I’m a big series whore but even I have my limits. There’s just too many better books out there for me to be wasting my time slogging through a series just because my OCD compels me to complete them. And now, thanks to Goodreads and Book Badger, I no longer have to worry about “what should I read next?” syndrome because I will always have one waiting in the wings.
For all you math geeks out there, here’s a succinct formula that explains it all in a nutshell: Unlimited supply of books + informative, helpful reviews = lack of guilt when I finish Book #1 and don’t proceed with Books #2 through infinity.
That said, here are the 5 series I’ve recently given up on. If you loved/are loving them, please be aware that books, like perfume, are purely subjective choices and I do not mean to offend or cast aspersions on your literary inclinations.
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth – This is perhaps the most controversial of my discards. All my students – male as well as female – obsess over this series but I was done halfway through Book 2. The protag (whose name I can’t even remember, that’s how much of an impression she left on me) became decidedly whiny in Book 2 and I just. couldn’t. proceed. It was okay when HP went through his whiny phase because it didn’t occur until the fifth book when we’ve grown to know him and love him, but Book 2?! Really?!
2. The Selection by Kiera Cass – Another one of those books that my students rave over – primarily the females only this time, thank goodness. It’s basically the Hunger Games but substitute harrowing survive-or-die premise with insipid flirt-or-be-sent-home-in-shame-but-you-still-get-a-consolation-prize-that-sets-you-up-higher-in-the-societal-hierarchy-than-where-you-first-started-so-where’s-the-shame scenario. Yeah. It’s like that.
3. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris – I’m not even sure if this is going beyond sequel status. It doesn’t appear that it’ll be a series. But one is quite enough for me, thank you very much. Take the concepts in Veronica Mars, Fringe, and 24 then mash it up with the insta-love conceit and broody anti-hero in Twilight and you have this book. Sigh. It could’ve been epic.
4. The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher – Here’s the tagline that made me grab it in the first place: “Part Doctor Who, part Blade Runner, and part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this is genre-busting fantasy at its best.” Tell me you wouldn’t have been fished in (no pun intended)? Whoever wrote that book jacket blurb is a genius. Sadly, the story itself does not deliver because there aren’t any sympathetic characters at all. Every single one of the purported heroes are sullen or sly or generally unlikeable, which is surprising since I loved Fisher’s Incarceron duology and the people who peppered it. Perhaps she bit off more than she could chew?
5. Maximum Ride by James Patterson – WHY, GOD, WHY?! Why does Patterson make a living writing this tripe and my novel languishes unpublished in the deepest recesses of my laptop?! I couldn’t even finish the first book, let alone stomach the thought of reading all 8 in the series. Or is it 9? Ask me if I care? The man writes like a skeevy grandpa trying to sound hip and cool. The writing is an egregious insult to all teenagers everywhere.