March 14, 2013

I'm Series-ly Addicted

It's true! While some people avoid series like the plague, I really do love getting invested in a new one. Sometimes I'll fall in love with the first book, and each subsequent book will only make me love a series or trilogy more. But that's not always what happens... the more series I read, the more paths my addiction can take. Let's explore, shall we?

One & Done


Hey book, I wanted to love you. Really I did! I had high hopes for our future... big dreams for all the things we'd do together and all the memories we'd make. But I just don't get it. Things changed. I just don't think we're on the same page. It's not me - it's you.

When I'm only one book in, I can pretty easily set a series aside. If I don't care about the characters and am not invested in the story, I'm not likely to keep reading. Will it potentially get better in future books? Maybe. But I'm just not interested in continuing. 

Examples: Remembrance by Michelle Madow, The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

On One Hand...


Hey book, I think we can make this work. There's something about you that's a little off, but I want to take a chance on you. I see potential here, so I want to get to know you more. But let's take it slow, okay?

In this scenario, I'm a little torn. On one hand, I think I could see this series getting better. On the other hand, I'm not crazy about where it's at now. This is a dilemma for me as a reader - do I give the series one more chance to win me over or do I call it quits before I invest any more time into what may be a lost cause?

Examples: Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

One Fell Swoop


Hey book, you had me at hello. I'm falling hard for you, and I want to be yours forever.

Book one is amazing! In fact, it's everything I've been looking for in a series. I know that I want to see these books to the very end because I just love them so much already. Now I've just got to hope and pray that my feelings for them stay this way the whole way through.

Examples: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right


Hey book, I gave you a chance. That whole "on one hand" thing was serious. And sadly, I just can't take any more of this. I thought you could change. Clearly, I was wrong!

This typically follows a so/so experience with book one. I didn't love the first book, but I thought the series would get better. Sadly, book two isn't cutting it either. If I still don't see much improvement on the things that bothered me in the first book, I might just stop here and have someone tell me how it all ends.

Example: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Terrible Twos


Hey book, what happened to you? I just feel like you've been distant lately. Our relationship is going through a rough patch, but I think we can work through this.

What happens when I love book one but book two just doesn't live up to my expectations? I'm probably going to chalk this up to middle book syndrome. I might notice the book's flaws, but I'm still invested enough in the characters to continue reading the series.

But what about when book one was only okay? This is one of the toughest places for me to be as a series addict. What to do when I've read two "okay" books? This is where I may differ from most readers. For me, I often have to see the books through to their conclusion if it's a trilogy. With only one book left, sometimes I can't quit once I've made it this far. I just have to know what happens and can't give up now... even when I'm not loving the series.

Examples:  Crossed by Ally Condie, Fire by Kristin Cashore

"Two" Legit to Quit


Hey book, we've got a good thing going here. It's like I fell in love with my best friend, and this relationship just keeps getting better and better. I'm in it for the long haul with you.

Do I even need to explain further? I'm loving the series at this point, and I'm dying for more. I just can't wait to see how it all ends!

Examples: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Three Strikes & You're Out


Hey book, I should have known from the start. We were just too different. I think we always knew it would come to this. You didn't really think we'd make it, did you?

I make this face when I realize I've just wasted time on three books that I really didn't even care about reading. I didn't love them from the start, but I just kept hoping they'd get better. Sadly, I've got to call the series a miss. At this point, I'm just hoping that I'll learn when to keep reading and when to walk away in the future.

Example: Passion by Lauren Kate

Third Times the Charm


Hey book, I've been guarded and afraid to let you get close. But I feel like it's time for me to open up and really show you how I'm feeling inside. You've taken the time to get to know me, and I've seen our relationship really grow because of it.

This is a great moment in a series. I may have loved the first book but didn't enjoy the second OR maybe I was just so/so on both of the first two books. Either way, the third book has really turned me into a fan. At this point, I'm glad I took the time to read this series (even if it wasn't love at first read).

