When Your “Go-To” Isn’t Your Go-To Anymore

changing reading interests

 

If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I am a VERY eclectic reader of all genres but my most favorite and go-to genre has been contemporary YA for the majority of years I’ve had this blog (PS. this blog just turned 6 — come celebrate!).

To be fair, when I first started blogging I didn’t read much YA at all but then I fell in all-consuming love with it and especially contemporary YA. If I did a pie chart of all the genres I read most years I’ve blogged, leaving out this year and last year, the overwhelmingly big slice of the pie (you know, the one that you’d want on your plate) was contemporary YA. I was still an eclectic reader but definitely my go-to and most read from genre was contemporary YA.

 

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I needed a timeout from the filters back when I took this pic…eeep. MY EYES.

I was ~known~ for being the contemporary YA girl. It was my thing for quite a few years. Sure, I still read other things but the genre that I was finding all my new favorite reads was in this genre. I was just finding so many WINS when it come to the genre and I knew what I was looking for within it.

Lately my relationship with contemporary YA seems a little off. Firstly I’m not feeling super drawn to as much of it as I was previously. I’m finding myself picking other genres more than I used to because I’m more excited about them and not a ton of contemporary YA synopses are screaming for me to pick them up the way they used to (aside from previously loved authors — those I’m still screaming for!).

Secondly, I’m just not loving them as much as I used to. MOST of the ones I’m loving seem to be new books from authors I’ve already read and loved. I mean, I’ve READ some really good contemporary YA from authors I’ve never read (like one of absolute faves of this year — The Serpent King) but when I’m looking over my list of books I’ve read in the past year or so I’m seeing I’m rating contemporary YA lower than I ever have before.

Am I falling out of love with it? Am I just not reading the right ones? Am I being more picky or critical? Am I just in a phase of wanting to read other things? Maybe it was a phase of being super into that genre and now I’m moving on to something else? Maybe I read too much of it and am burnt out? Maybe I’m going back to my more eclectic ways from back in the day when I didn’t have a favorite genre? I don’t really know what the cause of it is — particularly because I’m really craving contemporary stories but just not as many YA ones.

I’m not panicking or anything because I’m reading good books and I don’t let reading be a stressful things. I always follow my reading whims wherever they take me so I’m interested to see how it all evolves but it’s just strange to feel like a genre is the genre of your heart and then suddenly it’s just another genre to you. I feel like I don’t know what I’d say anymore if asked what my favorite genre was. Before it was easily a emphatic CONTEMPORARY YA despite all the other genres I read and loved.

It’s so strange for me, truly. But, like I said, I’m still reading and LOVING many contemporary YA books, no doubt about that, it’s just that I’m not falling in love with as many of them like I used to and I’m finding myself drawn to other genres over contemporary YA.

PLUS I’m really having a good reading year so it’s wise to always listen to my reading whims and moods and not worry about it.

So I’m curious:

Do you guys have a go-to genre or no? Have you ever fell out of love with your go-to genre? Got burnt-out from reading it? Do you go through phases of different genres? Tell me how your reading fluctuates! I’m really curious!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I also consider myself a contemporary fangirl because it’s my been my fave genre since always. It’s hard to imagine it not being my go-to genre, but with so many good books out there to read, I wouldn’t get caught up in that, but I certainly would notice, like you have! I am burnt out on the girl meet boy thing though. Pretty much every contemp you look at has that formula and it gets to a point where I’m like, enough already! And that’s saying something because I love romance, but it’s been done to death. So these days I am looking for that little extra something. I always gravitate to mystery/thriller when I’m in a slump. I think it’s due to the fact they’re normally well-written, fast paced and compelling, which is what you need when you’re in a funk!

    • Yes exactly where I’m at! I’m not too caught up in it because I’m reading great things but it’s definitely not slipping my notice!!

      YES I think that I’m getting bored of the formula so the ones that stand out really have to grab me….and, like you, saying that as someone who loves romance in books!!

      I’m really finding myself reading a lot of fantasy and adult contemporary stuff these days.

