Series I don’t Plan on Finishing

The many book series that have entered my life can mainly be separated into three categories:

  • Series that I have followed from the beginning to the bitter end. Subcategories here include series I have loved and have been distraught that they finished (see The Raven Boys Cycle and Shiver series’ by Maggie Stiefvater) and series where I am in so deep I just have to finish with no regard for my sanity (see The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare)
  •  Series where I have read some of the books and just tailed off but might pick up again some day (see The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)
  • Series where I have read one or more of the books before deciding it just wasn’t for me.

This third category is the one I’m going to be discussing here. Interestingly, I have found that for most of the series I have decided not to finish, rather than just not enjoying the first book and not carrying on I have actually liked at least one of the books!

  1. Shatter Me trilogy – Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me)

First off a series where I loved the first novel. There are some really good things about Shatter Me. Starting off superficial, the cover is one of my favourite book covers, it is so pretty! Moving onto the novel itself I really loved the story, which is a dystopian about a girl called Juliette whose touch is fatal. It’s angsty and dramatic and there is a really cute pairing that I love. On top of that, Tahereh Mafi’s writing is beautiful and poetic. This novel actually features one of my favourite book quotes ever:

‘The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.’

So the one question that remains is ‘why am I not going to finish this series if I loved the first book so much?’. The answer is simple: because I loved the first book so much. It was very simple and contained and there weren’t that many characters. From looking at the second novel the world seems to expand a lot and become more complex, plus there was a suggestion of a possible love triangle at the end of the first novel and I just can’t deal with another one of them, especially when the pair established in the first novel is one I love so much!

2. Legend trilogy – Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion)

Similar to Shatter Me, I loved the first novel in this series, in fact, it even made it onto the honourable mentions of my favourite books list. Another dystopian with a romantic pairing that I love (I can sense a theme emerging!), Legend follows fifteen year old June and Day as they navigate what was once the west of the United States. June is from an elite family which is tied up with the military while Day is the most wanted criminal in the country. It is very dramatic as it deals with corruption and justice and family and, no spoilers, but I was shocked by the ending and cried for quite a while after finishing reading!

After enjoying the first novel in this series I was really excited about the release of the second novel but when it came out I just didn’t enjoy it that much. Everything just got a bit complex, romantic relationships got a bit tangled and there was what I think was a love triangle but it could even have been a love square (is that a thing?!). Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad read by far and, most importantly, didn’t lessen my love for Legend at all, it just wasn’t really for me. For that reason, I decided to stop reading this series and enjoy the first novel as a stand-alone.

3. The Maze Runner series – James Dashner (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, The Kill Order)

Another dystopian series here but a bit of a different story as I read the first three novels and just decided I didn’t want to read The Kill Order which is a prequel to the events of the first three. The three books in the series that I read deal with a dystopian world and from what I understand, The Kill Order deals with how the world came to be in this state. I think my disinterest in reading this prequel is mainly because the characters in the first three novels were the main draw for me, rather than the world in which it was set. In the same vein I’m not sure I was ready to let go of the characters I had come to like and meet new ones in the same world!

So there we have it, series I have read to a point and then made a conscious decision to stop for one reason or another. Of course you should never say never, so who knows, I may finish one, or all of these series at some point in the future. Just not right now!

Top 5 – Favourite Books

The first top 5 of this blog couldn’t have been anything but my top 5 favourite books. The only problem was that this meant I actually had to decide on my top 5 favourite books and as every booklover knows, this is no easy task! Lucky for me, the first two were easy as ‘The Book Thief’ and the ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ are 100% my two favourite books (at the moment anyway!). The next few weren’t so simple but finally I got there, although the honourable mentions at the bottom show just how hard fought the competition was (and let’s be honest, on another day I might list a completely different set of books!).

  1. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

As anyone who knows me (and by knows, I mean anyone who has made the mistake of mentioning that they’re not sure what to read next anywhere near me) I love The Book Thief. It’s one of those amazing reads where you can split your life into a before and after of when you read it (if you’re looking for a film comparison think maybe La La Land or Inside Out, you know the films that change the way you see world?). I briefly covered the plot of this novel in a previous post so here I will just say – in The Fault in Our Stars John Green writes:

‘Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.’

For me, The Book Thief is that book.

2. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Another one I have previously covered here but a list of my favourite books would be incomplete without it. John Green is one of my favourite authors as I just love the poetry of his writing style and The Fault in Our Stars is my favourite one of his novels. It has two wonderful main characters, is extremely emotional (for some reason I am drawn to books that make me cry!) and features beautiful lines like ‘my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations’… to be honest I never stood a chance!

3. Shiver series – Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger, Forever)

A bit of a cheat here because this is a series and not one novel. In my defence if I had to pick just one it would be ‘Forever’ which is the third book in the series and that just isn’t helpful if someone wants a reading recommendation! This series is about humans and wolves and humans who turn into wolves and is, in my opinion, pretty great. It’s got two romantic relationships that I love (no spoilers!) and one of my favourite literary characters ever plus a strong female to boot in Isabel. These books are also sentimental to me because they were the first books by Maggie Stiefvater I ever read and she has since become my favourite author (you know, the one where you have to get your hands on everything they have written and your insides go funny when you hear they have a new novel on the way) so they have that going for them too.

4. Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen

I read a lot of Sarah Dessen books growing up. My older sister started first and of course, like every little sister, I wanted to be just like her, so followed suit. The sister connection is perhaps what makes this novel stick out in my mind. In Lock and Key, seventeen year old Ruby’s mum does a runner so she goes to live with her sister Cora, who Ruby doesn’t trust because she feels like Cora abandoned her when they were younger. Family is all important in this novel whether for good or bad reasons, with the romantic storyline following Ruby and the cute boy next door Nate weaved in with these family ties. I think the importance of family and of doing your best to help the people you care about is what makes this the Sarah Dessen book I keep going back to over and over (and over) again!

5. Boys Don’t Cry – Malory Blackman

Boy’s Don’t Cry. Put briefly this is one of the most emotional and affective books I have ever read. For me, at least, it was literally unputdownable. I started it one night and finished it a few hours later and it is the only book I can remember crying reading from pretty much the first page to the last. It follows Dante, who is waiting for his A-level results, but suddenly finds himself in charge of who he is told is his baby daughter, Emma. To be honest I could gush about is book all day, so all I’ll say here is that it made my heart hurt in the best way possible.

Honourable Mentions

  • Legend – Marie Lu
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
  • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  • Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon