Last week in Bookish Indecisions, #2: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I asked for bloggers’ and readers’ opinions on the book to help me decide whether or not I should read it. What I found interesting was that several people responded that they had read and enjoyed the first book, but for whatever reason did not continue with the series. This had me thinking about series that I myself have failed to continue.
Are you the type of person who consciously pulls the plug on reading a series or are you the kind that does it without meaning to? I think I’m a little of both. I’m also not the type of person who feels obligated to finish a series if I start one, which makes my list of series I haven’t continued rather long. Whoops.
Now, I’m not talking about the books you didn’t enjoy, the ones you rated one or two stars, I’m talking about the ones that you really liked and had every intention of continuing. You may even had read the second book in the series, but failed to finish it or found yourself less than enthusiastic about the sophomore installment. For me, if I rate a book four-stars, it’s a series that I want to continue. There are also some three-star books that may not have impressed me too much, but were interesting enough that I will at least pick up the second book.
There are several trilogies that I can name off the top of my head that I haven’t finished and have no intention of doing so. Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone are two very popular books I enjoyed at the time I read them and both received four-stars from me (because I read them before I started blogging, I don’t have reviews that I can look back on to remind me why I liked them). However, in both cases I’ve picked up the second book with the intention of continuing the series, but found I had lost interest.
I think one of the reasons I’ve found it so easy to move on from these two series is the fact that I don’t recall either first book very well and therefore didn’t feel invested in the characters by the time I picked up the second book. This is one of the disadvantages to having to wait a year between releases: while I might enjoy a book, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that I’ll be committed a year later (please note that this is not a reflection of my personal life, ha!). So this wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision on my part, just an unfortunate result of circumstances.
Sometimes other books come along that end up impressing me more, so I don’t feel the need to continue these other series. Either I look back on these books and realize they were not as good as I first thought or I come across a series I enjoy more and feel no reason to revisit these former ones. Yes, sometimes bookworms can be fickle little beasts.
I still believe certain books are worthy of the four-stars I’ve given them, but I may never continue the series because of a combination of disinterest and bad reviews. Suzanne Young’s The Program is one of those books I really liked, but when it came time to pick up the sequel, The Treatment, I found I wasn’t particularly interested in what happened next and the fact that this book wasn’t well-received by several bloggers convinced me I had no reason to read it.
And then there are the books I enjoy, but after finishing them, my mind begins to dwell on certain problematic issues, which makes it very unlikely that I’ll reach for the sequel. I gave Kathleen Peacock’s Hemlock five-stars and had been craving the sequel ever since I put the first book down. Unfortunately, the second book, Thornhill, managed to revive a love triangle I thought had been resolved in the first book (and one I never really bought into), which now makes me hesitant to pick up the final book in the trilogy. Do I really want to spend time reading about a love triangle I hate?
Love triangles seem to be my Achilles heel, because one of the reasons I haven’t been as excited as I should be about picking up the second book in Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles is because I know that the love triangle (one that once again should have been resolved in the first book) is going to rear its ugly head. I just can’t handle a protagonist who can’t decide what she wants. I realize this may be my own character flaw, but it’s one of those things that grates on my nerves and my tolerance for which has gone from lenient to basically nonexistent.
Have there been any series you stopped reading? What were the reasons behind your decision? Are there any particular tropes that have you putting a series down? Do you feel obligated to read an entire series once you start? Are there any first books you’ve rate high, but you haven’t continued the series because you lost interest? Share you thoughts in comments!