Top 6 Overly Specific Genres I Won’t Read

Books Set in My Hometown in North Carolina

I don’t know why but it’s just too weird. I’m not talking about a similar suburb or a nearby town or a made up version of my city. I’m talking the exact district and neighborhoods I’ve walked through myself. I don’t know if I lose the escapism when it’s a fantasy combined with a place I grew up or what. For me, it’s a little too specific to read about the place I grew up. Most people pick the biggest cities of a state to set their story because of name recognition. For instance, most books set in Colorado will focus on Denver. Or many books set in NC focus on the beaches because that’s what we’re known for. I wonder what New Yorkers think when they watch Marvel movies (or any movie ever)? Hollywood does have a history of only focusing one neighborhood so maybe it still counts as escapism for natives.

  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee
  • Legendborn by Tracey Deonn 
  • Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li*

* I’ll admit that I own Portrait of a Thief and only some scenes are set in my hometown. 

Books set between 1930-1940

I didn’t even know that I skipped over books set in this time period until much later. I think I was trying to learn my reading tastes and that’s when I noticed a pattern. I didn’t skip over these books because they were set in 1930-1940; the content genuinely didn’t interest me and I only figured out why until much later. I don’t mind learning about specific events in history—The Great Depression, WWII, political turmoil—but I suppose I’m just not drawn to them in a fictional sense? I mean, those were bleak times and you can tell that most fiction set in those time periods are pretty fucking depressing. I do own The Book Thief but it’s been on my shelf for over 5 years at this point. 

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • City of Girls by Elizbeth Gilbert 
  • The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne 

WWII Historical Fiction Romance

I don’t get this genre!!! It’s an insanely popular genre. My sentiment about this genre is probably similar to the same reason that I don’t read books sets in the thirties or forties. Too sad. To be fair, I don’t read a lot of romance in general. Maybe the target demographic likes to immerse themselves in such a bleak time with romance? I just read an article as to why this genre is so popular, and honestly, I kind of get it now. The reasons listed are actually why I love the first Captain America movie so much. Listen, if more people start writing novels about superheroes during WWII you can sign me up. 

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly 

Corporate Retreat Thrillers

Need I say more. 

  • One by One by Ruth Ware
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Time Travel Where You Try to Fix the Past 

I enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife, Outlander, and This Is How You Lose the Time War buuuut I don’t like tropes where the main character goes back in time nearly fifty times to save someone or fix something. The chapters get repetitive and nothing really happens because they do the same thing over and over again. I actually DNFed the first two examples on my list and I don’t plan to read One Last Stop because I don’t like genre-cross overs as rule (but also the entire book is set on the New York subway, so no thanks). 

  • Recursion by Blake Crouch 
  • Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds 
  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston 

Tumblr or Instagram poetry

Do I even have to explain this one? It’s not personal. I’m so happy that Amanda Lovelace found her market and is getting her coin. I don’t think all Tumblr poetry is super bad. I personally prefer traditional or more structured poetry. I think Tumblr poetry is just another art form and I welcome it. While I’m not here to gatekeep art, I’ve definitely read some cringe stuff in this genre (I’m not referring to the below, I mean in general). 

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kapur
  • The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace

Summer Wrap Up

I feel like I was playing catch up in August after having absolutely no time to read in July. I finished my End of Year TBR and I’m so excited. I have about 25 books I want to read from September to December. That’s 6 books a month if I want to hit a 50 book reading goal. I’m not sure what I’m using this space for anymore. Becoming a freelancer is really slow process so I’m not as busy as I thought I would be. Suffice to say, I’ll be hanging around this space for the remainder of the Fall season. I don’t have a life or any other hobbies, lol.

Books I Read

Completed: 

  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
  • Upgrade by Blake Crouch 
  • We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu 
  • Confessions by Kanae Minato 
  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Other Media I Consumed

I’ve cut down on my media consumption as you will see. I’m probably not subscribing to any TV services for the remainder of the year.  Other than Nope, Thor, and Black Panther I’m not watching anything else. I may keep Hulu so I can watch Only Murders in the Building but that is literally it. Also, [rant incoming] I’m soooo upset that Knives Out 2 is going to be on Netflix instead of theaters. I also learned that On the Come Up (the follow up to The Hate U Give) is going to be on Paramount+. We’re not in the heat of the pandemic anymore, so why?! 

TV Shows

  • Younger 
  • Umbrella Academy
  • Stranger Things
  • Killing Eve 
  • Riverdale 

Movies

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once 

Personal Life

Wow, I’ve done so much this year and there’s more to come. I feel like I packed in so much into one year because I didn’t do as much for the past two years. I’m really out here trying to live my best life, lol. 

In terms of my future and career prospects, I’m honestly more confused than ever. I’ve done so much professional development and I’m finally refilling my creative well but I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO. Okay, I do know what I want to do. I want a job I don’t totally hate so I can make enough to travel. Through what means? I’m uncertain. A photographer, an editor, an author…  Making a living off freelancing takes time, so I want a “real job” in the meantime. The primary job prospects where I live is tourism and hospitality. I don’t want to work at a job I know I’ll hate when I can be working on my crafts, you know? 