  2. Contemporary YA USED to be my go-to genre… but then I just kind of needed to escape real life, so I turned to YA fantasy and I’ve been sticking to that for the most part. I’ll read a contemporary YA if I need “cleansing” between books, but meh haha.
    THOUGH I WILL JUMP ON A MORGAN MATSON BOOK AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT.

    • YES I’ve been finding myself leaning to fantasy a lot too! I still read a good amount of contemporary YA just not as much as before.

      AND SAME. Pretty much any of my fave contemporary YA authors still delight me so much and I’m excited and loving theirs!

  3. My go-to genre has always been fantasy but I have phases where I read a ton of it and phases where I just don’t. A lot of fantasy doesn’t appeal to me so much, these days, and especially YA fantasy so I think it’s totally normal to have moments where your go-to genre or author isn’t getting you out of a reading funk. I think, also, that Contemporary YA has changed SO MUCH over the past three years. It’s been a lot less summer-time romances or road-trips which can be really light and easy to read and more of a serious type of contemporary that deals with suicide or depression or mental illness or LGBTQ issues. And I think that’s AMAZING and fantastic but I also miss being able to pick up a Contemporary YA novel and have a cute romance, a la Anna and the French Kiss, and just become invested in someone else’s life for a few hours. I think that still happens, but much more rarely. Anyhow, I’m glad you’re still having a fantastic reading year, Jamie! 🙂

    • Maybe I’m just going through a phase!! *crosses fingers* It’s just so abnormal for me because it’s been pretty consistent as a go-to for all these years. Or maybe my tastes are changing.

      I do think absolutely contemp YA has changed. Though I will say I typically read the ~darker~ and sad books anyways haha. Obviously I do love a lot of lighter ones that are romance-y and you are right…they are harder to find. If you haven’t read The Unexpected Everything I highly rec that. Also I think with contemporary YA there is SOOO much of it these days..it’s like a ~trend~. I remember when I first started blogging it was high on the paranormal and dystopian back in 2010 and I started getting mass mailing packages from Harper and there would be like 1 or 2 out of like 15 books that were contemporary and now I open the packages and honestly the majority of them have been contemporary for the past year or so with some fantasy thrown in.

      And thank you! I’m trying not to be alarmed about this weird reading taste change but I have noticed it! Helps I’m having a good reading year so I’m not panicking too much haha

  4. I actually am having the exact problem at the moment, except I seem to be falling in love with Contemporary YA and out of love with YA Fantasy. It’s usually because I’ve read a lot of books within the genre and have just burned out reading them. There are a few that I’m excited about, but other than that, no sparks flying whenever I pick up a fantasy book… I’ll probably get back to really loving fantasy after a while, it’ll just take some time. In the mean time, I have no problems with reading other genres! 😉

  5. I bet most people go through this kind of thing. Tastes change over time, nothing wrong with that! It’s probably healthier to just go with whatever your gut is telling you to read, rather than trying to stick with only one genre and getting totally burned out on it, right?

    • Yep that’s the plan! I tend to not force myself to read stuff so I will continue on with my reading whims…just interesting to see a change in my reading taste/seeing that maybe my favorite genre isn’t currently my favorite anymore.

  6. I’m totally with you! I’ve always loved all genres but YA was my sweet spot, especially YA with a little romantic story involved whether it be contemporary or otherwise. But lately I find myself getting annoyed with a lot of the teenage romance. It just seems a lot more… Immature? Lately. It’s probably because I’m at a stage in my life where love is a lot more complex than “omg is he like about to talk to me?!” (Married with a kiddo) but books I loved before are starting to lose that same charm for me. It’s such a bummer because YA is sooo fun to read, but I’m still reading a lot of incredible books this year and I can’t complain! And there are some YA authors that are better at writing more mature romance too which is nice!

    • No I feel the same way!! I still get a ton out of Ya books and find them so relevant to me but lately as a 30 year old married lady I’ve been craving more adult stories than I ever did before bc I want to find myself and my struggles in the pages of those books too. But same…no regrets about my reading year even though I do feel weird about my favorite genre maybe not being my favorite genre anymore!

  7. My go-to genre has been Adult Fantasy for many years now but lately I’ve started branching out. I’ve been getting more and more into historical fiction and mystery, not to mention dipping my toe into YA Fiction lately. I used to hate and despise YA because of its endless tropes, but I decided to give the genre another shot last week and picked up six YA books (most of them being YA Fantasy).

    It’s good to mix things up a little bit from time to time. Limiting yourself to one genre can get very boring.

    • I started out reading only adult fic and then gave into YA and went full speed ahead!

      And yes! So agree. I think that’s why I never burnt out on it in all those years bc I was always reading other things in the mix even though contemp YA was a huge chunk of what I was reading. So it’s so interesting that I just feel like I’m falling out of love with it! Maybe my tastes are just changing or I just need a break! Who knows!

  8. I think everyone goes thru phases but also books themselves do too. Remember when vampires were EVERYWHERE? Then it was dystopian, then ya contemporary. Now something new is on the horizon. Not sure what it is yet, but it does seem to be shifting. Like someone said above, there are a lot more “serious” contemporaries now, so maybe that’s it. I read all over the place too and have gotten a little burned out on the summer fun books this year. So when I do, I pick up a classic or an adult fiction or maybe a graphic novel. You don’t have to be stuck in one genre forever, that’s what makes us Readers with a capital R! 🙂

  9. I have always been a fantasy girl. Used to be that I’d get my fantasy fix from the adult section of the store because YA fantasy just wasn’t really a *thing* back in the day. (Lordy, I’m so OLD, yo!) But then I discovered urban fantasy, and that trickeled over into YA and I was loving all these books that gave me as much joy as watching the BUFFY tv show. Only then all paranormal YA started to become so…cliche, predictable, repetitive… every time I’d try a new author the novel sounded like something else I’d already read by another. I became extremely burnt out on YA novels, and I’m still having trouble getting back into them. I LOVE that there are way more fantasy options in YA now and they are closer to the “real” fantasy I’d read from the other part of the store. Less focus on finding TRWOO WUV and more adventure, sword fights, dragons, magic.
    I was never a contemporary fiction fan. It takes a lot to get me to read contemps, and more to enjoy them. I have some favourite authors (Melissa Walker is one), but otherwise… I started reading way more MG magical fiction because it had what I was looking for without the added love triangle, need to find love, romance stuff. I don’t mind romance in the book, but to me a fantasy novel is NOT about the romance, it’s about the questing and adventures.

    Oops. Rambly comment. SORRY!!! (But this rambly comment is one of the explanations as to why I stopped reading so much, and then stopped book blogging altogether.)

  10. I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with contemporary YA. It’s just my thing. But that said, I admit that I’m a LOT pickier about what I put on my TBR. Not every contemporary is my thing anymore…and I think that’s just because YA has diversified so much – there’s a lot more contemporary than there used to be…and just a lot more in general.

    I did start my blog in a haze of dystopian, and now I’m just kinda sick of it, so I think it’s just phases.

    Lately, I’ve been loving romance and what used to be called chick lit. I think this might be the whole “new genre” thing, though, where I love everything I read because I haven’t really delved into it. Do you feel like that with some of your new genres?

  11. I love Contemporary YA, but I’d have to say my favorite genre has always been YA Fantasy. However, I’ve noticed that unless it’s an auto buy author, I’m gravitating more towards Adult Contemporary with a YA feel, Like Sophie Kinsella’s books! I think I’m just getting older (I’m 24) and I like to see Contemporary done with problems that I actually face now, like disliking my job, wanting to get married, etc. I love a good YA contemporary, but I’ll admit I don’t pick them up as much as I used to.

    India
    YouTube.com/booksandbighair

  12. I was all about the dystopian genre for a while (like three years) but it seems like everything that comes out of there now is just a carbon copy of something else with a bow tied onto it. So instead of reading NEW dystopian novels, I’m just reading the ones I’ve really enjoyed over and over again! I also have a couple other books that I just continuously read that I’m surprised have lasted the test of time (aka 15 years). It’s interesting to see how tastes change! And I’m sure you’ll learn to love YA Contemporary again!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    My reading habits fluctuate CONSTANTLY. I’ll go from high fantasy to a biography to YA dystopian, with some random psychology books and short stories thrown in the mix. It’s insane. I’ve always been a mood reader, so I may start reading a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while and realize that I just can’t do it right then. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. I’ve got a couple of books that always kind of reset my moods, and they’re mostly fantasy. The Name of the Wind is always good (so beautifully written, it just makes me love words again), as is Harry Potter (reignites that childlike love of reading anything and everything you can get your hands on), but sometimes all you can do is bingewatch a show and not touch a book for a while.

