I've been mentally exhausted through most of this weekend, but I'm still trekking through edits and reading through my ARCs. This week I'm probably going to do some revising/revamping so I'll have some announcements to make in the coming days. Also, I'm having to play catch up with my Book Playlist entries because I've been that busy juggling between things I need to do and things I want to do - and they don't always match up.
I'm going to start back with the Book Playlist entries on Tuesday of this week and continue onward. I might do individual catch up entries because some of them I've already started penning, but just didn't finish composing. =P
I'm hovering about 75% complete on my edits because of taking out a character completely from my story (that was a long slog that I didn't actually finish until Friday/Saturday, and it was a painful process) and because I scrapped three chapters worth of other material because of that character, so I'm having to fill in the gaps now (which is surprisingly easy now).
But that's putting me behind where I want to be, so hopefully it works out and I can go through another revision before I start asking for beta readers.
I'm also happy to say that I've finally beat my bad book streak. The last five (or maybe six) books I've read have been awesome, and I think I have a little more motivation to catch up with my reviews.
Suffice to say, I think after I finish whatever ARCs of the genre I have of it, I'm taking a long break from reading New Adult in general unless it comes highly recommended from friends or from a writer I trust. Considering I have more than 20 books to go and dozens more reviews to write - it may not seem like I'm taking a break from it, but I'm not going to be requesting any more from the time being. I'm finding I want to go back to reading things that feel less like a formula, less offensive and more diversity in them. I can only take so much slut shaming, gender and sexual orientation stereotyping, melodrama, misogyny, racism (and yeah, I've read a few books that had racist undertones, but those books I'll get to reviewing eventually ), among other problematic things that are so poorly handled that it's no fun to read, not even for the measure of exploring what the books purport to be "real life". Not at all. Not any more than many reality television shows reflect reality anyway. And I hate that because it's not like I want to paint anything with a wide brush, but when you have so many stories doing the same thing and making the same kinds of problematic claims, you wonder if it's worth digging to find the diamond in the rough.
I think the reason I read so much into it was because I wanted to learn what the genre was (which to be honest with you, I'm no more understanding what it actually is because it seems so contradictory from what its definitions are purported to be), why the appeal was so high, and if there were authors whose work appealed to me even with the limitations of the genre.
I did end up finding quite a few New Adult authors I loved - Karina Halle, Leah Raeder, Katja Milay, Rebecca Donovan to name a few, and I definitely thought it was worth the effort either to promote the ones I ended up liking/loving or provide an alternative perspective to hundreds of thousands of reviews as one person to step up to the plate and say "This is B.S. and here's why". But 80% of what I've read in the genre hasn't really done anything for me at all (and I can say it's exactly 80% because I've read about 100 NA books to date, maybe a little more than that, just haven't reviewed them all). I've learned a lot than what I did about the genre/age group in general from reading as much as I have, but I wish it were more diverse. I wish it wasn't so constrained, formulaic, and problematic.
One could say that every genre/age group subsection has its respective flaws, but I'm finding more flaws in this subsection than standard adult romance, erotica, sci-fi/fantasy, or any other genre I've perused. Is it because it's a newer designation that people are still trying to shape, or is it because of the definitions/delineations of the genre that people think they have to write in it and what's popular? It's difficult to say. Regardless, that's not a good sign. I might be silly to hope that it'll get better or that the problematic measures die in the way that fads of fashion do, but I honestly don't know.
Even still, I recognize and respect the diversity of what people love/hate in their reading pursuits, and that I also bring such a diversity to the table with what I like and dislike. I think as long as I or others are reading and can have these open and ongoing discussions, it's worth the while.
Rant and update over. Happy reading (and writing) all.