Unlike last year, 2014 went off to a great start in terms of reading. I was reading a lot, and I was reading really good books. Books like Marie Lu’s “Legend” trilogy, and two books from one of my new favorite authors, Rainbow Rowell: “Fangirl” and “Eleanor and Park”, both of which will probably end up on my Best of 2014 list at the end of the year.
And then I hit a rut.
Once February came it seemed that my luck had run out when it came to amazing young adult books. So for a week or so I turned my attention to Lois Lenski’s Regional America books and burned through seven of them, basically reading one a day. Those books will never get old for me because for some reason I see them as a source of comfort. But I still wasn’t being dazzled the way Rainbow Rowell had dazzled me with her books.
I tried a couple more young adult books, got about ¾ of the way through, and then gave up. I just wasn’t feeling it. Nothing was connecting with me. I would go to the library and walk the aisles only realize that nothing even sounded good.
What was WRONG??
Again I went back to some middle grade books, this time picking another newly discovered author, Hilary McKay, who’s British and writes adorably British books about a ridiculously fun British family. I started with “Binny for Short”, made my way to the “Saffy’s Angel” series, read three of those books, and then felt I needed a break from that, too.
I found another middle grade series that I actually adored, Grace Lin’s mostly autobiographical books about her childhood growing up in America from Taiwanese/Chinese descent. These books were a DELIGHT, and they felt so familiar to me, like I was reading a “Baby-sitters Club” book. The only bad thing? There were only three books to read! Once again I felt lost.
That’s when I knew that something had to be done. So I did the only thing that really gets me out of my reading funks.
All this time Harry Potter had been sort of hanging out in the back of my mind, sort of whispering to me to pick up one of his books, but I tried to ignore it because a) I need to read NEW things, and b) I save Harry Potter for the fall season. But suddenly there he was, right in front of me screaming OH JUST READ ME FOR GOODNESS SAKES.
So I returned all the library books I had collected over the past few weeks and picked up “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” since I never got to that one or “Deathly Hallows” when I did my annual HP read last fall.
And it was glorious.
I’m serious when I saw that Harry Potter is the cure for practically anything. I read the book with my usual glee and wonder, and once I finished I knew I was ready to get back to new books and young adult and all that good stuff.
Luckily a book I had requested was available to pick up from the library, Rosamund Hodge’s “Cruel Beauty”, which is a take on the classic tale “Beauty and the Beast”. It was the perfect book to kick-start my YA reading again, just as HBP was the perfect book to take me away for a few days.
Right now I have a mix of middle grade and young adult books at home from the library. I just finished a MG “The Crowfield Curse”, which was fun and kind of creepy, and now I’m currently reading Kasie West’s “The Distance Between Us”, an adorable YA contemporary that completely fits my mood right now.
I’m hopeful that I get on another good streak when it comes to books, especially since I’ve come to realize that I can’t focus on Goodreads reviews and ratings, because I honestly think that had something to do with the funk I got myself in. I’m not being so judgmental when it comes to picking out books to read, and that in itself is pretty freeing.
So here’s to a remaining nine months of reading for 2014 – I have a feeling it’ll be my best reading year yet.