A Genre For Every Season: Spring

Goodbye to winter jackets, roaring fires, and the bitter cold. Hello to tiny rabbits, spring showers, and an explosion of green. Where pastels and floral patterns are in, and life blooms bigger and better with each rising of the sun.

With the dawn creeping up earlier every day and the birds chirping a sweeter melody, how could you not want to enjoy a good story on top of everything? Just as for my winter genre suggestions, I bring you my spring genre suggestions. As before, instead of looking for a similar book to read, step out of your comfort bubble and into the land of genre discovery.

Romance

Whether for young adults (YA) or adults, romance breathes newness. However, YA has the added springy benefit of following a person whose life hasn’t been completely figured out yet. Everything is new. A dance, a touch, a kiss. All these sensations that may seem trite for older audiences but are bright and green for young characters and readers.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley is an incredible example of what I’m talking about. Centering on the concept of secret love letters stuffed in the confines of random books, Words in Deep Blue is about two young characters (as well as older characters) who share memories with each other all while in a bookstore. The overarching themes of rekindling friendships and seeing old acquaintances through new eyes have definite spring vibes.

Of course, even adult romance novels hold that sense where there’s something new just beyond the main character’s grasp. There’s this feeling that his or her way of life will be completely uplifted and turned on its blushing head. For this, I suggest The Dark Queen Saga by Susan Carroll. I tend not to like series that follow a different character every book (and romance is rife with them)—mostly because I usually don’t like all of the characters—but these gals are beyond interesting, each one with a fresh and fierce vision of the world. And the series is historical fiction! Not only is the reader seeing the world through different characters’ eyes but also through a vastly different time period.

Poetry

If you didn’t know, April is National Poetry Month! Though I believe that poetry should be celebrated all year, no matter the month, spring is perfect for reminding us about the joys of poetry. Why? Because it’s just so darn versatile. There is a feeling that each day could bring endless possibilities. That is poetry. Poetry is appreciation of beauty, and life, and philosophy. No matter how silly. Poetry could be anything, just like spring.

If we’re talking poetry, one must read Shakespeare’s sonnets. A decent chunk of them speak of weather, spring, and new life (as well as aging, death, and betrayal), but isn’t that also spring? This season is a constant cycle of life and death (of change, really).

Sylvia Plath would be another great poet to read. Though her work is darker, she has a way of airing out the things one wishes to say. (Ahem, spring cleaning, anyone?) Spring is a time to release negativity and realize our darkest parts.

Naturally, you could also read works by Robert Frost, who has lavish appreciation of nature. But really, any poet is worthy of your time, because poetry is transcendent and marks beauty and pain in all forms, just like spring. 

Science Fiction

Spring ushers forth new discovery and rebirth. In spring, we have hope for the future, something that winter stifles occasionally. With science fiction, we get a similar feeling of newness and rebirth. There is hope for a brighter tomorrow, that the day will one day bloat with discoveries we can’t even begin to fathom. Science fiction and spring fulfill the positive feeling of advancement, whether it’s advancement in science or advancement in favorable weather.

Check out Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which gives us a fresh look at the YA science fiction genre. It has a collection of various storytelling methods inside, some of which include case files, texts, and redacted dossiers that create an intriguing narrative.

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson is a riveting story about a ship filled with children who must survive a virus or, quite possibly, something much worse. This fast-paced narrative will definitely sow seeds of anxiety and sprout questions as you move from story point to story point.

And finally, check out The Martian by Andy Weir. Not only does it stress the length one human astronaut will go to survive, but it gives us a taste of what space exploration can be and where science is headed.

Any one of these genres has a shimmering bead of hope wedged deep within its center, from romance couples longing to make things work to poetry’s need to understand the human condition to science fiction’s bleak yet optimistic understanding of the universe and all it contains. All of these genres speak of hope in one form or another, just as spring forces us to hope for passion, beauty, and discovery.

Find time to enjoy sunshine, gardening, and strolls. Know that you can listen to audio books while you bask in spring, that you can find a similar kind of wonder, hope, and fresh experience when reading any one of these suggestions. Spring is all about renewal. So recharge, reinvent, and re-imagine yourself through narrative and poetry this season.

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