Five Series That I’ll Never Finish
Or, me learning to recognise what books I shouldn’t bother reading
We’ve all read those books, haven’t we? The kind that are alright, they’re decent. You wouldn’t recommend them to your mate but you don’t consider the hours you spent reading that book a waste of your valuable time. You give the book two or three or maybe even four stars on Goodreads and never think of it again, at least until you stumble on That Book Is Actually a Series #5 and think “dear God, are they still writing them??”.
This is a tribute to those books, the ones you read once and never pick up again, that go to the charity shop for someone else to read. So here’s five series that I started, read a whole book, thought “meh, was alright”, and never continued.
Number One: Shatter Me
First off, I have no idea how this series is so popular (no offence). My Goodreads feed went absolutely wild at the release of book number four, but all I could remember about Shatter Me, which I read in 2015, was that the writing style was
super cringy and the romance was bad bad bad.
It’s about a girl called Juliette who kills people when she touches them. Awesome premise! Yet this one only got two stars from me due to it reading like a crossover of an angsty young teenager’s diary and a tumblr post with all the linebreaks and the crossed out text.
Number Two: The Darkest Minds
I actually quite enjoyed The Darkest Mind, which I rated three stars. My copy is really quite beautiful, with a great cover and the pages have these little barbed wire illustrations in the corners. And the text spacing is juuuuust right (this is actually really hard to find – text too small = squinty eyes, text too big = annoyed that I have to lug this unnecessarily large book around).
Ruby is ten years old when she is sent to a rehabilitation camp for kids with dangerous powers. At sixteen, her and a bunch of other kids make a break for it and are living on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven for her kind. But nothing is as it seems…
I have relatively fond memories of reading The Darkest Minds but was left with zero desire to find out what happens next. Go figure!
Number Three: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
I bought Daughter of Smoke and Bone when it was the thing that everyone was reading. And I liked it! I gave it four stars and liked it so much that after borrowing it from the library I went out and bought the whole series with pretty matching covers. I then read the next book in the series, Days of Blood and Starlight, and then never touched Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Every time I see it’s lovely uncracked spine on my bookshelf I think to myself that maybe I should read it, if only because I already own it and it’s just one more book to finish the series! But I never do, mostly because I can’t really remember what happened in the first few. Something to do with people with wings and demons?
Number Four: Maximum Ride
I. LOVED. THESE. BOOKS. So much. I’ve read the first three at least five times each. Six kids have wings from some scientific experiment and are now on the run from evil scientists chasing them. I’d probably still recommend the original trilogy to any twelve year old book nerds I might meet.
But then he kept writing them. I own up to number five where I gave up as I got too old to enjoy the repetitive plots and overdone sarcasm of teenagers who think that they’re being witty. A quick check on Goodreads tells me that there is now nine (nine!) of these books. Pass.
Number Five: Prince of Thorns
If you have paid any attention to my blog, you’ll know that I will recommend Red Sister (also by Lawrence) to the absolute moon and back. It’s amazing. But many, many years before that I read Prince of Thorns and I liked it. I also keep getting it a bit confused with Abercrombie’s Half A King, mostly because they both feature angry young men and a lot of moral grey-ness.
Maybe I’ll read the rest. But probably not.