[Discussion] Reading outside of your box

Discussion - Reading Outside of Your Box

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of the books I’ve picked up are books that I’m not interested in at all, or at least not interested in by the summary alone.

The only reason I’ve decided to read them is because everyone else says the book is awesome or I’ve read a fantastic review that makes me want to see what the reviewer is talking about. After I’ve read the book I either think it’s; one of the best books I’ve read recently, or that it was the very opposite of that.

My point is: I picked it up to give it a go anyway.

Do you pick up books you wouldn’t have normally read, because you were urged to by a review or friend? Or do you only read books you’re sure you would like?

I’ve found recently that I’m open to reading different books because I’ve loved quite a few books I wouldn’t have normally picked up otherwise.


Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers CoverGrave Mercy. I thought it was different, exciting and intriguing. It reminded me of my all time favourite series The Belgariad and The Mallorean written by David Eddings. I think I mostly loved the time it was set in coupled with the odd idea that death has a saint and people serve him but those people don’t murder because they get a kick out of it, they kill the people that are traitorous to their country and have been deemed to die by their saint Mortain.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre CoverEnclave. I couldn’t put this book down, I found it incredibly exciting and interesting. I had never read anything that had zombies before this book, there aren’t actual zombies in this book but the ‘freaks’ feel like they are classed as some sort of zombie. Even though they don’t rise from the dead, they do only eat human flesh.

It was exciting and had me furiously turning page after page. I think the reason I loved this book so much was because I hadn’t ever read anything like it before and I am very interested in the idea of what life could be like after some sort of ‘apocalypse’. The world as we will personally never know it.

Legend by Marie Lu CoverLegend. I nearly didn’t read this book because the summary held no interest for me, it sounded way too political. And I really did not like the names ‘Day’ and ‘June’, something as silly as that thought made me push this further down the list. But then I kept reading reviews that said this book was awesome, so I decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed this book.

But then there have also been books that I’ve thought the very opposite.

What books have you decided to pick up because a review made it sound great, or because a friend/family/blogger recommended it do you?
Did you like it? Did you regret reading it?

Do you often read books that are ‘Outside of your Box’?

Miss J


25 thoughts on “[Discussion] Reading outside of your box

  1. I can think of one right now: Easy by Tammara Webber, I loved this book, but it was something I picked up after seeing so many great reviews. I tend to follow suggestions by a few bloggers that I now have similar tastes to mine.

    • Fair enough! After all, if they don’t have similar tastes there is more of a chance that you will not like the books the recommend haha. I quite like getting to experience new genre’s and authors.

  2. I don’t usually steer from my particular genre on my own, but I’ve found that some review requests I accept lead me to read books I wouldn’t normally read. So far, I haven’t been disappointed by ONE review request I’ve accepted. That has introduced me to new authors, genres, etc. Now I’ll add books I have no interest in reading to challenges JUST to give them a chance. I’m reading L.A. Candy after my current book for a challenge, and while I have NO interest in reading it, I’m curious to see if I will change my mind after I’m finished. Great post!

    • That’s great! I have grown attached to giving a book a chance if it doesn’t sound like something I would usually pick up. And if I don’t like it then I just DNF it yet I’m content I gave it a go. Besides there isn’t enough time in the year to read every book ever recommended or written!

  3. A book “outside of my box”? That would be Beautiful Disaster. I liked it, although it wouldn’t be something that I’d normally pick up. I haven’t read any of the books that you’re showcasing – I guess you’re inspiring me to read “outside of my box” :)

    • I haven’t read Beautiful Disaster but I’ve heard quite a few good things about it. Haha yes! I recommend those books if you think you will like the genre!

  4. This is a great discussion! I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t really say there’s any genre that I don’t read (except non-fiction, usually) just because if someone raves about a book and does a good job of convincing me I’ll read it regardless of genre. Pretty much anything is fair game.
    Since I started booking book tours I started reading more Indie/self published books I normally would decline for review (mostly just because I don’t have enough time, but sometimes they don’t really call to me) and I’ve found several that I ended up loving! I will only tour books that I enjoy and feel confident promoting so it’s a little bit of pressure but so far they have all been amazing reads and I’ve been a bit surprised by how much I liked them!

    • Yeah I’m not a big fan on Non-Fiction either! To be honest though I think the one genre I’m just really not interested in at all and usually don’t have fun reading is Contemporary Lit. I’ve just never liked it. It’s too real and sometimes too painful. Random right?

      That’s pretty cool! And an awesome way to come across with book tours!

  5. I’ve read a bunch of books outside of my norm since I started blogging, and it’s been a mixed bag. Some I adored, others made me remember why I don’t normally read those kinds of books. Some books I’ve read that I loved and are outside the box for me are The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, Pushing the Limits, and The Book Thief. There’s also been many I haven’t liked…but I won’t say what those were :-) I agree, sometimes I just want to see what all the fuss is about!

    • That’s one huge thing I’ve loved about doing this, opening up to reading books I would never have picked up before. Yeah, it’s definitely been a mixed bag! It can either go 50/50 I think.

  6. A book that I’ve picked that is “Outside my box” would have to be Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. There were so many raving review that I just had to read it. Wasn’t sure I’d like it at first since contemp romance is not usually my thing, but I ended up loving it!