Looking forward to…

  • Seeing Florence + The Machine in concert in Nashville, TN
  • My brother’s wedding 
  • Maybe going to Denver or Austin for a day…still up in the air 
  • Autumn season, of course! 
  • Nanowrimo in November 

Fall Anticipated Book Releases 

  • The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead //  thriller
  • Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney // thriller
  • Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid // historical fiction 
  • Fairytale by Stephen King // horror + fantasy 
  • Nona the Ninth (#3) by Tamsyn Muir // gay. space. necromancy. 
  • I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers // ya queer thriller 
  • House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson //  horror with vampires 
  • The Golden Enclaves (#3) by Naomi Novik // school of dark magic for children 
  • The Atlas Paradox (#2) by Olivie Blake // dark academia +  fantasy 

Spring Wrap Up

Hey everyone! How’s it going? This year I decided I’m only posting quarterly on here. I just launched two other websites (one for photography and one for lifestyle and books) and I don’t have the time to post on here as much. I love using my blog as a sort of digital diary or keepsake.

Books I Read

Completed

  • The Paris Apartment by Lucey Foley
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
  • Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
  • Gallant by V.E. Schwab
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • The Comfort Book by Matthew Haig
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
  • Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Incomplete

  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Gideon the Ninth was a reread so I wasn’t in a rush to finish it. I did finish Part 2 of 6 of EOTV, but I’m struggling with Part 3 because it’s kind of dragging. Jay did introduce someone I think will become one of my favorite characters though. Hopefully, she will keep me interested enough to get over the middle slump!

Other Media I Consumed

TV Shows 

  • Gossip Girl (the reboot)
  • The Flight Attendant (S1 & S2)
  • This Is Us
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife

Films

  • The Batman – ★★★★★
  • Arrival – (I’m not going to rate this one because I don’t even remember this movie)
  • The Last Duel – ★★½
  • Black Widow – ★★★½
  • Spectre – ★
  • KIMI – ★★★
  • Oblivion – ★★★
  • Tenet – ★★★½
  • John Wick (rewatch)
  • The Hating Game – ★★★
  • Promising Young Woman – ★★★★
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – ★★★★½

I don’t normally go into details but the reason I can’t give the Doctor Strange sequel all my love is because it felt like a Wanda Vision movie. I loved, loved, loved that she was the villain but I almost wish she had her own movie? Still, this movie was unlike any MCU movie I’ve ever seen. The creative direction was so unique. There was horror. There was comedy. There was thrill. There were twists and turns. Since Doctor Strange is a well established character, he doesn’t really need a sequel that solely focuses on him. I did mislead myself into thinking that the sequel was about what happened in the last Spider-Man movie. Oops.

Personal Life

I finished my second first draft of my novel. The first first draft was a product of Nanowrimo in 2017 and I’ve been rewriting it ever since. I honestly think the second one is much worse than the first because my end goal was just to finish something. I’m not sure if this novel will ever see the light of day, but it will need considerable rewrites if it does. I’m finally venturing into a new book project but I’m starting off by writing a sort of prequel of short stories within that universe. I’m just not a rigid outliner. I have to jump straight into a story to really immerse myself.

I’ve been enjoying a few mini adventures all summer. Everything from donuts in the mountains to cupcakes in Washington DC. It was my birthday in May, so let’s just say I used every excuse I could to celebrate (and eat). My mom was sweet and actually gifted me a book, a gratitude journal, and some money. One of my good friends also sent me a gift. It was really nice to be thought of 🙂 I’m trying to stay positive because I traveled all the way to DC for a concert and ended up crying the entire time (it’s a long story). This is why I hate my birthday.

Looking forward to…

I’m actually really excited about my summer. I’ll be in Austin, TX for a photography workshop at the end of the month and I’ll be at a PUBLISHING institute online. I just got my pre-assignments and I only have a few weeks to finish them. I can’t wait to share more soon. I’m super nervous because if the past two years have taught me anything it’s that there’s no guarantee that my hopes and dreams will work out.

I’m also in the planning stages of trying to travel to Thailand or Indonesia next year. My loose budget is $2,500 including airfare. Any more frugal and I could probably go as low as $2,000 buuuuut I’ll likely have to save $3,000 in case of emergencies as well as shopping for things I’ll need.

Summer Anticipated Book Releases 

  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher – July 12, 2022
  • Upgrade by Blake Crouch – July 12, 2022
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – July 19, 2022
  • Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey – July 19, 2022
  • Babel by R.F. Kuang – August 23, 2022

Summer Entertainment Line Up

Novel Writing Diaries: Vol 2: Issue 1

A month ago, I finally completed the second first draft of my novel. I say second first draft because the initial conception came out of Nanowrimo back in 2017. Maybe it was 2018? I’m writing a boarding school mystery that involves a ghost and I won’t say anything else because well, that would be giving it away. I’m still nailing down the overarching theme. I can’t decide what direction I actually want the story to go. I haven’t decided what undertones I want my WIP to have. Dark academia existentialism? A gut wrenching mystery. An angsty romance? Magical and lyrical? Or do I want to write something literary, something quieter and poignant? My past drafts were me experimenting but mostly trying to just finish the dang thing.

I swear I did not intend this to be dark academia, but an angsty paranormal sort of romance story… I was writing this before DA popped off.  YET it’s literally set in a boarding school. Not to mention, the plot revolves around a murder, and there’s a secret society but it’s not at the forefront of the plot. I guess I have the makings of a dark academia, which was completely unintentional. Now I’m wondering if I should lean into that component a little more. It will probably take several more rewrites before I figure something out. 

Until next time, 

V