Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends

Article excerpt

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends. By Megan M. McArdle. Chicago: ALA, 2015. 232 p. Paper $55 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1256-0).

Part of the ALA Readers' Advisory Series, The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends explores the dynamic world of books that combine characteristics of multiple genres. With more than fifteen years of experience in collection development and readers' advisory and her own website devoted to genre blending, author Megan McArdle has both the knowledge and the passion needed to tackle this amorphous topic. More than 420 different titles from adult fiction are listed, and some teen titles, graphic novels, films, and TV shows are also cited.

The majority of the guide comprises book annotations, and entries are coded into seven main genres: "Adrenaline Blends," "Fantasy Blends," "Historical Fiction Blends," "Horror Blends," "Mystery Blends," "Romance Blends," and "Science Fiction Blends." Each genre chapter is then further divided into more specific blends with the other six genres.

McArdle is able to distinguish the subtle nuances that differentiate a spine-tingling horror/romance from a more amorous romance/horror, and she organizes them as such. Each chapter begins with a brief description of the genre, followed by a discussion of its appeal, and its "blended" characteristics. Each annotated title is paired with two read-alikes that allow the reader to decide which genre path to follow. Chapters close with brief advice on working with the blends; however, these sections seem a bit repetitive and merely reinforce the earlier discussions.

The guide's latter part delves into the process of readers' advisory. …

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