An iPhone or iPad must be able to connect in iTunes in order to use our software since it relies on the iTunes interface to connect with a device. With recovery mode, an iDevice won't be able to connect in iTunes, and the only option Apple gives you is to restore in iTunes. If you have access to the computer that you normally sync it with, you should be able to restore from a backup (and hopefully you've backed up recently). iExplorer also lets you browse and extract iTunes backup data in case you'd like to see what's in the backup first and export any of its data.
This Apple article explains more about recovery mode: