Dear Imaginary Book Recommenders,
Earlier today I stumbled across the 13 Best Fantasy Romance Books of All Time post (even updated for 2021, apparently). Now, this wasn’t a random blogger’s opinion of what qualifies as the best fantasy romance books. Instead, Most Recommended Books took a survey of other best-of lists and condensed them into one. (I think this is they’re shtick, what they do, essentially. And I’m not taking issue with it.)
Our goal was to create the best list of Fantasy Romance books on the internet.
To remain objective and unbiased, we looked at the 5 most popular “best Fantasy Romance books” articles online (we chose 5 because anything more than that diluted our quality).
Our rationale was simple: If a book only appears in one article, it’s probably just the journalist’s opinion, but if it appears in two or more, it’s probably worth checking out!
And all of that would have been fine, except that of the 13 (what an odd number of choices, btw), I’d read 4 (and own one more that I’ve not read yet). 4! I’m a 200-300 books a year reader, mostly in the Fantasy/fantasy romance genres and I’d read 4 of what they deemed he best of fantasy romance. What’s more, of those 4, 1 I basically hated and the other 3 were passable, in my opinion. Not rave-about-them bad, but not best-of material either. So, I was a bit shook by this list.
I realize that my tastes don’t always align with other readers’. And many of the books on the list have been quite popular. I also acknowledge that several of them are Young Adult and I’ve become increasingly picky in which YA books I read because, at 44, I’ve outgrown enjoying a lot of the angst many of them center on. But still, I was intrigued in a horrified sort of way; wondering what the rest of the books might be like if my opinion of the 4 I’ve read so was vastly different from others’.
If you’re curious, here are my reviews of the 4 I’ve read.
What makes this a challenge, instead just a generalized post, is that I’m going to make a concerted effort to read the other 9 books on the list. It’s too late in the year to think I’ll finish this challenge before the new year. So, I’m not putting any sort of time frame on this. It’s pretty open. But I’m going to prioritize reading these whenever I’m not focusing on something else. We’ll see if I agree any more once I’ve read the rest of the list.