Tag Archives: Series

The Book Addict’s “GUIDE”… to Series! | Duologies

Duologies/duets/duos… whatever you want to call them, series that only span two books seem to be a new trend in YA and I am positively loving it! It’s so nice to be able to be invested and still get more to a story but not end in a trilogy (not sure why but I think people are getting tired of the trilogy! Too many of them?) and it’s easy to wrap up the series without going on forever. I like being able to get more of a story from the characters that I love but not worry about jumping into a series, not knowing when it will end and how many books it might add to my reading list!

Lauren from Bookmark Lit recently asked for duology recommendations and naturally, I put my recommendation hat on and I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing! I’d actually been planning to do a “guide” about series for a long time but never quite got around to starting is so when this topic came up, it happened to be the perfect place to start! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite and also reader-recommended YA duologies!

** Note: Some of the duologies DO have novellas and/or prequels. Some are just short stories to bring more to the series and some actually include full-length releases. For the full-length releases, I did not consider this addition to make the series into a trilogy. They are not a continuation of the series and therefore remain a duology with an additional story, prequel, or novella.

This post is also part of a (hopeful) series (no pun intended)! I’ve got some plans to make a few more “guides” for trilogies and series spanning 4+ books!


Guide_to_duologies_duets

BOOKS MENTIONED

All links will lead you to the first book in the series

  1. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  2. Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  3. Nantucket Blue/Nantucket Red by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads
  4. Also Known As/Going Rogue by Robin Benway Amazon // Goodreads
  5. The Rules for Disappearing/The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston Amazon // Goodreads
  6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before/P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han Amazon // Goodreads
  7. Time Between Us/Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone | Amazon // Goodreads
  8. Dissonance/Resonance by Erica O’Rourke | Amazon // Goodreads
  9. Alienated/Invaded by Melissa Landers | Amazon // Goodreads
  10. Pivot Point/Split Second by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  11. Loop/Twist by Karen Akins | Amazon // Goodreads
  12. Reboot/Rebel by Amy Tintera | Amazon // Goodreads
  13. In the After/In the End by Demitria Lunetta | Amazon // Goodreads
  14. The Program/The Treatment by Suzanne Young | Amazon // Goodreads
  15. Starters/Enders by Lissa Price | Amazon // Goodreads
  16. Seraphina/Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman | Amazon // Goodreads
  17. A Need So Beautiful/A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young | Amazon // Goodreads
  18. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer/Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBrideAmazon // Goodreads
  19. Anna Dressed in Blood/Girl of Nightmares by Kendare BlakeAmazon // Goodreads
  20. The Dark Unwinding/A Spark Unseen by Sharon CameronAmazon // Goodreads
  21. Prisoner of Night and Fog/Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne BlackmanAmazon // Goodreads
  22. Born of Illusion/Born of Deception by Teri BrownAmazon // Goodreads

ANTICIPATED DUOLOGIES!

I actually wanted to include quite a few more in this post but some didn’t have covers, some weren’t 100% confirmed, and others won’t be out for um… years. But I did still want to mention them in the post because they’re either great reads or I’m really excited for their upcoming release!

  • The Orphan Queen/The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
  • The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  • Passenger/Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
  • Untitled 2016 Veronica Roth duology

Which two-books series are your favorites? Any more to add to this list? Do you find duologies more appealing than longer series?


Looking for more reading recommendations?
Here are some more posts to check out!

  • The Book Addict’s “GUIDE” to “Crossover” Books: Know adult readers who want to get into YA? Or YA readers who want to pick up new adult reads? Check out this guide to “crossover” books!
  • The Book Addict’s “GUIDE” to Male POVs: Sometimes I’m just craving a good male POV or want to diversify my reading away from the females. Check out some of my favorite books from a guy’s perspective (mostly YA, some adult, some alternating male/female POV)!
  • If You Liked… If I Stay: For fans of IF I STAY, here are a few hand-picked selections of books you should read next!
  • If You Liked… Divergent: The “If You Liked” series is back! See which books I recommend for fans of Veronica Roth’s hit series DIVERGENT!

    Want to help me with my next post? Share with me your favorite YA trilogies!

