The Misconceptions of Fiction Genres

Taylor Askin, Staff reporter

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People think that books are losing their relevance, and while this is partially true compared to how they once were, the truth is more and more writers are sprouting up, creating even more unique stories than before. The major problem is how the genres in which they write they right are conceived by the average person who’s not really into reading. With books losing their style and convenience because of technology, people are just disconnected. Maybe the fact is that people don’t read because they have false generalizations about what books actually are. “It’s kinda unfortunate,” OPHS senior and reader Katherine Tait said. “Even though I mostly only read historical fiction, the problem is still prevalent.” 

For starters, take a look at the fantasy genre. You can ask practically anyone, but they’ll all say; wizards, unicorns, aliens, something to that likeness, but the truth (usually) is quite the contrary. Fantasy novels are filled with danger and betrayals, typically featuring a teenager with some sort of power. Whether it’s in the medieval era or modern day depends on the writer. They can involve kings and queens and courts, wars, and sure, magical creatures might make an appearance, but some people won’t read them because the only book people think of is Twilight. Simply put, they’re made up stories about people and events that could never happen. I’d suggest Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, which involves kingdoms, overseas threats, a unique magic system, fantastic characters, and even apocalyptic elements!

Well what if you’re not into books like that? There’s always contemporary novels. It’s a genre that’s highly overlooked, because the only two titles people usually think of are The Fault in our Stars, and probably and Looking for Alaska, which are both by John Green. The thought behind those who won’t read these books is because of you’ve read one, you’ve read them all, which isn’t at all the case. Contemporary books can have a darker, more violent side, sometimes dealing with really serious topics. However, they usually do have romantic elements. Still, John Green isn’t the only contemporary author, okay? Personally I suggest Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman. It’s a perfect example of what contemporary books are, and is a fantastic read about art, self discovery, discrimination, and never giving up on your dreams.

The last misconstrued genre is science fiction, which everyone thinks involves alien invasions and ray guns. And sure, while some authors do like putting things like these into their books, it’s not all sci-fi is. Science fiction simply means the story contains events that could possibly happen someday, like the story Jurassic Park. Books like these are actually more about advanced technology in our society, and often do incorporate otherworldly elements like humanoids and odd diseases that turn people into zombies, to name a few. “They’re uniquely creative in how well they can broaden someone’s imagination,” said junior Nick Usanky.  If you’re new and looking to get into this genre, I’d recommend Legend by Marie Lu. It’s extremely riveting with two teens who grew up quite differently; one’s a national felon, the other a genius, and the story has enough plot twists to keep you from putting the book down.

There are plenty of different books to get into that you’ve probably never thought of trying. Just remember, it’s important not to judge a book by it’s cover, or by society’s labels of them. Labels mess with your mind, and you could end up missing out on a really good read by listening to them.