    • I have definitely heard a lot of raving reviews for this book as well! Like you contemporary isn’t really my thing at all, for some reason I just can’t sit through it. That’s awesome that you really liked it!

    • Ohh awesome! Yeah the summary for Something Strange and Deadly doesn’t really appeal to me either, but I’ve heard it’s great and there have been a lot of reviews that make me want to read it. That plus I’m currently on a zombie kick. So I can’t wait to pick up that one!

      As for The Throne of Glass I was pretty excited for that one, but then I started with the novella’s and I dislike the way Celaena acts so much that I’ve found I can’t pick up the next novella… I will definitely get around to it at some point though :/

  7. I tend to be very nervous about giving a book I am not sure I will a try. But I have been trying books that are definitely out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I love them, and sometimes I can only get a few pages in.

    I do try to give books a try, though. I’m just not always successful because there are so many books that I think I will love. Of course, some of those books I end up being very disappointed in.

    You’re right. It is good to be open-minded! :)

    • I get nervous as well! Mainly because I’m not sure if I will like it and there’s another book I’m dying to read.

      Plus sometimes I find it hard to DNF books, I keep thinking that it might just get better so I keep on reading, then 3/4 of the way in I’m still not liking it yet I’m already 3/4 so I might as well finish it. Sometimes that’s not a good way to read a book I think, just because you’re forcing yourself through it. And I don’t like forcing myself through books but I also don’t like giving up too early…

      Still there have been lots of books that have pleasantly surprised me!

  8. I side with Candice on this topic. I discriminate against non-fiction and self-published works and no amount of pressuring will I fold to read them… at least not yet. Though that is more so for self-published works. Non-Fiction I like account re-tellings rather than straight up history book text, and there aren’t many written in topics I’m interested in…

    Though I guess Contemporary YA would be out of the box for me… not because I stay away from them, but for the fact that I find many written unappealing to me. My next contemporary is “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han. Well see how that goes…

    • Interesting. I try to be open with self published books but I also have to really, really, really like the sound of the summary to pick it up. Otherwise I won’t bother.

      Contemporary is way out of the box for me! Like so far out that it’s actually one genre I usually don’t venture out to try. I may read one contemporary or two sometime in my lifetime from now but usually I just can’t get past the first chapter or so. I just don’t enjoy it, sadly. I’m all paranormal, action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian and apocalyptic!

      Although! The Summer I Turned Pretty is a contemporary that I have read. Ironically I used to read contemporary a lot when I was in high school. I enjoyed it. But I was in high school and read for the enjoyment, and if I didn’t enjoy it I usually put it down to the fact that I got bored. Not the writing, plot line, characters, genre or whatever else.


  9. I have a pretty big box (I’ll pick up just about anything YA), but I recently read Ten and it wasn’t too bad. It’s one of the few horror books I’ve read – not because I don’t want to, but I don’t typically find them.
    Grave Mercy was truly outside of my box – I hate anything Historical – and I didn’t like it at all, sadly. I was bored to tears >.<
    50 Shades of Grey was REALLY outside my box…did I like it? I really don't know, haha. It was a love/hate relationship…

    Great post!

    • Ten sounds really scary actually. I don’t think I could pick it up haha.

      Aww darn! Sorry you didn’t like Grave Mercy! I usually love historical fiction if it has something interesting happening. Like assassination hahaha.

      Oh yeahh, I was going to read 50 Shades of Grey at one point. But then I decided not to bother after hearing everyone else’s reviews. I might pick it up one day when I have time!

      At least you tried though!

  10. I loveee this post! I read books like that ALL THE TIME and sometimes I’m just wondering what they’re doing on my TBR Shelf at all! I have yet to read Enclave and Legend, but Grave Mercy didn’t work out so well for me unfortunately. I can’t wait to read the other too though! Wonderful discussion post! :D

    • I wonder that sometimes myself! haha. I definitely recommend Enclave if you feel like a post apocalyptic, kind-of-zombie, book. And Legend if you feel like a slightly more political dystopian!

  11. I picked up Daughter of Smoke and Bone and only read about seven pages because I’m not that into the Angels and Demons genre… then when a friend of mine found out I didn’t read it, she told me I HAD TO… and I’m so glad I picked it up again beause I loved it! It is my IT book of the moment and I can’t wait for the second one. For that reason, I’m been more open to trying out suggestions and reading books “outside of my box.”

  12. I started reading Jodi Picoult solely on the recommendations of some of my co-workers. We have a little tight knit group that just loves to read and we started swapping books together. That is how I became exposed to ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ and I have totally devoured each one of her novels every since. I was always primarily and fantasy, paranormal and horror genre reader, but thanks to them, I have expanded my horizons and am so thankful!

    Bookluvrs Haven

    PS – LOVE your blog! New follower.

  13. One of my absolute favorite reads in recent years was Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and I was totally surprised by how much I loved it. The cover was unappealing to me and it just didn’t sound good (Goth boy and cheerleader…sounds cliche, right?) but it turned out to be both creepy and sweetly romantic. Loved it. So I think it’s good to get outside your comfort zone once in a while…and also to not judge books by their covers! (Hey, I never said I’m always against cliches!! :)

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