Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn’t matter if you can do your work but not read, or read but not do your work, or even not be able to do either one. It stinks. This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is all about slumps, and how we can kick them (in the face).
Less World Building
10. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
While the story may seem like it has a lackluster setting, let me tell you something. When I am feeling slump-ish, I have no interest in epic world-building. I want to read fast and charming reads. This book was one of them. I still have the final book in the trilogy to go.
Watch this video on Rossi’s inspiration behind the story.
9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
I adore Mafi’s writing because it is raw. Juliette will always be tangible to me because she doesn’t quite know her strengths and her self-esteem is crap. When I am in a slump, I like seeing characters who become more in tune with who they are. Plus, I think Warner is complicated and secretive. I like a good mystery/get to know someone who may seem off-putting at first.
Watch this video (I can’t talk about this book without linking to a Witty Novels video).
8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Hilarious story-lines about awkward people give me life because that’s basically my whole existence as a person. Sophie and Archer’s conflict is still one I think of, even after at least seven years since I read this book. I need to reread it soon and get to the next books. Hawkins writes about supernatural things but not in a clunky way at all.
See also: “Bad dog!”
Snark and Cynicism
7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Watching a privileged character become more #woke is fun. Granted, the story meanders with no actual quest to drive it. Nevertheless, it’s a frank discussion of privilege and perspective. Furthermore, the absurdity/chaotic nature of the trio’s journey makes me smile. As someone whose life went off-track and in a completely odd direction, I like seeing characters who are also kind of diverging from the social norms of their time. What makes me even more at peace is when I see the characters enjoy their new life and flourish in it.
Watch this video by Mackenzi Lee about her process behind writing The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I adore this video. Seriously.
6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow suspects the intentions behind every move Baz makes. Baz is a vampire and he will not tolerate the tomfoolery of everyone’s favorite hero, Simon. To make things worse, they’re roommates. Besides this conflict, a huge battle awaits Simon and his crew. Did I tell you about his crew? No?
Here: Penelope and Simon’s friendship is cute. Agatha, Simon’s former love-interest, is alluring. There is also a shady person called the Humdrum.
Watch this endearing speech by Rainbow Rowell
5. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I am surprised dictionaries haven’t been updated to include this trilogy as the epitome of sarcasm and wit. The setting, the format, the characters, and the tension all make this trilogy a delight–stressful, but delightful as well. Prepare for humor in the face of grim situations, cleverness, and bravery (or rashness, depending on who you ask).
Watch this fan-made trailer for the second book of the series.
4. Soulless by Gail Carriger
Unlike most of the books on this list, I have plenty of unread books by Gail Carriger. It’s because I am saving them for when things get really, really bad. But, the weird thing about slumps is that, if you have been in them for a long time, it’s hard to tell how bad they are. What comes to mind is a scientific study where frogs were placed on a stove in water and then the scientists slowly increased the temperature. They basically get cooked alive because they don’t feel the changes.
That is how it feels for me to be in depressive states. Anyway, the characters in Soulless were so much fun and they were all sassy. Mostly, though, the main character had such a feisty temperament and she had unwavering curiosity. I need to pick up the next book in the series.
And Love, Such a Silly Game We Play (Listen to this song here, if you need some sweetness).
3. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I haven’t picked up these books in so long. After unhauling the series and then repurchasing the first two books, I still felt kind of iffy about rereading the series. Part of it is worry that I may not be perceived as “serious.” At any rate, I love Nora and Patch.
Here’s my favorite video of them (fanvid, but you know what I mean).
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Ironically, the first time I read Twilight, I was in a slump. I had been reading all these convoluted texts for grad school. Lonely, I picked up the first book from Target. There is so much joy in this story. To me, Edward and Bella ignited a comfort in being kind of old-fashioned. Love, bravery, sacrifice, and family are all things I associate with the story. The movies also brought me so much happiness and mushy love feelings.
Watch this video of Edward and Bella being cute.
1. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Another life-raft for me. Clary and Jace’s love story transcends time for me. Reading about a girl who knows nothing about herself, end up growing into a confident and strong fighter is incredible. While I have not watched the series based on the books, I do like some of the casting–probably most of it. I just dislike how they twisted the pairings. Especially with Raphael and Maia.