Could this be my first Reading Slump?

Posted October 21, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 44 Comments

Everybody has them, I’ve heard. I just never have before:
he dreaded READING SLUMP. 

I’ve been asked before if I’ve ever read a book I didn’t like. 
I’ve been asked if I’ve ever read a bad book. 
I’ve been asked before if I ever do negative reviews on my blog. 
And I’ve answered all of those questions. 

Here’s the deal: I’m very good at picking out what I think I’ll like to read. If I don’t think I’ll enjoy it, why the heck would I want to waste my time on it? Life is too dang short, friends! It just is. So I don’t waste my time choosing books that I think I’ll not-enjoy. I also don’t accept books for review that I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy. I just don’t. I don’t see the point. It isn’t fair to me and it isn’t fair to the author. Do I write negative reviews on my blog? Well, sure…if I read a book that I think deserves one. But that is so very rare that I can understand why one might think I don’t ever do it.

My point is this: This week, for probably the first time ever, I read two books back-to-back that I didn’t like. Well, I didn’t really care for one and I pretty much hated the other. WHAT IS THIS BUSINESS? Is this a real, live, honest-to-goodness reading slump?


I read Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and I didn’t really like it. There were things I did like about it, but the 


main reason I didn’t like it was because of the main character. I blogged about it HERE. And it is not what I would consider a positive review. Y’all can go back and see my thoughts and all that if you want to. This was book number one in my so-called Reading Slump.

Then, for a reason that I have yet to understand, I decided that I would try another Sarah Dessen book. Now, back in the summer, I read a Dessen book (Just Listen) during my Contemporary Month and it didn’t capture me the way it apparently did the rest of the Sarah Dessen army. The honest reason for this was because I misjudged the cover and I was expected it to be much less issues-heavy. I explained my feelings in my blog post HERE. I decided that I wouldn’t give up on Sarah Dessen, however, because she is a local author and I think it is important for me to support her.

I wanted to read a Dessen book on my Kindle. I checked the library. The only one they had available in ebook was Lock and Key. The stuff on Goodreads about this one wasn’t stellar, but I wasn’t completely scared off by the summary.* So I checked it out and I read it trudged through it. 


You guys, Lock and Key was a punch in my gut from the beginning. And then two-thirds through it, it was just kicking me when I was down. It was too personal to me. I’ve tried to blog about it, but I can’t at this point and I’m not sure that I will be able to. And I don’t mind that. So let’s just say I didn’t like that book. I may decide to read another Dessen book, but if I do – it will be a good long while from now. This was book number two of my so-called Reading Slump.

*Sidenote: I would like to say that I NEVER would have read Lock and Key had I known about the stuff in the second part of the book, which wasn’t really in the summary. THIS is the reason that I like to know about potential triggers in issues books. 


So, what is the point of this blog post

What is your definition of a Reading Slump exactly?

How many books do you have to read in a row to be considered in a slump? I’ve read two back-to-back and I feel pretty slumpy right about now. 

Sidenote: I’m also reading an adult fiction book that is pretty doggone incredible. And thank goodness for that. Because I would probably give up on reading entirely. (Ok, that was a joke.) But seriously, this one book is saving me right now from being extra pout-y and probably hating the world. 

What are some of the Best Books you guys have read lately?

I have a ton of review books that I need to read and some great books that have been sitting on my shelves for a long time. Chances are that some of these are ones that you might suggest. So, suggest away. GO! Help a gal out! Get me out of this slump before I start crying and can’t stop…


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


44 responses to “Could this be my first Reading Slump?

  1. I go through slumps every once in the while, like if I'm reading too much of one type of book.

    Sounds like you maybe binged on YA contemp and so maybe should try outside of the genre and it looks like you are with the adult book, so yay!

    So best books? Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, Ask The Passengers by AS King, and the audiobook of Curse Of The Black Tattoo by LA Meyer but also the audiobook of Gone Girl by Gillian Flinn.

    • Yeah, I should probably get out of the contemps, although I really think I got fed up with that one character in Before I Fall. I wasn't expecting to dislike the Dessen book so much. But I couldn't help it.

      Thanks for the recommendations, April! I always take your recs very highly!!

  2. I feel like a slump isn't necessarily when you read books you don't like, but when you just don't feel like reading at all… or when you pick up a book and read a few pages, then pick up another and read a few pages, then another and so on, and nothing sounds good, and nothing is grabbing you and you end up laying there and not reading but think about not reading and it makes you crazy! That's a slump. 🙂

    A book I enjoyed lately… Under the Never Sky.

