Bookworm Quirks: Genre Burn Out, or, How I Completely Ruined the Most Popular YA Books for Myself

Genre Burn out

When I started college, the Hunger Games was the new phenomenon. Just as happened after Twilight, a billion books with the same setting or focus started saturating bookstore shelves. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Some of my favorite books came from the recent Dystopian resurgence.  But with all those cool new books coming out, I burned myself out quickly and badly. As a result, new Dystopians are a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure they’re very interesting and probably something I’ll eagerly read at some point. But until I get past the burn out, I won’t be looking at any of them.

This sucks, for the record. Because knowing a book is going to be awesome and having the motivation to read it are incredibly different things. For example: I’m currently looking at the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. They look amazing and I’ve heard a billion good things about them. And while I love a good retelling, these are not only tinged with sci-fi, one of my least favorite genres, but they’re set in a distant future. And that means that if I try to read these before I’m totally out of the Dystopian Distaste Forest, I’ll end up with a skewed opinion of them. Who wants to do that to perfectly good books?! Since I haven’t read the series yet, I don’t know if they’re truly Dystopian or not, but the future setting is enough to make me wary of how I’ll feel while reading them.

Due to this embargo on a huge genre, my reading phases have had to adjust. I have looked at tons of contemporary, from light and frothy to deep and intense. I’ve added childhood favorites to my reread list, I’ve relied on my reading challenge to aid in finding fresh reads, and I’ve eyed The Selection to see if it’s just enough of a mix between total favorite book and genre I’m staying away from to dip my toes back into the Dystopian pool (I’m not sure, but I’m going to reread it anyways).

I betrayed my silly reader heart, and as a result, I have to be careful what I had to my shelves. Instead of the new Dystopians, I look for the exact opposite in Rainbow Rowell and Jenny Han, hoping that their wonderful books will help usher in a new era of my love for the genre I’ve consumed too quickly.

Do you struggle with genre burnout? If so, how do you get past it and how long does it take? What genres have you gotten sick of reading, and what do you read in their stead? Help!

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5 thoughts on “Bookworm Quirks: Genre Burn Out, or, How I Completely Ruined the Most Popular YA Books for Myself

  1. My burnouts vary, depending on how they came about. I mainly read paranormal YA and dystopians, but every once in a while, I’ll only read cute and fluffy contemporaries. Usually this happens when I get tired of all of the dark themes in my two preferred genres. Usually, I bounce back after a book or two.

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    • I’m so jealous of your short rebound time! I’ve only read one Dystopian since June, and that was because I was going to see the movie adaptation. You’re a lucky duck!

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  2. That’s an interesting question. I think my strategy is to avoid burnout by being picky and organized. Although I’m really not that organized, ha. What I mean is that when I’m on a Dystopian kick I only read the best dystopian books, so I won’t get disgusted and start to associate bad writing with the whole genre (I can get a good feel for how clever or stupid a book is by skimming the first few pages, or if I’m choosing an ebook I check the amazon.com and Goodreads ratings). I also try to vary the setting or premise or whatever so I don’t read two super similar ones in a row. For example, a couple of weeks ago I read Wither, and immediately afterward read Crewel, but the worlds were dissimilar enough that I didn’t feel deja vu. I mix it up by reading books from other great genres in between, too. The other day I read Eleanor and Park, and it was awesome. Hmm I should probably go write a review now…

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  3. Oh, and the Lunar Chronicles series might be categorized as either Dystopian or Post-Apocalyptic. Of course it’s actually a steampunk fairy tale retelling in which Cinderella is a cyborg… and besides, technically Dystopian fiction is a sub-category of Sci-Fi, no? I think you should just go ahead and read it, without worrying about what it’s categorized as. But maybe that’s just me. 😛

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    • It’s not really that I’m worried about its technical category, I just don’t want my burn out to affect my opinion on the book just because it’s close to what I’m sick of reading. If that makes sense. Haha. Thanks for the super thoughtful comments! Definitely let me know when your E&P review is posted – it’s one of my absolute favorites!!

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