11/18/13

On Adult Fiction

As I posted earlier, I'm planning to write some more discussion-type posts in the future.  I had previously posted about having the blogging blahs, and I think the stress of trying to read and review in order to have content for the blog was really getting to me.  I keep reading all of these GREAT discussion posts (like Cass' Thursday Thoughts and all of the great discussion posts that Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner posts) and I HAVE all these bookish thoughts, just never the guts to post them.  So here goes.

Hannah @ So Obsessed With and Cass @ Books With Cass started a new feature a little while ago, where they read an adult book together and each post own their "Favorite Factor."  I really enjoyed reading their first post, which got me to thinking about my own reading habits.

At the beginning of the year, I posted my bookish resolutions for 2013.  One of my resolutions was to read more "big kid" books.  I will be doing a full resolution recap towards the end of the year to evaluate where I succeeded (and where I didn't), but I wanted to take a moment and just think about adult literature.

Prior to blogging, I used to read a blend of young adult and adult books.  If I heard that a book was good, I'd pick it up.  In fact, I'm honestly not certain that it really mattered what section of the library or bookstore the book came from, I read and loved them all.  Yet nowadays, I read primarily young adult books.  I think that this switch originated for several reasons:

1. Young adult books are shorter.  I'm sure that you've all felt that pressure when you look at your Goodreads challenge and it reminds you that, at your current reading pace, you're two books behind schedule?  And then you purposely pick a couple of short-ish books to pick up the pace a notch?  Yup, I've totally done that.  In an effort to reach my reading goal for the year, I've often steered away from reading some really hefty reads, just because I know it's going to take a month or so to plow through it, therefore reducing the number of books that I'll be able to read during the year.

2. Adult books are sometimes boring.  Please don't hate me for saying this!!!!  Not ALL books are boring, but sometimes I find that adult writers just feel like they're trying to hard to be all fancy and literary, and I get so lost in trying to decipher what the heck is going on that I end up losing interest in the book.  Case in point: J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy.  Granted, I only read the first chapter or so, but I just couldn't get into the book or the story or the characters.  And after having that experience in several adult books, I crave the linguistic simplicity of a young adult book.  But with that being said, there are some young adult writers that can be a little over the top with the writing too.  I'm not trying to generalize at all here.

3. The pressure that I put upon myself to generate enough content on this blog.  This ties in with my first point of reading a certain number of books.  If I take the time to savour a book over the period of a month, what am I going to post about?  Well, I'm hoping that this will change next year, since I'm trying to get way ahead with some review books and discussion posts, which will hopefully mean that I can just slow waaaaay down and read some books for pleasure.  Because there's really nothing worse that a reading slump that gets generated by trying to read too much in too short of a period of time.

I'm sorry that this discussion post is a little all over the place.  I came up with the idea a few weeks ago, and should have written it while it was a little fresher in my mind, rather than waiting for a break between school projects.  Alas, such is life -- if you have any thoughts on adult lit vs. young adult lit, please leave a comment below!  Also, any recommendations for great adult lit are very much welcomed!!!

10 comments:

  1. I'm actually going adult book crazy at the moment! Most of my reviews for the rest of the year will be adult, particularly romances. Like you, before blogging, I read YA and A pretty much equally, but then YA started to dominate. However, for different reasons than yours.

    I just felt like I was seeing more YA books around the blogosphere, so those were the ones I was getting most excited about, and then would read and post about. I don't follow many Adult blogs, so the exposure just wasn't there. Then when I would want to read an adult book, I worried that no one would care to read that review, so I started reading less and less.

    Now, I don't even care. I adore romances, so I'm reading the heck out of them. If you no one reads them? Oh well, their loss!

