Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a few…undesirable bookish quirks. From convincing myself that reading seven books simultaneously is a good idea to breaking self-imposed book buying bans within a week, I certainly had my fair share of bad habits. Needless to say, the most jaw-dropping of these habits thus far is my increasingly nonchalant behavior toward completing a series once I’ve started it. And no, I would not recommend developing a similar habit of your own in any capacity.
The order in which I read books from my TBR shelf is predicated primarily upon which novel I am most interested in at any given time or the book that I have purchased most recently. For whatever reason, I don’t find the second installments in series to be particularly compelling, so I generally read the first book and then pick up a standalone or a new series entirely. Then, when I want to revisit the series several months/years later and pick up where I left off, I can’t remember any of the characters or the general plot. So I am forced to reread the first novel in the series, only to enter into a vicious cycle of, theoretically, reading and rereading series openers. I find this is a particular issue when the conclusion of the first book has little to no resolution – I don’t want to continue reading a series that is just going to halfheartedly drag me along without providing any answers along the way.
While this certainly isn’t the case for every series I read, it happens way too often. I’m going to blame it on a short attention span. If I am able to mentally deceive myself into reading the second book, then I’m usually in a fairly good position with respect to actually finishing the series. I honestly couldn’t tell you why second installments seem to stump me – maybe I’ve just had too many bad experiences reading them in the past, or I’m simply unmotivated to start them because I know that they won’t fully resolve the series. On other occasions, I can identify my reluctance as related to a general dislike of the initial book(s) in the series.
For me, a trip to the bookstore involves walking away with a minimum of four books. Included in this entirely unnecessary splurge is usually one or more series. When I purchase a series, I go all out and buy the entire series. The first one or two books definitely won’t suffice! After reading the first book and setting the rest aside, I feel particularly guilty having spent money on the remainder of the series.
In no particular order, here are a few of the series that I’ve never gotten around to finishing:
The Hush, Hush series was one of my first forays into “fallen angel” literature, and I can’t say I was overwhelmed. I read the first book in the series and gave it 4/5 stars, but it definitely had its fair share of underwhelming components. It fell into multiple stereotype traps and the romance was sappy and unrealistic, but I enjoyed the action/adventure component as well as the world-building. While the novel ended on a cliffhanger, I never felt particularly compelled to continue on to Crescendo. So as of right now, the characters are currently just chilling in limbo.
I discovered the Fallen series immediately after finishing Hush, Hush, and I was eager to dive further into the realm of paranormal/fallen angel novels. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a particular positive experience when reading either of the first two books, and I gave them both 1/5 stars. Needless to say, I wasn’t overly impressed, and I highly doubt that I’ll be continuing on with this series at any point in the foreseeable future.
I immediately fell in love with the Dorothy Must Die series from the very first page. I loved the steampunk environment and the quirky, uncharacteristic twists on the classic tale, and I rated the first book 4/5 stars. This is one of the peculiar occurrences when I have no justifiable reason for waiting this long to progress on to the next installment. I received The Wicked Will Rise for Christmas this year, so I’m hoping that will motivate me to pick it up.
From what I’ve read on other blogs as well as on Goodreads, the Gone series is fairly popular and well-received by readers of all ages. I received the entire series as a gift a few years ago, and had heard fairly little about it prior to that. I enjoyed the first book, but I found it to be a bit quirky and fairly unrealistic. Furthermore, the romance seemed very forced and juvenile – the protagonists were embarrassed to look at one another, let alone hold hands or kiss. I gave the first book a rating of 4/5 stars. If I am able to move past the lack of realism and some of the more childish characteristics, I think I have the potential to truly enjoy the remainder of the series.
Before I start, can we talk about how long the Lorien Legacies is? As of 2016, it consists of 7 full-length books and three novellas. I think the sheer length of this series has served as a deterrent for me. I read the first book and assigned it 4/5 stars, and I listened to the second as an audiobook (4/5 stars), but neither really wowed me. They were both confusing to an extent as they continually introduced new science fiction related concepts that contributed to the world-building. Information was primarily flung at the reader in large chunks, rather than fully explained and incorporated into the plot.
And last but not least, I had to mention The Song of Fire and Ice series. I managed to make it 3/4 of the way through the first novel a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but was merely too overwhelmed with school and other activities at the time. I’ve just started watching the TV series, and that has merely reinforced my interest in picking up the series again. The one and only drawback is the length of each of the books – 800+ pages is definitely pushing it.
After compiling this list, I found it rather interesting that I’ve written reviews for nearly every single one of the books that I have read from each of these series – evidently they all made lasting impressions, whether positive or negative.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 is to finish some of the series that have been collecting dust on my shelves for several years, as well as to follow through with reading the rest of the series whenever I start a new one. What are some series that you weren’t able to finish?