What Happened to September?

The worst thing you can do to jinx yourself is to say “Look at all of my consistent content! I’ll definitely keep this going!” Because it never happens. You never keep it going. Life gets in the way, and September is a really good example of that.

So, what happened to September? Two things.

  1. I didn’t read anything

  2. I made a decision.

Let’s start with the first one, and this is going to be a bit of a story. At the end of August, the last book that I had read was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. At the time of that post, I had given the book four stars. I’ve since lowered that rating to 3. I started the second book at the end of last month, and had planned on completing the full trilogy right at the beginning of September.

That didn’t happen.

The second book in the series, PS I Still Love You was hard for me to get through. This is tough to explain, but I’ll do my best.

I read Jenny Han’s first series, The Summer I Turned Pretty, back in 2015. It was fine. They were okay books, and I was in a car with my family driving through Texas, so I was mostly using them to pass the time. I would never go back and read them again, or take any grand message from them, but they were just okay.

My biggest problem with that series was that they felt mostly immature. The main character was focused on how other people perceived her. Personally, I didn’t align too well with that message, and I found it a bit draining through the series. The sentences felt choppy and didn’t seem to connect to each other well, and it felt like the author was telling me about the characters, not showing me who they were.

With all of the buzz surrounding the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie on Netflix, and after seeing a lot of rave reviews from people I know and people whose opinions I typically align with, I decided to give this next trilogy a try.

The first book was fine, but in the back of my mind, something felt off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it seemed like my complaints from the last Jenny Han books I had read were rising to the surface. I finished the first book, and started the second, and those feelings doubled. I found myself not wanting to read, and putting off reading entirely, to the point that it’s now the 27th of September, and I have not read a single word.

So I tried to think about why this was, and I came to a conclusion. Contemporary YA with romance is not for me. I’ve been trying to force myself to read in this genre for so long and it just isn’t my style. I like characters with bite and substance, and I haven’t found any in this genre.

This is not me saying that this genre is terrible, or that anyone who reads it is immature, but I’ve just realized that it’s not for me anymore. So what do I like? I know that I like fantasy. I like character and plot driven stories. I do not like historical fiction, typically, unless it has some sort of magical element to it. I know that I like books which have politics and elemental magic, and that if they’re set in the desert I’m 100% on board.

September was a lesson in looking at my tastes and reevaluating them. I’m not in the typical YA demographic anymore. These books about high school romance aren’t targeted towards me, and it’s unrealistic for me to expect them to be.

I’ve decided to mark PS I Still Love you as my second DNF (did not finish) of the year, which is kind of sad for me. Maybe I’ll go back to it in the future, but I seriously doubt it.

Next month is going to be exciting. I have two vacations lined up, a bunch of books I want to get through, and I might possibly participate in a readathon, but I make no promises. I’m looking forward to getting out of this reading slump and back into some stories that I can really sink my teeth into.

-Siobhan