Tuesday, 15 March 2016

TOP 10 BOOK SERIES THAT STARTED STRONG BUT LET US DOWN

There are few things more disappointing to a book dragon than enjoying a series, and then have it fall... flat. The rest of the books in the series just don't measure up to the magical, magical potential it once had. We've all had our fair share of them. And often we can't decide if it's worse that we invested our hopes and dreams in the series, or that we invested our time and money. Whichever of the two you go for, the bottom line is...

Disappointment. Bitter disappointment.

That we have enough of these books/series to fill a Top 10 list probably says nothing good. We're still unclear as to whether it says nothing good about us, or about these series themselves. But either way, we were let down.

These are the top ten offenders.





1. Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Picked by: Lexie

Without any need for embellishment, Never Never is the biggest disappointment in the history of book series ever. Ever. Ever. But in case anyone dares doubt this highly-scientific evaluation, I have numerical data, too: each of the installments in this 3-novella series got 2 stars less from me. And most people, really. (SCIENCE!)

Never Never is what happens when two romance authors pair up to write a YA mystery. The premise was fantastic: a couple in the process of breaking up wake up with no memories of their lives up to that point, and race to work out what happens before they lose even what little memories they've gathered. The New Orleans setting really worked in the books favor, too. But somewhere along the lines, one or both of the authors woke up with no memory of where they were heading with the story. So they just decided to wing it, and fall back to their own tried-and-true staples. Cue sigh of disappointment. It could have been so, so good.




2. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Picked by: Natalie


I'm not sure how many people will agree with this, but I instantly thought of the Divergent series. I remember picking up the Divergent books when I was in a dystopian high post-Hunger Games, and loved it. Sadly, Insurgent fell a little flat for me, mostly due to the constant annoying arguments and drama between Tris and Four. I grew bored of it, and the book is mahoosive, so did we need that?


I didn't really have any interest in picking up Allegiant, and after getting spoiled - yes, that spoiler - I have no desire to continue. It was a strong start but it just got weaker as it progressed.




3. The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey

Picked by: Lexie

The Girl At Midnight was marketed as the promising fantasy debut for fans of (1) Daughter of Smoke and Bone, (2) The Mortal Instruments, and (3) Shadow And Bone. And having LOVED most of those series, I was ecstatic. I requested and received an advanced copy months before the release, and I read the advanced copy months before the release.

It was all downhill from there. I have yet to put my thoughts about this series into a coherent review, but the bottom line is this: there is a very thin line between "for fans of" and "actually that". And from the beginning until the very end, I felt like The Girl At Midnight was crossing it.






4. The Legend series by Marie Lu

Picked by: Natalie

I can't deny that Legend is an amazing book. I flew through it, the story was well-written and constantly entertaining, with characters that I loved instantly. I picked up Prodigy and I was still okay with it but it didn't have that hold on me that kept me reading. I still enjoyed it though, so I got myself a copy of Champion. Well, let's just say I didn't finish it. I grew tired of the characters annoying traits, and the story didn't really interest me anymore. 


I'm sorry, Ms Lu. I do have The Young Elites on my bookshelf, so I will be continuing with her books. She is a wonderful writer, I just got bored of this story. 






5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Picked by: Lexie

Don't hate me, world. I'm well aware of the minority that I'm in on this. And I'm perfectly happy to accept that I just misunderstood this book or that I didn't give it the attention it deserved. Both are entirely possible.

Because Passenger, with its premise of a treasure hunt through time, sounded every kind of fantastic there is. And when violinist Etta Spencer is yanked from 21st century New York City and onto a 17th century pirate ship, it seemed like it would make good on all its promise.

But the pacing. The dense prose. The instalove. It broke my heart a little to feel so let down. But let down I felt.




6. The Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

Picked by: Natalie


Such a promising series! I really enjoyed Delirium, the first book in the series. For me, it was an interesting take on a dystopian future, where love is classed as a sickness.