  3. Amy

    Asheley girl, I feel you. I was going through a slump not long ago, but it was a little different from yours. My slumps often consist of me starting a book, reading a page or five, realizing I'm not feeling it, putting it down, picking up another book, and repeating this whole process with five books or more over the course of a week or two. It's frustrating, so I can totally understand your recent struggles with reading books you like. I give you props for finishing them, though. If I'm not liking something I have a hard time getting to the end. WAH.
    BUT! Slump-busters, perhaps? Umm…Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Unless you have some MAJOR aversion to Peter Pan, I think you'll love it. Or The Iron Prince because DUH I know Iron Fey is your forever book love. You know what else I do to break slumps sometimes? REREAD. 🙂

    • I never have aversions to Peter Pan. NEVER. And I actually have Tiger Lily on my shelves so HOLLA to that one. Also The Lost Prince – gah I'm so scared of that one (I've talked to Lisa about this) but I need to GET OVER THAT because JKagawa cannot do wrong in my opinion. Still, I don't know that she can top the Iron Fey books, but still. You know what I'm saying. I do need to hurry on that one. GAH I am so deeply in love with Prince Ash. Perhaps I should re-read The Iron Queen, where I fell foolishly in love with him. FOOLISHLY.

  4. Oh that stinks, Asheley! I know when I am in a reading slump it really wears on me. Like I kinda get all down on everything. I guess maybe I take it a little too personally. I think April might be on to something, perhaps you need to move into a different genre, steer clear of contemps for a while.

    I have read a few great books lately but two of them (Quintana of Charyn and The Crown of Embers) are part of a series I don't think you have started yet. Perhaps it would be a great time to pick up Finnikin of the Rock and get back to your love of fantasy?

    I would also recommend The Diviners by Libba Bray. I TRULY loved that book so much.

    I did read The Lost Prince a few days ago, and I know you love that series, but honestly, I wasn't blown away. I haven't been blown away w/ any of Kagawa's last three books (nothing since The Iron Queen which ROCKED.)

    I hope you find something to get you out of that slump soon! Maybe The Ask and The Answer?:)

    • YES, Heather!! I've been down about it this week! I take it personally because I get to deeply involved and attached to my characters. I think you totally understand where I'm coming from…

      I'm gonna take a contemp break.

      Those two series are high on my list but you're right, I haven't started them yet. Although if I don't start Finnikin soon I think Lauren is gonna hurt me. (kidding) (maybe)

      And I've heard super good things about The Diviners. And I love the cover! So that is a good thought – thanks!

      I'm scared of The Lost Prince because I am such a HUGE and RAGING fan of the Iron Fey series. I just don't know how it can compare. But I'm like you – The Iron Queen rocked my world.

      And I'm starting The Ask and The Answer this week – print and audio! WOOHOO! Thanks for all these recommendations. I knew if anyone would understand my reading woes, you would!

  5. I second Heather's vote for Finnikin of the Rock. Seriously, you CANNOT go wrong with that book. We've talked about all my other recommendations: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is another series that you'll like.

    What I see in the two books above isn't a slump, but two books that are fairly depressing and heavy, without enough redeeming qualities to satisfy. I know I'd feel the exact same after them. You're a person who goes into a book expecting to love it, so I think that as long as you pick something next that has a more positive spin, you'll be fine. Maybe you should stick with a fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi book though.

    I am working on a review for The Lost Prince, and I agree with Heather that I didn't LOVE it. BUT it was mainly because Ethan is a bit depressed and mopey for a lot of the book. He does work through that, and you get to be back in JK's world. I think it will be one that you'll enjoy.

    ANGELFALL by Susan Ee!!!!!

    • You (and Heather) are so right. You've hit the nail on the head. I didn't quite realize that Lock and Key would take so much out of me, so I'm thinking I'm SO down on myself because it hit me blindly with that last third of the book. UGH, I'm almost mad about that.

      I'm going to move past it and take a contemp break. I didn't realize I was reading so many of them until so many of these comments pointed out that I should take a break, then I looked back at my list. WOWZA. I WAS sort of in a rut.

      Oh The Lost Prince. It can't possibly be The Iron Fey but I have hopes for goodness anyway. I love JKagawa SO MUCH but she can never duplicate Prince Ash in my eyes. Still, it would be nice to get back to the Nevernever as it is one of my favorite worlds.

