3 Genres I Discovered Late

10/10/2018 Discussions, Reading 24

3 Genres I Discovered Late

I think that most bookworms have that one genre that they love above all others, that they have a long and beautiful history with, and that is their default fall back when they just want to read a good book…

For me, that genre has always been fantasy. I discovered it as a child through series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series, and to this day I’m drawn to all things magical and fantastical.

However, I also think that as we get older and grow as readers, we often branch out a bit more, and try new things, which results in a lot of new genres becoming a part of our repertoire. For example, as a teenager I found myself really enjoying history lessons at school, and this resulted in me starting to read historical fiction, which is now another favourite genre of mine!

Even now, at the ripe old age of 25 (so, you know…still not very old!) I’m still discovering new genres that I love, and a lot of that has come about through blogging!

So here are three genres that I discovered fairly late, but now adore:

  • YA.

When I discovered YA, I discovered it in a big way.

As I discuss here, when I was a kid, fiction for teenagers was much more limited, and the term ‘YA’ wasn’t even coined as far as I can remember (I don’t remember ever hearing it anyway!). Therefore I didn’t actually read much YA when I was a teenager.

It’s only really been since I started blogging four years ago that I discovered the wonder that is the YA genre! YA is huge in the blogosphere, so I was suddenly being exposed to all these different book recommendations that seemed right up my street.

I think the one that really turned me onto YA was actually Throne of GlassThe fantasy element really appealed to me, and after read it (and loved it!), it dawned on me: YA books are almost exactly the same as adult books, they just have younger characters!

That’s why these days quite a high percentage of my reading is actually YA, mostly in the YA fantasy genre.

  • Crime/thrillers.

Crime is a genre that I never in a million years thought I’d get into! I hate crime TV shows, largely because I’m incredibly squeamish (I’m a fainter!), and I never liked the ‘serial killer’ section of my psychology college class, because it always horrified me how dark and disgusting the human race can be (I’ve always been quite easily upset by stuff, so I really hated learning about all that…and again, I’m squeamish!).

That’s why I always assumed that crime fiction just wasn’t for me…until I discovered the sub genre of ‘thrillers’! I think they first one I can remember reading and loving was actually Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. It wasn’t in any way gory, it was just a riveting read, where the character was trying to figure out the terrible thing that had happened to them.

Whilst I’m still not big on police procedurals or anything like that, I love fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrillers these days, and it’s actually the genre of book I seem to get through the fastest. I read the entire of The Couple Next Door in a day, and it took me no longer than a couple of days to read books like The Girl on the Train, The Girlfriend and I Let You Go.

  • Space operas. 

I’ve always counted myself as a fan of science fiction, partly because it seems to come under the ‘fantasy’ umbrella in many ways. However, I’ve mostly stuck with dystopian type books, as I’ve never really known where to start with the big wide world (or universe!) of science fiction.

However, recently there’s been a few space opera type books that have been making waves in the blogosphere, and they really intrigued me. I’ve always been interested in space, and I’ve liked space opera type TV shows like ‘Firefly’, so it struck me as odd that it was a book genre I’d never really explored.

And once I tried space opera books, I couldn’t go back! The first one I read was at the start of this year, and was Revenger by Alastair Reynolds, which I followed pretty quickly with The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and Defy the Stars and Defy The Worlds by Claudia Grey. I really enjoyed all of these books, and I’m definitely on the lookout now for more space books (after I finally read the next two books in Becky Chambers Wayfarers series anyway!).

So are there any genres you discovered fairly late, but now love? What has been your long-standing favourite genre?

24 Responses to “3 Genres I Discovered Late”

  1. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I also discovered YA late. My library had a young adult shelf, but the books I read from it were very tame and immature. I ended up skipping YA and going straight to adult books. I didn’t start reading YA until I was in my early 20s.

    • Laura

      That’s exactly the same as me! The few teen books in my local library were really immature, and more like kids books, so it was only in my early twenties when YA properly became a thing that I started reading them.

  2. Angela

    Besides Twilight, I didn’t even really know YA was out there until a few years ago. I’m a little older than you, but I don’t know if it was really prevalent when I was a teenager. I was reading a lot of adult fiction and classics.