My next project will be compiling a collection of YA trilogies. There are SO many out there that it will definitely be a big post but I want YOUR help to gauge which ones should make the cut! If you’d like to help, check out the link below! It’ll lead you to a Google Form where you can share which trilogies you think should be on this next recommendation list! Thanks for your help!!!

Which YA trilogies should be on the next recommendation list?
Let me know!

Do the Endings of Books/Series Affect Your Overall Opinion?

Thankfully I’ve been going through a lucky streak lately with some of the series that have recently come to an end: I’ve been falling in love with the first in a series, NOT have issues with the second book, and (since they’re most often trilogies) having great success with the last book! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this recent change in pattern because for a while there, I felt like all of my favorites series were ending with a less-than-thrilling conclusion.

I’ve also had similar experiences with individual books as well, whether it was the beginning or middle of a series or a standalone — I had some books with which I had “slow start” issues but then the book closed with a bang!

The issue I tend to be having lately is that the way these books are ending is obviously the last feeling of the book I have… And that tends to affect my overall feelings and the rating of a book or series. Of course authors and readers alike want the endings of their books or series to be memorable, but where I run into issues is I feel like I let myself be TOO affected by the endings and that seems to be all I remember. Here are some common occurrences for me:

THE SLOW START

I’ve read a lot of books recently that I felt started out a little slowly and then the endings totally made up for the slow pacing in the beginning! But wait, is that fair for the ending to “make up for” elements I didn’t quite enjoy in the beginning? Should fantastic endings really wash away the slower parts in the beginning of the book? I recently had an experience where I was overwhelmed with how much I loved the second half of a book (a total 5-star ending, in my opinion) and so when I finished and rated it on Goodreads, I immediately clicked five stars. When it came time to write my review, I remembered the slower start and the little things I had issues with in the beginning which ultimately led me to CHANGE my rating down a little bit. Only to 4.25 to 4.5 stars, but still. I didn’t think it was fair to give a book a five star rating if I wasn’t enthralled the WHOLE book.

THE SERIES ENDER DUD

Especially with the recent series finale of How I Met Your Mother (although not book related), it’s become apparent that the ending of a book or series really can affect someone’s entire opinion of the overall picture. There have been a couple different trilogies I can think of where I loved book one, even enjoyed book two, but the last book really disappointed me and I was incredibly upset at how the series wrapped up. The fact that I didn’t like the way the series ended actually made me want to not recommend someone else to even start it. I can’t suggest that someone else start a series if I was so disappointed with the way it ended.

THE “WTF JUST HAPPENED”?

Ever finish a book and you were just baffled that THAT was the way the book ended? Whether it was something totally out of character, a random twist, a too-easy cheesy ending, or a complete change of character personality, there are some occasions where I have enjoyed a whole book… UNTIL THE ENDING. Aside from a bad series ender, I think this is one of the most disappointing things to come across. It’s a terrible shame to enjoy a whole book and then hate the way it ended.

THE CLIFFHANGER OR OPEN ENDER

Personally, I don’t usually get upset over cliffhangers. I know a lot of people hate being kept in the dark until the next book and sometimes I do think cliffhangers make it difficult to remember exactly what happened before starting the next book because I have to remember EXACTLY where the book ended. Then again, cliffhangers may also help you remember EXACTLY how the previous book ended because you’ve been wondering the whole time!
More frustrating for me is an open ending. I like a good, solid, closed-book finish. There are some instances in which I know where the author truly was leading and I can fit the pieces together. There are other cases where a little too much is left open-ended and all I want is the author to tell me HOW THIS BOOK OR SERIES REALLY ENDED. Especially if it’s a series — I invested so much time to see how it ends and then I don’t really get to see how it ends!

THE 2ND HALF SQUAD

On the flip side, I always appreciate when an author totally turns a book or series around for the better! There are a few series where I enjoyed the first couple books but you can really see how much the author grew through out the series in terms of writing, plotting, character development — the works. I love seeing an author truly grow with their works!
Similar to the slow start, I also like when things really start to come together in the second half of a book! I may get impatient sometimes with slow starts or with a lot of set-up, but I feel like once the plot gets rolling and the book needs to start heating up the conflicts so they can be resolved, the pieces really start to come together and feel like a more cohesive story. Times like these I tend to finish a book and possibly change my review to increase my star rating.

