Investigated – Have you ever read only read part of a series? Why?

Posted August 11, 2014 by Emz Chang in Investigated / 16 Comments

investigated

Have you ever only read a part of a series, particularity the first book? To clarify, I don’t just mean reading the first book and not knowing it was part of series, but reading it and not finishing it. I mean only reading part of the series and choosing to pretend that the other part does not even exist.

The last “real” book of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth came out a while ago (I believe that there are still ebooks and short stories being released). The only problem? While I have finished and loved reading Divergent and have Insurgent sitting on my bookshelf, Divergent remains the only book in the series that I have read. Same goes for Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I read and loved reading the first book, but have not even touched the other two. And not to mention, I skipped over reading Fire by Kristin Cashore, the second book of the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy. That being said, I loved Graceling (the first book) and Bitterblue (the last book). And those are only three series. There are a lot more. My reasons for doing so?

Fear

One of the biggest reasons is that I’m afraid that the next books cannot live up to the first book. In the cases of Divergent and Delirium. I’m afraid that reading the other books in their series will change how I look at them. Also, I’m afraid that the series won’t be as good and leave me disappointed.

Features Different Characters.

This applies to series who feature different characters every book with only guest appearances of the characters we grew to love in the first book. Series like Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Every book focuses on a different pair of characters and I usually spend a good amount of time reading the following books just to catch a glimpse of the main two characters who started the series.

Different Time Period

When I say different time periods I mean books in a series that act as a prequel or a look into the future. This is one of the main reasons why I chose not to read Fire like I mentioned above. Not only did it feature different characters than Graceling (see the reason above this one), it also took place in a time before Graceling. Now, I know some people can argue that reading the prequel can help you understand the world more, but before you start hating me, let me say something. I started reading Fire but just could not get into it as hard as I tried. Maybe it was because I wasn’t in the mood. Maybe it was because I missed Katsa, Po, and Bitterblue. But the fact that I knew Fire was really a prequel was what influenced me that I would be fine skipping it. If it wasn’t a prequel, I probably would have suffered through it (or tried harder).

A LONG Time Between the Publication of Books

I hate waiting for books to be released. I especially HATE waiting for the next book in a series. The wait for The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, just about killed me after I read The Lost Hero. I counted days and everything. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t that obsessed. If I’m honest, if I have to wait more than twoone and a half years for the next book, I would probably lose interest in it. And when the time comes around and it is finally published, I probably would have totally forgotten it by then, as sad as that sounds. I’m just not that patient when it comes to waiting for books to come out.

Series that Drag On and On (AKA the Series that is Way TOO long)

Some good examples of this is the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson and the Mortal Instruments series by Casandra Clare. They should have ended a lot sooner than they did, but instead just dragged on and on. If I’m getting tired of the dragging and boringness of a series, I might kick them off my TBR without finishing the series

So have you ever only read part of a series?
If so, why did you quit?


Emz Chang

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16 responses to “Investigated – Have you ever read only read part of a series? Why?

  1. I totally agree with those reasons. Some first books are just so horrible that I can’t bring myself to read the subsequent ones even though people claim “the series gets SO much better.” Yeah, no. I get REALLY mad when the publication dates are spread so far and wide. I’m so close to giving up on the Angelfall series. Sometimes I just don’t like the genre of the series anymore and abandon it. Lovely post!

    Rachel @A Perfection Called Books

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted: ARC Review ~ Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who dropped series because of those reasons. I totally forgot to mention falling out of love with a genre! *facepalm*

      Thanks for stopping by Rachel! 🙂

  2. I totally agree! I honestly struggle when it comes to reading series because I lose interest. I read Divergent, Shatter Me, The Madman’s Daughter, Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, etc, but not the rest of those series and I don’t exactly know why. I guess I find it difficult to dive back into the world, paired with the fear that it won’t be as good as the first one. It gets annoying, but I definitely sympathize with you. Hopefully both you and me will get over our fears and continue the series we started. 🙂

  3. Those are some great reasons. I still haven’t read Aligent because I’m not sure I’ll care for it and I’ve stopped at City of Glass and refuse to go farther. But a lot of times I’ll read the first book in the series, really enjoy it, but have no interest in going further. I’m not sure why but sometimes I just like sticking with the first book. Maybe it’s because I want a stand alone every now and than. Good post!

    SarahO. recently posted: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
    • I agree. Sometimes I feel like every book seems to be part of a series nowadays and if I don’t get one, I’ll just turn a series into one.

      Thanks for stopping by Sarah! 🙂

  4. I totally get this. I feel like a lot of books suffer from Second Book Syndrome, and lately, well… even the third books are disappointing me. And it can be quite horrible because I read the first book and think THIS IS SO AMAZING! I’M SO GLAD IT’S A SERIES! And then I read the sequels and I don’t like it. And then I wish I would have stopped with book one. And my whole opinion of that story is dragged down by the trilogy and I’m afraid to recommend it to others, whereas if it were just the first book I’d scream and shot and give it to everyone. This has happened with me for the Divergent series (definitely just end it with Divergent, I approve of this) and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. It’s just disappointing.

    That being said, though I’ve had these issues, I rarely stop a series after reading the first book. The only time I stop a series is if I dislike the first book. I feel like if a series can’t capture me with the first book, then why continue on? But if I like that first book, nothing really stops me from reading on. The different time periods, different characters, long publication time… it all sucks. But I just let myself suffer and push on, and sometimes end up regretting it.

    A booklover’s life is hard. 😛

    Asti recently posted: Writing in the Margins | Maphead
    • I definitely agree that a book lover’s life is hard. You are a lot more fearless and a lot more determined than me. I have a bad habit of turning series into standalones.

      Thanks for stopping by Asti! 🙂

  5. I don’t continue on with a great many series that I’ve started. Mostly it depends on how I felt about the first book. If I’m interested to know more, then of course I keep reading; if not, I don’t force it. I have a policy of discontinuing series if the last book I read from the series didn’t make a 3-star rating (there are exceptions).

    Mostly, though, I find that I discontinue series most often when my interest flags due to too long a wait. Growing up, I always always read books in a series all in a row, and the whole waiting-a-year thing that I deal with now as a blogger really does not cut it for me. I’ve stopped reading a bunch of series because I find that after a year, I no longer feel interested in the characters/story.

    Actually, to fix the interest loss problem, I have a new policy of only beginning series when all the installments have been published and are readily available to me. It just works so much better, and I’m finishing so many more series than I used to.

    • That’s a great way to combat the wait between publication dates! But I’m too impatient to wait for a series to end to read it. 🙁

      Thanks for stopping by Renae! 🙂

    • I hate the second book syndrome and being let down. Why can’t series stay consistently good? Do you have any series you would recommend to avoid?

      Thanks for stopping by Julie! 🙂

  6. I rarely complete a series. I’m with you on the long time between books (although I’ve waited up to five years for Outlander books, and I will always somewhat patiently wait for those in the future), and that’s often a turn-off for me. Same with the fear, although I often push through that. I think the biggest issue with series is when it’s drawn out too long. I always feel like it’s a publisher wanting to squeeze every bit of money out of a concept (easier than going and finding something new, I guess). I did read the entire Delirium trilogy as well as the second Divergent book (I’ll be reading the third one soon). I felt compelled to read the entire trilogy in both cases, and while the second and third books aren’t as amazing as the first, I don’t regret reading them. Fab topic.

    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted: Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves
    • I agree with the whole drawn out series problem. My only objection is that I don’t think it’s always the publisher that is behind it. I feel like sometimes the author just has so many ideas involving all the characters that it just seems never ending.

      Maybe I’ll get to finishing the Delirium and Divergent trilogies. I only wish I was more like you and able to push back my fears. And I guess, push down my high expectations.

      Thanks for stopping by Leila! 🙂