Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Series I Started (and Never Finished)

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt was a FREEBIE, so I decided to talk about the Ten Series I Started and Never Finished. Some are multi-book series, others are duologies/trilogies, but all of them were abandoned for reasons (that I will talk about).

Also, I apologize in advance if I talk ill about one of your favourite series, it’s just my opinion! And I’ll try not to spoil anything, but I can’t promise that.

1) The White Rabbit Chronicles – Gena Showalter

I love the covers, I love the concept, but I can’t stand the characters. I read Alice in Zombieland and was heartbroken when I hated it. I wanted to like this trilogy so much, but Ali (and Cole) infuriated me. I even considered reading the second book, but after mulling it over, I knew there was no point – it would have just disappointed me even more.

2) Teardrop duology – Lauren Kate

I’m scared to re-read Fallen (which I actually loved), because I don’t know if the trainwreck that was Teardrop will affect my opinion. This was basically Fallen expect with more water (and less angels), and I didn’t like any of the characters (Luce wasn’t the greatest heroine, but she at least had some personality). Again, the more I thought about it, the angrier it mad me.

3) Hush, Hush series – Becca Fitzpatrick

It pains me to admit it, but I loved this book when I first read it. I’d like to point out that I was deep in my Twilight phase and Patch (such a terrible name for an angel) was like a more aggressive Edward. And then my sister (Ro) read it, broke it down, and I was like “Welp, you’re right. This is awful”.

It’s interesting to see how much hate the series gets (I definitely DID NOT realize how abusive Patch/Nora’s relationship was).

4) The Immortals series – Alyson Noel

Ever started grating on my nerves sometime around book three, but I read the fourth one because I was intrigued. And then nothing too thrilling happened and the thing with Jude annoyed me, and I just couldn’t deal with any of the characters anymore.

4.5) Riley Bloom series – Alyson Noel

Once I stopped reading the original series, I didn’t see the point in finishing the spinoff! Plus Riley, while great comedic relief in the first Immortals book, was pretty meh as a protagonist.

5) House of Night series – P.C. and Kristin Cast

I think I suffered through four of these books too before I stopped caring: boring/annoying protagonist; the antagonist who ends up redeeming herself in some one and then also becomes boring; WAY TOO MANY guys falling all over themselves for her. I can’t take it when literally every guy has a thing for the main character – my maximum is two because love triangles are a thing (in YA, at least).

6) The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

Do not talk to me about the end of book eight (which is when I gave up) but you can highlight for angry spoilers:

Mia spends nearly SEVEN BOOKS talking about how much she loves Michael and then SHE BREAKS UP WITH HIM because he and Judith were “friends with benefits” BEFORE HE AND MIA EVEN STARTED DATING and then she KISSES J.P. and I was so mad.

I don’t care if they ended up together in the last book, it was HORRIBLE.

7) The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan

This was a series that I always meant to finish, but never got around to (I don’t have the last book). I honestly don’t remember much from anything after book four, but Ro recently read them for the first time, and, according to her, half the books are just filler. So while I may still buy the last book – if only to complete my set – I’m not in any rush.

8) Blue Bloods series – Melissa de la Cruz

I read the first three and really liked them (again, this was during the Twilight years, so I mentally compared Jack to Edward and preferred Jack). But by the time the fourth book came out, I wasn’t as attached to the characters, and then I heard that werewolves were randomly being introduced, so I just gave up.

9) The Hollow series – Jessica Verday

Another series I desperately wanted to like, but I was bored to tears with it, and couldn’t connect to any of the characters (I’m very much a “character” person – if I don’t like any of them, I have a hard time with the book). Plus I (purposely) spoiled the ending of the third book and basically had a “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” moment, so I know I won’t read the sequels.

That was technically ten! What are some series that you’ve abandoned?

A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

tea

E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

hogwarts

W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

#IreadYA

Apparently it’s “I read YA” week on the interwebs. I didn’t know this was a thing otherwise I would have properly prepared myself (for one, I might have put more thought into this blog post, or maybe read a YA book this week, even though as I keep saying – if only to convince myself – I’m “taking a break” from young adult fiction).

i read ya

But this was too good an opportunity to pass up. Even though I said Writing Wednesday would be every other week (and technically this should be a Fiction Friday post, but I already have a half-finished post lined up for that).

Why do I read YA? Honestly – I don’t know. I guess it was just the category of books I started reading as a pre-teen and never really “grew out of”. It has just as much death and romance, sex and violence as so-called “adult” books (though less graphic for the most part…); just as much depth and symbolism and emotions – except the characters happen to be younger. But trying to explain what I like about YA is like trying to explain why I’m a pop-punk fan. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about YA that draws me to it, but the pull is strong enough that I’ve made it my life goal to publish a YA series of my own (sidenote: in a perfect world, I would also be in a pop-punk band, but that might be asking for a little too much).

