Let’s Talk [1]: Series

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

Today’s Question:

What are your thoughts on series? How many books in a series is too many? What authors do you think handle longer series well, as opposed to ones who seem to stretch it out less successfully?

I decided to pick up the Let’s Talk discussion today because this is something I really like talking about!
It seems like nowadays, the majority of books I’m picking up are part of a series (hence, the Series Catch-Up Challenge… Oh come on, you know I couldn’t resist mentioning it!) and while I do LOVE series, I kind of miss the stand alones! I’ve found quite a few great ones that I think need a mention:

BUT I will admit that overall, I love series. I like being able to follow an epic story that spans over many books, get to know characters, grow up with characters, and see personalities change over time.

There are some series, I’ll never get sick of and then there are some that I wonder, how many books is too many? Sometimes the stories get tired as the series goes along and I tend to lose interest. So for the sake of time, I’ll throw a list out there of my favorite series that I could read forever (as if you didn’t already know!). I’ll also stick to calling a series four books or more because I feel like most trilogies are well thought out (usually) through three books so there’s always a definite end to a trilogy. A series I see as something that can keep going on and on if the author really wanted it to.

  • Harry Potter (JK Rowling): – more, more, more! Always.
  • Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich): So the stories tend to get a little old after so many books (I’m on 14), but even still, I love reading about Stephanie Plum. They may tend to revolve around the same story lines all the time, but I’ll read anything and everything Stephanie because they’re just plain fun.
  • Heather Wells (Meg Cabot): Oh, I love Heather! These stories are so fun and light but with a good mystery at the same time AND a swoony romance.
  • Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead): Okay, so this one I’m a little borderline on. While I’m always sucked in, I do feel like the later books (I’m on 5) are losing steam and are not keeping me as sucked in as I used to be. There’s always a shocking ending though so how can I not finish! I do still love em no matter what!

Then there are some series that I just felt lost steam. Some I’ve given up on, some I haven’t yet, but it’s gotten to the point where I think they should have been wrapped up and they just drag on now.

  • Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire (Charlene Harris): I still love True Blood because it’s exciting and a mile a minute. I feel like the actual books have gotten slow and bogged down and the last one I read (which was only the 6th) didn’t really hold my attention very well.
  • Hannah Swensen (Joanne Fluke): I loved this cozy mystery series at first – It was cute, it involved baking, and (dun dun dun) there was a love triangle. I finished eight books (I think? Seven? Eight?) and the love triangle that was introduced in the first book still hasn’t evolved one bit. I cheated and checked reviews for the last book that was published (maybe 12?) and STILL nothing has happened. I love the mysteries but this series totally lost steam with absolutely no development of the love story. I think it’s time to stop or else mix it up!!

I haven’t read a few other popular series like The Mortal Instruments (I’m only on book 1), Game of Thrones, Blue Bloods, Lemony Snicket, Outlander, etc so there are plenty out there I still need to catch up on!

What are your opinions? What series have you given up on? What series do you think the author should give up on? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk [1]: Series

  1. jaimearkin

    ahhhh series books!! I have a love hate relationship with them for the very reasons you state! The waiting between releases is a killer, but I love the epic kind of story that just can’t be contained in one book.

    I have to say that I just recently finished the Hush Hush series (Finale) and that last book to me was totally not necessary, and I kind of ‘Meh’ by the last page.

    That’s probably the only one that I just didn’t care for that I can remember.

    One series that I loved – The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa – and of course I agree with you on The Vampire Academy Series – it’s my go to rec for anyone looking for something excellent!

    xox
    jaime

  2. DEBtastic Reads!

    Good topic. I’m supposed to be working but I’m taking a quick break to peek in on blogs. In the past I really loved series – like you, I got attached to characters and wanted to hang out with them as much as possible. Lately, though, I try to stay away from series until it’s an author I really adore. Mostly because my time is more limited these days and I don’t have the luxury of getting into a series. That being said, I sometimes feel like publishers try to create series for the $$ rather than because it best suits the character/story.

