I 100% thought that every book on this list was going to be a contemporary, but then my third one was a fantasy, and my fourth one was a horror, so this turned into a strange list. I wasn’t in a slump recently because I was consistently reading, but I’ve been pretty unhappy with the books that I’ve been reading, and many of these are going to end up on top ten lists at the end of the year, so I’m pretty confident that if I had given up on reading, these would have saved me.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken might seem like an odd book to bring you out of a reading slump, but I honestly think it’s one of the most perfect. It’s exactly everything that it says it’s going to be, and it delivers on all fronts. It’s got a stubborn MC, lots of Greek gods gallivanting around Manhattan, and it may be predictable as all hell, but it’s engaging, fun, and chaotic. It’s such an easy read that’ll hold your interest and keep you wanting to turn the page and find out what happens next, especially because Bracken employs so many excellent cliffhangers throughout.
I couldn’t not include Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender when talking about books to bring you out of a slump because it’s something that I turn to for comfort all the time. I briefly thought about including Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi, but I do feel like you need to be in the mood for her writing, and this is the next best thing. This book is everything that I love about fanfiction plus best friends to lovers, and it deserves to be read by everyone. And it’ll just suck you right in and not let go until the very end.
I ugly cried so hard over If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann, and I really had to rein it in and not put both of her books on this list because I felt similarly about Let’s Talk About Love. This book not only has fantastic characters and an interesting plot, but the writing is spectacular, and every single scene in it is so relatable that I feel like it could just jump out at anyone who reads it. It’s fast-paced and fun, too, making it an easy read to be devoured by.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson will make you shout a lot, which feels like the perfect kind of mood for getting out of a slump. Though I’ve never quite experienced a slump, it seems like a slow, meandering book wouldn’t really be the thing that did it, and you’d instead want something exciting and amped up, which is exactly what this book is. Not only will you be shouting for Liz Lighty, you’ll be cheering on a prom queen competition, which should be eyeroll worthy and is instead heartwarming and thrilling.
I loved A Phở Love Story by Loan Le so much that I was already thinking about when I could reread it before I’d finished it, and now I’ve just found out that there’s going to be a companion novel, and I am dyingggg. Or already dead? Probably. This has a lot of the same vibes as You Should See Me in a Crown in that it made me shout a lot, and I was so wired high about the rivalry between the two families that when actual conflict started happening between them, I was losing it. This also has Romeo & Juliet vibes, but there isn’t any miscommunication, and it’s just SO GOOD. The characters talk to each other so much and are always honest with each other, and that alone will keep you reading.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee is just fluff, honestly, and while there is definitely some angst and drama in it, it’s so much over the top fluff that I think it’d yank anyone out of a reading slump. Particularly all of us book bloggers since the MC runs a blog, and we can just so get in that headspace, and it kind of feels like a fanfiction come to life, and it’s just beautiful and heartbreaking and so, so good.
Okay, I know, Horrid by Katrina Leno makes no sense, but y’all. Think about watching The Haunting of Hill House. Think about how perfect it was, and how many of us have rewatched it several times since it released. Think about the fact that so many things are held up against it and fail so utterly, and then I’ve got Horrid for you. THAT ENDING. The potential for a totally unpredictable ending will be enough to get you out of the slump, but I promise you, this is going to give you the exact same nervous, a little bit terrified, high strung feeling that Hill House gave you, and it’s wild.
I was going between two different fantasies, and The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller won. The other was The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning, but I’m 100% sure that the writing style in that will annoy a lot of people, and Levenseller has such a standard style that I had to go with this one. This is one of those books that you can just turn your brain off and enjoy the ridiculous over-the-top nature of the story, and that feels like a good vibe for a slump since it doesn’t require a whole lot of focus.
King of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco is much the same as the one above, and it’s here because you don’t have to think a whole lot. It’s very predictable, it’s got a ton of standard YA tropes, the romance in it is appropriately steamy (they have to share a bath! for survival reasons! don’t ask questions!), and the plot is fairly interesting. I didn’t guess everything that was happening, and I was excited by the end, enough that I preordered the second one, and it’s just a very easy read.
Much like Horrid, The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen feels like an odd choice, but Owen is such a phenomenal writer, and I feel so swept up in her writing that it becomes almost impossible to put it down. Plus, she grabs you immediately, and she’s another one that sprinkles cliffhangers throughout her chapters, so you want to keep reading. Plus, I like the idea that fantasy books can bring you out of reading slumps, too, and while this isn’t exactly easy, the world-building is so seamless that this feels like a perfect book to bring you back into the fold of fantasy tomes.