So, to celebrate “I read YA” week, here are a few authors (who fall into categories that I just made up):

THE ONE(S) I LOVE

Libba Bray can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve read just about everything these she’s produced and her Gemma Doyle ranks among some of the best YA books I’ve ever read.

THE ONES I REALLY LIKE EVEN IF I HAVEN’T READ ALL THEIR BOOKS (YET)

Melissa Marr technically belongs in the “ONES I LOVE” category, but I think she may have just released something. Either way, her Wicked Lovely series is very high up on my list of favourites.

Robin Benway‘s Audrey, Wait! is one of my absolute favourite novels. I haven’t read her two spy books yet, but I’m desperate to.

Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was probably the first YA book I read (I was 12. I also didn’t know there was such a thing as “YA”). I’ve read almost everything she’s produced, even if I didn’t love it, but I haven’t gotten around to picking up her most recent book.

THE ONES WITH THE STELLAR FIRST SERIES THAT THEN KINDA WENT KABLOOEY

Lauren Kate‘s Fallen series (not to be confused with Thomas Sniegoski’s Fallen series which, incidentally, is decent) was wonderful and I devoured the last book…but then Teardrop came out and I wondered if maybe I had outgrown her. We’ll see if I read the sequel.

Likewise, Gena Showalter‘s Intertwined trilogy was so good I almost stopped breathing when I read the last page (is she EVER going to write a fourth volume?!), but Alice in Zombieland left me breathless in a bad way (like I’d been punched in the stomach).

THE ONE I FEEL OBLIGED TO FOLLOW UNTIL THE END

Cassandra Clare. Oh, Cassandra Clare, remember how much I loved the first Mortal Instruments trilogy? And then you wrote a second trilogy. And a Victorian trilogy that I probably would have loved even more except the characters were so boringly familiar. I keep promising myself that when City of Heavenly Fire comes out, it will be the last C.Clare book I read…but we all know she’s planning another series that I may or may not end up reading.

Well, this post has gone on long enough and I’ve really only touched half a bookshelf (plus I haven’t even mentioned THE AUTHORS I GAVE UP ON which includes Alyson Noel and Melissa De La Cruz. Or THE I DON’T KNOW IF THESE ARE YA OR MIDDLE-GRADE BUT THEY’RE AWESOME, home of Eoin Colfer and Justin Somper). So I’ll just leave this here as my contribution to this week because #IreadYA and I’m proud of it.

Alice in Zombieland – Gena Showalter

I generally prefer blogging in the morning, but I literally just finished reading this week’s book about 15 minutes ago.

So, Alice in Zombieland:

From Amazon:

“She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.”

I was super stoked when I first heard about this book. I’ve read Gena Showalter’s other YA series (Intertwined, etc), and died at the end of book 3 (I sincerely hope she writes book 4 sometime soon because OH. MY. GLOB. I CANNOT WAIT), and one of her romance novels which I cannot recall the name of at the moment. Either way, I greatly admired her storytelling skills.

And yet…

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Alice. I was kinda hoping it would be a modernized re-telling, and I had my fingers crossed for a zombie Mad Hatter (because that biz would have been REDONK. And by ‘redonk’, I mean glorious). But apart from some symbolism (i.e. the white rabbit, the modified chapter titles, which I loved), it’s not a re-telling in any way.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I felt about it. It started off incredibly strong, keeping me hooked for the first 3-4 chapters.

And then, truth be told, it started on a downward slope once Alice met Cole. Because from that point on, it read like a typical YA book (and you must understand, I live for young adult fiction, so that’s not meant as a derogatory term).

Parts of it reminded me of Alyson Noel’s The Immortals series (especially the thing that I’m not going to spoil re: Alice’s younger sister). And parts of it were, unfortunately, predictable (for me at least).

Also, I had a hard time liking Alice herself – at times, her dialogue sounded forced, the way people imagine teenagers talk, when in reality, not all teenagers tYp3 lYk3 di5). And Cole was very dominating, which maybe appeals to some girls, but personally, if I had a boyfriend who constantly tried to tell me what to do, I’d have a perpetual Josh Franceschi face:

jfran unamused

This picture never gets old.

Plus Alice doesn’t actually come face-to-face with a zombie until somewhere around page 150. I too have a problem with dragging through the first 3 chapters before actual events happen, but, unlike Gena Showalter, I haven’t published 25+ novels in the past decade.

Overall, I don’t know what to feel. I wanted so desperately to love it, and I feel like it failed me (or maybe I failed it?). Still, my interest was captured long enough to read it (400 pages in total), so – who are we kidding? – I’ll probably read the sequel.

Even though in the Q&A at the back, Gena Showalter hinted at another “hot zombie slayer”. I don’t know why authors find it necessary to introduce love triangles in the second (or third) book in a series.

Here’s hoping Through the Zombie Glass is better.

“…sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll