Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved that were Out of my Comfort Zone

Posted February 23, 2016 by Zeee in Top Ten Tuesday14 Comments

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


I’m a creature of habit.  I admit that I tend to stick to genres that I am comfortable with, namely historical romance.  I never really thought that I would love YA books as much as I do now, but I am glad I picked the first YA book that I enjoyed so much about three years ago.

 This weeks’ theme are books that I loved that were out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes, I do try to stray from the straight and narrow and pick up books based on their covers.  I know, that sounds so shallow of me, but I do tend to pick up similar covers and titles despite not reading the blurb.  Anyway, my picks this week will be a mixture of awesome covers, buzz books, and plain curiosity.  This will be a mixture of adult fiction and YA fiction so brace yourselves!


  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost – I am not much of a PNR reader, and I have read a few that were OK.  Halfway to the Grave really blew me away and I immediately binge read the whole series!  Even if I don’t read contemporary PNRs, I still remember that I read and LOVED HttG.  I mean, BONES and one kick-ass heroine!
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I really dragged my feet when I first read Throne of Glass.  I am not a fan of high fantasy (this is sort of high fantasy, right?) and was a little hesitant to start reading this book.  I read this last year and reread it again at the end of last year then immediately binge read the next two books.  I WAS BLOWN AWAY AND DEVASTATED AND I CAN’T EVEN!  So yes, I admit, I am obsessed and I did not expect this at all.  I may not like high fantasy and I may not like to read The Game of Thrones or The Lord of the Rings, but THIS book!
  • Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – I am NOT a fan of angel books.  Only because they tend to be preachy, and I honestly am a little bothered by that.  However, I decided to listen to the audio and I was hooked!  I loved that the MC ended up with the guy I was rooting for!  As you can tell, there was a sort of love triangle, and I am not really a fan of love triangles.  For being an angel book, this wasn’t preachy at all and I really enjoyed it.  Now, I may not be picking up all the angel books out there and binge reading them all, but I am willing to give this genre a second chance.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Before reading The Hunger Games, I did not read dystopia type of books at all.  I had already seen the movie before I read this book so I knew what to expect.  However, I did not expect the book to BLOW ME AWAY!  I was hooked, and I binge read the whole trilogy!  Even if the series had a sort of happy ending, which I blogged about here, I thought it was perfect!
  • The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I had already read The City of Bones before reading this book.  heck, my husband already finished TMI up to the 4th book, and I only read the first one.  The series did not interest me as much, but when I saw this book, I decided to take a chance.  I mean, this is a historical steampunk YA, anyway and I had never read anything in that genre before.  I really didn’t expect to like this series at all, plus I also hadn’t heard any buzz about this series.  I really didn’t have any high expectations and didn’t really know what to expect, so I was really surprised that I enjoyed the series so much!


  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – Ahhh These Broken Stars was the first book that made me want to go back to reading YA again!  I had given up reading YA after I read Twilight, so I was a little hesitant to try this.  The cover seduced me, though.  I mean, LOOK AT THAT GOWN!  So, I am a sucker for gorgeous gowns, so I basically picked this book up because of the cover alone.  I read the blurb, thought it was interesting and started reading.  I could not put it down.  This was when I discovered that there were a lot of awesome YA books published.  The rest, as the say, is history!  I love reading sci-fi, but this was the first YA sci-fi that I read.  I am never looking back!
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – After The Da Vinci Code came out and there was all this bad press about that book, I read it.  Well, basically there was a copy lying around the house so I helped myself.  Initially, I thought this was a non-fiction book based on what everyone was saying, the banning and burning of this book, and whatnot.  So, I was really surprised to find out that this was FICTION!  OKAYALLTHEBANNINGWASJUSTFORNAUGHT!  Anyway, I thought the book was ok.  I didn’t love it and I also didn’t hate it.  I was talking to one of my high school friends one day and he recommended Angels and Demons.  He pitched it to me by saying that this book was better than The DaVinci Code and forced his copy on me.  WELL DOCTOR (he’s a physician now, btw) THIS WAS THE PERFECT MEDICINE!  I LOVED IT!  I mean THRILLING did not begin to cover it!  It was more fast paced than TDVC and the ambigrams!  I did read the other book, The Lost Symbol but it didn’t work for me.  Pierre read Inferno and he said it was good.  The Philippines was mentioned.  So I thought I would give it a chance.  That was a couple of years ago.
  • After the End by Amy Plum (Hubby’s review) – I honestly didn’t know what to expect.  This book is sort of like an urban sci-fi-ish feel to it and the reason I bought it was because I thought Pierre would enjoy it.  He said it was ok (like he ALWAYS says), so I decided to give it a shot.  He did say that the book had a unique POV.  So, I got the audiobook from the library and I enjoyed it!  I think it was mostly because the male POV really sounded like what a regular teenaged boy (?) sounded like.  Plus the sarcasm!  The second book didn’t really impress me at all, though.
  • The Sweetest Sin by Jess Michaels – Before I read this book, I didn’t know that there were historical erotic romance novels out there.  I can’t remember where I got a copy of this (I had a Sony e-reader before) book, though but I enjoyed it!  I was also able to read the other two books in the series and I was just amazed how great the romance was despite it being an erotic romance novel!  Around this time, I also found out that Jess Michaels was also Jenna Petersen, one of my favorite HR authors!
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green –  As I’ve said in various comments/tweets, I do not read realistic contemporary. especially if there is dying and cancer involved.  But because of the buzz and the movie coming out, I decided to give it a go.  I was surprised that I liked it.  I didn’t even cry as much as I expected to.  This is the only John Green book I’ve read, though and I’m not sure if I even want to read his other books.