    I absolutely do not find that adult books are boring. I do agree that some authos are trying too hard, but that seems to be only in literary fiction. Urban Fantasy, Chick Lit, genre Romances are all so much fun! Sometimes I feel like I actually like them more than YA. *gasp*

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    1. Thank you for such a long and thoughtful comment! I totally didn't mean to imply that ALL adult fiction is boring ... I'm definitely with you on the literary fiction part though. There are definitely some fun adult titles. I shall be popping over to your blog to look at some of your current reviews and see if I can add some good adult titles to my TBR!

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  2. I definitely get what you mean! I totally agree that some can be a little boring for the exact same reason that you do. That's why I generally stick to the same genres of Adult fiction as I know I'll enjoy those books without hurting my brain. But at the same time, a lot of YA can bore me, especially if it seems like I'm reading a book that I've read 100 times previously. I'm trying to get myself to just read what I want to read, be it either YA or Adult. I'm happy for my blog to just be a book blog without a specific focus on any one genre, as it's a reflection of my reading. :)

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    1. I think it's easy to get bored reading too much of anything ... I definitely felt the same way about YA dystopian for a while too. Or whenever a love triangle pops up, when it seemed like every single book had one for a while. No Team anybody please!!!! =P

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  3. I'm the same way! I used to read adult and YA, but anymore, I'm not interested in adult.

    1. I so totally do that! And I am not ashamed baha.
    2. Yeah, I don't want to give myself a headache from reading because I have to stop every couple of sentences and look up a word (although like you said, some YA is like that too…case in point for me is The Monstrumologist). Also, I connect better with a younger person's POV for some reason.
    3. YES! Some days there's so much pressure to post daily that I can't keep up. I want 2 reviews a week on the blog, but some weeks I don't have time to read 2! It's very difficult, and it makes me feel forced to read. Slumps are no fun!!

    In general, I think I just got bored with adult. When I started blogging, I read UF and paranormal romance, but after a while….they were all the same. I got bored with them because there isn't much of a variety in the genres. YA has SO many different settings and stories that I can find something more unique!

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    1. We are soooooo on the same page!!!! I'm taking off the review posting pressure a little by adding other content, like these discussion posts, which makes me feel better about going longer between reviews. Also, I've made a dent in my 2014 review books, so I already have some reviews scheduled for next year! This will hopefully allow me to just read what I want ... and perhaps finish some series? Gasp!

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  4. I still mostly read adult fiction, but I totally have picked YA books to read in the past just to get through more books in a shorter period of time. I also found (find) that YA books are generally easier to review. This isn't a negative thing about YA books at all. It's just that with adult books, I often don't feel smart enough to really do it justice with a "review" and I also often don't even know where to start when I want to talk about an adult book. With all that being said, since I took a step back from blogging about books, I have been enjoying a lot more adult reads lately. I think I am enjoying them more because I probably won't review them which takes the pressure off big time! But yes...if I posted 2-3 reviews a week (regularly), I don't know how I would be able to do that if all I read was adult fiction (for one thing, I wouldn't be able to read that fast to keep up!)

    A little off topic, but how long are your courses going to take you? Are you going back to work when your mat leave is done?

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    1. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Brie! I totally hear you on the reviewing thing ... the adult reviews are definitely the harder ones to write. But at the same time, sometimes easier because most of the YA books that I read are ones that other bloggers have already read and reviewed, so sometimes I struggle to say something new that hasn't already been said. But you're right -- sometimes I feel like I didn't really "get" all the subtleties in an adult book, like I'm still waiting for the professor's lecture to enlighten me!

      Yup, plans are in the works for me to go back to work -- I'll send you a FB message with the details =)

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    2. Good point - it IS a lot harder to feel original when reviewing a book that's already been reviewed by countless others.

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  5. Hmm, interesting post. I must admit that sometimes I turn away from hefty books, because of the time factor. But I miss being able to savor a read...so in the New Year, I'm not going to join challenges that make me think about numbers.

    I'm not a big fan of YA, although I have read a few. I will ignore those that seem trite...like the ones where the kids are all sent to boarding schools.

    But I like the ones that deal with issues.

    To each her own...right?

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