The book hangover, something that seems like a joke. The haha because you’re still thinking about that book even though it’s been days, a week, a month.
You’d think, after years of reading book after book, I’d have built up a tolerance. That’s the way one would expect this to work. I suppose it’s true that the book has to up to a certain standard now than it would have when I was in middle school, but I still fall victim to book hangovers.
This vicious feeling, like there is something nagging at you to pay attention to it but it isn’t there (because, after all, those characters were fictional even if it doesn’t feel like it), is especially difficult when you reach the end of a series. Like a phantom plant you can’t water. A very tangible nothingness.
Let’s look at this through deep, well researched analytics (meaning my brain right now:
- A series means there’s at least one other book after finishing the first one so zooming through Book 1 isn’t a problem. You’ll get attached to those characters because the author wants you to, but you’ll be seeing them again in Book 2 so there’s no worries really. The drama has only just started to unfold (or in this case Unwind)
- Book 2 and the gang is all here! Some new ones are added, whether or not you like them yet is TBA because you don’t know if your favorite character likes them yet and that’s how you’ll make your judgement. Obviously, there’s more to this story then we originally thought! Book 1 was nothing but the very tip of the iceberg, the crumbs swept under the carpet, the big picture was still very out of focus.
- Okay, you can breathe because everyone you love has made it though to Book 3. You may or may not have lost some likable side characters, but ultimately, you’re thinking you can get through this. By this time, you will have spend a lot of time with these characters. Their personalities and attitudes are second nature and you almost trick yourself into thinking you’ve known them forever. Oh that character would do that, that is just like them.
- Of course, Book 3 is a set up, because there’s about to be a wrench heaved straight to your soul (of course the wrench is either a metaphor or a magical wrench that seeks souls, I’ll allow you the option to choose).
- This is it. The final book is placed in your hands. What a stark contrast to Book 1. Like the characters in the book, you feel jaded. There is the mix of two strong emotions: one telling you to read as fast as possible because you need to know what happens right this second or you’ll lose it. The other says to go as slowly as you can, and savor your last few days with the characters you’ve come to know so well.
- You may have to put your book down a few times because your heart can’t take it. This is normal, take a break, do some sit-ups, you got this.
- There may be tears.
AND JUST LIKE THAT IT’S OVER AND YOU DON’T KNOW IF YOU STILL HAVE A PULSE
To the person who doesn’t read all that often, this could feel a bit overly dramatic.
I can assure you, however, the book hangover is something conjured straight from the devil and is not to be underestimated.
I have just recently finished The UnWind Series and my heart will never be the same. As I write this, I am taking breaks to look over at UnDivided (the final book) sitting on my coffee table and cursing it for what it’s done to me after how well I treated it.
If you don’t know anything about The Unwind Series, I’ll explain a little here! If you know the deal (and how I’m suffering, just skip the block quote!
It’s a series (duh) that starts out with Connor Lassiter, our main main character the day he kicks it AWOL after finding out his parents have chosen to unwind him.
“But…what’s unwinding? And why did you put it in italics?”
I’m glad you asked!
Unwinding was the third option in a war between those opposed and those in support of abortion. Unwinding means that no babies will be killed, but as a parent, you have to option to unwind your child between the ages of 13-18.
“Okay. But what is it?”
Right, so to be unwound is to have every part of you (or at least over 99% of you) harvested and given to someone who needs your part. Our friend, Connor, is on the run to escape this fate and wants to put an end to unwinding all together.
I started reading Unwind by Neal Shusterman when I was in the ninth grade (2009)! Book 2, UnWholly didn’t get published until 2012, and so it was lost to me for a little bit what with 2013 being my senior year and college rapidly approaching. Still, the story never left me and I picked up the final three books this year: UnWholly, UnSouled, and UnDivided. (and after a dramatic cover redesign that they don’t match my first book, thanks a lot Neal).
The series was perfect for someone like me, who doesn’t like love stories in the slightest. *there is a mild love story, but it’s an undertone* Instead, there is action, amazing relationships, and a huge goal looming overhead the entire time.
Now, this is a YA series, so at times it reads YA with the type of YA humor that you just have to love, even if you hate it. Still, I think Shusterman did a great job balancing the YA tone and the very mature tone that the books needed in order to be successful. The featured image here comes from UnWholly, the second book in the series, and is true, because a book is just words, but I feel very emotionally scarred.
If you haven’t read it, do it.
If you don’t want to, don’t. I”m not your master.
Just know that I’m in desperate need of someone to talk to about this series, and I’d love to hear from you. Please. I’m begging.