Google+ Reading Teen: Why is Finishing a Series So Hard?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why is Finishing a Series So Hard?

I am SO proud of myself!  I have actually finished two series this month.  TWO!  Do you know how hard that is for me?  I finished, and loved, the Blood of Eden series, by Julie Kagawa, and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, which can only be described as &*%*# brilliant!


I can't even tell you how many series I've failed at.  They are the bane of my existence!! I mean, first of all, do you say series or series' or serieses or what?  I have so many unfinished serieses.... Ok, I know that's not actually right, but just saying series, seems...not enough.

So, why is finishing a series so hard for me?

One of the biggest reasons has been series syndrome, which I chatted about a few years ago.  There are so many books that weren't meant to be a series (now that I've been in this world awhile, I've talked to a lot of authors that have confirmed this), but have been STRETCHED to become one.  Let me just say, WE CAN TELL!! Please, I know you pubs want to get everything you can out of a new book, but I think you're killing yourselves in the long run.  We're starting not to trust you with our valuable reading time! 


Book Two Sucks!  Part of series syndrome is that so very often, book two in a trilogy, just sucks.  I'm sorry, but it does.  The first book is usually awesome, because it was the author's original story.  But after the initial excitement, or after the love interests have gotten together or whatever, there's no place for them to go, so something has to be invented to cause trouble, and it's just too obvious, and usually boring.  How many times can I read a second book where all the characters do is walk from point A to point C?  Such a metaphor for the bridge between book A and book C.  NOTHING IS HAPPENING!! Most of the time, I get half way through this book, and I'm just done.  Series abandoned. 

Book Three is Soul Crushing!  Why is this becoming a trend?  How can we trust you with the hours and hours that we're spending, if you're just going to rip our hearts out and do a grape-crushing dance on them in the end?


You may have read my post on why I hated Mockingjay.  It wasn't necessarily the way it ended, it was that the book was a complete an utter abandonment of the original series.  It was a "bait and switch," and I don't approve!  Lately, it's becoming the cool thing, to kill off your main characters, and in general, if the book is still good, and it makes sense, then I'm ok with it.  But I can only invest myself so many times in series that end horribly before I start to feel deflated, and stop trusting myself with the lives of your characters.  I know you say it's "truthful," but maybe I just can't handle the truth!  Who reads for truth anyway!? 


Then, of course, there's blogging... I really hate to admit this, but sometimes blogging steals my series thunder a little.  I can be so excited...like screaming-when-I-get-it-in-the-mail excited, about a second/third book.  But then it just sits there...on my shelf...staring at me....forever.  Why?  Because I just got all the shiny new books that look so pretty, and they're being fangirled over, and I want to be part of all the new excitement!!!  I've been better about this, since I stopped caring about staying "on top of things" with new releases, but I still get distracted by new books.  I mean, I haven't even finished the Shatter Me trilogy, and I loved that book!

*wipes tears*


I can think of more and more reasons, while I type this, but this post is getting long, so I'll just quit while I'm ahead (?).  What about you?  How do you feel about series?  What series have you loved/hated/gotten bored with?  If you could only read one series for the rest of your life, what would it be?



*This post was partially inspired by Jamie, on Twitter, asking what series we've binge read, and by Cuddlebuggery's upcoming Best Series Blog Hop!

* P.S.  My favorite series (besides Harry Potter, which should always be a given) The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima!  Check it out!

20 comments:

  1. Sometimes, I sit on a series because I am NOT READY TO SAY GOODBYE. For example, I have read all of Rae Carson's books. They get better and better. I have read all of her novellas...except for Hector's story. Which I pre-ordered. Which I want to read desperately. But I can't bring myself to say goodbye!

    I agree, if a series ends tragically, but it makes sense, I'm okay with this. DEVASTATED, but okay!

    And some middle books absolutely need to be shot! There's one series in particular...the middle book was so bad...a journey book from A to B, and I had given it up...and then I heard that the final book was AMAZING. And you know what? It turned out to be my favorite book in the trilogy. After I'd given up on it. It was probably originally two books!

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    1. Yes! I adore Rae Carson's books! If you love them, you will also love Cinda's books, they're very similar!

      I do get the whole, not saying goodbye to a series thing, I actually hear that a lot. But I'm definitely not that way. I want to KNOW!!! And if I love it, and don't want to say goodbye, I'll just read it over and over. Which is why I've read HP and The 7 Realms so many times, and I often enjoy them more the second time because I notice the details I didn't the first time around.

      I'm so curious about that series you've mentioned! haha

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  2. I totally get where you're coming from. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.
    The series I can't finish? Maggie Stiefvater's LINGER. I keep picking up FOREVER and getting frustrated with Sam and Grace's near misses. But I love her writing so I'm sure one of these days I'll power through.

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    1. Oh..yeah, I didn't finish that series either...but more because I didn't like it. But I know Amy loved the first one, but never finished it. I want to read her other series(es?) because I heard they're really good.