Examples: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Third Wheel


Hey book, I don't even know you anymore. Things were going great with book one and two... This just seems so out of character for you. How could you ruin everything we had? 

This is one of the saddest series moments! I've enjoyed the first two books and then just have such mixed (or horrible) feelings on the last book. This can totally affect my feelings on the entire series! Sometimes I can separate it in my mind and still enjoy the first two on their own. However, usually at this point I just look back at the time I spent with the first two books and want to ask, Did it really have to end this way?

Example: Boundless by Cynthia Hand, Fire Study by Maria Snyder

Triple Platinum 


Hey book, you're everything I've ever wanted in a series. I can see us growing old together. Will you marry me? I don't want to spend a day without you.

These books are going on my favorites shelf where I will frequently gaze upon their beauty and reread them in the years to come. All three books were just so wonderful - it doesn't get any better than this!

Example: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Into Temptation by Penny Vincenzi, As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers

Have you gone through any of these stages while reading a series? 
What are some examples of series that have fallen into these categories? 
Is there one "stage" that you constantly find yourself in?
I'm curious - give me the scoop!

All gifs from http://realitytvgifs.tumblr.com

35 comments:

  1. Hahaha, I love this! You've described so many of my series feelings, too!

    I only wish you had included examples of some of the series that made you feel that way -- for each of them.

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    1. Okay, I've updated the post to include examples for each of them :)

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  2. This is hilarious, I love the GIFs! I find myself stuck on the "On One Hand" stage the most. I usually end up continuing reading but with a mediocre first book, I find it's pretty unusual for me to love the rest of the books. Great post! :)

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    1. Thanks - so glad you enjoyed! Yeah, I was able to think of a bunch of examples for "On One Hand." I think I'm more likely to continue if I can find the second book at the library, but not if I have to buy it.

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  3. I'm loving this post (and all the Britney GIFs)! I think you've managed to accurately cover pretty much how I feel about series in general, and the thoroughness delights me. Taking the time to explain and name each one of these was a solid idea, and I'm sure many other people will be able to relate!

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  4. Fun post. I do admit to getting really sick of series. I mean, sometimes I love them, and feel like this story needs to be told in more than one book. But a lot of times I just feel like the story is being dragged out too far, and I lose interest.

    Something that I loved from the start is Cinder. I love how Marissa Meyer is telling this series. It's kind of like companion novels, but it's not either. Genius in my opinion.

    Something that has frustrated me - The Mortal Instruments. I loved the first three. It was a great story that i felt needed to be told in three books. But now Clare is writing three more. I mean, I'm not saying their bad, but I liked that the series was completed. And as much as I like The Infernal Devices, I am really ready for Cassandra Clare to write something OTHER than Shadowhunters.

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    1. Yeah, that's where I'm torn on series. I really do love them for the most part, but I HATE more than anything when a book is dragged out into multiple books when it really could have been one. That's actually something that can cause me to stop reading a series - if I feel like everything is being dragged out just to extend it into more books.

      I love when authors continue the series/world but do so with different characters. I think it makes it funt o be able to stay in that world but NOT get tired of any characters/storylines.

      I haven't read any of Cassandra Clare's books, but I haven gotten that impression of reviews I've read.

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  5. I, too, am a series addict! And you've essentially summed up my feelings. I'm reading a TON of series currently, but I'm trying to finish up one or two of the finished ones per month. How I decided to continue or not, is similar to what you've outlined, but I'll just say what I do anyway:

    1. Loved the first book: CONTINUE! I'll keep reading even if the next book is just so/so, since maybe another book will be as awesome as the first!

    2. Hated the first book: ABANDON! I just won't go on. Why bother? The exception to this is probably Fallen by Lauren Kate. I'm drawn in by the covers, so I have hope that they get better. Even though I generally hate angels, and I hated all of the characters, but whatever.

