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Growing As A Reader: YA Books, Book Ratings & Genre Shifts

Mid-year this year, it will have been 4 years since I started blogging – and that alone feels surreal. But what’s most interesting and what I’ve been reflecting on a lot recently is how I’ve changed and grown as a reader.

When I first started this blog, I was still at university, a bright 18-year-old that published this blog a week after her 19th birthday. My life has changed considerably since then. Not only am I getting old at 23 this year, but I’ve found that I’ve started to enjoy different things when it comes to my reading. So, today I thought I’d talk a bit about how much my reading has evolved cause this seems like a great reflective discussion topic to have at the beginning of a brand new year.

Reading Less YA Books

I used to read a lot of YA. 99% of the books I read were YA but most recently in the last year, I’ve been slowly reading more adult and really enjoying it. It makes me feel a lil old but it also makes me feel more mature somehow. It feels liberating that adult books don’t intimidate me as much as they used to and that I can feel confident that I’m understanding what I’m reading. If anyone remembers when they were a kid and tried to read a book that was way too hard to understand; I think that’s why YA was my comfort zone.

That being said, YA books have certainly evolved in the complexity of their writing and it’s why I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll likely still read heaps of YA because YA books are still SO good. No matter what age you are.

Book Rating Changes

Something that I’ve noticed especially in the last few years since I got back into reading, is that books that I LOVED when I was 11-12 are absolute trash to me now. It baffled me a little that I enjoyed these books so many years ago and yet now, I can spot everything wrong with them. The difference in experience means that for a lot of books, my ratings have changed (and often lowered) and I’ve noticed it even for books that I read 1-2 years ago.

Most recently, I noticed this while re-reading Six of Crows. While I still thoroughly enjoyed my experience in reading it, it just didn’t have that…oomph I felt 2 years ago when I first read it. I would only rate it maybe a 4 or 4.5 instead of a 5 out of 5 stars. It made me really reconsider my reading tastes and what I liked in books now compared to before. Its an interesting thought experiment – would you still love your absolute favourite books today if you reread them?

I think what this shows is the growth in, not just my reading tastes, but my reading experience. As I’ve read more, my experiences have varied and my expectations are attuned to more than what it previously was. That’s not to say that Six of Crows isn’t a fantastic and incredibly mature YA book but I’d definitely say that I enjoyed Ninth House more. Which brings me to my last topic:

Genre Shifts

Especially in 2020, I’ve noticed how I’ve been leaning more towards epic/high fantasies and especially thriller/horrors. I’m so genuinely excited to read more of these books I never expected to love a few years ago. And that’s something else that can come from growing up a bit.

After years of reading similar things, I started wanting different elements and different stories and embracing that has been so empowering! Now I’m keener to pick up particular genres I’m curious about and I feel more open-minded about books too. I think, in general, being more open-minded is great for personal growth so I hope to keep embracing it in the next few years and see how I go.

How do you think your reading tastes have changed? Have you noticed yourself growing as a reader too?

Until next time,

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  • Louise @ Monstrumology

    I feel like my reading tastes have definitely changed over time. When I first started blogging my main genres that I read were YA dystopians and YA paranormal romance. Now I feel like YA dystopians have been completely milked dry and the thought of YA paranormal romance makes me feel a little gross because I think I’m a little too old for them. I’m still primarily a YA reader, but I’ve been slowly starting to read more adult fiction too.

    • Tracy

      I totally agree! I was loving Dystopians as well but it is nice to see paranormal or at least vampire books make a comeback! It’s been interesting reading more adult too, I’m way less intimidated by them I find. Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a great day <3

  • Ruby Rae Reads

    Omg Tracy, I SO relate to literally all of this. I’ve been rating books a lot lonely but I think it’s mostly because I’ve been… experimenting with different genres. I’ve also not been reading as much YA lately, though I do want to get back into it because I still have so many on my tbr welp. Loved reading this post xoxo

  • tasya @ the literary huntress

    This is a very reflective post, Tracy! I also been noticing a shift in my reading preferences lately, one of the most obvious being that I started to branch out more. I still enjoy reading YA, but instead of reading strictly fantasy, I’ve been really enjoying contemporary and thrillers lately šŸ™‚

  • Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

    I used to be a big fan of dystopian and YA contemporary romance, both genre which I have grown out of. Although I have always been inclined towards fantasy which hasn’t changed but my reading taste has definitely evolved over the years.

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