  14. My go-to genre is either YA contemporary or YA Fantasy. But mostly contemporary. I have the same feeling as you though but I don’t think it’s either the books or our tastes. I think we’ve been spoiled by so many amazing YA Contemporary books lately that it’s natural for us to, unintentionally maybe, become more critical of them. What would get 5 stars from me three years ago, probably won’t read 3 anymore if I read it now. Katie McGarry’s books and Colleen Hoover’s books are prime examples of that for me. So I think it’s just a matter of us having higher expectations and higher standards whenever we pick up a book. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. 🙂

  15. I’m a Contemporary YA girl, but I know what you mean about going through ups and downs with it. I think it’s more the romance section of contemporary that gives me the most problems because it follows a “formula” much of the time… and I hate reading “formulas”. Like the “fake boyfriend” “formula”… it’s SO hard to find a fake boyfriend book that isn’t EXACTLY the same as every other fake boyfriend book. That’s why I tend to stick to darker YA Contemp. Like the Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock’s of the world. And I’m also on a mission to find the perfect YA Mystery. I know it exists and I will find it!!

  16. Thirty-year-old married lady falling off the YA bandwagon club? I’ve found my people! I also want to agree with Bee above – I started adding caveats to some Goodreads reviews that if I was younger, it would have rated higher or rating it against what a younger me would have thought.

    Here’s what I discovered – and some of the other commenters have alluded to it, but I want to make it a bit more explicit – as my life calmed down (finishing grad school! getting a better apartment! my husband getting promoted!) and my marriage improved (marriage is hard, guys!), my desire to read YA waned. I’ve never really escaped into SF/fantasy – I’ve read it to tell me about the world we live in. YA was always a more effective escape for me. Now that my life is in a place that doesn’t need escaping from as much, I’m reading a lot more non-fiction, SF/fantasy, and some chick lit.

  17. My favourite genre is fantasy, and that’s all I used to read. I never used to read contemporary AT ALL, and yet I’ve been reading quite a lot of it this year. That and historical fiction. I feel like I just go through moods with genres, whether they last a week or a few months!

  18. My go-to is definitely YA contemporary! Most books I read are YA contemporary and the other day, when I was looking at my library TBR pile, I realised the majority of the books I had chosen to read were contemporary. HOWEVER, lately I’ve been in the mood for fantasy/sci-fi as I’m feeling bored reading about reality! 🙂

  19. Ugh YES. I’ve gone through this before, many times! I’ve gone through genre phases before, like adult and Christian fiction in high school, and then getting really into dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories during my early years of blogging (college). But then those genres have phased out, and I find myself not reaching for them as much as I used to. I’ve finally been cleaning out my Goodreads to-read list because it has been out of controoool, and a lot of dystopian/paranormal/post-apocalyptic books just haven’t appealed to me that much. I keep thinking, didn’t I read a story just like this? LOL. I also read a lot of NA in those early years and noticed I phased it out quite a bit last year. But I’m reading more of it now, and planning to for the rest of this year, because I miss it.

    I also do really love YA contemporary too. I didn’t used to, but I’ve read so much since blogging. Usually if I’m having a bad day, a fluffy, full-of-bantery-goodness contemporary YA will hit the spot. But my go-to has always, and will probably always, be fantasy. Mostly YA. I’ve found that adult fantasy is almost always a complete miss for me. Anyway, I don’t see that ever phasing out, even if I take breaks from time to time because it all starts to blend after awhile and that affects my reading experiences. Which reminds me that I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary/romance lately too, so I’m due for a good binge with fantasy books! 😀

  20. Usually YA fantasy/sci fi is my go to, but lately I’ve been really disappointed/unimpressed with what I’ve seen at Barnes and Noble. And by lately I mean for the past year or so. Everything just seems like the same thing now and it all feels really bland like it’s going for edgy but just ends up being really cliche. Though I’ve found a few gems like Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. Otherwise the only YA fantasy that I’ve read recently has been authors and/or series I already love like Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare and the end of the Winners trilogy (if I ever get around to it). But I’ve recently found the war memoir genre and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld (I know, that’s a weird combo) and those two things have been very good to me for the past couple of months.