I honestly had a hard time picking which books to show because the types of books that I read and more or less the same.  I know I should really try to read different types of genre, BUT I’m trying.  Baby steps, baby steps!  I think the only types of books I don’t read are espionage (Robert Ludlum) and lawyer type (John Grisham) books.  Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them, just not reading about them!

I will say though that I hardly read reality contemporary because FEELS.  I think this calls for a new blog post!

Have you read books out of your comfort zone?  Have you read any of the books on my list?  Let’s talk!

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14 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved that were Out of my Comfort Zone

  1. Meg

    I picked up After the End a while back as I was searching for a book with a similar feel to the movie The Village. I never ended up reading the second book because of similar reactions to yours though. Was there anything in particular you didn’t like?

    • I missed the sarcasm of Miles.. and then there was this weird voodoo-ish magic thing that really felt weird. Also, there was no clear ending… I’m actually waiting for a third book, but I think there’s none. 🙁 So it’s just… weird.

  2. Yay! I’m glad you’re enjoying the YA books (my two favourite genres are YA and HR haha)!! I love These Broken Stars, Travers and Lilac! It’s nice that there’s still romance in a lot of the YA. The Throne of Glass is series is sooo good, too! Great list, Zeee!
    I’m usually pretty bad at reading out of my comfort zone, but I’m in two book clubs that helps me read a little bit more broadly, haha,
    Cyn @ Book Munchies recently posted…Spotlight Post: I Kissed a Rogue by Shana GalenMy Profile

    • YES! My favorites are HR and YA, as well!

      I just got into ToG and I am just obsessed!

      I don’t belong to book clubs (but I wish I do!) so I have nobody to force me to read outside my comfort zone. I usually read whatever looks interesting to me. 🙂

  3. I actually really love contemporary novels that focus on tough subjects. I’ve been reading these type of books since I was young though, so I’m pretty used to it! It’s good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes though. I have read The Fault in Our Stars; I’d read Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, before so I knew I liked John already! I’ve also read The Hunger Games books. I don’t do dystopia much, but I love this series.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon RonsonMy Profile

    • I think one of the reasons why contemporaries with tough subjects/reality contemporaries are just my thing is that I hate reality. I know some people love the realism, but I don’t think my heart will survive this. I read adult historical romance and there is some reality situations there, but because it is set in the past, I’m pretty okay with it.
      I may try to read more, though. Who knows! I just finished reading Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and I thought it was meh. 🙂

  4. Great post, Ezrah! I’m glad you enjoyed Halfway to the Grave! I remember that being such a good guilty pleasure read, and I’ve been really tempted to go back and reread them. Throne of Glass is definitely on my TBR, I already knew you love it 😛 And maybe I’ll check out Unearthly too. I actually feel the same way about angels in books!
    Annika recently posted…Coffee&Classics: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyMy Profile

  5. Its always a great idea to explore other options in reading. I pretty much just stay in romance fiction…but I love all the sub genres. I am not a fan of YA like I used to be. I do love Jeaniene Frost….she is so superb. I love the whole world she has created surrounding Cat and Bones and all the other couples that we see.

    • Historical romance is my guilty pleasure! Including the sub-genres under that. I’ve recently been loving YA fantasy and dystopia and such, because the adult fiction one really didn’t interest me at all. Plus, it’s more fun reading about young kids outwitting the adults!

      Cat and Bones…… *heart*