Welcome to Day 3 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! The goal of Unexpected Treasures is to highlight a book, genre of books or author that you tried because a book blogger recommended it and what that experience was like.
I’m going to start big and broad and go smaller, so the first one might be a bit of a shock to people who read my blog regularly, but the first thing that bloggers really influenced me on was… bringing Young Adult fiction back into my life. Yes, that’s right. Before I started blogging, I was reading exclusively literary fiction. Once I finally kicked that habit (thank god), I realized what I had been missing. I loved YA fiction when I was a YA (not all that long ago), so why was there some mysterious switch that flipped as soon as I turned 18? You’re in college now, so put those silly books away! Well, clearly that’s ridiculous.
Now, about 40% of the books I read are Young Adult oriented and I’m perfectly satisfied with that number. I’m not sure I can ever imagine going back to reading just literary fiction ever again. It was a little depressing, if I’m honest. And I would have missed such great books! There are the obvious ones, like The Hunger Games and The Knife of Never Letting Go, but what about Fat Cat and Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature? Those are amazing novels and I would hate to have missed them.
Thank you book bloggers, you have saved me a lifetime of monotony!
Next I’ll talk about two authors that seem to be wildly popular in the real world as much as the blogging world, but that I had never heard of: Neil Gaiman and John Green. I know! Now, I had unknowingly heard of Gaiman through the movie Stardust, but other than that both authors were completely unknown to me. With both of them, it is like I have discovered an entire world of literature that I didn’t even know existed. Even though my experiences with Gaiman have only been so-so, what I liked about the novels I’ve read (American Gods, Coralineand Good Omens) I liked a lot. I think one of my next goals should be reading another Gaiman novel! Now, for John Green, not only did I have plenty of very charming YA books to read (An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns so far), I also was exposed to Nerdfighteria. Now, I exist only on the outskirts of this amazing group of young people, but it’s fun to sit back and just watch them be amazing.
Finally, most specifically, is a book that I probably never would have picked up if I hadn’t seen a review on a book blog: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I don’t have a specific link to the first review or second review that made me pick this book up and I don’t think my review really does justice to how I felt about this book. I loved it, loved it, loved it. It recalled everything I loved about literature as a child, literally with its references to A Wrinkle in Time and more basically with its delightful characters, structure and plot. I probably never would have picked up When You Reach Me and I’m so grateful to book bloggers for making that happen. I’ve already given this book to one of my sisters as a gift, with a copy of A Wrinkle in Time, too and I plan on giving it to my younger sister as well.
So there you have it, wonderful books and genres and authors that I never would have tried if it hadn’t been for fabulous book bloggers. Thanks, everyone!