Up Close & (un)Conventional Bookish Babble ~ Birthday Girl & Credence ~ A Comparison

Posted 20 September, 2021 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Discussion Posts / 13 Comments

As y’all probably know, I’m a genre omnivore. If there’s something in literature that I won’t read, I’ve not found it yet. But why do I read? It’s not all about entertainment. Studies have shown reading fiction is good for us. It broadens our minds and changes our perspectives. It builds empathy, makes us better communicators, improves our memories, and enhances our understanding of the world. Being able to read about something in the fictional world that’s outside our comfort zone helps us comprehend and be empathetic to those things in the real world. That’s why I read whichever genre or trope speaks to me at the time and why I was able to enjoy Birthday Girl and Credence despite elements outside my comfort zone.

Both Birthday Girl and Credence are billed as taboo romances. And as you know if you’ve read my reviews, I adored them both. However, the taboo elements of each could be off-putting to some.

In Credence, there are several taboo elements. Age-gap, the “family” element (although they were step-family and haven’t been around each other), and then there’s the fact that there are 3 males to 1 Tiernan. It was all very titillating and since its fiction, none of it bothered me. I could rationalize Tiernan’s feelings and actions seeing as she’d endured a lot of loneliness in her life. I could also rationalize the behavior and actions of Jake, Kaleb, and ___ seeing as they’d also experienced loss and loneliness.

Birthday Girl was different in that the taboo elements – age-gap and love triangle involving father of boyfriend, boyfriend, and Jordan – are more palatable. Again, as this is fiction, those elements didn’t bother me. And honestly, I don’t think the age-gap would bother me in real life if things happened in a way similar to how they did in this story. Pike was young as he’d become a father at 19 and Jordan was very mature for her age due to circumstances in her upbringing. You can’t help who you love – who you connect with. And the relationship between Pike and Jordan felt organic and genuine.

Both stories evoked strong emotion and I enjoyed them for various reasons. I applaud PDouglas for writing Credence – a story she probably knew would garner mixed reviews. Birthday Girl could have as well although it’s lighter in tone.

What about you? Are there taboo elements you avoid in reading? Do you avoid taboo reads completely? Or are you like me, take it all as fiction and read it all anyway?


Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,926 other subscribers

13 responses to “Up Close & (un)Conventional Bookish Babble ~ Birthday Girl & Credence ~ A Comparison

  1. I actually love delving into taboo romance, and while I liked Birthday Girl (I didn’t love it like her other books) but there are some I can’t do. I really struggle with step family love, especially if they grew up together. I can do it if its the scenario of they didn’t know each other until they were adults. But if they knew each other and it was more of a family it feels too close to incest for me.

    • I think Credence was the first story I’ve read with this sort of romance and it was palatable for me. But I understand what you’re saying, Renee, and I’m not sure how I’d feel about it. Guess I’ll find out if I ever find one that interests me. 😉

  2. Stephanie - Bookfever

    I’ve read Credence a little while back. I liked it but didn’t love it. I do love all kinda of dark romance, some taboo romance included. 🙂

  3. Sophia Rose

    I think you hit the nail on the head for me when you pointed out that you tolerated or even engaged with the taboo aspects in these stories because they are fiction. I haven’t read either of these, but have read other taboos in fiction and enjoyed the books without too much discomfort because I understood it to be just a story. I agree that fiction has a way of allowing a person to stretch their mind and process things that do open them up in thinking and sympathies.

    Great discussion, Brandee!

Thanks for commenting - chat soon!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.