I’ve decided to jump on the Top Ten Tuesday train, and not only because it’s an alliterative phrase. It’s also because the meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, focuses on book-ish things, and as a writer and avid reader, I like book-ish things, and have opinions on them. This week’s topic is Ten Finished Series I have YET to Finish.
I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure what this meme is saying – ten series the author has finished writing that I intend to read in its entirety but haven’t yet gotten around to? Or ten series the author has finished writing that I simply have not read in its entirety, whether or not reading the entirety of the book series is intended by me or not. Since I don’t tend to finish book series, however, particularly since whenever it seems a series is “finished,” the author(s) often start up again (a la Pretty Little Liars) or only tangentially move on from (a la Beautiful Creatures vs. the new one with Ridley or the City of Bones series vs. the Clockwork books that are, like, the same thing, but in a prior time period b/c steampunk is cool).
Anyway, here are 10 of the series which I have not yet, and might never, get around to reading in its entirety:
- The Hunger Games series
I know, I know. It’s Katniss! I don’t have a problem with The Hunger Games being derivative, or popular, or not well written. While I have heard these complaints from others, I rather enjoyed the first book in the series. I thought it was pretty engaging, did not have a complaint about the writing style, and I liked this book. I just didn’t like it enough to want to keep reading the trilogy. Particularly when I can just go to the movie theater, and see Jennifer Lawrence play out the books while skipping over some of the more boring and tedious parts.
- The Last Vampire series
Ah, Alisa Perne. I was a huge Christopher Pike fan when younger. Huge. And The Last Vampire series was, deservedly, one of his most popular. Those six books just kept getting crazier and crazier, and giving us more and more of Alisa, until, finally, the story was resolved in a beautiful, resolute ending.
Or maybe not so resolute, since once the Twilight movies started coming out, everyone remembered how much they liked vampires, and began buying up eighties and nineties series that the rabid Meyer fans would falsely accuse of plagiarizing their beloved author whose debut novel came out in 2005. The Vampire Diaries was popular again. The Last Vampire series was popular again. And then – the publishing houses began delivering more novels to the series that initially ended before this new millennium even began.
I don’t actually know if the newer “Thirst” novels are written by Kevin McFadden, the original Christopher Pike, or not, but they shouldn’t exist. I tried Thirst no. 3, a continuation of the Last Vampire series, which they renamed and gave ugly new covers to make it seem like a new series, with Thirst no. 1 containing books 1-3 of the original series, and Thirst 2 containing books 4-6. It was awful. Luckily, my brain has blocked out most of what this continuation did, and all I can remember is feeling very, very sad, that the publishing industry had decided to ruin one of my fondest childhood memories. I will not be reading Thirst 4 & 5, nor any additional continuations, if there is a plan to continue them. I will try to salvage the remaining joy that was reading a Christopher Pike novel when I was… younger (wouldn’t you like to know?), and be on my way.
- The Twilight series
I have read the first novel in this series – twice, just in case my expectations were ridiculously high the first time and it biased my viewing excessively unfavorably. The ideas are fun, even if it does seem likely that Stephenie Meyer’s “dream” in the field may have occurred sometime during or after reading Charlaine Harris’s work Dead Until Dark. The writing style is not for me. I know a lot of people have derived enjoyment from this series; I am not one of them. I also feel that the poor writing highlights the wrong aspects of this dangerous, unhealthy relationship that has, what, like an 80-year gap emotionally and intellectually? Involves controlling behavior by the older male in the relationship, who feels he has to “save” a sixteen year old from her own relatively normal feelings and urges?
The interesting thing is, even though I only read the first novel in this series, I noticed glimpses that both the author and the clumsy protagonist herself realize this relationship is dangerous and unhealthy — I think these instances of awareness are clouded, however, by the poor writing. Like, ooh, this much older guy is “perfect.” Sure, a lot of sixteen year old girls might feel that way. But does a perfect guy really crawl through your window and hover over you while you sleep? Should you feel physically frightened when you’re around a “perfect” guy? No, because this love interest not only isn’t perfect, he’s not even human.
But when I try to discuss this aspect of the novel that interests me to a rabid, or even mild, fan of the series, I don’t think a single one of them has ever even noticed that Bella feels physically threatened by Edward, but allows her romantic inclinations to override these feelings. Not one.
Basically, Twilight could have been better (editing, anyone?), and I’ve heard the writing style is pretty much the same throughout the series, so I’m steering clear of the remainder of this series (although I will probably watch all purple-lipsticked RPatz and KStew versions of them, because that’s just fun).
- The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy
Similar to the series I just talked about, with the exception that I haven’t actually read this trilogy. Basically, I have read and heard enough about the book to be fairly certain I would, at the least, dislike this book, and more likely, not be able to finish. Personifying the protagonist’s subconscious, poor grammar, and pulling in a contract you got off of the internet several times because you ran out of plot? Doesn’t sound like the book for me.
I did watch the first movie, however, possibly the biggest waste of 90 minutes of my life. So. Boring. If you insist on watching it, bring a friend, lest you lose consciousness and need resuscitation.
