When to Give Up on a Series

Hi everyone!

Since I’m participating in the A Series A Month Reading Challenge this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about series. And I’ve been thinking mostly about series that might start out strong, but then, something happens along the way, and they just kind of fizzle out. At what point do we decided to stop reading that series? Or do we carry on, determined to finish, just in case it gets better?

So many series that I’m trying to read
or finish reading this year

I’m going to use a not-so-popular opinion as an example: the Divergent series. I think that series started off FANTASTIC but then, while I enjoyed the second book for the most part, I had ISSUES with it. And those issues weren’t solved in the last book. And I know that there’s a certain THING that happens in the last book that most people are upset about, but that’s not what bothers me about that book. In fact, I think THAT THING is really very realistic for the story. What bothered me is that I feel like the author had this great idea in the beginning of the series and then couldn’t make the world all make sense. I mean, when we found out what the Divergent people really are, I was extremely disappointed. It was SO anticlimactic. And for that reason, plus my issues from book 2, I have no desire to read or see anything about that series ever again. In fact, it will take a lot for me to even read something by that author anytime in the near future. Maybe I’m being harsh, but that’s just how I feel.

And then there’s other series, long series where you might not even make it to the end. For me, I have yet to read the last two books in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I want to read them, but I know so many people were so disappointed with the end that I’ve been putting it off. And I don’t really remember all of what happened in the books, so in 2014, I decided I wanted to go back and reread them all. But I only made it through the first book and lost interest. I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish that series.

And this can happen with shorter series, too. I’ve been binge reading the Song of the Lioness series and while reading the third book, I hit a huge funk. I wasn’t interested in the book, I was annoyed by many aspects of the book, and I just didn’t want to read it. I’m not sure if it was just the book that was putting me in the funk; it could have been a lot of factors. But I had committed to reading that series for the month of February, so I pushed on.

And then there are just certain things that happen in books that may make us never pick up the rest of the series, even though we enjoyed the first book or two. I know that someone once commented on one of my posts, saying that she enjoyed a book but because a character took the lord’s name in vain, she stopped reading. For me, that’s kind of harsh. Even if I was religious, I don’t think that characters saying something that I wouldn’t say is a reason for me to stop reading a book or series. But if books are problematic, that might make me stop reading or seriously consider it.

So what about you guys? Do you soldier on through series just to see them to the end, even if you have issues with them? Or do you get to a certain point, and just decide that you’d rather be reading something else? And are there certain things in books that might make you stop reading a series you otherwise really loved?


  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    February 23, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I feel the EXACT same way about Divergent. I feel like the author had a cool concept but no actual plan for the trilogy. I had huge issues with book 2, and the only thing I liked about book 3 is the thing most people hate (because I agree with you that it at least was true to the character). I haven't even read Four, despite my love for him, and I can't imagine I'll read her other books.

    I also agree with you on the Sookie books. I feel like Harris didn't enjoy writing them anymore, and her irritation leaked over into her characters- I did finish the series, but I don't think you're missing out on anything. I much prefer the Midnight, Texas series so far.

    It's hard to walk away from a series. I started on the House of Night books as soon as the first one came out, and while I didn't really like it, I thought, well, it's bound to get better. Mind you, this was before I was blogging and the mother/daughter authors are from Oklahoma, so I probably felt like there weren't enough options. Finally though, I had enough with the awfulness, and quit. Books are still coming out, but I barely feel a twinge. I don't care how the characters end up- which is a sign that I was right to quit.

    It's hard breaking up with a series, but we're all here for each other. :)

  2. Ashley

    February 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I 100% agree with what you said about Divergent! I felt the same way. I ADORED the first book. It made me fall in love with reading again after a long slump.

    But then book two went in a totally different direction, there was pointless petty drama for the sake of conflict.. ugh..

    Then the third book just got even worse for me.

    As far as finishing a series versus giving up.. I do a little bit of both. Sometimes even when I hate book one I still proceed to book two out of some morbid curiosity for how the story ends. I feel bad saying this out loud, but sometimes that can be fun just for the sake of making fun how absurd the book is.

    But if I'm truly TRULY not enjoying a book/series, then I have no problem giving it up completely. Life is too short to read books you don't enjoy.

  3. Micheline D

    February 24, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I SO get you on the Divergent front: I loved the first book, and yes I initially loved the second too but I had ISSUES and the more I thought about those issues the less satisfied I was. And then the final book? Like you, it wasn't that BIG thing that happens that ruined the book for me…it was everything that came before that thing. I just couldn't. I rated it 2-stars and felt I was being generous o.O As for the Song of the Lioness quartet, I adored the first book but the rest of the series went mostly downhill for me. If I wasn't listening to them on audio, I don't know if I would have finished as quickly as I did. I still enjoyed a lot of aspects, but I had issues too. Luckily they were short reads! I actually just started the final book in a series that I lost interest in. Since I'm trying to finish off some series that I have on the go – and since there was only ONE book left, I took the plunge, but you're right: sometimes you just need to give up on series.

  4. heather

    February 25, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    If I don't really care what happens in the rest of the story, I'll quit. Recently I was reading Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series and I had issues with the first book. I ranted in my review. But I wanted to know what happened so I read the second. Got mad all over again but not as bad. I decided I was done until I read the blurb for the last book. I wanted to see what happened so I had to read that too.

  5. Anissa Musquiz

    February 25, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Hi! I just found your blog and I'm already in love it! Anyhoo, I have the same problem with so many series' that I start and sometimes don't finish. One series is The Mortal Instruments series, I read the first two and even though I didn't enjoy either of them I wanted to read the third because I heard it was the best book in the series but it took MONTHS for me pick up the second book that I just decided it wasn't worth me continuing.
    One certain thing that really puts me off in a story is when a romance feels so forced into a story-line like The 5th Wave and The Hunger Games. It just gets really annoying and very cheesy, but then again I read more contemporaries than anything else and those also tend to sometimes feel forced. This was such a great discussion! Awesome post and blog!

  6. Chrystal

    February 26, 2016 at 1:15 am

    I think it's such a let down when a series doesn't live up to they hype or your expectations. I haven't actually finished a series in a long while – partly because of let down and partly because I don't seem to get to the next book, but this Series A Month challenge sounds interesting. I'm off to to check that out!

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