I say "you do you" all the time, but I'm terrible at practicing what I preach.
Lately, I've been trying to read some "hype books," as I call them. You know, the ones that dominate BookTok and Bookstagram, that perch at eye level on the table you almost walk into when you enter a bookstore, that have hashtags and fan art, limited editions and cosplays.
But here's the thing: although they look pretty on my shelves or get a lot of likes on my Instagram, none of those books have managed to snag my attention past the first chapter. I'm not saying they don't deserve the hype -- I haven't finished them so I can't comment on their quality. It's just that they don't hook my interest.
If you've read my books, you know that I like to play with reality, walk the line of what's real and imaginary, incorporate realistic characters with flaws and limits, and toy with the horrors and mysteries of every day. (In short: urban fantasy, dystopian, paranormal romance, etc.) I like action, danger, gray morals, realistic characters, tension, teamwork: Books that are both relatable yet also an escape.
So why was I trying to force myself to read high fantasy books with stylized fantasy worlds, exaggerated characters, picturesque tropes, and happily ever afters? I missed being pulled into a story.
So, I picked up the newest book in an old favorite series (the Black Hat series by Hailey Edwards... while I wait for the next Mercy Thompson, which has been delayed) that follows gritty paranormal crime in a modern world. (In short: a glimpse at dark, imperfect, twisted secrets--and people--of reality). And I was home! I read it in a few days after slogging for weeks through a chapter of hype books.
So, here's my hard-learned advice to share:
Whatever you want to read, read it. Don't feel pressured to follow trends or recommendations from others. You have your own style, personality, likes/dislikes, so why not read the books that fit you too? YOU READ YOU! Don't feel guilty for picking up a book no one's talking about. Besides you'll make that non-hype-book author's day. ;)
If your style is dark, twisted, and trespasses of fantasy into the modern world, like mine, I invite you to download my NEW, FREE novella (click here to jump right to it)... and, of course, check out Hailey Edwards. (See my Goodreads or BookBub for my book reviews.) And don't miss the dark and twisted Supernatural and Patricia Briggs GIVEAWAYS (click here to jump to them)!
NEW SERIES IN 2022: REVEALS
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TWO HUGE GIVEAWAYS!
Where are my Supernatural fans? We're giving away the ultimate SPN lover's dream prize pack! Subscribe to today’s bestselling Urban Fantasy authors for a chance to win a paperback of Supernatural: The Roads Not Taken Choose Your Own Adventure book, a paperback of Family Don’t End In Blood, A SPN coffee mug, SPN Pop quiz card deck, John’s journal, Sam, Dean, and Castiel plushies, SPN blanket, a die-cast SPN Impala, and Dean’s necklace. Enter here: https://bit.ly/spnobsess
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May your June books be just to your taste!