    3. The first book is so/so: I'll read the next one. If the second doesn't grab me, I'll probably abandon the series. My one example of this is Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs. There's currently 7 books, but I didn't like the first two, so why go on? Unless it's a trilogy, then I'll read the last book. My most recent example is Abandon by Meg Cabot. Both books were blah, but I've come this far, right?

    4. Book one was good, but my library doesn't have the rest:: ABANDON! I feel bad about this one, but if I only thought the first book was good or okay, I'm not going to spend my money on the rest. If my library has the next books, then great! I'll continue. If not, oh well.

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

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    1. Oh, I really love that you outlined how you typically read series.

      I agree on what you do if you love the first book, even if the second is so-so. Usually I hold out hope that the next/last book will be just as awesome as the first book was!

      Haha! Cracking up that you included Fallen. I work with someone who loves the books and loaned them to me, so I read them because of her. I hated them but kept reading because I felt like I HAD to read them.

      Also, love your point about the library! I'm way more likely to continue a so/so series if I can find it at the library. That way I can see what happens but didn't have to pay for it AND feel so no guilt if I just stop reading for some reason.

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  6. Oh, I love this post! Though I DNF books quite easily - and most of the time if I don't like a series, I just call it quits - I did realize there are books that fit into these categories. This is what I came up with in my lunch break haha:

    I'm easy with the One & Done thing. If I don't like a series, I'm not going to waste my time on it. Examples: Beautiful Creatures (didn’t even finish ha), Gone by Michael Grant

    If On One Hand is followed by the Two Wrongs (so that means two so/so books) I'm done. I won't even care how it ends. (Peaches/The Secret of Peaches, A Great and Terrible Beauty/Rebel Angels)

    But some books just - One Fell Swoop - capture me. (Vampire Academy - obsessed much?) These are almost always the ones that are Two Legit To Quit (Scarlet, Unravel Me, Insurgent!) and end up being my favorites Triple Platinum, like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

    Sometimes I won't like book 3 as much though. The first time I read Mockingjay it was a Third Wheel for me. I love it now, but then... And sometimes I love book 3 the most of all. My Third Times the Charms are City of Glass and Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse. (okay, I really liked the first two books in these series as well but the third was AMAZING!)

    I hope this comment became more coherent than I think it is right now. But anyway, I love series a whole lot :)

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    1. Haha! I love that you DNF books quite easily - I'm trying to get better at it. I usually force myself to continue on, even though there is little hope that my feelings for the book will change. It's even worse when it's a series. WHY do I feel like I must continue?!

      I could think of a lot of example for One & Done. For some of them, I don't even know that I'm completely done (like I might continue if I find book two at the library) but I'm definitely not buying them.

      On One Hand/Two Wrongs is where I'm trying to get better at just walking away. I still feel compelled to finish a series out sometimes (if it's three books, but definitely not if it's more than that).

      VAMPIRE ACADEMY! Love, love love. Yep, those followed by Two Legit are usually the Triple Platinum. How could they not be?!

      I love that you know exactly what I mean about not liking the third as much OR liking the third the most. YAYYY!

      Totally coherent and such great examples!

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  7. This is the best post of all time!!! Seriously awesome. I'd also add (although I don't know what I'd name it)' the series that goes on and on and on, a la Pretty Little Liars. I was LOVING the first few books, but then she just kept writing more and more, long after I felt that the series should have ended. I'm a big fan of the trilogy; any longer and I'm not usually interested in diving in.

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    1. Yayyyy! Glad you love this post :)

      And you're right, I totally should have added a series like that! I'm torn on those - you want to see how it ends, but you can alos tell it's dragging on and on. Such a dilemma!

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  8. Love this post! I love series, as you do, unfortunately I sort of stick with the attitude "Oh, it'll get better next time" for every single book. It's such an automatic for me that if it's a series that I'll read each book that I will buy all the book in the series before even starting them. At that point, I feel like it HAS to work out because I put my money into it! I do think Melissa makes a good point though. If it's a series that continues forever, I'll be more likely to give up on it. I think trilogies are the best. Enough time to really fall in love with the characters, but not too much as to where I lose interest.

