They say the first step to overcoming a problem is actually admitting you have one. I’m here today to admit that I have a problem with finishing book series. I noticed it the other day while writing my Top Ten Tuesday post. I was looking through my read list on Goodreads and had a lot of authors on there with completed series but saw only one or two of those books on my read list. It became a trend as I clicked through the pages of my list. I don’t know why I have this problem or where it stems from but when it comes to finishing series, I definitely have a problem.
We’ve all experienced series that have horrible endings and series enders that are good but don’t quite give us the ending we were looking for. We’ve read enders that gave us no conclusions whatsoever and enders that have epilogues that spell out the rest of the characters’ lives. And, if we’re being fair, there have also been great series enders that have given us exactly what we wanted. Or didn’t know we needed. But it’s that fear of being disappointed and the idea that the series might end in a way that we don’t want that makes me pause.
But I think my biggest problem with finishing a series is just the end part. That’s when it’s over. Whether it was good or bad, whatever the expectations were, there will be no more. No more anticipation of the next installment. No more discussing what could happen. No more of whatever it was that made me fall in love with the series in the first place. It’s just over. And ends are hard for me.
But I think this is becoming too big of a problem. I have so many series that I need to finish that I’m not sure I can even count them. I need to suck it up and finish them! I think I’ll be making a challenge for myself next year to finish a certain amount of series that I still have to read. And maybe that way, I can work those books into my reading schedule ahead of time and make sure that I do it. I can’t have a bunch of stories just halfway completed. It’s about time that I recommit to these books and finally finish their stories!
What do you think? Do you have a problem finishing series or do you race through them to find out what happens in the end? Are you like my mom and turn to the last page of a book first? Or does the thought of something you love ending make it hard to pick up at all? Do you know how to fix my problem?! Let me know what you guys think!! In the meantime, here are a few of the series that I have started and have not yet finished (but what to).
See? I’m totally embarrassed! But I’m also so afraid of finishing these that I’m stuck! It’s a horrible problem but I’m going to start working to correct it. It should maybe be noted that of those 19 series I showed, I own the complete series for 10 of them. So I certainly don’t have a problem buying the books, just not reading them. Also, it adds up to 31 books that I’d need to read to complete just these series. That’s kind of a lot. At my currently reading pace, if I only read these books, it’d take me till about January to get them all done. So I can’t focus on just them. But I will start finishing them. One by one. And by this time next year I hope to have at least half of them completed.
So now we get to the real question is: which series do I finish first?!
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2014-09-02
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
Every time I finish one of Sarah J. Maas’ books, I keep thinking that she’s done it all! Then I read the next one and I’m proven completely wrong. So much happened in Crown of Midnight and the ending was insane, I really had no idea how Sarah could follow it up with another book. Then I find out that Heir of Fire is 500+ pages long and I really start to wonder what is going on. Then I finally (finally!!!!) get the chance to read HoF and I find out that the story had only just begun in the previous books. Now we’re seeing the world. And we know that things are going to get crazy. And I love it!!
I’m not going to discuss a lot of what happened in Heir of Fire, or the other books before it, because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. But I will talk about some of the characters and some general ideas about the book. If you don’t want to read any more of this review because you’re worried you’ll be spoiled, I totally understand. All you need to know is that I love these characters, really enjoyed this book, can’t wait for more of the story and this world, and I think Sarah is a genius. You need to read these books!!!
Okay, I’m done yelling at you. If you’re still here, I appreciate it. You guys are awesome! Just like one of my favorite things about this book. The characters! They’re awesome, are they not? They are. They’re complex and emotional and flawed and passionate. I love them all. Okay, I don’t love them all, but I appreciate all of them and how much we’ve learned about each of them so far. I love that the development of this series and the characters really reminds me of the Harry Potter series in the way that each book opened up the world that these characters live in a little bit more to us and introduced us to more players and reminded us that nothing and no one is as simple as they may seem in the beginning. I can’t wait to see where these characters will go from here and what is still left to discover in this world!