- The Divergent series
Okay, truth be told, I haven’t read any of the Divergent series. I have only seen that awful movie featuring that once precocious, knocked-up teen on ABC Family, who is now bringing her expressive face to action movies with a flair that makes the stupid things she says all the more powerful and potentially damaging to the young audience who comprise the initial audience for this book series.
Based purely on this awful movie, however, I plan to stay away from this book series. I know dystopian was all the rage when this came out, and kudos to Veronica Roth for getting a book deal while she was still in college, but the premise seems far too simple for me to take seriously.
I’m not just going to accept that most people can associate so strongly with a particular characteristic of their personality, that they allow it to completely define who they are – even if they do live in shitty circumstances. People have brains, and it is generally unwise to underestimate them, or to assume you know the way in which someone else perceives the world. This series seems like it’s entirely premised on the idea that people are stupid – oh, but wait, there’s some teenage girl who’s going to show them the way out of the Dark Ages because she is so special that she has more than one personality trait? Sorry, just not buying it.
Maybe I completely misunderstand what this series is about, but there are so many great books out there, I’m not going to fret about keeping this one off the “to-read” list.
- The Immortal Witches series
Long-time readers of my blog (which I just started this summer, so, you know, “long-time” readers might be a stretch, but I appreciate you guys!) might remember when I reviewed the first book in this series. I was not a fan. Particularly of the ending. If an ending doesn’t grab me, then I feel no need to continue reading the series.
- The Sweet Valley High series
When I was in second or third grade, I began reading the Sweet Valley High series, and ate up the ghost-writer-produced madness that was the world of the supposedly small town of Sweet Valley, where kidnappings, robberies, opportunities to meet or become celebrities, abounded, and the characters were strictly defined though the characters often acted outside of this definition of what was “normal” for them. You can only imagine how disappointing high school was for me. Not a single person tried to kidnap me, or ask me for help writing an article for the school paper my school produced twice each semester for the “journalism” class I wasn’t in. I didn’t meet anyone famous, I didn’t become “discovered” as actually being gorgeous and the lead singer for a popular band. Suffice to say, actually living in a small town is decidedly less exciting than your average Sweet Valley High book. Yet I have always secretly loved a bit of the escape, of returning to the world of the beautiful, popular twins, where crazy shenanigans will occur but every book will end with a happy ending.
Having said that, I seriously doubt I will ever have the time and energy to hunt down all the 152+ books written in the series. Nor would I want to. I might give Sweet Valley Confidential – essentially the 10-year high school reunion, for those who haven’t heard of it – a try.
- The Dollanganger series
Like many, if not most, young girls, I went through a V.C. Andrews phase. The gothic drama of these books was addictive, and I read many of the books the author penned herself, and the ghostwriters penned afterwards. I read the first two, and got halfway through book 3, of this particular series, which was fatally drowned during a vacation via road trip with my family years and years ago. I had always intended to purchase another copy and finish the series, but now find… I just don’t want to.
It might be because I’m a little older, and definitely because my interests have changed as I have matured, but I find that I don’t want to read about terrible things happening to people who are powerless to stop them. Although I applaud the now deceased Andrews for using fiction to process the difficulties that she endured from being in a wheelchair. I wonder how her writing would have changed, had she lived longer. Perhaps her work would have matured in a way that parallels my interests. I do feel that Andrews had a talent, but her subject matter is simply less appealing to me now.
- The Blue Bloods series
The first time I read Blue Bloods, I thought it was a great book. Then, I read the sequel, and I was… less impressed. But it ended on a good cliffhanger. Then, I read the third novel in the series, and I was dragging myself through it, don’t remember anything about it, and realized this series probably isn’t for me.
More recently, I re-read Blue Bloods, and still appreciated a lot of the world that de la Cruz created, but realized that the writing style wasn’t very fluid, the characters were not as fleshed out as I remembered, and…. basically… I think I was so enamoured with the ideas that de la Cruz was writing about that I didn’t pay much attention to the writing.
- The Ghost Hunter Mysteries series
I really like Victoria Laurie’s first Abby Cooper novel, It has an interesting protagonist, who is a psychic, which is treated in a manner entirely different from the way I have seen it treated before, and it takes place in Royal Oak, MI, which is near-ish one of the areas where I grew up. As a result, I was so excited to learn of Laurie’s ghost hunter series, which features a medium and (surprise!) ghosts and such. Since I have a thing for the paranormal, and I was a fan of the way Laurie handled a psychic P.I. in her other series, I was psyched for a great book.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the protagonist. M.J. Holliday was a very annoying character to spend an entire book with, and I’m a little fuzzy on the book details, but I feel like the mystery wasn’t particularly compelling, either. Thus, I will not be continuing the series. The thought of spending 8 more books with M.J. Holliday (so far) makes me cringe.
Those are 10 of the book series I don’t plan to finish – what about you? Is there a series I didn’t mention that you think I should avoid? Do I plan on not finishing a series that you love? Talk to me about it in the comments below! I would love to hear from you. 🙂