Hangovers are the worst, no? And I don’t mean the ones from alcohol. I mean the soul crushing, fogginess you feel after you finish an important book.
Book hangovers can happen after any sort of book. To be honest, I’m currently in the midst of a book hangover from two completely different books for completely different reasons. Let’s examine, shall we?
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: YEESH. This book was a wild ride. So many incredible twists and turns. I never wanted to put the book down, but it was so twisted I couldn’t read it at night. When I finished it (after only a few days), I felt.. exhausted. I had expended so much energy reading this book. Loving this book. I tried picking up a few books immediately after, but they weren’t the same. And why? Because Flynn’s writing was impeccable, truly, truly impeccable. I spent a large portion of the book feeling like my brain was split into two halves: the one that was enjoying and interested in the story in front of me, and the one that was solely concerned with soaking up the incredible way in which this writer crafted her story. Her word choices, pacing, chapter structure, each facet of this novel left me speechless. I enjoyed examining her writing more than I enjoyed the story (and I enjoyed the story quiet a bit). So afterward, what could compare? How many writers are so incredible, so poignant, that they make you sit for days after, just staring at the cover going, “wow.” Not many. I was foggy from that book, because, like reexamining all of the, um, interesting choices of a night out the next morning, I spent days thinking about the way in which Gone Girl was put together.
2) The Blood of Olympus by Rock Riordan: Well, can’t get much further away from Gone Girl in terms of plot than we can with this book, can we!? This book left me in a hangover for a much different reason than Flynn’s. BoO gave me a hangover because of its emotional resonance. I have been reading Rick Riordan’s various Percy Jackson-centric books since Winter 2010-2011. Ironically, I watched the awful, awful Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief movie BEFORE reading the books, but that’s a story for another time. Simply, BoO is the fifth and final installment in Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, and I’ve been waiting for it for almost 4 years. I am a fast reader by nature, but I devour his novels. Written primarily for middle-grade children, they’re fairly easy for me to read. But they’re also very well written and undeniably enjoyable. I love these books. I read BoO in about 4.5-5 hours. And when I was done, I looked up from my couch (the clock blurry) and felt deflated. What am I going to do now? (Luckily, Riordan is a great, quick writer and his next series begins next year). After waiting since last October for this final installment, it was all over. Questions had been answered, plot points wrapped up. In reality, I was sad. I don’t really want to say goodbye to these characters. I enjoyed their triumphs and understood their teenage struggles. As all great characters do, they feel like family. I started re-reading the book again yesterday after taking a day off to “recover.” Unfortunately, it’s now traveling to my dad so HE can experience the characters’ last journey. I’ll be picked up momentarily when we dissect and discuss and talk about what we liked or didn’t, but I’ll probably fall back into that hangover feeling soon after. The one where I want to crawl into a ball, feeling deflated, tired, and possibly nauseous, and just sit for a while.
So while I recover from my hangovers, I thought I’d share them with you. Unfortunately, the hangovers (for me) sometimes lead into what I’ll discuss next time: the dreaded slump.
So until next time, Happy Reading!