Book Recommendations + Lists · mary's musings · Uncategorized

What Does ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Novels Mean ?

I personally think the meaning may differ from person to person but in my opinion…

A guilty pleasure novel is any book which has major flaws in some aspects, doesn’t offer anything new or has some overused cliches or repeated tropes…but is super entertaining to read.
AKA ‘there’s no good reason for me to like this book but I LOVE this book’.

There’s many reasons why –

  • The book is comforting to read because it doesn’t have any heavy material or issues.
  • The book has characters you can relate to
  • The characters are likable enough for you to ignore the rest of the book
  • The overused cliches or tropes are just happened to be the ones you LOVE
  • The writing style is good enough to make the book seem decent
  • you just love the settings (possibly overused) the book is based on
  • The book just fits your aesthetic
  • The book contains some amount of nostagia whether in it’s plot or characters
  • The topics discussed in the book is appealing to the target audience (you)
  • The book is perfect for the fans of that genre
  • None of the above, maybe the book is just entertaining without any reason

and many more…

Guilty pleasure books may also include a cheap copy of copy of copy of ONE original good book (basically wattpadish). Maybe that’s why many people like it, even as a copy, that book is entertaining.

And then they are those books which doesn’t take itself too seriously and has the self-awareness of being a guilty-pleasure. These are my personal favorites, because chances are the author is gonna be really good at it. The author also doesn’t try to portray it as anything other than a guilty pleasure

Either way, the title of these books is kinda misleading…why ’guilty’ pleasure when we are reading it for our own enjoyment ? (with few exception, some books DESERVE to be a ‘guilty’ pleasure). I think it should be a genre of it’s own, because sometimes you want to read the same thing again for the 10th time and get those feel-good feelings.

The following are some of the books I consider as some really good guilty pleasure –

  1. The Distance Between us
The Distance between us

Rich guy x Poor girl with main conflict being money…same old stuff. The writing makes this such an entertaining read (even though the plot is nothing new)

2. Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

Carefree guy x Uptight guy with Fake dating trope with the plot which is like…other fake dating trope plots. but get this, this one is GAY ! and FUNNY !

3. Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy

This book is what comfort feels like. No plot, little to no conflicts, and enough fluff and sweetness to rot your teeth.

3. The Ugly Stepsister

The Ugly Stepsister

23914 remake of Cinderella with my favorite cliches and predictable plot ? Sign me up. No kidding though, this is one of my personal favorites.

5. The Best Kind of Magic

The Best Kind of Magic

This book is not only filled with my favorite cliches but it’s also hilarious. I’m gonna pretend the predictable plot isn’t that predictable.

In Conclusion, Guilty pleasure novels are necessary when you don’t want to take a book seriously yet want something enjoyable. It’s also a proof that a novel doesn’t have to be a masterpiece for you to enjoy it.

What are some of the novels you’ll recommend as ’guilty pleasures’ ?

mary's musings

The Death of YA Dystopia

[ash’s note: hii everyone, this is a quick notice to say that no my blog hasn’t been hacked buut my amazing friend Mary/Unknown User on goodreads is going to co-blog with me now! i’m really excited, this is her first post! we’ll be doing collabs, articles, book tags and more! posts published under “Unknown User” are hers and published under “Ash” are mine!]

Ok Fine…death is an exaggeration but YA dystopia definitely isn’t as popular today as it was years back. In fact, YA dystopia can said to have completely decline to the point I don’t see anyone reading them anymore. While other YA genres like fantasy, contemporary, romance are THRIVING.

I remember the time I went through a phase where I would read nothing but YA dystopia. Divergent, delirium series, shatter me…etc..I can go on. And there’s a reason why it was so popular, the idea of rebelling against the govt who controls you…who doesn’t want to read that ? (Especially when we’re LIVING the dystopian present)

so, why exactly has this genre declined to the point it’s ‘dead’ ?

I can think of some reasons why –

welcome to YA dystopia where we share
the same plot format everywhere !

Yes, technically we can also see other book genres following some form of formula. But it’s more glaringly obvious in ya dystopia. Simply, because only one type of format works.

Main character stuck in a cycle of dystopia ➡️ accepting at first because that’s what they’ve always known ➡️ something happens making them aware ➡️ forms a group to rebel against the govt ➡️ failures for some time ➡️ a new plan emerges ➡️ climax ➡️ ending (probably good one)

With some variations but not much.

This main character can defeat the government
(And only this one type of character) !

Let’s be honest. Only few types of mc fits in this genres and out of those only 2 are successful.
It’s either someone innocent and good who turns rebellious and strong. Or someone who was strong and rebellious from the start. They all fit in one single personality at the end though.

‘The Perfect World’ for people who
are conveniently gullible

Ya dystopia is almost always set in the future. Therefore, inconsistencies are pretty common. First of all, the govt’s agendas don’t even make sense a lot of times. For example, I can never get over the fact that in delirium series, govt is against love (as in the emotions) AND are successful in ‘stopping’ it.
SURRREE, the govt in real life are also against love and there are way more scarier than the one in the book…so why would I read that book ?

Plus, don’t even get me started in the way they are defeated. It’s just too lazy.

These are the people in YA dystopia, see any difference ? yup neither do I

This is a biased opinion but I believe that the very basic setting of YA dystopian genre is often weak. One of the major flaw is how the plot erases all the differences among the people and make them homogenous.

This is why the agendas of the govt worked because the book often assumes that everyone thinks the same.
Except they don’t. Everyone is too different.

Oh no ! the govt is controlling the people, and it’s conveniently THAT simple

Yes, YA dystopia has a lot of potential if the authors are ready to take risks. Especially, when there’s so many issues, controversies and scandals which can be reflected in the books…unfortunately, it’s almost never implemented.
In real life, people aren’t black and white. Instead, there’s a lot of morally grey people everywhere.

Unfortunately, most of the books divides people into obvious good and bad.

The decline of YA dystopia has lot more to do than just the reasons above, perhaps there’s just not much interesting material on it anymore. And It’s not like YA dystopia has completely disappeared or is a bad genre in any way. In fact, there’s still some really good and known YA dystopia published recently. but is it gonna gain the same amount of popularity as before ? I doubt it.