I was tagged by the marvelous Grey to do the Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag. First, thank you to them for the tag! I completely forgot this tag existed, created last year on BookTube. The semester is currently at that weird point where things are winding down yet I feel like I’m missing something so the stress is piled on high.
It also doesn’t help that one of my professors gently suggested my papers are not quite up to par with the graduate level and recommended I visit the writing center. With a play and a Bachelor of Arts in English under my belt, that is the closest to a kick in the crotch I’ve ever gotten. But I still got a good grade on the paper, so I don’t know why it was bugging me so much. So what’s my solution? Book tags!
On to the Out of My Comfort Zone Book tag!
A book that is an exception when it comes to genres or elements in books that you don’t typically like.
Despite that the majority of what I read is fantasy, I do enjoy contemporary novels. Although, I tend to lean towards the ones with more serious topics. Rarely did I reach for ones focused only on a romance. Then, I heard about This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. It promised to be a romantic contemporary about a teenaged girl learning to live again after receiving a heart transplant.
After not hearing such great things about the author, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. But the transplant and the magical realism elements (she starts having dreams about the death of the boy whose heart she received) ultimately drew me in. Surprisingly, what kept me reading was the romance. The relationship was adorable and healthy, with lots of communication. Sadly, something you don’t see a lot in young adult novels.
A book you enjoyed from a genre you previously held some stigma about.
I am not a fan of nonfiction. I find it dry. I might have enjoyed one or two memoirs I read for school, but I definitely would not reread them. This semester, I took a literacy services class. To prepare for our visit to a prison library, my professor wanted the class to read True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. The novel covered the early years the author volunteered as a creative writing teacher at a youth correctional facility. I liked it more than I expected. He covers a lot of different issues inside the prison system and how society has treated these prisoners even before they were locked up. There was a lot of gray area in between the black and white, too. True Notebooks made me consider looking into more nonfiction.
A book you didn’t know was actually our of your comfort zone until you started reading it.
I didn’t realize Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was out of my comfort zone. Science fiction is a genre I could never quite figure out if I liked, or if I only liked some books instead of others. Normally, I enjoy books written in different formats, like how Illuminae is. However, I realized with science fiction, the only way I might be able to get anything out of it if it’s written in prose. Otherwise, the scientific jargon will go right over my head. Unfortunately, because of this, I won’t be continuing with the Illuminae Files series. I didn’t enjoy Illuminae as much as everyone else seems to.
Pick a friend or BookTuber that motivates you to pick up books you might not normally be interested in. What is one book out of your norm that they convinced you to give a try?
As I mentioned previously, science fiction is a hit or miss for me. Brandon Sanderson is an author I have been interested in reading for a couple of years, yet I had no idea where to begin with his books. His most recent release, Skyward, was the Booksplosion group’s last read of 2018. The way Kat, Jesse, and Christine talked about it, how it was fast-paced and about pilots battling aliens, somehow drew me in. They weren’t wrong either. I enjoyed it way more than I expected.
A book that is out of your comfort zone that you would like to read.
Over my winter break, I checked out The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare from the library and, naturally, didn’t get around to reading it. The novel is an adult historical romance about a seamstress, who marries a tragically scarred duke after his fiancée leaves him at the altar. In exchange for a comfortable life, the seamstress agrees to marry the duke and produce an heir for him. But things don’t exactly go as planned.
I always look at those cheesy mass market paperback romances with amusement. After reading Meg Cabot’s Ransom My Heart, I had no interest in further reading of the historical romance genre. But I have heard many good things about Tessa Dare as an author. And, since my own love life is significantly lacking at the moment, I’ve noticed I am slowly becoming more and more drawn to romance books. Not that the books help much.
A book or genre so out of what you normally read you’ll probably never give it another chance.
Easy: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I read this before starting my blog, while I was still in college. I got it out of my school’s library, to read and review for the library’s Facebook page. Jeffrey Eugenides is an award-winning author, yet Middlesex made me extremely uncomfortable. I barely even remember what it was about otherwise. I’m not entirely sure I finished it, either. All I know is I have absolutely no desire to give it another chance.