If you follow me on Facebook or read this blog with any regularity, you have heard me use the term “book hangover” on a number of occasions.
So I wanted to talk a little more about the concept/phenomenon I call “book hangover.” I am not egotistical enough to think I coined the phrase, but I can not tell you from where I picked it up, since I can not remember.
1. the disagreeable physical aftereffects of drunkenness, such as a headache or stomach disorder, usually felt several hours after cessation of drinking.
2. something remaining behind from a former period or state of affairs.
3. any aftermath of or lingering effect from a distressing experience: the post-Watergate hangover in Washington.
You know what I am talking about, right? That feeling you get when you close the book, look around, and can’t fathom how the world is still spinning. You can’t fathom how you will ever read another book that spectacular. You just say “wow” and then want to start the whole thing again. You want to go up to every person you know and say “read this book now” and wonder how on earth they can exist without having done so.
I love book hangovers because they are a sign that I have been reading an exceptionally good story. Either the emotional impact is so strong that it leaves me drained as I finish those last few lines, or the characters and their world are so well-written that I simply cannot let them go yet. The story, characters, or both hold me in their grip so tightly that I need time to allow it to loosen – Christine
I asked friends, readers, authors, and reviewers what the term “Book Hangover” meant to them. They know me, so I knew the term wouldn’t be new to them 😉 The common theme was
Why is a book hangover so important? There is a phrase I see a lot on Facebook, “It hit me in the feels.” I absolutely loathe the phrase, but I think it is very apt. A book should make you feel. It should tug your heart strings. It should turn your stomach. It should scare the shit out of you. It should make you rage with indignation. That is the sign of a good book. With a great book, however, those feelings do not go away with the words “The End.” They are still roiling inside of your heart and your head. THAT is a great book.
I often get the question from authors and readers alike what my criteria is for moving any given book from 4.5* to 5 stars. At one time, I was fairly free with my 5* ratings; you needed only to illicit some strong emotions, make me happy, and I was putty in your hands. Maybe I have grown more jaded over time, maybe I am just a cold bitch, but in order to earn an outstanding rating (i.e. 5*) from me, you pretty much have do two things:
- Make me not want to put the book down.
- Give me a book hangover.
A book hangover, to me, is what happens to my brain after finishing a really really amazing book. Could be an angsty steamy love story or a happy comedy or a horror murder mystery. Oftentimes a hangover will occur after finishing a much-anticipated book by a favorite author (but sometimes it’s an unexpected surprise book that was not on my radar). It could be a final book in a beloved series. A hangover means I can’t stop thinking about the characters in the book, and what transpired. After finishing the book, I become obsessed with it and read reviews and search out blog posts and interviews. I will track down the author on FB (if possible) and PM them to tell them how awesome their book is. (And may I just say that they all have always been extremely gracious and kind to me – Authors are such a special bunch.) I search for deleted scenes the author may have shared. I tell all my friends to read the book. I write a review and post it to GR and Amazon and book pages/groups on FB. All the while, thinking of the characters and various favorite scenes and what happened to them. Often I’m unable to move onto a new book for a couple days… Sinking into the depths of the hangover. Aahhhhh. – Beth
The first book I can remember giving me a book hangover was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I was out of town on business as I was reading that book. I read on the plane to Denver. I read every break I had. I read the entire first evening I was there. I closed the book, googled the nearest bookstore (which happened to be a Borders not too far from my hotel), drove over, and bought the first 3 in paperback. Yes, I had already read them multiple times. Yes, I had them at home in hardback, but I HAD to read them RIGHT THEN. Before I left Denver, I had purchased 4 and 5 in paperback as well.
I have experienced some pretty awesome book hangovers in my life. My last book hangover was Slasherazzi by Daniel A Kaine, though instead of “wow” my reaction was (and still is) “holy fuck…” Before that, I would apply the term to The Race for Second by Chase Potter and Aaron from JP Barnaby, among others. Heck, Aaron still gives me a hangover every time I read it, and I have read it 3 or 4 times now.
With an alcohol-induced hangover, everyone has their tried and true hangover cure – be it the hair of the dog, coffee and aspirin, or some disgusting concoction involving hot sauce and a raw egg. None of those choices would be very effective on a literary hangover. So how does one get over a book hangover? For me? I use a fluffy chaser or a go-to comfort read. I find a (usually novella or short story length) title that is low on angst. Some titles/authors I have used in the past are Charlie Rent-Boy by JP Barnaby, Eli Easton, Andrew Grey, and Mary Calmes. Another tried and true method is to start the series over from the beginning (ala Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince).
Some people have to move on immediately, usually to something lighter. Some take some time off books and might watch a movie or listen to music. Some people re-read everything on which they can get their hands or seek out all the information they can about the characters, author, similar titles, etc. For everyone, however, time is key… and nother great read.
Which are you?
So what are some of your hangover inducing titles? How do you deal with the effects?
Many Thanks to Brandon, Ethan, Dean, Leisa, Teresa, Christine, Embry, Beth, Jen, and PizzyGirl for their contributions to this piece.
Brandilyn has kindly offered a $10 ARe Giftcard to 1 lucky commenter
Contest will end 5 days from original posting date at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
For more information on the books mentioned in the post:
Aaron by JP Barnaby
Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
Bitten by Kelly Armstrong
Calming a Demon Heart by Charlie Richards
Catch a Ghost by SE Jakes
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
Cheating Chance by James Buchanan
Cold by Brandon Shire
Divide & Conquer by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That by Edmond Manning
Into the Wind by Shira Anthony
Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
King Perry by Edmond Manning
A Matter of Time by Mary Calmes
Memorizing You by Dan Skinner
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Power Exchange by AJ Rose
The Price of Dick by Dan Skinner
The Race for Second by Chase Potter
Red Dirt Heart by NR Walker
The Shattered Door by Brandon Witt
Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford
Slide by Garrett Leigh
Something like Autumn by Jay Bell
Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony
Sticks & Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
This is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux
Training Season by Leta Blake
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Woke Up in a Strange Place by Eric Arvin
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|