    Science fiction is one I’ve gotten into in the last couple years, too.

    • Laura

      It definitely seems like YA wasn’t really a thing until the last few years, or it definitely wasn’t the same anyway. Twilight was the only YA series I really read until I was in my twenties, and discovered the YA genre through blogging.
      I’m glad you’ve got into science fiction too! 🙂

  3. Kristina

    Oppositely, I always was big on thriller; but however it was fantasy that I discovered late !

    Same, YA was a late bloom for me – mostly as I didn’t had anywhere to see what was YA or not. and tbh i STILL find it hard to decifer by myself if something is .. xd I still need to see it and be told..

    • Laura

      I’m glad you discovered fantasy! 🙂
      Yeah, it can definitely be hard these days to know what’s YA and what isn’t. Often I see books in the YA section of the book shop that I thought was just regular fantasy, or regular science fiction, and it’s really surprised me! I think it’s probably because there isn’t much difference in quality these days, I always just assume it’s mainly about the ages of the characters.

  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I definitely have “my genre” (contemporary romance) and I don’t stray for it very often. I do read some YA but even then it’s usually contemporary. I’ve read the random fantasy but even then it’s what I call “fantasy lite.” LOL Things like the ACOTAR series and The Cruel Prince. Me + high fantasy just don’t mix. 🙂

    • Laura

      Well it’a great that you have your genre, and I think sometimes when you know exactly what you like, it makes sense not to stray to often. I’ve never read much contemporary romance personally, but that’s mainly because I just have no idea where to start with it! 🙂

  5. CG @ Paper Fury

    I’ve mostly read a wide variety of genres all my life😂but surprisingly, I didn’t read a lot of contemporary until the last few years?! So I’d probably pick that as my “came-to-it-late” genre. I also don’t read a ton of sci-fi buuuut there are some good ones out there. omg A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is so good right?!

    • Laura

      Contemporary is one of those genres I still don’t read much of, but I enjoy it when I do, so maybe that will be my next late discovery?
      And yes, isn’t A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet amazing? It’s definitely one of my favourite reads this year! 🙂

  6. Gayathri

    Space opera? This is the first time I am hearing about it. I used to read thrillers, romance and classics. And I thought that was all there was. Sigh.

    • Laura

      Yeah, I’d always heard ‘space opera’ referring to TV shows and movies like Star Trek and Star Wars, but I had never thought of it as a book genre until recently. I think it just means that it’s set in space.
      I was the same though, in that I always had my same couple of genres I stuck to as a kid, and I didn’t know there was so much more out there! 🙂

  7. Cam @ Camillea Reads

    I only discovered high Fantasy in late 2016. It was introduced to me by partner. I remember being extremely suspicious of the genre in the beginning. I’m a new fan of crime fiction, especially psychological thrillers!

    I recently read A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna which is a space opera, I think, retelling of the Mahabharata. It was a fun read and easy too for someone who has never read space opera before!

    • Laura

      I’m so glad you discovered high fantasy! It’s my all time favourite genre! And I particularly like psychological thrillers too, over regular crime books.
      I’ve never actually heard of A Spark of White Fire, so I’ll definitely have to check that out seen as I’m loving space operas so much at the moment! 🙂

  8. Sam@WLABB

    I am kind of shocked that YA was a thing where you grew up, because the term was coined in the 1940s, and even I (a child of the 1970s) enjoyed the YA section of my library. Color me surprised. I was always a mixer, but I definitely have a special place for contemporary romances. They are my thing.

    • Laura

      Wow, really? I didn’t know that the term YA was originally coined that long ago! I only heard it for the first time a few years ago, and I don’t remember seeing it as it’s own section in a shop when I was a kid. There was always just a few ‘teen’ books tacked on the ends of the children’s section at my local bookstore and library, but that may just have been that I lived in a village with a small library, and the bookshop in the nearby town was really small. That’s really interesting!
      And yay for contemporary romances! It’s good to be a mixer, but I think it’s nice to have that one genre that you particularly like! 🙂

  9. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    Magical realism is definitely that genre for me. At first, I always put it in the same box as YA paranormal because aren’t witches, vampires, and werewolves are magical enough??? But then I tried one of the books in the genre- I think it was The Raven Cycle?- and it hooked me. It’s so much different from YA paranormal and while the genre tend to be a hit or miss for me, it’s something I always willing to risk 😀

