I can’t take the angst!


May 22, 2012 by Heidi

Lately, every time I pick up a YA book I get about 20-30 pages and then I bail.


I just feel like nothing’s grabbing me.  It’s frustrating to be honest.  I love YA, it’s my favorite age group to read for, and yet lately reading it kind of feels like banging my head against a dresser.


I can’t take another love triangle.  I can’t take more insta-love.  I can’t take more angst.  And I really absolutely cannot take more descriptions of eyes AS GREEN AS THE FOREST or BLUE AND DEEP AS THE SEA, let alone hear about THE WAY HE SMELLS.  In fact, at this very moment, I feel like I can’t take teenagers anymore period!  They’re whiney.  They’re rash.  They always make stupid decisions, take way too long to figure stuff out, and find all sorts of ways to annoy me.  Am I saying I’m done with YA?  Certainly not!  But I am going to take a bit of a break for a bit.  Lately, it seems like every book I’m actually attracted to is either adult or middle grade.  I think this is a sign.  A sign to ease up, enjoy what I feel like, and don’t force the books that aren’t working for me at the moment.  The next time I pick up a YA book I don’t want to feel like this:

Kitty can't take it anymore.

I want to feel like this!


This is kind of a new thing for me, since I’ve been reading significantly more in the past six months or so than I ever have before.  I’ve had series burn out, author burn out, and genre burn out, but I’ve never been so completely sick of a whole field of books.  I know everyone gets in reading slumps, but I don’t feel like I’m in a reading slump, I’m just in a YA slump.

For you, this means that reviews on my blog may be skewing to adult and middle grade a bit more than usual.  I still have some YA reviews scheduled ahead, so it won’t be abandoned entirely, and you might not notice a difference at all!

Do any of you ever have these feelings about YA or another group of books?  Any tips or tricks for getting over it?  My plan is to just steer clear for few books, or until something grabs me.

What’s the most amazeballs YA read that might pick me up?  I’d love to hear suggestions. Here’s a list of ARCs I have sitting around, and here are books I own but haven’t read.


If you liked that you might like this:


  1. It's okay to be in a YA slump, Heidi! When the happens I usually go after Nora Roberts with a vengeance. And historical romance novels lingering in my mom's open bookcase. Go for it (reading adult/MG, I mean! I hope you feel better about it when you get back to one ;DDPS:: And I agree. We teenagers can be EXCEPTIONALLY whiny. I apologize on behalf of my species. XD

  2. Ivan says:

    This is also my problem. I carefully choose YAs that I read and I don't ride the bandwagon because I know that most YA today have almost the same story, flow, topics with just little tweaks to make them seem different. And those stupid decisions made by our YA characters irritates me to the bone. I mean, the character is logical, smart and reasonable but when time comes they become naive. Most characters feel like their not human at all. The main reason I still enjoy "some" YA is because I'm not that too much exposed to YA. I do not read "just" YA. I often read adult, MG, horror, anything that grabs my attention. And like what I said, I choose every YA I read carefully. I don't want my money to go to waste.Happy reading Heidi! -IvanRumpelstiltskin and Co.

  3. Tatiana_G says:

    OMG, Heidi! That's exactly how I feel these days. Practically every YA I pick up makes me sick, because it is the the same story over again – some dystopia with a love triangle or an angsty contemporary with someone dead. Same voices, same relationships, same situations. The only books that don't drive me crazy are those that are completely different. I am off to read some adult lit for awhile.

  4. Alyssa says:

    Yes! I have been feeling this way lately so I went and picked up some of my throwaway, trashy, vampire lit and I think I might be cured by the weekend! I am so sick of breezing through a book because I can literally skim parts knowing exactly what they will be about! Pick up some Juliet Marillier ASAP. Heart's Blood is YA but you will loooove it! :]

  5. Kyle says:

    I feel like this sometimes too! I think this is why it's hard for me to read contemps sometimes–THE ANGST. I have to be in a very specific mood for them. I take breaks from certain types of books all the time. For a while I LOVED dystopians, so I read like 10 in a row then I needed a break for a while. Perfectly normal (it better be!).I used to read adult contemps a lot, like romantic comedy type things. I think I will try to read more of those during the summer to combat the YA blues

  6. This happens to me a lot, so then I just read something from another genre, something fresh. Like, when I feel like I want to crack some teen skulls I know it's time to grab a grown up book or a kid's book and just relax.As for your review list This Is Not A Test is super good, but really angsty.

  7. Angiegirl says:

    Heidi. It's gonna be okay. The following simple steps will solve your problem: 1. Walk away from the computer. 2. Locate your copy of DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST. 3. Read.Everything will be beautiful and nothing will hurt.

  8. Awww poor Dobby! Didn't he punish himself enough? But i know what you mean, it happened to me for a while with urban fantasy, usually my first genre of choice. I got over it after a while, but it was never the same. Also, I'm totally jealous of you! You have an arc of The Curiosities! They declined me twice, and I have no idea why! I worship both Maggie and BRenna. Gah. Mean, mean people.

  9. Sounds like the start of burn out! Stop picking up YA for a while and read what you want to read, you'll go back to YA eventually, I know I did. Heck, if you feel like it, don't read at all! *hugs*=^.^= ComaCalm's Corner =^.^=

  10. I completely feel you on this one. There are days that I just have to put the YA books down and come back later. It really irritates me how angsty some characters are and I know not EVERY teen is that bad.Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner

  11. I know what you mean! When I pick up a YA book and am immediately accosted with a girl who doesn't know she is attractive but obviously is and a guy who is 6 feet tall, plays sport but also has a sensitive/intelligent side and no one gets him, has a tan and a crooked smile it makes me want to break things. Not bones but maybe lamps. Looking at your books I'm thinking maybe go for 'This is Not a Test' as 1.) It has really good ratings on Goodreads and 2.) It looks less typical YA-ey than the others. I haven't read it though so I can't judge but it looks awesome!Hope the slump picks up soon! x

  12. Catie says:

    It's the dreaded YA slump! I think the only cure is to abandon ship, at least for a while. Go forth and read classics, mysteries, adult books, anything but YA! Eventually you'll come back. That being said, you need to read Seraphina! I'm pretty sure that you'll really like it, based on your other reviews. Plus, no angst! (Okay, a little angst, but it's the genuine kind.) Hope you get out of it soon Heidi!

  13. I agree with Angiegirl- read Daughter of the Forest and dwell in a happy, happy place. I recently read Unspoken and, while it does suffer somewhat from the aforementioned flaws, it does so in a way that still manages to feel fresh. I know what you mean about being burnt out on YA- if you come across anything that shakes you out of your slump, send the title over my way.

  14. Try:1. Smoke and Bone2. Ripper – Historical Fantasy vs. Medical Thriller3. False Prince (its MG but it not written down to the level of the reader)4. Grave Mercy (Assassin Nuns)

  15. This is exactly how I'm feeling right now. I've just been reading adult and MG books:) Today, I started two YA audiobooks and only got 5 minutes into each of them before I took the disc out and just went back to an adult one. These are MG books, but I really want you to read The Wednesday Wars and Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt. I'm almost positive you'd love them.

  16. Heidi says:

    I've read (and loved) Grave Mercy and The False Prince!Honestly, I haven't been all that interested in Smoke and Bone or Ripper. I know so many people have loved the former, but it never really clicked for me. We'll see though, I may still give them a try at some point.Thank you for the suggestions!

  17. Heidi says:

    Right? I'm listening to Ship Breaker, which is GREAT YA, and still I'm not attached to my MP3 player half as much as I normally am because I just can't get into it. I WILL try The Wednesday Wars and Okay For Now! Most likely on audio since they're available to me through Overdrive.

  18. Heidi says:

    Will do, and thanks for the info on Unspoken! I am looking forward to reading that one, particularly since I've never read Sarah Reese Brennan before *gasp*. It's kinda looking like Daughter of the Forest will be next for me!

  19. Heidi says:

    I've heard such amazing things about Seraphina! I'm certain I'll love it, but I may put it off still for a bit to be in the right frame of mine. Reading other books IS helping I think.

  20. Heidi says:

    Thanks! I was actually hoping to read This Is Not a Test soon since it'll be releasing next month, so hearing that it's a little less typical YA gives me hope that I'll enjoy it and be able to get through it in a timely manner.

  21. Heidi says:

    It's true, look at Asher! :PAnd yes, not all YA is angsty, and I think I need to start directing my picks towards those books. I've set several more angsty ones aside with the notion that I might come back to them at some point, but I might not either. We shall see.

  22. Heidi says:

    Thanks, Vickie! You are so right, I'm just going to steer clear and maybe even do something besides reading! Shocking, I know. Now's the perfect time to catch up on some Buffy and do some knitting. 😛

  23. Heidi says:

    I think that I tend to get approved for books some others get declined for because I'm a librarian. I have my nice little ALA and NYLA stamps on my account because of my professional associations, and that's afforded me some publisher love. If I had a physical copy of The Curiosities, I'd totally send it your way when I was through! In the meantime you can slake your desires with The Merry Sisters of Fate.

  24. Alyssa says:

    Agree a billion times!!! YES YES YES TO MARILLIER!! (I am so afraid you're going to hate her now that I have been forcing her books down your throat for months…!)

  25. Heidi says:

    I'm breathing again. Thank you Angie! I am now convinced Daughter of the Forest and I were meant to be.

  26. Heidi says:

    That's just my plan, April! It's kind of refreshing to read big kid and little kid books. =)I do hope to read This Is Not a Test within the next couple of weeks, angst or no. Zombie invasions can help me overlook a lot of things in life.

  27. Heidi says:

    YES. That is exactly why I didn't used to read contemp at all. It's just so much easier to slip out of that with fantasy. I've been so happy to find contemps this year that I do click with, though most of them (*cough* Sloppy Firsts *cough*) are so angst ridden I get acne just reading them.I think that romantic comedy adult contemps are the perfect summer reads! They're light, fun, and I will be right there with you.

  28. Heidi says:

    I promise I will read a Marillier book IN THE NEXT WEEK. You hear me? That's a solid timeline dedication, not some obscure 'soon' or 'sometime this year'. I mean it. In the next week I will no longer be a Marillier virgin.And I just read some trashy werewolf lit, so I am right there with you friend. 😛

  29. Heidi says:

    Glad I'm not the only one, Tatiana! It's really refreshing to read something completely different at the moment, and for me, the most different I can get is adult, and I'm kind of loving the change of pace. At least it's keeping me from lashing out irrationally at teens in real life.

  30. Heidi says:

    Thanks, Ivan! I think choosing carefully is exactly the route to go! I'm always open to any book in any age group or genre that catches my attention, and I think that's the best way to stay happy as a reader–diversity!

  31. Heidi says:

    IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. No, not really, not at all. I <3 you Asher. And I am loving the idea of raiding some historical romance novels. I may just have to do some of that myself. 😛

  32. Holly says:

    Heidi, I am in love with this post. Thanks for making me laugh, and letting me add my two cents to what I think you should be reading. Before I saw any of the comments, it was hands down Marillier FTW! After falling hard for DOTF I've read and enjoyed her entire backlist (including Shadowfell). Keep us informed on your reading progress, will ya? 😀

  33. Heidi says:

    I will! I have a post going up at midnight with projected reads. :PI'm so glad to see all of the votes for Marillier, I think she's the winner, hands down.

  34. Jasmine Rose says:

    I'm so sorry your not feeling the YA lately, but by golly I love me some MG so bring it on! Maybe you'll introduce me to some new ones or make me remember ones I forgot about. Heck, maybe you'll convince me to read an adult book or two! (Though that is unlikely since it pretty much never happens.)

  35. Jamie says:

    Oh I've been there lately, too! It's so infuriating. I'll often just switch to reading something totallyyy different then — some non-fiction or a classic…something. Good luck with your slump!

  36. Jamie says:

    ALSO, gif rants FTW!

  37. Heidi says:

    Thanks Jamie! I've been thinking non-fic or a classic might be just the thing. I totally need to read The Great Gatsby anyway before the movie comes out. 😛

  38. Heidi says:

    You inspire me! They do make you feel awfully better, no?

  39. Heidi says:

    Hehe, I hope I can introduce you to some MG you missed as well! I spend waaaaaay too much time in the Juvenile/Tween section of my library. 😛

  40. Rachel says:

    I am glad to know there are so many others out there who are getting tired of YA. I have read so many angsty contemporaries lately that I cannot see straight. Definitely will be looking at some other types of books. Great post!

  41. Heidi says:

    Thanks! It's always great to know you're not alone! For me, I think it's the paranormals that get me even more than the contemps, so much so that I've pretty much dropped the genre all together. Good luck finding some other reads that satisfy you!

  42. I'm late to this post, but only because I've just FINALLY got Internet and am catching up on everything I've missed. Anywayssss, I totally understand where you're coming from with the YA slump! I've read more YA in the last six months than I probably have in my whole life hah! Prior to blogging, I really read mostly adult books. All the wonderful bloggers I've found have introduced me to some fantastic YA & I've been devouring it with a passion. But I totally understand your "slump" because I think I'm headed in your direction. I'm going to make it a point to read more adult books this summer – you've inspired me :)

  43. Heidi says:

    Haha, good! We're in the same boat then, Hannah. I feel like I used to diversify my reading better, and I want to start to do that again. Blogging certainly spurred me on a YA overdose!Glad to hear you guys got internet, hope you're getting settled into the new digs!

  44. […] isn’t what I call ‘my thing’, on top of which I’ve been in a complete YA reading slump as of late.  Being Friends With Boys sounded more or less like the perfect YA contemp for me, and […]

  45. […] I didn’t read very much YA before about a year ago, and then I read TOO MUCH YA and got totally burned out on it.  Then of course, there’s the existence […]

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