Where the first book was thrilling, the second book was just okay. We're introduced to new characters and the setting is different, but as a whole, it was still reasonably alright with me. But before I picked up the final book, I watched a BookTube review of it, and it seems that the last one isn't a popular one. Characters changed, the story ends abruptly and there's no resolution to the story. Why would you do this? I, again, lost interest in the story by the time I was going to read Requiem, so I'm glad I didn't put myself through that torture. Also, me no like love triangles. 





7. This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Picked by: Lexie

This Raging Light has so much going for it. It was a highly anticipated YA Contemporary. It is written and narrated beautifully. Its story - one of two young sisters who find themselves effectively abandoned by their parents and struggle to survive on their own. And if this were all there was, This Raging Light would have been a 5-star read. I expected it to be a 5-star read.


But what This Raging Light doesn't do well is the pacing. The subplots. The occasional monstrous improbability delivered as casually as though it were coming all along. And especially how many stories it seemed to start, but never quite develop, or wrap up in a proper way. This Raging Light didn't disappoint me wholly. But I had spent months hoping it would turn out to be a lot smoother ride than it actually was.





8. The Selection series by Kiera Cass

Picked by: Natalie


I know that this is a well-loved series, and I did enjoy it at first. The problem came when book 1 finished. Because... what was the point of the other two books? I reckon that the author could have wrapped this story up in one large book. Just one. The Elite was pointless, where nothing remotely interesting happens and only one girl is out of the competition. In a 336 page book. 


The world-building was also a bit weak, but I let that go because the main point of it was the Selection process.
I also like that the cover is really the main protagonist. It's annoying when it doesn't match the story.
Now the author is dragging this series out even longer by continuing a finished trilogy. Please stop. I think it's done now. 






9. Air Awakens by Elize Kova

Picked by: Lexie


In this series' defense, it has a long way to go yet. So in all probability, it will deliver a few more good and bad surprises along the way.

But for now, I'm less than impressed. While Air Awakens (#1) was a potentially solid start to a fantasy series, its successor failed me in so many ways, I wound up in endless one-sided arguments with the book as I read. Instead of a fantastical story about a librarian's-apprentice-turned-soldier, I felt like the story segued into endless romantic angst and drama, all stemming from the kind of arguments that could be solved with one conversation. (Not that any of the characters were inclined to communicate.) But this is a personal preference, really. While I love fantasy and I love romance in a fantasy, I never much like it when the romantic aspect takes over and the actual fantasy elements fall by the wayside.




10.  To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Picked by: Natalie

Please don't hate me. I should start out by saying that I love the first book. When I finished it, I was so happy to get onto the sequel, curious as to where it was going to go. What could it possibly be about?

Nothing. Nothing happened but unnecessary drama. That really let me down. I like it more when an author knows when to stop and move on to another series. But to keep it dragging? Stop, please. I was so disappointed that I didn't even finish the second book. Unpopular opinion, I know. I just wasn't in the mood for high school drama. And I couldn't bring myself to care.






You can't see us - we're currently hiding in an undisclosed location, awaiting rancor and judgment and stoning. Unpopular opinions are never easy to write. But if you're a pacifist, or just feeling kindly and non-murderous today, please leave us a comment below and let us know what series started out well for you and then let you down somewhat. We'll feel better, being in good company. And we make a pinky swear not to judge you.


9 comments:

  1. I am feeling kindly, maybe not non-murderous? I usually feel murderous *nods sagely* BUT KINDLY and plus I agree with some of these anyway. xD (I do so love Allegiant though and will 100% stand by the fact that it ended perfectly. :') I'm terrified of Passenger though. xD I'm supposed to read it today BUT MOST PEOPLE SAY IT'S SLOW AND POINTLESS AND AGH SAVE ME. I might have the dragon secretaries read it instead. Delegation. It saves lives.