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    1. Yay! So glad you love the post & thanks for the kind words :) I know what you mean about the whole "it will get better next time" attitude. I'm trying to get better about recognizing if it's really worth the time! And yeah, if went ahead and bought them all, I'd definitely feel like I HAD to read them.

      I agree on series dragging on - I love that trilogies are becoming more popular. I do, however, hate books that should have been a single book being turned into a trilogy. Then it feels like they're just trying to make more money off the concept/series.

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  9. I love this! This sums up the dilemma with series. There are so many things that can go SO wrong...and so many that can draw you in and make you love it forever and ever.

    Although let me say, I hope Bitterblue turns out to make the Graceling series a triple platinum for you!

    Again, I love this post and all the .gifs. So fun! And insightful!

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    1. Yayyyy! You nailed it - series are such a dilemma for that very reason! It can fall apart so quickly, and it can also totally get its act together and make you fall in love.

      Thanks for the kind words :)

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  10. All the feels! I love how you titles the categories and thank YOU for all the examples you mentioned, it makes all the more sense.

    For me, One & Done hasn't really happened yet, or maybe it has with Silver and Glitch. I recently experienced On One Hand... when I read Unremembered but I loved Pivot Point and Divergent in a big One Fell Swoop way. I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right, Terrible Twos and Third Wheel but "Two" Legit to Quit happened to me with Matched and Angel Creek series. Seeing as there are tons of series I have yet to read the third book of, Three Strikes & You're Out is out. However, a recent Third Times the Charm and Triple Platinum is The Hunger Games trilogy.

    So these days I just really find myself either in On One Hand... or in One Fell Swoop category a lot since I've been starting a lot of series.

    Great job with the post, Hannah! And those Britney gifs are hilarious =D

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the titles, examples and the gifs!

      And I love that you gave me some examples of books that fell into each category for you!

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  11. So many different types of series! i'll admit I never thought of them this way, but there are definitely series books that I love from the first book to the last, and then others where the first book rocks and the next book sucks, or series where it starts off strong and has a weak ending. Really, the combinations are endless! I love all the gifs you picked ... they were perfect!

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    1. Glad you liked all the gifs AND that you can relate to all the different types of feelings for series :)

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  12. Haha loved this post!
    I'm still interested in reading the second book of The Pledge but I agree - I was pretty disappointed with it. I wanted SO much more from it :(
    Okay, I actually can't go through each book one by one because let's face it - I agree with you on almost EVERYTHING <3 I loved this post! It was so much fun!

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    1. Haha so glad you love it! Yeah, The Pledge was SO disappointing. I bought it, which was actually the only reason I even finished reading it.

      Glad you totally agree and enjoyed <3

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  13. I really love the Britney GIFs-they really make the post for me as I just stared at her for a bit before reading your great observations about these steps through series.

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  14. Okay I'm back for round two of trying to make my comment stick here!!

    I LOVE series. I'm not one of the people that rejoice when the world offers a standalone book, although I find nothing wrong with that at all. To me, there's just something fun about a long-standing story that reaches across a long time that makes me really excited. That being said, I love the way you've broken it down and despite the fabulousness of the lady BritBrit, there is really something to be said here for what you've written.

    First of all, I am currently reading a book two that I am not loving at all. Like, it is pretty much not good. But I really loved book one! So where does that leave me? I will certainly want to see how the series ends because I feel invested enough in the characters after two books, but doggone it, I'm just unhappy with how stupid they've been in this entire second book (not mentioning it here because it is fairly recent/new and don't want to spoil). Very disappointing to me, particularly since most of the series #2 books I've read this year have been winners.

    My best series are, without a doubt, The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano and The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness - this comes not necessarily in ONLY the storytelling but also in how discussable the books are, which is a big important factor in deciding which series to read/continue with for me. Books are meant to be enjoyed, and part of enjoying them is reading them along with people, etc.

    I don't often have series that I DNF after one book - perhaps I am not as quick to pick up the second book, or the third book, but I'm not very quick to just shrug the series off for good if I've become invested in them. I supposed I am so gullible in my believe that people (and also characters) can be redeemed and therefore I should give them that chance?? I don't know. Perhaps I'm just a good judge of what I think I'll like?

    At any rate, most of the examples that I can think of fall into the "I've read two of the books, and the third book is coming within the next year" category - I haven't loved them all as much as I've loved Unravel Me or some of the others, but I'm not quick to give up on them.

    Perhaps this is another one of my reading quirks.

    FANTASTIC post, H. You do have the best discussions!

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    1. It's so lame that Blogger didn't keep your comment that first time. So frustrating!

      I'm like you - I enjoy stand-alone novels, but I'm not begging for more of them like a lots of readers seem to be. If a book makes sense as a series, I'm excited to get to spend all that time with the characters and the world. I think that's really what it hinges on for me - whether or not there's enough story for it to be split up into a series. I do get frustrated when I read a series that just seems to be dragged out for no real reason.

      Woohoo for the fabulousness of lady BritBrit :)

      I'm a lot like you when it comes to finishing a series. If I loved book one, I still feel invested in finding out what happens - even if I didn't really care for book two. Is the one you're currently disappointed in the one we've been discussing over email?

      I love that a factor for your enjoyment is whether or not a series is discussable! That's such a great point. If a series doesn't make you want to talk about it with other readers! Otherwise, where's the fun in getting invested in the series?!

      I know what you mean about not being very quick to DNF a series after the first book. I could actually think of a TON of series examples for "On One Hand" which is when I may have liked and disliked certain things about a book. In that case, I usually want to finish the series but may not feel compelled to finish it any time soon. Like, I'll continue the series if I spot the book at the library but am not racing to put a hold on the book or buying it for my Kindle.

      There are a TON of book threes coming out this year. That makes me so happy :)

      And thank you, lady :) Since writing more discussion posts was one of my goals for the year, this makes me really happy.

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    2. Nooo, the book two that I was reading at this time is not that same one! It's a new release that I have FOR REVIEW, oh goodness!

      I just did a little post the other day about a few of the series that are finishing up this year that I'm finally gonna read.

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  15. I'm the kind of person that once I get at least two books into a series, I have to finish it. For example, the Pretty Little Liars series was supposed to stop at 8 books, and I read and really liked them all, but now the series is going up to 14 books or something crazy like that. I really want to stop reading them because they're not that good anymore, but I just HAVE to finish them!

    One series for me that started out okay and then crashed and burned is the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. I thought Shiver was so-so, Linger I was bored with, and Forever I just plain did not like. I know I'm kind of in the minority there, but I just did not like that series!

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    1. Yeah, I'm often more like you! Once I get two books in, it's VERY hard for me to stop. I feel the same way - like I HAVE to finish them to know what happened. But I'm trying to be better and just get those from the library or borrow from a friend. I don't need to buy a series that I'm not really into.

      I've wondered about that series. I haven't read it yet, mostly because I just couldn't decide if it's something I'd like. I've read a few chapters and didn't feel compelled to keep reading, so maybe I'll pick them up one day if I see them at the library. Otherwise, I'm in no hurry to buy them.

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  16. Awesome post!
    I have experienced One&Done quite a lot. Third Times the Charm sounds like a great feeling, but I'm one of those who only give two chances to a book, at max.
    The hope for that miracle called Triple Platinum is why I still read series :)

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    1. Thank you! I've read a bunch of books that should have been One & Done - I just talked myself into giving them another chance and read book two! I'm trying to get better at just being done with a series if I don't like the first book. And aren't we all dying for a Triple Platinum?! :)

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  17. You basically took all my feelings and put it quite eloquently in a post. I'm a series addict too!

    Awesome post :D

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    1. So happy to have another series addict around!

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