When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
I have been in a reading slump for years. I run what I would consider a “Bookstagram,” yet I barely read? I am a writer, yet I barely read? Yup, I’m a fraud. Don’t need to tell me. I already know.
I touched on it in a blog post a while ago, but ever since I started college in 2014, there’s only been a handful of times I read regularly. I want to say it was because when I got a laptop, I suddenly had a million other things I could do in bed besides read. It made it all the harder to get into a place mentally where I could start a reading routine. And until now, I haven’t read a novel I’ve wanted to in over a year. And I haven’t truly gotten into a routine for way more than that.
Before I get into how I started reading again, let me touch on the whole writing thing. Almost every single person in the world says that to be a writer, you have to read… and they are completely right. But here’s my excuse: I haven’t written a new long-form piece in years. (If you don’t know my story, I basically wrote three books in high school/beginning of college and have been editing/re-writing them ever since.)
Yes, I know it’s not much of an excuse because to sell a book in the current market you kind of have to be aware of the current market… but alas, I hope you can forgive me.
So, when I was revamping my query letter over the past few weeks, I needed to find some comparison titles to compare my work to. I reached out to the amazing friend from high school who read In the Sky all those years ago (back when it was a piece of garbage), and he recommended The 5th Wave trilogy. My novel is an alien story, yet I had never really read any. Yeah, I know… more absolutely terrible things about my reading past. Honestly, I should have read it years ago. It would have been (and still is) right up my alley.
And so I dove into the world of The 5th Wave.
The world ended once. It will end again. The world ends, then the world comes back. The world always comes back.Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea
I was blown away by the similarities at first: a girl all alone in the apocalypse and her crush, unbeknownst to her, also alive and dealing with said apocalypse. Luckily, that’s where the similarities pretty much stopped.
In the end, the trilogy was a wonderful story with amazing characters and lots of twists and turns and such a meaningful message. It definitely doesn’t land in my top YA trilogies—mostly because of how unorganized the multiple POVs were (it literally drove me up a WALL)—but it was a great way to get back into reading and fall in love with some new, badass characters.
Next, I’m planning on getting into the Shatter Me series. I started the first book over a year ago but gave up after the first half for some reason. I think I just fell out of that damn routine again. Either way, I’m excited to jump back in.
Look: I need you guys to keep me accountable… because I want to keep reading. I don’t want to let myself fall again. Got it?!
But I am even more than this. I am all those they remember, the ones they loved, everyone they knew, and everyone they only heard about. How many are contained in me? Count the stars. Go on, number the grains of sand. That’s me. I am humanity.Rick Yancey, The Last Star