Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme brought by T5W on Goodreads.
It's been a few weeks since I did a Top 5 Wednesday. Last time I wrote about book trends I'm tired of, and included things like totally MIA parents and The Most Beautiful People In The World.
Last week I skipped the Top 5 for a Top 10 Tuesday that focused on luuurrrvee. I hope you had a chance to check it out, but if you didn't, you still can!
This week, we're writing about books that can get us out of a slump. I struggle with depression and anxiety, and reading has always been a form of self-care for me. It's my favorite way to recharge, to take some time for myself, to both hide from the world and then try to find my way back to it. That doesn't mean it fixes everything, but it usually helps.
With that said, I don't necessarily have a lot of specific books that I go to each time, but I have some genres that I gravitate toward when I'm in a slump. Many of these are my favorite genres regardless of my head space, and some are kind of situation-specific. Take a look!
Note: This post should not be read as advocating for books as a replacement for professional medical help. Self-care is important, and it is crucial that we all find the ways and time to do this, but it's also important to know when we need to reach out to others for help.
1. YA Contemporary
What I love about YA contemporary is that, even though they are light reads in many ways, they still focus on characters trying to find themselves. The romance may seem to be central, but usually the main characters are struggling with family issues, friend issues, or just trying to find out where the hell they fit in and who they're going to be.
Recent YA contemporary reads: Anna and the French Kiss, Seven Days of You, To All The Boys I've Loved Before.
2. YA Fantasy
The best young adult fantasy is angsty but plot-driven, romantic but you don't want to stab your eyeballs out from it. You have action, adventure, maybe some steam (hopefully some steam...there better be some steam), magic, wonder, and all the rest.
My top YA fantasy reads: Throne of Glass series, Six of Crows, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
3. New Adult Romance (and with sports?)
I love getting lost in a good new adult romance. It can be a struggle. Sometimes finding the good ones is like trying to find your favorite cardigan in a pile of balled up dirty clothes. Some of the tropes in these books can get grating, especially when it veers into slut-shaming or "all other girls were only good for meaningless sex until you, you're so different." Those drive me totally up the wall.
Lately I've been drawn to these NA books with lots of athletes, and I have no idea why. None of these books ever feature sports I'm actually somewhat interested in--basketball, tennis, competitive Frisbee golf...
A good one is almost always full of characters with dark pasts they're trying to overcome. Sometimes they just want to have decent sex for the first time. Sometimes both! Often the relationship is forbidden in one way or another! At least one of the main characters is actively trying to avoid falling in love! Of course they fall in love, and of course the books are full of all the steam.
Notable New Adult Reads: the Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy, Unteachable by Leah Raeder/Elliot Wake, On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.
4. Historical Romance (bodice rippers)
My mom had these lying around the house as I was growing up, and I started reading them as sneakily as possible, hiding in corners and behind chairs and all that. They weren't even always that steamy, though some definitely gave me a confused understanding of what exactly happened during sex.
Despite all that, I loved reading stories about Highland Lairds and grumpy Dukes and Earls and rugged cowboys and whatever else.
Favorite Authors and series: Judith McNaught (who also wrote more contemporary-ish stories), Jude Deveraux, LaVyrle Spencer. And Outlander, duh.
5. Hospital Dramas (basically Grey's Anatomy)
Sometimes you just can't read a book. I'll sit and my mind will wander too far and I've just mindlessly flipped through 30 or 40 or 100 pages. Or I get stuck on one page and can't bring myself to care about any of it.
For that, there's only Grey's. And that's just how the world works sometimes.
That's it for this week! Did you see any of your favorites on this list, or do you have any great suggestions for me? I'd love to hear them! Comment below or holler at me on Twitter!