5 Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

Fast-paced and engaging fiction reads to keep you hooked.

5 Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump
Image provided by the author.

Fast-paced and engaging fiction reads to keep you hooked.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about reading slumps — or reader’s block, as I like to call them.

It’s every reader’s most dreaded nightmare — when no matter how hard you try, you can’t find a book that holds your interest long enough for you to finish reading it.

Even if you really want to keep reading, literally every book you start makes you feel demotivated and leaves you no reason to continue.

As readers, we’ve all been there. It’s not a fun place to be.

That’s why, in this article, I made a list of five books that are fast-paced, really engaging, and totally easy to fall into the world. These are my recommendations for books that can get you out of a reading slump. Hopefully, one of these books will help.

(Note: The links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through these links, it will help me earn a small amount — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Genre: Adult fantasy, heist, mafia wars, humor, mystery

Image: Goodreads

If you want to read a story that’s full of adventure and will make you have a good time, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is the perfect pick.

In the book, we follow our main character, Locke Lamora, who’s part of a gang of thieves called The Gentlemen Bastards, navigate his way through a coup that’s happening in the underworld. We also get glimpses into the past in the form of “interludes” that show us where Locke came from and what made him who he is today.

This is an amazing, adventurous story if you’re looking for something hilarious with remarkable characters. It’s well-written enough to have you laughing out loud but will also engaging enough to keep you guessing until the very last page.

Why read this book

Read it for two reasons:

  1. It promises lots of interesting character growth. Trust me; you’ll fall in love with every character. They are super sweet, endearing, and wholesome, even though they are thieves and aren’t always doing the right thing.
  2. The non-linear narrative gives a lot of context to the skills these characters have. When you know what’s at stake and how hard these characters have worked to reach where they are, you tend to root for them even more strongly.

Purchase the book here.

2. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Science fiction fantasy

Image: Goodreads

Our protagonist, Spensa, lives on a plat with human colonies constantly under attack by another alien species called the Krell. Being a military pilot is like the ultimate position of honor in this world. No wonder that’s all Spensa dreams of — becoming a pilot and saving her planet from the Krell.

But Spensa is also cursed by the weight of her past. Her father, one of the most revered fighter pilots of his time, was ostracized because he fled in battle.

One day, Spensa finds something in a cave that allows her entry into pilot school — giving the readers a delicious glimpse of what it means to be a pilot: intensive training sessions, space combat, lots of cool technology, and some epic air-warfare scenes that will make your heart beat faster.

Why read this book

The story is so engaging and the stakes so high, you won’t be able to put this book down. Here’s what I wrote at 5 AM, after a binge-reading session exceeding three hours:

“When you finish a book so good, you have goosebumps all over your body and shivers down your spine. I was at 71% when I started reading. It was 2 AM then. I intended to read a few pages and then sleep. But the climax was so well-crafted, the narrative so airtight, that I HAD to finish reading. There was no option. My heart is still beating hard from the impact Sanderson’s story had on me.

It’s almost 5 AM now. I wonder if I’ll be able to sleep. The wait for a sequel is going to be HARD.”

Purchase the book here.

3. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Found Family

Image: Goodreads

The book follows Linus Baker, a 40-year-old Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth. A part of his job is where he is sent to various orphanages for magical children. Then he has to report whether the orphanage is safe for the children and ensure that they’re well taken care of.

The story begins when Linus is sent to the house in the cerulean sea for an inspection. At first, he’s terrified because the orphans on the island might destroy the world as we know it. But soon, this turns out to be the best decision of Linus’s life.

Why read this book

It’s a beautiful, beautiful story and one of my favorite books of all time. There’s also a beautiful queer love story that will melt your heart into a gooey mess. The orphan children in this book are so well-crafted that you’ll fall insanely in love with them. I did. I wanted to adopt all of them.

But more important than that, this book is like a ray of hope in an otherwise dark world. It will make you smile and root for these fictional characters like they’re your own. The writing is flawless, as is the pacing. The book is such that no matter where you’re at in life right now, it will fit right in and become a part of you.

Purchase the book here.

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Genre: Sci-Fi, Video Games, Book to Movie adaptation

Image: Goodreads

The book follows Wade Watts, who lives in a dystopian future set in the year 2044. The world has gone to shit, but there’s hope in an online place called The Oasis, where you can pick your avatar and choose the kind of life you want to lead. Wade’s real life is so messed up that he spends most of his time online, even attending school and developing real friendships.

The creator of The Oasis is an eccentric billionaire whose will after his death states that he wants to leave The Oasis and all of his money to the person who can solve the major scavenger hunt strewn all over The Oasis. Everyone thought this was a scam meant to keep people hooked to the online world until Wade finds the first clue. Now, his life changes as everyone wants to work with him to solve the scavenger hunt.

Why read this book

If you’ve watched the movie and are unsure whether or not to read the book as the movie wasn’t that good, I’d say forget the movie and read this. It’s that good.

Even if you’ve never played a video game online, you’ll enjoy this book. The writing is so incredibly fast-paced that it’s impossible to put it down once you start reading.

Purchase the book here.

5. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: Contemporary fiction, family drama

Image: Goodreads

This is the story of Xiomara Batista — a young girl in Harlem who discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own place in the world.

How far will Xiomara’s dreams be allowed to soar before they are taken down and torn apart by a world where some thoughts are best kept to yourself?

This is an impeccable narrative with a unique character cast. The characters' backstories are so well interwoven into the plot that a reader can almost expect a character to behave in a particular way. The author doesn’t disappoint; the consistency and character growth are spell-binding.

Why read this book

The writing is fascinating. If you haven’t read an entire novel written in verse before, this one will surprise you and make you want to keep reading. The author is a true performer who knows how to captivate her readers and hold their attention. I listened to the audiobook alongside reading the paperback, and it was an experience I’d recommend every reader to have at least once.

Purchase the book here.

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