  21. My go to genre is fantasy, but when I was younger I read everything. As I became older I graviated more towards fantasy. Fantasy as a genre has many different subgenres, and while I prefer high fantasy it is good to pick up an urban fantasy or even a paranormal romance in between.

  22. Oh my gosh, I’ve been toying with writing almost this exact same blog post for a couple months now. While I still have a lot of YA novels I love, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next ToG novel, I’m just not as enthusiastic about new releases as I used to be. I actually don’t even have a single YA book on my Summer Reading list this year (though I think I do have an ARC or two I plan to read in August that I didn’t realize were YA when I picked them up). I can’t decide if I’m moving on from YA, if my reading tastes are changing, or if it’s just a phase and I’ll come back to it again in a few months or so.

  23. i go through phases, and like you said sticking with my reading whims normally gives me goo results.. but sometimes i don’t want to read certain things – i’m really annoyed with series right now, i feel like EVERYTHING is a series and i just want a good standalone book. trouble is, all the books that sound good are part of a series haha. i used to be able to read most YA but lately i have found that some things are starting to feel too ‘young’ if that makes sense. i don’t know. i think it also depends on where you are in life, sometimes? who knows haha.

  24. I completely get what you mean. I adored YA contemporary (and still do) and it used to be something I read frequently and I don’t read quite as much anymore. I think tastes change with time. My go to genre is and always will be romance but I just haven’t been reading as much as I used to and it’s not romances fault I’ve just not been in the mood for it. I know I will go back to it, though because fleeting cravings to read that genre always pop up giving me a chance to read one or two in the genre before a new reading mood takes me.

  25. I’ve been a reader all my life and I fell in love with fantasy around the age of.. 11 – and I’ve never lost that love. I also added fairytale and retellings to my go-to genre and they never let me down (unless I don’t like the book, which can always happen)

    Perhaps you’ve had an overload of stories that look the same and you need to refresh it by reading something entirely else for some time?

  26. I’ve been going through this as well. I have so many sources for YA book recs so when I feel like maybe I’ve OD’d on YA I didn’t know where to go next. I just started listening to the “What Should I Read Next” podcast and I add at least one book per episode to my library queue. A huge variety of books are discussed so I feel like there is a little something for everyone.

  27. Maeghan Trail says:

    I’m definitely a mood reader. I read tons of different genres but my go-to is mysteries. It used to be fantasy when I was a teen but that changed as I got older. I never strayed from mysteries until last year when I decided to branch out more. So now I read anything and everything that looks good or whatever someone says I have to try. Mystery is still my fave but I have faves in other genres now too.

  28. Starting my blog has made me recognize that my perceptions of what I read most are off. I am going to be making an effort to read more books in the sub-genres I have been neglecting to see if there is a reason for that.

    My Most Recent Discussion: Hasn’t Killed Me Yet: Living with Chronic TBR Overflow

  29. Brittany K says:

    I feel exactly the same way! Just in the past year or so, I’ve shifted away from YA contemporary and paranormal romance (the first two genres of YA I got into a few years ago) to YA fantasy and fairy tale retellings. I haven’t really felt drawn to contemporary books recently. Not sure if it’s a phase or not. Lol

  30. I go through phases of reading certain genres. For a long time last year, I read every YA fiction I could find. A few years ago, it was all about International authors (mostly from India/stories about India), then it was autobiographies, then it was stories about drug addiction.

    This time around, it seems that I’m into WWII/post-war fiction; right now I’m reading All The Light We Cannot See and it’s pretty heavy so I have to take breaks every few chapters. I have a bunch of post-war books queued up at the library so I’ll go through this phase and move on to something else in a few weeks!

  31. YES! I am switching constantly between genres because I can’t just read one genre constantly. My favorite is fantasy, and yes, sometimes I have to take a break because certain books can seem very similar. I think this is normal?

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