About this time last year I was showing you the marvellous new cover for SHADOW (Book 2 in the Romany Outcasts series) by Christi J. Whitney, and I’m thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for the final book in this YA urban fantasy trilogy, MIDNIGHT, which will be released on 25th May 2017. Continue reading “COVER REVEAL | Midnight (The Romany Outcasts #3) by Christi J. Whitney”
2016 was the first year in which I set myself a goodreads challenge. I was feeling quite optimistic about it, despite having only finished 33 books in 2015. So I set myself a challenge of 50 books for the year, which has been a manageable number for me in previous years. I’ll say from the outset: I did not achieve this goal. I failed to counter in just what a busy and hectic year 2016 would be. So I’m not as upset with myself as I was this time last year, because I know that I have had an amazing year, and that reading just couldn’t take priority to some of these things.
But, just as I did in 2015, I am doing another Reading Year in Review, where I analyse the books that I have read in the year, in a little more depth! I’ve also added another couple of categories to talk about in this year’s edition!
Recently, I made a Goodreads account (LINK HERE if you want to be my friend), and there was one thing that I particularly noticed when I started to rate the books I have read: A LOT of them were 4 or 5 star ratings. While rating these books, I felt as though I was doing something wrong. I started to scan through my shelves desperately for books I hated, so I could even out my ratings. I started to feel that maybe those books I had rated so high, couldn’t have all been so good. Surely, I couldn’t have enjoyed so many of the books I have read that much.
It was then that I realised that the reason I have so many highly rated books, is because I am a big pre-buyer researcher.
I very rarely buy a book on a whim. 99% of the time, I research the books I think sound interesting. I read the reviews on Goodreads, I look at fellow bloggers’ reviews, I watch reviews on Booktube. In other words, I very rarely go into a book blind. I make sure that I am going to enjoy a book before I pay money for it. I even like to read the negative reviews for a book, and decide whether the things that reviewer listed as problems, would be things that would bother me personally. A big example of this is the love triangle – something that many people hate in a book, but I actually often quite enjoy reading.
The fact that I don’t read all completely hyped-up books helps with this, I think. For instance, I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments, the Percy Jackson series, or Twilight – all hugely popular YA series. None of these books particularly appeal to me, and for that reason, I don’t feel any pressure to pick them up, even if that means one less series to talk to fellow book-lovers about.
This isn’t to say that I don’t read books I don’t enjoy. Despite my extensive researching, I can still end up not loving that book I thought sounded amazing. But it is less common, especially in the last couple of years – now that I don’t read books purely based on their popularity, and try to seek out lesser-known books too.
I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. I am actually pretty pleased that I manage to find and read so many books that I love. This year alone, I can think of at least ten books that I have given a five star rating so far, and many more that I have given 4 stars. And I am completely certain that there will be even more by the time the year is up.
Some of the books I have rated 5 stars this year are:
– The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
– A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
– The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
– A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
– The Archived – Victoria Schwab
– Just One Day – Gayle Forman
How does anyone else find they rate books? Do you lean towards the higher ratings, or do you have a wide variety? And what 5 star books have you read so far this year? I’d love to know!