On Reading Outside of Your Genre

So I don’t have really *one genre* that I read.  Like you know how there’s some people who will read only romance, or only mystery, or only literary novels?  I read a little bit of everything. BUT. I do have those genres where I think, Nah, I don’t think I’d EVER be interested in reading that.  That book would bore me to tears.  That’s really not my type of book.  One of those?  Westerns.

Ok but this cover is SO GORGEOUS, right??  I bought a hardback simply to stare at this cover.

Hence, the other day when I saw that Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman was on sale on Nook for $1.99, I wasn’t too hyped about it.  I’d heard of the book before, but had no interest in reading it.  It’s a Western, so I figured I’d find it boring, or weird, or just not my style.  For reference, here is the blurb:

When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

If you, like me, read that and thought, Yeah, that’s not me, then STOP RIGHT THERE.

That’s exactly what I thought, especially after reading that it’s written in dialect (I have Huckleberry Finn flashbacks LOLOL).  But I bought the book anyway, because it was recommended by an author I like, and I’ve heard of this book, and it was only $1.99.

I finished reading the book in less than 24 hours.  I haven’t done that since before I started my full-time job!!  I seriously could NOT put this book down.  I was 500% immersed in the world from beginning to end.  And it made me feel so incredibly refreshed when I finished.  Definitely caused a book hangover.

I guess what I didn’t realize was that I really needed a book with a morally ambiguous heroine.  A book where the bad guys got what they deserved.  I’ve been looking for perfect escapism books ever since the election, and THIS was a perfect one.  Exactly what I needed.

So I think I’ve learned not to write books off right away just because I think they’re not my type.  Because sometimes that book I thought I won’t like could be just what I need to read at the time!  (Like, now I’m wishing there were BAJILLIONS more YA Westerns because I NEED MOOOOORE.)  (Also Erin Bowman says she’s got a companion novel to VR set for release next year so YOU KNOW I’M EXCITED.)

I’ve seen this cover a billion times and I only JUST NOW noticed that it’s a bird’s eye view of a guy in a cape/coat jumping from one city to the next.  Excellent observation skills of mine.

My next not-my-normal-thing read is an adult fantasy called A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.  I don’t think I’ve read an adult fantasy before, simply because I don’t expect them to have romance (I’ve mentioned I’m a sucker for a fantastic romance, right???)  So we’ll see how it goes.  😀  I’ve read two YA books by this author before (writing as Victoria Schwab) and I enjoyed them!

Anybody else ever taken a step outside of their genre and realized they loved it??


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