So the big question is, does the conclusion of a book affect your overall opinion of it? Would you ever change your rating based on further analysis? If a series ends poorly, does that make you not recommend it even if the rest of the books were good? Or vice versa, if a series ends well but you had lukewarm feelings about the beginning, would that pop up on your recommendations list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

In the meantime, here are some of the more positive experiences I’ve had with series enders and fantastic standalone enders! These are ones that I highly recommend and I don’t feel will disappoint! (Photos will lead you to my reviews!)

SERIES

    

   

(Technically hasn’t ended yet but each book gets better and better!!!)

STANDALONES

                 

Top Ten Tuesday – October 8, 2013: Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

TTT

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic:
Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders!

The Most Disappointing… 

REACHED (Matched #3) by Ally Condie: I actually DNFed this one. I really enjoyed MATCHED (about a 4 star rating) and I was super disappointed with the road that CROSSED turned and… I just couldn’t finish REACHED. REACHED was a BIG. BOOK. I think I made it over 100 pages in before deciding that I was so not enjoying it and I really didn’t want to struggle through 400 more pages. I didn’t like the romance/love triangle, the poems annoyed me, it was way too political (shush, I know dystopians are, but still), and the rest of the plot just wasn’t coming together for me.
[No review due to DNF]

THE DEATH CURE (The Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner: I was pretty much frustrated with this whole book. I didn’t like Teresa or Brenda and the ONE THING I wanted from the series didn’t happen: HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER —> Howwwwww does Thomas not get his memories back?!?! That was the most interesting part! That was WHY I was reading the series — I was dying to know. Le sigh. I tried to read the prequel, THE KILL ORDER, in the hopes that I’d find answers for what I didn’t get in TDC, but it really didn’t tie in to THE MAZE RUNNER much and I DNFed it after talking it out with other people who had read the book!
[The Death Cure Review]

It was the best of times… It was the worst of times…

(aka — Series enders I still enjoyed but were just missing a couple things)

MOCKINGJAY (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins: When I first finished The Hunger Games Trilogy (I read them all in one weekend), I was really upset with how MOCKINGJAY ended. It just didn’t wrap things up enough for me and there wasn’t as much excitement since there had been a Hunger Games in books one AND two. I re-read it this year and appreciated it a lot more than my first go around, but even still, it’s my least favorite of the trilogy. I did bump it up one more star from my original review though!
[Mockingjay Review]

REQUIEM (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver: I know so many readers were upset by the way REQUIEM ended, and admittedly, I was a little bit too. I’ve heard Lauren Oliver speak about it (and I read up on it as well) and she said she intentionally left it open because real life doesn’t get wrapped up nicely and I can totally respect that. Even still, I had hoped for just a tiiiny bit more closure. I feel like Lena wasn’t quite in the safe zone yet and for all I knew, she could have been killed the second after the book ended. I’m sure that didn’t happen, but that’s how I felt! I still really liked the book a lot, loved the split POV with Lena & Hana, and am always in awe of Lauren Oliver’s beautiful writing in that series, but just a tiny bit more wrap-up really would have helped my overall opinion!
[Requiem Review]

SEVER (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano: I feel like a lot of people were upset with the way the series ended and I guess I can see why, but I really enjoyed it. The only thing I was upset with, really, was the very end — once again, lack of answers — and I could have used a bit more romantic connection because the love triangle was totally one sided and then quickly flipped back. It felt abrupt after showing the one side for the whole book. I also REALLY wanted to know so much more about the titular Chemical Garden. We learn about it in this book but not quite enough to satisfy my curiosity.
[Sever Review]

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling: HEAR ME OUT. Of course I love this entire series and this entire book to death BUT. The epilogue was a bit cheesetastic for me. I totally appreciate that we get to see what happens when the trio’s kids go off to Hogwarts, but every single kid was named after someone and it felt soooo cheesy. I really did appreciate it, especially for closure and inspiring spin-offs and fanfic (which I actually haven’t read but I’m kind of curious!) but that epilogue just felt like a little too much, in parts.

JUST ONE YEAR (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman: I absolutely loved everything about it… Until the very end. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book but that ending just really took me by surprise and I was actually angry for a couple of hours before I calmed down. This book really meant a lot to me so how it was wrapped up was sort of how I felt about REQUIEM, except I think I was way more upset with this. I think I had expect to just die like I did with WHERE SHE WENT so it was a bit hard on me!
[Review to come soon!]