    Series (I’m including trilogies here) I love: The President’s Daughter by Ellen Emerson White (I would read a book about Meg Powers brushing her teeth, I so adore this MC), Harry Potter by JK Rowling (’nuff said), Tithe by Holly Black, Ruby Oliver series (The Boyfriend List, etc) by E.L. Lockhart, – and no doubt there are more that I can’t think of right now. Must get back to work but thanks for a fun topic to think about!

  3. Karen

    Wow – quite a few of us have given up on poor Sookie lol

    Nothing real ever seems to happen anymore. She whines – walks into the woods – gets into trouble….same stuff every book now.

  4. Candice

    I can’t decide which I like better – series or stand alones. I think I prefer series if they’re already all out before I pick them up. For instance, had I been into Harry Potter before the entire series came out, I don’t know if I would have loved it as much as I do. Same with Twilight, Hunger Games, Princess Diaries… But that being said, I sometimes like stand alones because I don’t have to finish the story in another place. It’s just one adventure. There’s no “well what happens next?!” There’s something about that I can totally appreciate. I guess it really depends on the series and stand alone. Sometimes a series ends up being too much for me – like I just want the plot to be finished. Sometimes a stand alone ends awkwardly and I want more. So to answer your question, I don’t know what I prefer!

  5. Kt (@KT_Clapsadl)

    Ooooo. I am so jealous that you are getting to read the Vampire Academy books for the first time. Just wait until you get to book 6. I mean wow, just wow!

    Also, I cannot agree with you more on the Sookie books. They were so great in the beginning, but it’s been a slow and agonizing decline. I haven’t read the most recently released book, and honestly I don’t know if I will.

  6. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I’m definitely getting a little weary of series. I mean some books are awesome as series, but I don’t think everything need to be.

    For example, I really liked the original Mortal Instruments – when it was a trilogy. I’m kind of frustrated that Clare is making it a six part series. Also, everything she is writing is about shadowhunters. Don’t get me wrong, I like shadowhunters, but I want something different from her.

    I love Harry Potter. But something I always loved about HP was knowing that it would be 7 books, and that’s it. I don’t know how I would feel about her writing more HP. I would read it though 🙂 After all it is JK Rowling.

    But I do wish there were more standalones. And companion novels! I’m all for companion novels!

  7. vmcarswell

    Harry Potter is a series that could have 30 books and I would read everyone and still ask for more! I can’t say I prefer one over the other, it all depends! I have only read one Stephanie Plum book so far, but it was hilarious! I just haven’t been reading many adult books lately, but I will get to them eventually! Here’s my full answer.

  8. Rory O'Connor

    I gave up on the outlander and Alex cross series. I’m thankful the upcoming Sookie Stackhouse will be the last, it needed to end about 4 books ago. Game of Thrones is amazing!

    1. creativedeeds

      I haven’t kept up with the Alex Cross books either and I love James Patterson. His short paragraphs are my favorite, you can tear through those books really fast. The last book I read in the series was Cross Country and I just didn’t like where the story went. I’ll probably pick it up again though.

  9. Smash Attack

    The Night Circus is definitely one of the most entertaining standalone I’ve ever read! So amazing. 🙂

  10. creativedeeds

    LOL! When I came up with this question, the first series that I thought of on the negative end was the Sookie Stackhouse series. I’m a fan of the series, but I agree that it seems to be continuing just for the sake of continuing. And…. uh, I haven’t read the Vampire Academy books yet either. So many books, so little time. 😉

  11. Briana

    I love series if I love the book because it’s great to keep reading about your favorite characters!

    But there are a lot of plotlines that just can’t support a series–and publishers and authors will push it anyway. In a way, I think it can work best to write something as a standalone and then realize there’s so much more you can write about, instead of coming up with a single plot goal and stretching it over three books. Series like Harry Potter work because, although there is an overarching plot. each book has it’s own plot. They aren’t JUST trying to get readers to book seven. The same is true of series like The Chronicles of Narnia, which in many ways is a bunch of standalones in the same world.

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