Mar 17, 2014

Reading Slumps

Reading slumps seem to happen to me more now than they ever have before. There are so many things filling up the space of my mind, the only thing I can think to do when I have time to myself is close my eyes.

What do you do when you have a reading slump?

Sometimes life just doesn't have time for reading. I always hassle people to read for just ten minutes a day every night before bed. And I know I have time for that, but I just don't have the energy. I try not to feel too guilty about it.

Tonight on Facebook I saw a link from Suzanne Young about the 7 Awesome YA Series That You Haven’t Heard About… Yet. Sometimes seeing new books I want to read doesn't make me feel any better. I have tons of books around me all the time and not finding the inspiration or motivation to pick them up. But this time I saw a few titles that have me feeling a little excited about the prospect of picking them up!

Mr. X read and LOVED Red Rising and I keep coming up with reasons NOT to read it. I don't know why I let myself listen when I throw up reading road blocks.

I always say, "I hope I get to have time to read this soon." When really I have the time, I just don't have the energy. But I need to stop making excuses and just read this book.

As much as others have loved this book I know it will be the right fit for me, but sometimes that is its own problem. The more I think I am going to like a book the more pressure there is to LIKE the book. Sometimes this pressure IS what sabotages me.





These two books also look interesting since they were the only two books on the list that I have never heard of before. Have you read either of them?




Of the two London Eye looks the most interesting of the three to me. I am going to bite the proverbial bullet and start reading it tonight before bed.



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Dec 31, 2013

Not Loving the Book Everyone Loves

Eleanor and Park is making almost every best YA of 2013 list and I hated it. I read it because of the awesome cover, where the kids are sharing music. I have really enjoyed books that featured music in the past. I also read this because I started seeing in on so many best of the year lists. 



I also found a great piece by Kit Steinkellner over on Book Riot defending Eleanor and Park. Her post got me thinking about my experiences reading the book. How was the book for me as an adult verses how it would have been if I was still a teen?

I had mixed feelings about Eleanor and Park the whole way through. I liked how well Rowell showed that silence that happens in a home of abuse. I like how even Park's seemingly good life still had uncomfortable moments. But I hated Eleanor. I hated her for being like me and I hated for all the choices she could have made that would make her better than me, but she was still wallowing in the sad parts of her life. I hated that I never really felt like she was a character, but merely a caricature. And maybe that is too harsh. Maybe I want more out of my YA heroines. 

I think the role of YA is more difficult than ever. We want girls to be presented with strong characters with good body image. Yet these type of characters will also be unrealistic. How do we strike the balance between the two. This balance is the difference between a good book and perfect book. Every time I read I am looking for a perfect book. That may not be fair to the authors or other readers, but it is the only way I can be fair to myself.

In other books that are connected with music I find this element to be charming. Maybe I was just in a bad mood when I was reading Eleanor and Park because so many things annoyed me about it. I love that Eleanor and Park bonded over music and comics, but I didn't feel connected personally with either of those things. They didn't make me want to stop reading and go put some music on. Again this may be a lack on my part, but the whole thing was missing a spark. And how it had more language than I personally enjoy.

This being said, I want Eleanor and Park to exist. I think it is a great story for teens to connect with. I just happened not to.

The other important note I should make is that I did the book on audio and the narrator just had a certain snark in her voice that really grated on me. Maybe this is a perfect representation of Eleanor, but either way I didn't like it.
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