The Grandest of Finales…

WHERE SHE WENT (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman: When I thought it couldn’t get any better then IF I STAY and the couplet followed up with WHERE SHE WENT… even as a re-read… I died. WHERE SHE WENT was so emotional and I LOVE ADAM. It was the perfect ending and I could not ask for more.
[Where She Went Review] // [Where She Went Re-Read Review]

BREAKING DAWN (Twilight #4) by Stephenie Meyer: Yes, I loved TWILIGHT. Yes, I loved BREAKING DAWN. Um, HI, we get to hear the vampire side of things. That’s what I wanted the whole series!!!! The transformation, the feelings, the powers. Hell yeah! Things got a little weird with Renesme but I was willing to look past that! Everything ended the way it should have and I felt like it was nicely wrapped up!

I KNOW THESE WILL BE AMAZING WHEN THEY END

WINTER (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer: Because yes to everything about this series. Marissa Meyer knows how to kill it!

RUIN AND RISING (Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo: Because Leigh Bardugo is fantastic and the Grisha are fantastic and fantastical things will happen in book three! She doesn’t shy away from making Alina both light and dark and I am SO interested to see what kind of epic battle takes place in the last book!

 

Badabing, badaboom. Some bad, some meh, some almost perfect, some fantastic. Which do you agree with?

Top Ten Tuesday – September 24, 2013: Top Ten Best Sequels Ever!

TTT

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: Top Ten Best Sequels Ever!

It was pretty easy to choose my favorite sequels and because of that, I decided to only pick my TOP favorites and not just any old lukewarm sequels. These are THE cat’s pajamas, friends. Check out not only these amazing series debuts but also fantastic sequels!

Lunar

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) – Marissa Meyer
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) – Marissa Meyer
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa Meyer (review to come!)

How much do I LOVE this series. I’m pretty much obsessing over it, especially after finishing CRESS this past week. From CINDER on, this series has not disappointed me!

TheGrisha_edited-1

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) – Leigh Bardugo 
Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series is another one of my absolute favorites. I loved SHADOW AND BONE and SIEGE AND STORM toootally blew me away. Now I’m dying for RUIN AND RISING to come out!

HP

Harry Potter…. of course. I really enjoyed the first three books, but I really REALLY fell in love with the series at book four — The Goblet of Fire — and things continued to get better from there! I’d say Half Blood Prince is still my favorite, but the last four of the series are definitely my favorites!

IISWSW

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman (initial read)
If I Stay (re-read)
Where She Went (If I Stay #2) – Gayle Forman
Where She Went (re-read)

I really loved this series when I first read it last year, but I really enjoyed the re-read this year! If you’re not familiar with these two books, the first is from Mia’s point of view and the second is from Adam’s point of view. Personally, I absolutely adored Adam’s POV and WSW totally solidified Adam as possibly my number one book boyfriend of all time.

THG

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) – Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) – Suzanne Collins

THE HUNGER GAMES is one of those rare YA series that I read in its entirety before I started blogging. I actually re-read THE HUNGER GAMES before the movie came out and then I re-read both CATCHING FIRE and MOCKINGJAY on audio back in the spring of this year. I still loved CATCHING FIRE which was great to have a reminder. I actually liked MOCKINGJAY a lot more knowing what I was heading into versus the first time around, but CF is still the better sequel for me!

UtNS

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) – Veronica Rossi
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) – Veronica Rossi

I really enjoyed UtNS but honestly, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT may have even been better than the first. I really enjoyed the story as well as how Aria’s character had grown. SO looking forward to reading INTO THE STILL BLUE!

raven

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Steifvater
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

Overall, I’d say these books are right about even… Except I absolutely fell in LOVE with the dreaming aspect in THE DREAM THIEVES. Maggie Steifvater’s Raven Cycle series is incredibly engrossing and so creative. I can’t wait to read more in this series!

GoT

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) – George R.R. Martin
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) – George R.R. Martin

I am loving reading these books for the Song of Ice and Fire Read Along and you know… Books one and two were good. But HI, ASoS! SO MUCH that blew me away in that book. Of course we all know The Red Wedding happens here, but there are so many more things that happen too!

All right! Those are my choices! I only chose eight because these are THE most amazing sequels I’ve read AND their predecessors are also pretty fantastic as well.