      And I do have a copy of Angelfall. I should get on that. (It's one of the eight in my bag. You can laugh!)

  6. I think it must be more than two! Otherwise I'm in trouble, I may be in a constant reading slump – lol. I'd say you'd be officially in a slump if the last 5 out of 5 reads were subpar.

    As for books I've read and really enjoyed lately: The Assassin's Curse was pretty awesome.

  7. I get reading-slumpy when I have to read a lot of books I don't like that weren't by choice, so particularly when I have to read a book for class that I end up not liking. Or this summer when I read and DNFed Going Bovine. I think it's a delicate balance (mostly luck) of choosing the particular order of books that won't get us down.

    Recently I've loved The Night Circus, A Monster Calls, and Spark by Brigid Kemmerer (#2 in the Elementals series).

    I hope your slump ends soon! I know it can seem never-ending sometimes. 🙁

    • It makes total sense to get slumpy if you HAVE to read books that you aren't really choosing, so I totally GET that you may get that way while you're still working on school. I think you're right, though, when you mention ordering books delicately. That makes great sense.

      The Night Circus is possibly in my top three all time favorite books. I absolutely love it. I haven't read the Elementals books yet but I have the first two and I had completely forgotten I have them! Thanks for reminding me about them because I had been wanting to read them. They sound pretty fun.

      I've read A Monster Calls twice because you know I'm a pretty hardcore Patrick Ness fan – once in print and once audio with print. I love that book so much. And the illustrations are so awesome.

  8. Ems

    Oh dear, I do hate the reading slump! As far as the number, I think it's totally dependent on the reader. For some, it would be 1 or 2. For others, it's 3+. Whatever the case may be, if you're feeling a slump coming on, I'd definitely suggest switching up genres for awhile (which it sounds like you're planning anyway).

    For suggestions, I'd say Juliet by Anne Fortier (if you don't mind an adult contemp/historical fiction/romance), The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton, or Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. They're go-to books for me when I need to be kicked out of a slump.

    Good luck!

    • I've never heard of Juliet! I'll have to look into that one. And I've always wanted to read the Faerie Ring books – they have such pretty covers. I've always seen the Beth Fantaskey books around but I've never heard anyone mention them before. I love their covers – they look fun. I'll have to check them out because their descriptions look like something I would probably like.

      Thanks Ems!!

  9. Reading slumps. I hate them. I despise them. This is your first? *hugs* Before blogging, I never knew of a reading slump. Oh, those were the days…

    I'm in a bit of a blogging/readiing slump. A couple weeks ago, I had no motivation to read – at all. I had got addicted to Buffy and had been neglecting my reading and I just got to the point where I didn't even want to look at a book. Though in all fairness, reading hasn't been as much fun for awhile now. So that is why I'm on hiatus for a few weeks. I'm hoping that without the stress of posting and reviewing, I'll get more in the spirit and I think it's already starting to work it's magic (or at least I hope it is!). Anyway, my point is, I know what it's like to be in a slump and amazing books are what you need to read. Not just fun and enjoyable but something to remind you why you read. My suggestion? Vampire Academy. I read them all earlier in the earlier and they are AMAZING not to mention addictive, fun and easy to read. After hitting rock bottom and not wanting to read at all, I picked up Bloodlines (the companion series to Vampire Academy) and knew that if anyone was going to help in pulling me out of this really bad reading slump it would be Richelle Mead and I was right. Straight after I read The Golden Lily which was even better than the first and now anxiously wait for the next book. So that's my suggestion. Take it or leave it, I just hope your slump doesn't last long and that it clears out quick! ♥

    • OH I absolutely NEED to read the Vampire Academy books. And I like the fact that it is a completed series (I think, right?). I should grab those and start them.

      GREAT recommendation. I ALWAYS forget those are out there.

      Ugh, I hope your slump ends soon and you can get back to blogging if you want to.

    • Yes! You absolutely must read Vampire Academy! And all the books have released so you don't have that wait for the next instalment – always a plus! 😀

  10. Aw, that's awful. Slumps are no fun whatsoever. *hug*

    Alright, to tackle both points..

    My definition of a reading slump (as opposed to a blogging slump) is where I just don't want to read anymore. It can be because I'm tired of getting bad books, because my head is too full from a really good book, or because I have this stupid rule where I can only have so many read books waiting to be reviewed before I pick up an unread one. So I sit back and go "Pffffft, I'm done." Usually it's just one or two books that cause it, like a clog in a drain.

