Sunday, July 30, 2017

Different is Good

This is something I ponder from time to time. My book friends know my preference in reading: hearts, flowers, unicorns, and light & fluff with no angst. Pretty simple when you think about it. I don't tend to veer too far off the reading path. But, every once in awhile, I surprise myself.  What is better? It can be when the authors I adore do it for me. 

If you follow me on Goodreads, you'll see I'm happily immersed in a Kate Cantenbary binge.  I do this periodically, like normal people do with Netflix, yet I do with authors. As I'm reading book 3 of the Walsh Family series, Necessary Renovations, I'm hit at 83% that the author may not be heading down my normal expected path. After finishing, I thought: what stories took me unexpectedly where I ventured and loved it? 

Really, do you think I'm going to spoil it and let you know if Kate did surprise me in book 3? 
Nope, just read it.

I thought I'd share some books from authors whose body of work I enjoy tremendously but took a chance on something different - and loved all the more.  So, in order of reading, here is my --

Different is Good Recommendations

I read this during a period of time where I was recovering from surgery. I was finding it hard to concentrate on reading material. Whether it was tiredness, pain or just plain reading apathy that hit me, this book intrigued me into a non-stop experience. Without rehashing the blurb (click on the link for that), this book is a story within a story.  The muse - you choose who was the real muse to whom - created a story that unfolds in real time with the character's journey. In following Ms. Edwards, this isn't one of her more popular stories to be discussed. But for me, this dual story within a story was a interesting risk in storytelling that I throughly enjoyed. 


Really, I don't do dark. I don't do paranormal. I just don't when I look for a read. I've had a few trusted book friends recommend these sub-genres and have enjoyed. But I DO NOT seek them out. However, a book friend insisted - I'll say she shoved it down my throat and she'll laugh - that I read this paranormal offering. Now, ES Carter has within her Love By Numbers series veers into different types of tropes within contemporary romance. But these books, she took a left turn on a road circling to the right with a cliff on the other side. When readers ask me, I best describe it as: Emily Bronte and Ann Radcliffe met, smoked hash and wrote a book together. Or the best damn gothic, scary romance I've ever read. It was shocking, cringe-worthy, yet the most poetic version of murderous intent I've ever read. And with my limited library of dark reads, this will be in the foremost of my mind when someone asks because it is just that beautiful in all its gore. 

Melanie has a captivating ability to tell a story and tell it very, very well. Her stories are always complete and leave the reader satisfied with 'The End'. I guess I can best summarize her stories as dramatic art. Not that it is Lifetime Channel quality. No, I classify her body of work to compare to Out of Africa or Secret Life of Walter Mitty caliber movies. In January she released a very light-hearted, non-angsty story of falling in love at first kiss. It deviated from the road her novels normal  riveting journey. And you know, sometimes you need to watch the Hallmark channel instead of HBO to let real life take a break. When someone is looking for that 'easy' love story to read, this is one that I will recommend each time. It was a risk as an author to go in such a light hearted direction but it is a serious check in my win column. 


Just like the paranormal, I don't do the young adult/new adult stories. I think it's my age showing, but anyone under 25 just isn't my cup of tea. So what happens when an author I adore tells me she's not only writing a story about outsider and golden boy but set in high school, I take a deep breath, pull up my big girl panties and say, "I'll read one chapter". Damn if I wasn't hooked. And I truly wish I could take credit for this description - smart high school characters with real life stakes (PS thank you Brenda). Two interesting facts: It's not finished and it is currently available only through the Inklo app. Each episode is released on Tuesdays at 5pm EST, and we are only to number six as of this blog post date. I'm not sure where this story will take us. However, I have been shocked and awed as what I've read. (Check out my comments on each episode) And I am impatiently waiting for more. It is one of the most 'real' young adult stories I've read ← that is saying a lot from me. 

Although I've read authors who may wander slightly off the path, they seem to stay consistent with their brand of storytelling. These four authors did not allow me to choose different. They made the choice for me. In each one of these recommendation, it worked for me. Different wasn't only good it was great. I loved the journey and felt good about the direction I was taken.  Now, this doesn't mean that every change of pace works for me. Sometimes I'm in the mood for out of the ordinary. If you know and love something not quite in the normal standard for an author, throw out your suggestion to me on social media. You never know what may be my next 'different is good' will be. 


Unknown said...

Thank you for including me!

My Own Bookshelves said...

@Melanie I really <3 your stories. But this one was a big departure from your typical. I mean no one...**spoiler** during the story. But its like the perfect offset to a book that punches you in the feels. ISWAK just leaves you happy from start to finish.

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