A Change of Scenery by Emily Littlewood

I’ve been having trouble reading lately. Actually, for the last few years. I can’t seem to sit down with a book and focus on it long enough to get through the entire thing. And my memory what it is, if I start a book and set it down longer than a day or so I forget everything that’s going on and some of the characters and even the setting, and the result is that I have to start over. I don’t have the energy.

But recently my same-age-as-me aunt, Eden, suggested Fourth Wing, a “romantasy” set in a fictional world, with dragons and magic and an enemy-to-lovers story line, that she is obsessed with. I’ve never been a huge fan of the romance genre, so I was a bit hesitant in starting the 500-some page book. Despite my uncertainty, I was sucked in immediately. The world building is incredible and the main characters are very well thought out and it turns out the “romantic” parts of the books are more smutty than cloyingly sweet. So I read the whole thing in a few days, then it’s sequel throughout the next week. And then I went down the rabbit hole of lewd, magic-heavy, fantastic-creature-filled, 300-plus-paged books. Twenty-six of them.

Over the last couple months I’ve read more than I have in the last year, possibly two; reading has even usurped trashy TV’s place in my free time at the moment. It’s not that they’re all incredible (they’re not), or necessarily original (it’s interesting how many common elements thread through many of the series), but they’re a complete change of pace from the books I’d been reading a while ago—thrillers and murder mysteries. I’m not sure if it’s because of that difference, or because of the true escapism of worlds so different from our own, or even if it’s just that something got jump-started with that first book pushed onto me, but I am enjoying reading again, for the first time in a while.

I’m also relishing the book-centric chats I’m now in: one with Eden and her friend Lize, who’ve both read Fourth Wing and its sequel, one with Eden, Lize, and my brother-in-law, Asa (who is working on the sequel and isn’t privy to the first chat for fear of spoilers), and one with just Lize, who has started one of the other series I’ve read (causing Eden to finally start reading that series, if only to join the chat). There will probably be a fourth coming including my sister, as she has been peer-pressured to start Fourth Wing, despite her lack of love for fantasy or violence.

All this to say: I’ve missed reading. I’ll forever be grateful to that smut-filled land of magic in the romantasy genre, and my aunt, for rekindling my love for it. And I’ll pull my nose from these books soon. But not quite yet.

Woman standing against wall, reading
Reading by Paul Bence. CC license.

Emily Littlewood
Emily Littlewood lives with her husband, Jason, in Raphine, Va. After getting a degree to teach English, Speech and Theater, she began working in banks. She is currently copy-editing for Streetlight and working back toward her passions.

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