    (Hmmm. I may have to file this away for a future post of my own, if you don't mind.)

    So that this comment doesn't get too ungainly, I'll add some book recs below.

    • Okay, some recs.

      -The Thief (and sequels) by Megan Whalen Turner (I will always always always rec MWT in any and every situation)

      -Defiance by C.J. Redwine

      -The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade (light and fluffy)

      -Heist Society and/or The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (light and fluffy)

      -I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (VERY scary and Halloween-y)

      -Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

      -Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (she uses the word houppelande!)

      -The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (I hate audiobooks, but hers is narrated by Anne Hathaway!)

    • I've heard The Thief mentioned so many times, plus I think it is an award-winner. I need to pick that one up sooner rather than later – at the very least, the first one.

      I've been wanting to read Defiance, not only because I love the cover, but because bloggers have liked it because of the awesome female lead.

      Ooh, it's good to have some light and fluffy books in my back pocket for times such as this – THANK YOU for these. I haven't read them.

      I've been wondering about the Barry Lyga book!
      I just bought Scarlet not too long ago.
      Seraphina has dragons! I love dragons!

      WHAT YOU HATE AUDIOBOOKS?? Actually, Anne Hathaway is a pretty great reader. And I haven't read these particular Meg Cabot books.

      GREAT Suggestions. Thank you so much!! Wow, I'm blown away by this list. Thank you, seriously.

  11. Slumps happen. One thing I like to do if I've read a couple duds in a row and am feeling a little disheartened, is to do a re-read of a book that I KNOW I love and will immediately make me feel better. By the time I'm done with that one I'm good to go. 🙂 Slump it out girl!

    • A couple of people suggested a re-read to me, just like you mentioned. I'm doing an audiobook re-read of a Patrick Ness book right now and I'm loving it. He's one of my favorites. Plus I finished a great book yesterday, so yay!!

  12. I agree with Meg…I've also had times like you're talking about where I'm just not jiving with the recent reads. Right now, I'm in a reading slowdown. I'm loving what I'm reading it's just that both books are slow reads. Glad to hear that your one adult book is keeping your faith in reading 😉

    I would suggest Tell the Wolves I'm Home – it's a coming of age story that takes place in the 80s that I totally loved!

    • Thanks for that suggestion Kat! I think I've heard that title but it isn't one that I know much about. I'll have to look it up.

      I am reading one slowly – The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. It's really great. Loving it. That's the adult book that I mentioned.

  13. My cure for a reading slump: don't read, listen to an audiobook instead. Or just give up on books for awhile and watch Netflix. Lots and lots of Netflix. I also read three or so books at a time. If one gets to be too much, I'll move to one of the others. Is this a sure fire fix? Nope. As I write this, I'm watching Netflix…

    • I'm doing a re-read of The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness via audiobook, and also I'm VERY SLOWLY listening to American Gods, which I love.

      I've ALWAYS got an audiobook going. I should really watch some TV or Netflix, but I just never do.

  14. I'm so sorry to see you in a reading slump, Asheley! I've been in one myself as of late. Though I think that I have a bit of a different definition. For me it isn't reading books I don't like, it's not feeling like reading at all. For example about a week ago I started Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. After Railsea, I KNOW I'm going to love this book, but I just can't get past the first 70 pages. It's not the book, I just don't feel like reading. Anyway, I've moved on to something else to try to get past it.

    Whenever I do read a couple of books in a row that I really don't like (it happens too much–it's why I'm pretty much done requesting ARCs), I go for a book I KNOW I'll love. A comfort read like Pride and Prejudice or Anne of Green Gables (I know you're rereading Chaos Walking which you love, that's great!), or a favorite author like Diana Wynne Jones. Go to Goodreads and find a book on your TBR that is old enough for a LOT of your friends to have read it. Find one that has lots of 4 and 5 star reviews–this is what I'll do for an assured win. For example, go check out Howl's Moving Castle. 😛

    Hugs! I wish you good luck getting over this.

    • Yes, Chaos Walking is comfort for me. Also, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, which I've read several times this year already because it's so gosh darn pretty and quick and it just grabs my heart.

      I NEED to read Howl's Moving Castle. Badly!

  15. Oh no! I'm sorry to hear about your reading slump. To me, a reading slump is when I go through most of the books I have and just find absolutely NOTHING at all that I want to read. I stare and I hem and I haw, but nothing appeals to me, so I give up and end up doing something else instead. So I definitely feel your pain right now!

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