    The Girl At Midnight was soooo crossing the line though. 0_0 I kind of get surprised when stuff like that gets published. Do the publishers think that it truly is for fans of??? HOW DO THEY NOT SEE WHEN IT IS JUST A COPY-CAT INSTANCE?! *breaks a plate*

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    1. Three guesses as to who I was thinking about when I was putting "murderous" in there!

      MY thing about Allegiant wasn't how it ended, but the dual POV which failed me. I really, really, really feel like some books/series/authors just can't pull it off well. Or maybe I don't respond to it as well in some books as I do in others. (Perspective? Objectivity? Look at me being all wise and mature!)

      I NEVER DNF books, but lemme tell you, I BARELY made it through Passenger. I also normally finish books in about 2 days and Passenger took a week and I had a minor crisis over it. But y'know, some people say that TRC is slow (BLASPHEMERS! THEY'RE THE FIRST TO GO WHEN WE OVERLORD!), so... who knows? Maybe you'll enjoy Passenger's pacing. It was just so dense for me. (Incidentally, you have me equally worried about Truthwitch!)

      The Girl At Midnight is, in my most eloquent way of putting it, !#@!)@&%!)^%$(!@#!@#^!_%*!)&#!%&@!^)#%&!&#%!_%&&!)%&! That is all.

      - Lexie

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  2. Omg so much yes to Divergent and Delirium! Also I hate to say it, but the hunger games as well. Those are some of my top bitter disappointments. Oh, and the maze runner series.

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    1. The last twilight book too lol. Great topic BTW!

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    2. Neither of us has really read much of The Maze Runner series, but that is a pretty popular opinion, too! People seem to feel like The Maze Runner had a good idea, but pretty sorry execution. Which is probably why we never plowed through the whole trilogy.

      As far as Twilight - though Natalie has never read it and I read it but wasn't a fan - #4 was BY FAR the weakest and the most puzzling for me, so I wholeheartedly agree. It could have been wrapped up in Eclipse, and it would have been FAR less disturbing as a whole. (The Jacob and Renesmee thing...)

      Thank you for the comments!

      - Lexie

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  3. I also hated The Girl From Midnight. And Allegiant was just a cluster-fuck of massive proportions. I think it's the only book I've given one star for a few years. Oops.

    And yes to This Raging Light - I read a lot of contemporary books and it was just NOT GOOD ENOUGH. *cracks whip*

    Oh, but I do hope I like Passenger. It's too pretty not to be good.

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    1. I know that Contemporary is your FAVORITE, so you could probably evaluate This Raging Light even better than I could. I'm mostly among dragons and kings. But even I could see that - much as I wanted to love it - parts of it were just... not good enough. Which is a shame, because I LIKED THE WRITING SO MUCH.

      The Girl At Midnight is honestly beyond my vocabulary. I keep searching for the right words to express how it made me feel, and I can't. But I guess it left me with something to aspire to, so there's that. ;)

      I hope you like Passenger, too, Emily! Most did, even the people who normally share my tastes. So, really, chances are it was a personal hang-up of mine. I'll rush to your review soooooo fast when you read it, and I'm really hoping it's positive. <3

      - Lexie

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  4. YES TO ALL OF THESE. Divergent was great, but everything just went completely downhill in the Insurgent and Allegiant. :(

    And I was the same way about Legend - I enjoyed it, but it was just so...typical? There wasn't really anything that made it stand out from other dystopians. (I have to say that her Young Elites series is absolutely AMAZING. I'm curious to see what you think of it).

    Thanks for sharing Lexie and Natalie and, as always, fabulous choices! ♥

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    1. It's so sad that the movies seem to reflect the books, honestly. The Divergent movie was so entertaining, and then they just... went weirdly downhill. At least by my standards.

      Natalie and I are both SOOOOO anxious to get around to The Young Elites. (I'm already SOLD on it, frankly. AN ANTI-HERO, VILLAINOUS, WELL-CRAFTED STORY? SIGN ME UP!) Can't wait to read and review it!

      Than YOU for stopping by and commenting, Zoe! You're the beeest. <3

      - Lexie

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