    • Laura

      I haven’t actually read that much magical realism, to be honest, which is weird when I think about it, because I love anything with magic in it! I guess I just never know where to start with it.
      It’s great that you’ve got that one genre that you love though! Even though it’s nice to mix it up sometimes, it’s great to have that genre you can fall back on, and pretty much guarantee you’ll enjoy! 🙂

  10. Jo

    I, like you, have my reading roots in fantasy. I used to hate reading until I was bought the first three Harry Potter books, but although I loved them, I considered it a fluke, and didn’t want to read anything else. But my Dad, a huge fantasy fan, kept on at me about the books he read, and how he was sure I would like them as I enjoyed Harry Potter, and in the end I gave in just to shut him up. I read Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, and that was it. I never looked back.

    The three genres I think I discovered late are thrillers/mysteries, retellings, and then sub-genre of thrillers/mysteries that I don’t even know what to call – but all within YA. Other than fantasy and the very odd romance, I tend to stay within YA. But I think it was One of Us is Lying did it for me for thrillers/mysteries. I just loved how I was kept guessing and would have theories that were wrong or right, and was just captivated from the very beginning!

    With retellings, I don’t think they ever really appealed to me. Why would I want to read a book that is based on a story I already know? But I ended up with a few of them, and there was a fairy tale retellings challenge that I thought would help me get through them, and I just fell in love! I can’t tell you what the first one I read was, but I just can’t get enough of them now, no matter what kind of retelling it is. I love The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (even if it is problematic), I love Drown by Esther Dalseno, I love The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, I love Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine! I just love them!

    And the final sub-genre thing I’ve discovered, I have literally just discovered with the book I finished this morning. It’s a mystery/thriller that’s kind of along the lines of The Da Vinci Code (which I’ve not read, as I’ve heard bad things about the book, but have seen the movie). The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is absolutely brilliant, and I want more of these mysteries steeped in history, and therefore have an element of truth to them, and hidden messages and things! I need more of these books, and I need them now!

    Brilliant post, thanks for writing it!

    • Laura

      Your journey into reading sounds very similar to mine! Harry Potter was definitely the series that initially got my attention, and then I read other fantasy books after that that properly got me hooked on reading.
      I’ve heard great things about One of Us Is Lying, and seen as I’ve recently got into thrillers, I’ll definitely have to give that a go!
      And I absolutely love retellings too! I agree that when you think about them it isn’t that appealing – it’s a story you already know – but definitely after I tried a few I really got into them as well. I have still only ever read Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles, but I really enjoyed it, and I loved The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh, and I’ve since read the Flame in the Mist by her, and really enjoyed that too. I’ve never read Drown or Prince of Shadows though, but I love retellings, so I may have to check them out!
      And The Book of Blood and Shadow sounds great! I love historical fiction, so I like the idea of a mystery steeped in history! I did read the Da Vinci Code back in the day, and I thought the story and the ideas were OK, it was just that the writing itself wasn’t great, in my opinion. I hope you manage to find more books in that kind of genre though! It sounds amazing!
      Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful comment! It’s nice to hear about the genres other people have discovered late 🙂

  11. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    When I was an actual young adult, YA consisted of The Outsiders, A Separate Peace, and Catcher in the Rye. So I’m among those who went from kids’ books to adult books. But honestly, a lot of what was published as children’s literature would probably work as YA now, whether that’s Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, or Lloyd Alexander’s fantasies and Anne McCaffery’s Dragonwings. My go-tos have always been fantasy and mystery, but as age stratifications have become more pronounced, I find that I prefer YA fantasy and adult mystery. Sci Fi is hit or miss for me, and I’ve read some really good historical fiction and narrative nonfiction but sometimes forget that I like those genres.

    Very fun discussion topic!

    • Laura

      I think you might be right there, in that there probably was YA books out there, but they were classified as children’s literature. Now there seems to be a clearer divide, and YA seems to have become it’s own separate thing, which I like.
      It’s great that you’ve got your go-to genres! I definitely have genres too though that I kind of forget I like! 🙂

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