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  3. I have this same problem. And then I see what everyone says about the second or third book and then I'm just looking at it like AAAHHHHH HOW DO I NOT READ YOU BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE DISAPPOINTED LIKE EVERYONE ELSE?! Cinder, Shiver and Divergent for example. I have read these books and loved them but I can't seem to grab the next book. Shiver is probably the worst one because I read the excerpt for the next books and had a wtf moment but the thought of not finished a series haunts me.

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    1. YES!! That's what happened to me with the MATCHED series, and the WITHER series, and the DELIRIUM series. I heard they ended badly, and I lost all motivation. :(

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  4. I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to finish 4 series last year, but I'd been reading the books one each year.

    My thing with not finishing series has been that I either like the open ended note the first books ends on (like Lauren DeStefano's Wither) or I get series fatigue. This has happened most recently with The Beautiful Creatures and City of Bones series, I only have one more book on my shelf I haven't read, for each series but I have no desire to pick it up and it's been years so I don't remember a lot of the stuff. Maybe this is happening because these particular books (and a few other series) are four books instead of three ?

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    1. Series fatigue!! YES! That's happening to me with The Mortal Instruments too. I'm just like ENOUGH ALREADY!!! But...that's one series I just keep reading, even if I am sick of it. haha

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  5. **Applause** All the claps to Andye!

    I totally agree with the second book syndrome... it's just blah! Let's not even talk about the series that have just wayyyyyyy too many books to maintain focus (Mortal Instruments, Pretty Little Liars, etc.). I also find that if the second or third book takes a sharp turn into no man's or bizzaro land I'm put off. (e.g., Mockingjay, Allegiant, etc.) Maybe I just need a series break...I'm currently loving all the stand alone books out there! :P

    - Meghann

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    1. Yeah, Mortal Instruments is the series that says it's over, then SURPRISE, it's not. I really wish there were more stand-alones to choose from!

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  6. I hear ya! I'm so tired of stories being stretched thin to fit the standard three book package. But for me though I have this weird OCD when it comes to finishing series as I HAVE to do it.

    Also I have to read things in order, taking the Mortal Instruments series as an example. I started the series when there were three books out. Then when the fourth one came out, I reread the first three before starting it. Then when the fifth one came out, I reread the previous four before starting it. I know it's so weird but my brain goes beserk if I try to go out of order. Great post, really interesting topic! :)

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    1. Ooooh, I kind of WISH I had that OCD issue. Then I wouldn't have all these unfinished series sitting on my shelf glaring at me! haha

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  7. I have a problem where series just keep going and going and after like 10 books I'm just TIRED. So I like trilogies because you know you have a definite end in sight.

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    1. Yeah, if there's a ton, I won't even pretend like I'm going to read them.

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  8. All of these reasons!!

    But I think mostly, it's because I enjoyed book one, but not enough to fully commit to the rest of the series. There's also times where I read book one, thinking it's a standalone, only to find out it's book one of a trilogy (or something) so I avoid finishing it on principle.

    And like Bonnie said: sometimes, I'm just not ready to say goodbye! I'm looking at you, Dreams of Gods & Monsters.

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    1. Yeah, I think I need a part 2 to this post! haha! And I feel the same way. Sometimes a book is good enough to read one of, but not 3+ of.

      And DoG&M?? So worth finishing! OR, there's a part where it kind of "feels" like it's over, but it isn't, you could just stop there and be satisfied. haha

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  9. LOL! Love this article!!! I usually refer to it as the second book slump. I can name so many books that bombed in book two. I do have another theory. When an author works on their first book, they have no deadline. They probably worked on it for years. Then the second book comes along and they have to "work the magic" in a short period of time. Some authors don't do this well and I think the other books in the series suffer for it especially in the author doesn't have the whole series figured out when they sign the contract.

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    1. Yep!! Great point!! I think that's true as well!

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  10. There are so many series I haven't finished yet, and no matter how enthusiastic I was about them when I started them, I just don't care about them anymore. Part of it is having to wait for the next book in the series to come out. During that waiting period, other fabulous books come out, I get excited for those, and I completely lose interest in whatever series I was excited for. There are very few series I care about finishing right now; Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of them.

    I love it that you brought up that readers can tell when something is being stretched into a series for no reason other than the publishers to make money. I definitely feel that way about some series, and unfortunately, it means the quality of the books in the series goes down really quickly. And as you said, I am not going to spend my precious reading time on those books.

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    1. Yeah, that was one of the other things I thought about writing, but decided my post was getting too long. haha. Even when I like the first book, by the time the next books comes out, I've lost the magic, the thrill, and like you said, I just don't care about them any more. It helps when there are a bunch of people who are excited about the next book, then it feels like you're all going into it together. Like when the Infernal Devices came out. Twitter got me so excited for those books!

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