I’ll show you some definitions. 

AdultA person who is fully grown or developed or of age; a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law.

That right there says it all. A young adult is in fact an adult. A person who recently became an adult. To me, this should mean that young adult should be categorized as 18-25 (or so). Because that’s when you are of age, in the eyes of the law, and you need to start making the most important decisions of your life. 

You decide what you want to study. Which job you want. How to apply for jobs. How to live on your own. How to do the washing without shrinking or dying anything by accident. How to stay organized. Basically, how to adult. You need to learn all these things, because before you were most likely living with your parent(s). 

Being a young adult is about figuring out things on your own. And I know that high school can be a lot of work and stress. You won’t hear me deny that. But it’s NOT the same thing! Don’t get me wrong, but in modern society, there isn’t a single 13 year old who would be classified as a young adult. Gone are the days when you are an adult at 13 because you are married off at that age. You can’t do that anymore, because it’s against the law. Why? Because you are still a minor, and thus not an adult. 

I am now 21 years old. Although I’ll be turning 22 in September. I am about to graduate university. I have to start looking for jobs, and afterwards, a place to live. If I move countries, I’ll have to figure out all that paperwork. When I read a contemporary YA book, I want to read about women and men who are going through the same things. Yet I never can while reading YA, because that has now turned into teen fiction. 

Please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against what I’d call teen fiction. It’s just so frustrating to me that the only times I can really read about someone my own age in contemporaries, it’s in a “new adult” book. I  like new adult. I do. But it’s usually about dramatic relationships and sex. Why can’t we have the YA topics too? We are also trying to figure out our lives! 

I am going to stop now before I write 10 pages. I’m just so angry about feeling forgotten. The adult fiction usually stars people from age 30-35+, and young adult barely ever reaches 18. Where are the 20-somethings? What do we get? 


What do you think about this? Do you feel like the categorization is right, or do you think teen fiction is a better word for it? 

Should I Read the Synopsis First?

Today, I’m going to talk about a topic I’ve been having mixed feelings on: reading the synopsis before starting a book. I both feel like I have to, and feel like I shouldn’t have afterwards. Let me explain.

I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BECAUSE…

IT’S THE BEST WAY TO KNOW WHETHER A BOOK APPEALS TO YOU. Let’s be honest, most of the time when I read the synopsis, I can tell whether this is a book I’ll enjoy or not. Sometimes, I can tell by a few sentences in the synopsis that I won’t enjoy the book because of some tropes. How else would you be able to tell? Not from the genre alone, because there are many fantasy books I won’t enjoy. 

IT HELPS ME PICK A BOOK TO READ AS I’M A MOOD READER. I’ve discovered that the best way to figure out what I want to read at the moment is to read the synopsis. Then I can tell: Oh, I feel like reading this today. I guess I could remedy this by reading the first few sentences of a book?

I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE STARTING A BOOK IF I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IT’S ABOUT. This applies mostly to epic fantasy. I guess because there is so much unknown when you read an epic fantasy book: the characters, the world and so on. So I feel like with that genre, I need a foothold. I need to know at least SOMETHING before reading, otherwise I feel so lost in the first few pages. 

I FEEL LIKE I SHOULDN’T BECAUSE…

IT’S SO EXCITING TO JUMP INTO A STORY WITHOUT PREJUDICE. On multiple occasions, I’ve been a tad disappointed in a book because I was expecting something different due to the synopsis. For example, the book Raven I recently read and reviewed. The synopsis mentioned that Raven was a reaper, so I was imaging some Supernatural-style being that shows up to the dying to guide them. But in fact, it was more like an assassin with morals? I feel like I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t known that. 

IT CAN REVEAL WAY TOO MUCH. I absolutely despise reading a book and waiting for something I know will happen, to happen. Did you understand that? It seemed like a confusing sentence. But at times, I’ll read the synopsis which states: this character goes through this situation. What will happen? And then I’ll be 50% in the book and the situation still hasn’t occurred yet! DON’T PUT IT IN THE SYNOPSIS THEN! It drives me mad. Is it really that hard to keep a spoiler out of 1 paragraph?


Do you agree with my viewpoints on reading a synopsis? Do you read them, or not? I’d love to hear about it!

Can I Change My Rating, Or Should I Re-read?

Today, I have a question for you. Or a discussion? I guess that depends on how you look at it. I keep Excel files on my reading, because I like to feel organized. So last week, I was really happy to see that I had managed to review every single book I had read in 2016. Isn’t that great? I reviewed everything! The euphoria and pride was out of this world. But then I opened a different Excel tab called “books to review from 2015”. Yes, I had 28 books I read in 2015, I had never reviewed. I wanted to take on the challenge and start writing reviews on those too! Then I encountered a problem… 

I didn’t agree with my ratings anymore.

For example, the Falling Kingdoms series. I read book 1-3 last year, but never reviewed them. When I looked at my ratings, I gave them a 4.5, 3.5 and 4. Because at the time, while I didn’t love them, I did enjoy them. However, when I think of them now, I consider them more 3 to 3.5 star books. Here’s where my question comes in: can I just change my rating, or does that warrant a re-read first? Here are some of the arguments. 

I should re-read first because…

As it’s been a while since I read them, I am only basing this on memory. But what if I just forgot a lot of stuff I enjoyed? What if time distorted my view, and I really did enjoy them that much? I feel like I should re-read them because it may be unfair to rate a book simply based on distant memory. 

At the time, that seemed like the right rating for them. So without re-reading, how can I really say that I’m 100% sure I’d enjoy them less now, or rate them lower? I can’t be 100% sure of that. 

Basically, it feels like the only honest way to change a rating. How can I base it on a distant memory, or say that I believe I’d feel differently now? 

I shouldn’t re-read first because…

Let’s be real, I don’t have time to re-read each novel. I’m hesitant about quite a few of my previous ratings, but I simply can’t find the time to re-read them all.

Even if it’s distant memory and I can’t be 100% sure, if I can sum up reasons as to why I’d change my rating, shouldn’t that be enough? Let’s keep with the Falling Kingdoms example. Now, I think that it wasn’t really that captivating as I have no burning desire to continue the series. I found some of the characters boring, and others creepy -and not in an interesting way. Overall, I think it is massively overhyped -although it’s definitely not bad (don’t shoot me!). Shouldn’t all those reasons be enough to change my rating? I don’t feel like re-reading them all, just because I believe I wouldn’t enjoy them as much. 


So, what do you think? Should I re-read first? Should I just change it? Should I mention in the review I’ll write that I’ve changed my ratings? Make a comparison between just-finished-rating and a-year-later-rating? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and maybe you could even help me out of my dilemma.