When you review books, you read a lot of stuff that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise bothered with. It’s really hard to turn down a nicely worded author request, or a great blog tour opportunity, even when the book isn’t your genre or your style. But there’s also just the sheer volume of reading you do – which means you read a lot of things that are disappointing. But the flip side to that is finding a gem hidden among the dross.
Sometimes you pick up a book and expect it to be fantastic and it isn’t. But more than making up for that disappointment is those occasions when you pick up a book expecting it to be mediocre and finding yourself really really enjoying it.
When I picked up The Holders, for example, I wasn’t expecting much. It had a mediocre cover, wasn’t a big six publication (not always an indication of quality, by any stretch – I’ve read some shockingly bad big six books – but my expectations for big six books are always higher) and I’d never heard of the author. I started reading and from about the third chapter I was utterly hooked and couldn’t put it down. It became one of my top picks for 2013.
I always love discovering books like this. So far in 2015, my top unexpected read has been Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter – which I highly recommend to any sci-fi fan. I hope that (when I get out of this reading slump) I discover many more before the year is out!