Top Ten Tuesday – March 5, 2013: Top Ten Series I’d Like To Start

TTT

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

TOP TEN SERIES I’D LIKE TO START (BUT HAVEN’T YET)

MaraDyer

 

Hourglass

 

ATU

Slide

daughter

Eve

Summer

ShadesofLondon

Birthmarked

Insiders

Edit after I did all this: I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT UNEARTHLY!!! That’s one I want to start SOON. Whoops…

I need to get cracking on these series! But…. So many series, so little time! Especially since I promised to start Mara Dyer and Daughter of Smoke and Bone soon, but still haven’t started! 

 

The Second in a Series Slump

swirl

It’s a crazy phenomenon that I know is not a new concept… Nevertheless, we all suffer from time-to-time…

THE SECOND IN A SERIES SLUMP

So there I am. Starting the second book in a series in which I absolutely adored book one. The anticipation is killing me! But then the more and more I read, the more and more I’m let down. How is it possible that I loved Book One so much and I’m struggling so much with Book Two? What happened to the joy and excitement from the first book? Where am I going wrong here? Is there something wrong with me!? Well friends, if any of these questions sound familiar to you, I think I’ve figured it out.

WHAT’S THE DEAL?

After running into this problem many, many times with the second book in a series, I think I’ve finally figured it out. Here are some tell-tale signs that I’m suffering from The Second in a Series Slump.

1. It’s often a dystopian or science fiction-type book. 
Why in the world does that make a difference? Trust me. It does. In so many of the dystopian and/or science fiction-y books I’ve read, Book One introduces us to the characters and their big issue, usually with some type of government or society (so pretty much every dystopian novel you’ve read). Our hero and main character goes through the normal trials tribulations and then HOORAY! They escape the grasp of the evil society. But wait a minute! Now that they’ve eluded the government, they know the character is out there and rebelling. Time to go into hiding! ENTER BOOK TWO.

2. Wait a minute, where are we???
Now that our brave MC has escaped the society/government/bad guy, it’s time to HIDE! Hiding, running, fleeing… These are common themes of book two. The problem I usually have with this is yes, the chase is exciting but… I’m so unfamiliar with the territory here! We spent so much time loving/adoring/fearing the world building that was so well laid out by the author in Book One and now we’re in an entirely different setting. I feel like when the character goes on the lam, I have to totally readjust and the world building starts all over again. Sometimes it totally works, but then the other times, I’m in another completely different world. I’m distracted by this new setting that it takes me a while to adjust to all these changes and I start to get lost. I have to take the existing plot and somehow connect it to a brand new place that I’m not familiar with. More focus on the world building and less focus on where we’re headed on this plot-journey.

3. Missing the Old Characters/Introducing New Characters
So now we’re in another foreign land and because our main character was on the run, we he/she had to leave the friends/family/love interest behind in order to save themself. Is this all starting to ring a bell? New setting + lack of familiar characters = Lost again. I was just adjusting to the new world! Now you’re giving me new characters too? Meanwhile, I’m still wondering what happened to the love interest/best friend/family that was left behind (as is the character). I feel like my attention is spread so thin that I’m not sure what’s the most important thing to concentrate on anymore.


4. The two young lovers are usually separated
After a narrow escape, the love interest tries to save the MC.  “Leave me! Save yourself!” So they did. So often, Book Two separates our two main characters and they spend the whole book trying to reunite. You know what made Book One so interesting? THE LOVE STORY. So why did we take it out of Book Two? Why are you killing me with this!?!? I just want the love story back!!! Bring these two youngsters back together!

5. Introducing a Love Triangle
Wait, what!?! We already have MC missing the love interest that they left behind and most likely it was that love interest who set our MC running. But we have to have SOME kind of romance in Book Two, right? Enter new person: Helping keep our MC safe and of course it’s always someone of the opposite sex, isn’t it? MIXED FEELINGS. We’ve got old feelings and new feelings and it’s ALL SO CONFUSING – both for MC and the audience. I really don’t want to like this new love interest, but you know I always kind of do… NO, not another love triangle!!! What happened to the original, pure love story between the two original characters? What happens when they reunite? WILL they reunite?

Combine all of these elements and you have the perfect storm of The Second in a Series Slump. Usually it’s Book Two if we’re dealing with trilogies. If the series is longer, the storm may not hit until Book Three or Four, so be on the lookout! When it all comes down to it, it’s just too many new things all at once. Changing so many things that I loved in the first book doesn’t help me get along with the second book very well. It’s not to say that I’ll have Book Two, but it just feels like a completely different story sometimes. It’s hard to make that connection with the original and connect the two distinct plot lines.

COMMON OFFENDERS

Book Two in a Trilogy/Series: 

Didn’t Hit Me Til Book Three/Four: 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Now don’t despair! Just because we suffer from The Second in a Series Slump doesn’t mean that the series is over. There have been many times where Book Three has redeemed the whole series and brought everything back together! Sadly… Other times this phenomenon didn’t actually occur UNTIL Book Three and well… You lost me there. As seen above with The Death Cure and Mockingjay – Well… Those were the endings to the trilogy and a delayed Second in a Series Slump effectively created a poor ending for a series I was enjoying. When this happened in Blood Promise, it took until Book Four but then we jumped right back into the swing of things with Book Five!

In the case of Pandemonium and Fever, I still enjoyed the books and the story lines that the main characters were pulled along, but I just found it difficult to connect these new characters and this new place with what I loved so much about the first book!

Have you ever been hit by The Second in a Series Slump? Do you find that these rules apply to this phenomenon? Did you have any of the same books that I listed above? 

Series Catch-Up: Wrapping It Up

SeriesCatchUp

Here were my original goals for Series Catch-Up 2012 and what I actually accomplished – Looks like my goals were a bit lofty! I actually ended up reading a couple books I borrowed so therefore had to read right away and pass along. Then I had a couple books I really needed to review for the authors before the year was over so there was that as well! That took up quite a bit of time that I hadn’t anticipated. Anyway, here’s what I got accomplished for Series Catch-Up!

  • Read Fire (Graceling #2) and Bitterblue (Graceling #3) by Kristin Cashore – Umm…. Nothing to see here. Move along…. (0)
  • Read Spirit Bound (VA #5) and Last Sacrifice (#6) by Richelle Mead – Read Spirit Bound! But not Last Sacrifice yet. That’ll have to be 2013 (1)
  • Read The Kill Order by James Dashner – Done!  SERIES COMPLETE (2)
  • Currently reading Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth – Read!  (3)
  • Read Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie – Started but taking a break – will come back to later (will have to be 2013, and even then I’m not sure if I want to go back to it…..)
  • Read Messenger (The Giver #3) by Lois Lowry and maybe Son as well?? – Read Messenger!  (4)

Not on my original list, but completed towards the challenge:

  • Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (review posted as first entry) (5)
  • Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5) by Janet Evanovich (6)
  • Nutcase (Kate Holly #2) (7)

THE STATS:

  • Books Planned To Read During Challenge: Nine.
  • Books Actually Read During Challenge: Seven.
  • Number of Series I’m Caught Up On (that have not all been published yet): One (Divergent)
  • Number of Series Finished: One (The Maze Runner)

Wow, just seven books and I had originally planned to read so many more! Even still, seven isn’t bad. This challenge definitely did help me catch up on a lot of books that I otherwise wouldn’t have picked up in the past two months.
When I originally created the challenge, I had planned on hosting it every year. Now that I’ve seen a different Series Catch-Up Challenge (coincidentally with the same exact name) pop up for the whole year of 2013 hosted by a different blog, I don’t know that there’s really a purpose for my challenge anymore. I guess I’ll see how I feel next year in October, but as of right now, I’m sad to say that this may have been The Book Addict’s Guide one and only year for SCUC. We shall see!

So tell me! How did you guys fare in the challenge? What series did you finish? What did you catch up on? I hope you all enjoyed it!

Series Catch-Up Mini Challenge: Series Finale – The Maze Runner

SeriesCatchUp

Time for Series Catch-Up Mini Challenge #2: Series Finale. Which series did you wrap up completely during this challenge? How did you feel about the series as a whole? Have you read any other books from this author outside of the series?

Let’s talk about THE MAZE RUNNER series. 

So The Maze Runner. This has been one roller coaster of a ride for me since I first read TMR back in March of 2012. I actually really enjoyed it. I was super curious so then I picked up The Scorch Trials which I loved! Then the roller coaster started to go downhill. And fast. Let’s take a look…

Each cover photo will lead you to my review for the book! Please be aware that if you haven’t read the whole series there may be some mild spoilers once you start reading about later books in the series.

The Maze Runner (March 2012): I first picked up The Maze Runner back in March. I was looking for another dystopian because 2012 was a seriously dystopian kick for me! I’d heard a lot of good things about this series and I needed to know for myself. I think the beginning started out a little slowly, but once the action started to pick up, I couldn’t tear myself away! I think the one thing I really had a problem with was the Grievers because honestly… Even in a future world, what kind of creature is that? That was the one thing that I couldn’t quite get on board with, but I was hoping for some interesting answers in future books. I was invested in Thomas’s story and I needed to know how book two would play out!

The Scorch Trials (June 2012): I dove into The Scorch Trials and rushed through it. I really loved the second book in this series. I was captivated, interested, and even more sucked in by the questions that TST brought up. I liked it so much more than TMR – And I had really, really liked the first book! That made me even MORE excited for the last book in the series…. And that was where I went very, very wrong.

The Death Cure (September 2012): The Death Cure was just kind of one big disappointment. There were SO many questions and mysteries that popped up and *SPOILER ALERT* people have the chance to get their memories back!! So WHY was I left hanging? I had so many complaints and still so many questions after the book was over. And that was it! I was just really disappointed that this was how the whole series wrapped up and I just felt like I needed a few more answers. My opinion went from “Yes, read this series!” to “I don’t think I can recommend this anymore.”

The Kill Order (December 2012): After my disappointment with TDC, I never should have picked up TKO. I was not impressed with it at all. I didn’t feel like it was really a part of the series, and I felt like it was seriously lacking a good plot. I didn’t like the characters and I was tired of hearing about the Flare. I came to a point about halfway through where I put it down and never picked it back up again. I was forcing myself to push through it and I just didn’t want to do that, so I marked it as DNF and wallowed in how much I was let down by the last few installments to The Maze Runner series.

Favorite book of the series: The Scorch Trials

Least favorite book of the series: The Kill Order

Movies?: Is there a movie in the mix?? Despite my disappointment in the end, I’d definitely be interested in seeing this series as a movie!

Would I re-read?: Nope.

Bonus
: I love the covers!! Each one is so detailed and colorful.

Link up your mini-challenge post below! What series did you finish up?


Series Catch-Up: We’re halfway through!

Okay friends, it’s time to check in on my progress for Series Catch-Up 2012! If you don’t know what this event is all about, you can find the details HERE.

SeriesCatchUp

Here were my original goals for Series Catch-Up 2012 and what I’ve gotten done so far:

  • Read Fire (Graceling #2) and Bitterblue (Graceling #3) by Kristin Cashore – Nothing yet 🙁
  • Read Spirit Bound (VA #5) and Last Sacrifice (#6) by Richelle Mead – Read Spirit Bound!  (1)
  • Read The Kill Order by James Dashner – Currently have in my possession, coming up next
  • Currently reading Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth – Read!  (2)
  • Read Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie – Started but taking a break – will come back to later
  • Read Messenger (The Giver #3) by Lois Lowry and maybe Son as well?? – Read Messenger!  (3)

Not on my original list, but completed towards the challenge:

  • Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (review posted as first entry) (4)
  • Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5) by Janet Evanovich (5)

So it looks like so far I have five books down and as many more as I can read to go! I definitely want to read The Kill Order as my next series book… I actually took a quick break from the challenge to try to catch up on books I had accepted to review but was falling behind on. I had hoped to review those books in a few weeks and it’s now been a few months so I put my own challenge on hold because I felt like that wasn’t being fair to those authors!
I’m loaning my copy of Reached to Candice at The Grown-Up YA (yay!) so it’ll be out of my hands for a while. I’m totally okay with taking a break from it because I was not in the right mindset to read it and I just need to read something else right now. I may or may not finish that by the end of the year (no rush, Candice!). After that I’ll probably turn to Last Sacrifice, Fire, or Son!

I’m hoping to get at least three more books down by the end of the year but that may even be difficult due to the holidays and other books I’m catching up on/borrowing, etc. We’ll see how it goes!

Keep a look out for my mini-challenge post coming up next week where I talk about one of my favorite series!

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!