Lately I have been trying to discover a way to split myself into two people; one so I can go to all my jobs (I have 2 now, and probably getting a winter one as well so perhaps 3 – yeah I’m crazy) and the other so I can devour books and ACTUALLY review them, and update my blog on a semi or permanent schedule. Alas I have made no progress in this discovery and have to try and fit everything into a 24 hour period, and sleep and eat and somehow also have a social life. SHEESH! The saying “Not enough hours in a day” is becoming my mantra (lol).
Anyway, after that short little update on my life, and lack of blogging and reviewing I thought I would take the time today to actually write a blog post! *GASP* SO obviously its Monday, and I like to post for a more “mature” readership on Mondays. I haven’t done a lot with this theme for Mondays, but I wanted to write a post about something that’s been on my mind. Lately I’ve been seeing so many different types of reviews, or recommendations for “romance” novels but when I go to look into them they look cheap and written poorly. Now maybe I am just too harsh when it comes to books I want to spend time on reading or maybe I am a snob when it comes to choosing which books “look” good and which don’t. I’m all for erotica, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, historical romance, LGB romance but I do have SOME standards when choosing which books I think will be good and which don’t, not just ANY smut will do. I have been burned more than once when it comes to reading books that have been highly recommended by some reviewers and I turn to read it and a couple times cannot even finish the book! I don’t review the books I can’t finish because I don’t want it to turn into a “bashing” review, but then again why was this book recommended to me if it wasn’t that good? Is it me? Have I been jaded by REALLY great books, and not so great books? I sort of feel like a romance snob and to be honest I am a new reviewer to the romance world. What’s a girl to do?!
SO, after that mini rant I ask you: How can you tell the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly? Well I haven’t a clue to be honest! All I can really tell you is from my own experience and my own little traditions of looking at the reviews (friends and non-friends for unbiased reviews) and to not judge a book too prematurely based solely on the cover or title or unknown authors name. Some of the best romance novels I have read have been indie authors, with only e-Books out there that have maybe 10 reviews total on the book. There is no exact science about knowing which book will blow your mind, and have you chomping at the bit for the next one or have you shaking your head and questioning WHY you spent money on this at all?
Ask yourself how can you weed out the authors who are just riding the tails of the New Adult/Romance waves that are hitting the book shelves? I suggest having a FIRM set of steps to take when looking into new authors in these genres; I prefer to use a mix of lists from: Bloggers, Authors and “Listopia” lists that I visit frequently so I am not trapped in a bad read. Below I’ve included my own personal lists of topics from above, and hopefully you won’t be lulled into a false sense of awesomeness when really it’s mediocre at best.
Bloggers: some bloggers have their areas of expertise and over the years of lurking, and stalking and basically obsessing over fabulous bloggers I have a SMALL list of romance bloggers I hold with the highest regard of giving great recommendations for all genre’s of romance.
Authors: This is a tricky list because I obviously have my own bias towards some authors and others due to the fact I like some genres over others BUT I am going to try and give you a wide range of “go to” authors from all genres.
- Kresley Cole (Adult Romance & YA Romance)
- Gena Showalter (Adult Romance & YA Romance)
- Christina Lauren (Adult/Contemporary Romance)
- Emily Snow (Contemporary Romance)
- K.A. Tucker (Contemporary Romance)
- Kit Rocha (Erotica)
- Sylvia Day (Erotica)
- R.K. Lilley (Erotica)
- JR Ward (Paranormal Romance)
- Karen Marie Moning (Paranormal Romance)
- J. Lynn (New Adult/YA Paranormal Romance)
- Colleen Hoover (New Adult)
- Diana Gabaldon (Historical Romance)
Listopia: I have just recently started to scan the “listopia” section of Goodreads.com (so first make sure you have an account with www.goodreads.com :P). They have topics you can search and other members of the site have created or added to these topics in a list form (obviously, lol). Here are some of the lists I’ve frequented to find that diamond in the rough per say of new romance authors! (Please note that these list don’t separate Y.A. romance and Adult Romance unless stated otherwise).
- “So You Love a Bad Boy or Tortured Hero?”
- “New Adult 2013”
- “Smut for the Smart”
- “Best ADULT Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance”
So there you go; some food for thought when choosing your next great romantic adventure! This mini rant turned into a much longer post that I anticipated; I hope you enjoyed it! And if you have any comments leave them below – I always love to hear from you all (: