Monday, August 28, 2017

Book Hangover Blog

Have you ever read a book, or series of books, that captivates you so much that you literally fall into it? You have to be forced to stop reading, and when you're not reading it you still find yourself thinking about it. Thinking about the setting, envisioning yourself there, living in that fictional world. You think about the characters in it; wondering if you have any common characteristics. 

I took an unexpected break from reviewing last week. I grabbed my copy of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, one of my favorites to reread, and settled in to recharge myself after weeks of reading new books. I wanted something comfortable and familiar to sink into. And I love the Shadowhunter series that Cassandra created. I love the magic, the strength, the world, the characters, but most of all I love the love. She created a race of super humans who are better in all aspects than regular mortals because of the angel blood that runs through all of their veins. This race is physically stronger, faster, smarter and therefore it stands to reason that their emotions also run deeper than the average human. The love stories that Cassandra creates in every new Shadowhunter series is what gets me every time. I actually started reading the books originally because of the Shadowhunter series on TV. It was the end of season 1 and the main characters discovered that they can never explore their relationship no matter how intense their feelings are because they are siblings. I could not wait until season two started to find out what happens with them, so I went out and bought all 6 of The Mortal Instruments books. From there I went on to buy The Infernal Devices series, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and now The Dark Artifices series. 

I still cannot get enough. I spent the last 10 days reading all the Shadowhunter books (except for The Bane Chronicles, because I didn't enjoy it enough to buy it), which is 12 large books because I could not stop after reading just one. I read them constantly, stopping only to work, sleep, eat and spend time with my children. Now that I have finished them I find myself at loose ends. At night for the last week I had been reading, and now I find myself unable to focus on anything else. Usually my other half and I curl up on the couch and watch either serial killer documentaries or ghost story documentaries and I haven't wanted to the past couple of nights because I'm still in the head space of the Shadowhunter novels. I call it my book hangover, and honestly it doesn't happen to me very often. But occasionally I find that amazing, encompassing book that I unwittingly dive into headfirst and then have a hard time extracting myself, even if it's ended. I just want it to go on. I find the Harry Potter books are the same way; the books have ended but I just wanna keep living the Harry Potter life. 

It's times like these that I reflect on the authors that write these amazing stories. These authors have these places, these characters living inside their heads just waiting to be let out into the world via a book or a series of books. And somehow the authors let them out in such a way that they captivate the readers, they make them come alive, they become more than just characters in books to us. Just as I imagine they are to the author as well. I have sometimes wished that I could take a tour of the library that lives inside J.K. Rowling's head. I imagine it to be extraordinarily neat and organized with tombs about the childhoods of each character and a special edition just for the amazing life and accomplishments of Dumbledore. I picture a small, cozy room with a fire place, and all of the walls covered top to bottom in bookshelves with not a single blank space, because if she imagined up the world of Harry Potter and all that it encompasses, can you just imagine what else would be in her brain?

I don't know how to cure a book hangover. I don't know if it goes away on it's own or if I can help it along by continuing down the list of books that I still have to read and review. I don't even know if it's a real thing, or something I've just made up. So, unfortunately for those of you who know exactly what I'm talking about this is really just one long ramble as opposed to me offering you any sort of sound advice as to how to overcome it (sorry I didn't say that until the end of this blog). However, if any of you have advice to give on the subject, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear your opinions.

Opinionated Bookworm

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