In a shocking state of normality, there are many things I’ve grown out of reading.
I had to grow out of something because I sure haven’t grown out of my clothes from when I was 14. I am vertically challenged. But I still get monstrously SHOCKED when I realise I am, in fact, not the same type of bookworm I was four years ago. Or six years ago. I’m not even the same bookworm I was twenty three years ago, mostly because I was a baby and a leech on society and just loafed around eating snacks and hating on my siblings. *
It’s always a bit scary to realise your reading tastes have changed but, IT’S REALLY OKAY!!! WE ARE ALLOWED!! I don’t see myself growing out of YA books (because that’d be heckin’ awkward considering writing them is my attempted career) but I’m totally okay with growing out of types of books. Or tropes. Or genres. OR ANYTHING. Tastes can change.
Except for cupcake tastes. If you think you’re “growing out of cupcakes” then no. You need to see a doctor and maybe lie down I don’t think you’re well.
Today I’m listing 10 types of stories I used to love but now….no. And a lot of these made up my childhood so I feel a SMOL PANG OF GUILT for not loving them anymore. But also some of them make me question Smol!Cait’s life choices so… it evens out.
* FUN FURY STORY TIME: Apparently all I did as a smol baby child was frown and cry at my 4 older siblings if they tried to hold me. Obviously you don’t touch The Queen without permission.
I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Throwback Freebie” and OKAY FINE LOOK I TRIED TO JOIN IN PROPERLY BUT IT’S JUST NOT WORKING OUT FOR ME. Although to be fair after the suggested prompts of “books I used to love”, it does say “tweak it however you want.”.
I have permission to be a terrifying snarly-toothed disagreeable little prompt rebel.
So throwback to when I loved these.
(NOTE: Obviously there are exceptions to all these…if a book is well-written or by my favourite author, heck yes my standards are gone and I’ll read / love it. This is just a generalised list.)
1. DYSTOPIAN, AAAALL THE DYSTOPIAN.
Do you remember when dystopian was The Thing Of All Things™?? It’s honestly freaking impressive how popular it was. I’m pretty sure they were even selling dystopian cookbooks and socks * by the end. So I, like any other smol bookworm bean, obviously devoured not one, not even two, but 3989 MILLION OF THESE DYSTOPIAN NOVELS. Obviously I just burnt out. And this was like on the very cusp of me turning to book blogging so I didn’t really know about other genres!! I thought life was The Hunger Games alone.
BRIEF LIST OF REASONS WHY DYSTOPIAN WAS TICKING ME OFF BY THE END:
- it all sounds the same
- like I get that you need the super bad government and rebels but like…can we not shake things up
- it was all narrated by girls with as much personality as a dehydrated apple
- at least two boys
- or maybe THREE
- why is everyone so cleanly shaven tho
- no one has a sense of humour
- the boy is named after a number
- save your family
- OH LOOK YOUR FAMILY IS DEAD TIME YOU DID A FREAKING BAD JOB OF SAVING THEM
- why do the rebels have no personality
- the government sucks in 2040
- yeah but the government sucks in 2017 and we at least aren’t eating each other
Obviously I do love some dystopians. AKA the Hunger Games to which I owe my entire love of YA! And I’m quite fond of the Disruption duology, The Giver, Blood Red Road and Shatter Me. But otherwise? If I see a dystopian these days, my #1 reaction is:
* Starring things like: hOW TO COOK ONE RAW CARROT TO FEED FAMILY OF 6. And also: BUY ONE HOLEY SOCK, GET THE OTHER ONE NEVER…JUST LIKE IF YOU WERE IN A DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY. Omg someone put me in marketing, I’m impressing myself here.
2. KIDS TRAVELLING INTO MAGICAL WORLDS THROUGH SECRET DOORS.
Okay so full disclosure: Narnia was my LIFE as a kid. I have most utter respect for it despite the fact that CS Lewis was sexist trash. But you know!! Oblivious childhood love!!
Nowadays — I just really find the “ooooh a door to a MAGIC WORLD” tedious. The people either (a) accept this magical society far too easily or (b) we waste PAGES AND PAGES of them getting infodumps.
I’m too old and tired.
So I will always love Narnia, but if you show me a book about kids and portals and adventures that all become obsolete when they go home…I just make this high pitched keening sound and fall over dead. 1/10 do not recommend killing me like so.
3. I USED TO LOVE JUST FANTASY AND NOTHING. ELSE. EVER.
This is actually a recent development of my gnarly heart but I actually read a lot more contemporary. And do you want to hear something else shocking??
WHO EVEN AM I.
Obviously fantasy is still my #1 but I write contemporary and l read contemporary and wow.
4. SLAPSTICK COMEDY.
I CAN’T STAND IT. I CAN’T EVEN SIT ON IT. I literally hate books that have the tone of “And then I ate eggs for breakfast but someone got murdered on my front porch, oh bother! My eggs will get cold!” Or satire. Or lol @ serious moments. Or anything in that strain of flu. It is a flu. Keep it away from me, please, I beg you.
Did I just get old and serious??? Possibly. I love humour, don’t get me wrong! But I prefer sarcasm, snark, self-depreciating, really bad puns, and witty comebacks.
5. HISTORICAL FICTION.
When I wasn’t spending my childhood in Narnia, I spent it in HISTORICAL FICTION. Which is great. I had a good childhood. I used to organise games with my sister where we would play Roman soldiers and attack each other, but you know…it was a good solid childhood and don’t worry about me at all. *
Now? I just am tired of all the sexism. I know this has the potential to sound like I want to erase that part of our history — AND I DON’T. I love it how women rise up and pave the way for us to have freedom today. But I am also just a little weary of the constant “having-to-prove-yourself” thing. And I still do love a lot of HF, I just don’t gravitate to it. At all. Same as I don’t gravitate to books about spiders or books that disagree with eating cake. **
* Pls worry about me.
** Heresy. Burn it.
6. REALLY BADASS FEMALE HEROINES WHO KICK EVERYONE WITHOUT EMOTIONS.
Full disclaimer: I love badass female heroines who will stab you in the left earlobe and win the war and marry the dragon. But why can’t they have EMOTIONS too??? And why do they like 90% of the time hate pretty things?!
Girls can be masculine or feminine and no shame for either one, but “strong” doesn’t have to equal emotionless stone.
7. MOST SUPERHEROES.
Here is my bookworm confession: I don’t actually love reading action scenes! I know. I’m ridiculous. I’m a very very visual person so I’d rather SEE a superhero movie (I love those) and watch the explosions and the fight scenes with my own eyeballs. My brain doesn’t want to create them. I’m so bad at visualising things. Particularly directions. Whenever my family tries to explain something to me, it basically plays out like this:
FAMILY: Then you’ll see lots of shops on the left *USING LOGICAL HAND GESTURES* and the road bends like so and then you walk around this park and–
ME: did u say left
ME: which is my left
Also my family is trying to sell me on ebay and get a Cait that actually works but whatever.
With great power, comes great responsibility to write action scenes that don’t leave me at the end saying, “Wow! Epic! What just happened!”
8. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST TALES.
I loved Hatchet by Gary Paulsen so so much when I was a youth! I was legit going to get myself thrown into the middle of Canada to survive, which would’ve been a feat because (a) I live in Australia so that’s quite a detour, and (b) I’ve never been truly cold in my life so I’d be dead before day 1 was over, and (c) I hate fish??? C’mon, Smol!Cait, what were you thinking??? You can’t survive anywhere YOU FREAKING HATE FISH.
Now I just find survival books really boring.
Oh the look for food. Oh they step in a bear trap. Oh they nearly get rescued but don’t. Oh they sit in a rubber boat in the water and nearly die of thirst. Oh they realise humanity suck and is pointless. Surprise surprise.
Like food is obviously a great motivator for me too, but I JUST CAN’T WITH GATHERING IT BEING 90% OF THE PLOT.
New Idea: survival story but an introvert trapped in their own house with a stranger in the kitchen so the introvert can’t get to food and must go eat raw shells from the wild wild seas instead of say “please move so I can get to the fridge” because nO ONE WANTS TO DO THAT.
I can’t even with how frustrating I find mystery books. Because I’m a Slytherin and the only option for me is (a) win or (b) WIN. And if I can’t solve the mystery before the book does (and usually you CAN’T because they don’t give you enough details) then, mate, I’m outta here like the entirely self-confessed over-achieving narcissist I am deep down inside.
My smolhood * consisted of reading 3989 Boxcar Children books. I also read the Mandy mysteries and kind of want to burn my eyes out. Smol!Cait didn’t know quality literature.
Smol!Cait has so many regrets. **
* This is the new way to say childhood as decreed by me literally 4 seconds ago. It’ll be a worldwide phenomenon soon.
** I regret reading those darn Mandy books but another of my regrets is the time I put vegemite on an orange. I don’t even know why but I think I poisoned myself and this is why I am like I am now.
10. BOOKS ABOUT DOGS, BY DOGS, OF DOGS, BASICALLY EVERYTHING DOGGIFIED.
Did anyone ever grow up reading things like Old Yeller and Sounder and Shiloh and Big Red? Because I did. Clearly my mother wanted the hope in my eyes to be snuffed out while I was young. I FREAKING HATE DOG BOOKS, OKAY?! They always always kill off the poor dog, who is too good, too precious, too pure for this world.
BRIEF AND HONEST SUMMARY OF EVERY DOG BOOK OF EVER:
- boy finds dog and for some reason or other can’t keep him
- but must have dog anyway
- they play with the free abandon of Summer And Goodness™
- then dIRE GLOOM comes
- pure and precious dog inevitably dies heroically to save stupid boy
- boy is sad
- but totally gets over it because apparently the dog dying was his character development
- at least 78% of readers are crying now thanks
- the remaining 22% are freaking furious <— me
The truth of the matter is dogs > people. Let’s let a few humans die off for once, is all I’m saying. And stop killing off the ONLY GOOD CHARACTERS, AKA, THE DOGS. I honestly avoid dog books like nothing else these days. I don’t have much of a heart, it is well known, so I need to take care of the 2% I have left.