One more thing I really need to say and I hope it won’t be spoilery to anyone, but I’m just still so surprised about it that I have to talk about it. I never thought another character could be introduced into this world that would become a favorite of mine over the ones that had already come, but it happened. If you’ve been following any reviews or anyone talking about Heir of Fire, then I’m sure you’ve heard talk about Rowan. If you have, it’s all true. He was such a strong addition to this series it’s almost hard for me to remember what it was like without him in it. I really loved him. I didn’t fall for him like I fell for Chaol (who will always be my top favorite) or Sam (who was there first) but I’m so happy we’ve gotten to know him and that I could watch his and Celaena’s relationship develop into what it is at the end of the book. I’m excited (and nervous) for where this relationship is going but I have high hopes that it will be epic.
Like I said before, I definitely recommend this book. If you’ve read the others, you need this one. If you haven’t started this series yet and you like fantasy books or think you might like fantasy books, READ THESE BOOKS! Give them a try! Remember, fantasy can sometime be slow and that’s no different in this book. A lot of the time we’re learning about the characters or the world or how they relate to each other and not much else is happening. But everything else in these books make up for the slow moments. Especially the characters and their interactions with each other. These might be fantasy books, but they’re also very character driven. They’re also full of epic moments, great relationships, beautiful words, emotions (oh the tears!), and dragons! I really hope you’ll give them a chance. I love them.
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine
and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I’ve chosen:
Published by HarperCollins on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
My love for Kasie West has only grown since I first read Pivot Point early last year. Every book of hers that has come after has been another book that I’ve loved. I can’t wait for her next YA contemporary. I’m sure this romance will give me all the same feels as the others and the characters will be perfectly flawed and completely relateable. I am sure I will love this book and I cannot wait to read it!
What are you waiting on this week?
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
I received this book for free from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-06-03
Genres: Diversity, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
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John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.
I went in to this book really excited about it but just could not connect to the characters. I put the book down after about 15% for several weeks. When I finally went back to it, I powered through and finished it. I was definitely more into the book the second time but I still did not feel much for either of the main characters. I did appreciate the overall themes of acceptance and not judging people before knowing them, but I just wasn’t a fan of the execution.
I think the biggest problem I had in terms of connecting with the characters was that this book is told in 3rd person. It’s a fine way to tell a story and I’ve read some that I’ve really loved, but the best way for me to feel like I really understand the character and be emotionally connected to them, is to let the characters tell the stories themselves. Especially, for me at least, with a character driven contemporary, a connection is necessary to truly care about what happens in the book. Otherwise, you’re just trying to get through it and that’s not good for anyone.
Another problem I had with the book was that it was a bit too long. 350 pages isn’t actually a long book but I could have done without the last third, really. There was one event that I just found unnecessary to the overall story and wish it hadn’t been in there. I can understand why it was put in, I just feel like there had been so much back and forth with the characters already, I didn’t want to have to go through it again. It was like that saying, “Two steps forward, one step back.” But over and over and over again. I was just done. I wanted the characters to be honest about their feelings and figure out what they wanted. And I wish it could have happened without that one plot point towards the end, but it didn’t. I feel like that part was almost put in just for the purpose of adding more drama but didn’t really fell like it fit with the rest of the book. I did really like the end and was glad to have a bit of hope thrown into the book. I think the characters at least deserved that. I just think it could have been done, and done better, in a shorter book.
I will say that I very much liked the representation of the disabilities in this book. I have no experience with cerebral palsy or OCD but I liked that Amy was dealing with her physical disabilities alongside Matthew who was dealing with his mental disabilities. I liked that I sometimes forgot that they had these challenges and felt like any other teenager dealing with high school and popularity and stuff. I also liked the way the characters challenged each other. I love the way Matthew accepted Amy and her body and helped her but didn’t let her get away with things or pity her. I liked how Amy tried to help Matthew overcome his disease, though I did find her a little pushy and harsh sometimes. I liked the honesty in this book and the idea of acceptance shown in the end. I liked the way it all came together in the final scenes and finished with a feeling of hope.
Overall, for me, this book was just okay. I would not describe it all as The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park. Just because it’s a YA contemporary romance does not mean it equals those two books. It was almost more like Side Effects May Vary in the way that I didn’t completely love the characters and how their relationship goes back and forth between friendship and being in love and arguing with each other. I wish it had been a little bit shorter without the big surprise twist. But I also think this will be a book that a lot of people like. If you were a fan of Side Effects May Vary, I would recommend this one to you as well.