Escape a reading slump with these books


Elizabeth Petrick, Reporter

Rain hits the windows and roof, constant, but without a pattern. It is late evening, the sun just barely bathing clouds in pink and orange. A fresh drink sits nearby; perhaps it is hot cocoa. It’s a smell easy to remember, but all the more wonderful to experience. The book sits in its reader’s hands, pages in perfect condition. As they have done so many times, the reader gets lost in the pages. This is a scene many readers may wish to experience. But what can a reader do when they’re stuck in a reading slump?

A reading slump is something that all readers will experience. When that occurs, it’s deceptively difficult to claw out of. Disinterest and boredom can cloud a mind, keeping a reader from becoming immersed in a story. It takes a special book to spark a reader’s mind. A satisfying experience, but where can someone start in finding their book? Perhaps, all it takes is a push in the right direction.

A good place to start is looking for books that immediately throw the reader into the plot. A sudden death or a similarly terrible occurrence is a common way for an author to get a reader to keep reading. “Something sad has to happen and then I’ll read it.” Said sophomore Sadie Sandusky. 

The following are three books that will break a heart in the first few pages. 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson is the story of a young girl, Spensa, fighting tooth and nail to follow her dreams in a world trying to stop her. She wants to become a pilot, but she is only known for her father’s legacy. Her father, who was called a traitor and killed for it many years prior. Despite this past, Spensa is determined to claim the stars. 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer showcases a world in which superheroes are normal, and they run their society. These heroes, known as the Renegades, stopped chaos, bringing hope to a society that had lost all order. Nova, however, hates the Renegades. It is her wish to bring vengeance upon them, and she is willing to do much to grant that. 

26 YA Trilogies That Prove It’s Still the Best Type of Series” on Epicreads, says that The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is about Jude, a young girl with a complicated history. Taken from her home after witnessing her parent’s murder when she was seven, Jude wishes to belong. However, being human, she is hated by the fey that lives in the High Court of Faerie. Entangled in political intrigue, it is becoming increasingly hard to keep herself and her family safe. Especially with civil war on the horizon. 

Immediate sadness isn’t the only way to keep a person intrigued, although it does help. Many authors decide to entangle their stories in mystery. “[I Like] when you start making connections of why things are happening the way they are.” Said sophomore Elizabeth Trout. Some mystery books include… 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, found in the article “10 Mystery Thrillers Books To Try If You Hate Mystery Thrillers” on Epicreads, introduces the reader to the complications of murder amongst five teenagers. Five high schoolers enter detention, but only four will leave the room alive. Each one of them had secrets, all known by their dead classmate. Which one of them could have done the deed? Or, was it someone else trying to frame one of these four? And how far were they willing to go to protect their secrets?

This is Our Story by Ashley Histon is a book about politics and the loss of a friend. Five friends went hunting together, but the fifth, Grant, would be dead by the end of the day. Kate is assigned to investigate the incident, but it is not what it seems. The death, at first thought to be an accident, might just have been purposeful. Worse, if Kate can’t find the killer, she may be the next target. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer, the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, is a retelling of the popular fairytale Cinderella. Cinder is a teenage cyborg living in the streets of New Beijing. In a world ravaged by a highly contagious illness, cyborgs are seen as second-class citizens. After her stepsister contracts said illness, Cinder is blamed for the diagnosis. However, her life becomes entangled with the life of Prince Kai, and she finds that her past may be the key to saving her world. 

Real-life events are often used as a starting point for many books. “I read [Mila 18] over and over again, I just love that book. It’s what got me interested in reading about World War 2, which for me was not far off from when I was born. I was born 1 month before they ended that war. I had uncles in it. So, it wasn’t something that was too far ahead of me.” Said Jordan High School Assistant Librarian, Carolyn Petrick. Historical fiction, when done right, can help people to become more interested in and connected to history.

Mila 18 by Leon Uris tells of a terrible time in history. It teaches of a time during World War 2 when people defied the Nazis. This book takes place in Poland, centering on the Norslongetto. A fictionalized telling of this time, Mila 18 tells the story of a modern heroic struggle. 

Found in the article “These 17 Historical Fiction Books Give Us The Perfect Blast From The Past ” on Epicreads, My Plain Jane written by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows is a fictionalized version of the story of Jane Eyre. Rather than retell her story as it was, this book puts a spin on it. Jane is an orphan, and along with her friends, she is going to become part of a ghost hunt.  

Lovely War by Julie Berry tells the story of four people, 2 men, and 2 women, finding love in the midst of war. This unlikely story about these four is told by the Greek goddess Aphrodite. She must tell this story to her fellow gods on Mount Olympus to save herself from judgment. Though war tears apart their lives, the love they share may just be stronger. 

Through all the new books that one may want to read, there’s no shame in reading a well-known book. Popular books are loved for good reason. By reading popular books such as the following, there’s a very good chance that the books will be good. Those who like to immerse themselves in fan content can be positive that plenty of fan content is being made every day. “There are some that are really good that aren’t being checked out as much as they used to be.” (Petrick). The following are books that are popular but have begun to be talked about less. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a well-known story, one that stays relevant in the world. Katniss Everdeen lives in the country of Panem, a country led by cruel people living in The Capital. Katniss steps forward to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games, a live fight to the death on tv. Though she believes this to be a death sentence, she soon finds that she can become a contender in these games. However, winning these games is not an easy feat, and she’ll have to rely on every survival tactic she knows. 

The Ruins of Gorlan is the first book in the Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Will is a young orphan, chosen by the mysterious ranger Halt. Being a secretive group, not much is known about the Rangers. Some even believe that they practice magic. What he doesn’t yet know is that the Rangers protect the kingdom. The Rangers are an elite force, highly trained in combat and in mind. Now, as he learns to become one of them, he learns that the exiled Morgarath is prepping his forces to attack their kingdom once again. 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein comes recommended by the Goodreads list, “Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once”. This book is classic, but it’s a book that is read less and less. The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit that elects to simply live in his house, never going past his limits. That is, not until the wizard Gandalf decides to take him on an adventure to raid the hoard of a dragon called Smaug. Bilbo joins, unknowingly about to embark on an adventure that will change his life. 

One book can allow for so many more to be enjoyed by a reader. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a good book!