I hope you are all well. Today I’m going to be listing my top 5 book series in which I adored the first book of the series buuut everything went downhill from there for the rest of the series and I ended up shaking my fists in anger because they could have been so much better. Also expectations were extraordinarily high! I initially thought they could have worked as series but after reading the series… ummm better as standalones (why did the sequels need to ruin the story). Basically, my recommendations for series, but only recommending the first book :D Quick side note, I’ve recently noticed that in my blog post titles for my Friday Five lists are extremely long, and perhaps a little excessive but it’s just really difficult to condense it all or maybe I’m incompetent at shortening everything (you’ve seen my blog posts – full of waffle). Anyway, let’s move on, shall we?
5. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Okay so for this series, it didn’t crash straight away for me, and was more gradually an eventually crashing, yet I still continued to finish it. I absolutely loved the first book Uglies when I read it. I liked the whole exploration that society’s obsession with beauty would turn into extremities and create a world that normal was ugly, and the huge lengths people took to become socially accepted as pretty and beautiful. I don’t know how I would feel now if I read the book now considering the many negative reviews, but in my mind for now, I still love it to bits. Not the same for the rest of the series though. I found the characters changing too much and becoming annoying and the events became less “realistic”. Also, I think the fourth book was not necessary and didn’t add anything to the series. Only new characters I didn’t care about.
4. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
I’ve actually recently finished one of the prequels of this series hoping that it would improve but it didn’t. I enjoyed the first book so so much. I loved the plot. I loved the world (not actually living in in). I loved the mystery and intrigue behind it. I loved (most of) the characters *cough* Chuck – EVERYTHING!!! So as soon as I finished it, I found out there was going to be a movie *internal squealing* and grabbed the next book, leaving me in a state of confusion when I finished. I didn’t hate it, but I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed it because – me confused. Half the time I didn’t know where the characters were and forgot what their “mission” was. But still, I picked up the last book of the trilogy and that didn’t impress either and I almost lost all hope but still picked up the prequel, The Kill Order (seriously what’s wrong with me). Expectations: sun flares. Catastrophic apocalyptic world. Fight for resources. Betrayal for survival. Desperate desperation. Reality: annoying and reckless protagonist. Emotionless characters. Ceaseless mini conflicts immediately and unrealistically resolved. The setting does not exist. It made me so bored it put me in a reading slump and I had to drag my mind to finish it. If you want to know in detail what I thought it, here is the REVIEW.
3. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
You may or may not have heard of this slightly well-known series, and you may or may not have liked the last book of the series, Allegiant ;) But for me, this series started SUPER strong… but then the second book… and then the last book *sighs*. Despite popular opinion, I didn’t like the increasing presence of Tris and Four’s relationship because it made me detached from the storyline, and usually I don’t like it when romance starts taking over the actual objectives or plot of the book. Also Tris became more reckless and irrational, yet I stayed for the ride. Until the end. The very end. You know, that end (fine – yes I did cry).
2. Outback Dust Series by Alissa Callen
So you’ve probably never heard of this series because it’s an Australia rural romance. I don’t usually read these type of books, except when I’ve just read a massive and mindblowing book and need to moderate my brain otherwise it would explode of the inability to comprehend the epicness I just experienced. Yes, these are my type of contemporary books when I need a light read and CHILL out. I often find them predictable and I do cringe at the romance in these types of books… but I still enjoy them as an easy and heartwarming read. BONUS: most of the time love triangles don’t exist!
However, with the first book in the series, Beneath Outback Skies, I thoroughly enjoyed it my than I usually do, I even RE-READ it!! I knew what was going to happen, nonetheless, it was really addicting and when I found out these was going to be another book; I was excited and anticipating it. What?!? I read the second book, Down Outback Roads when it came out and was really disappointed. There were way too many tiny conflicts that were resolved too quickly, where I think the book would have been better if there were less and longer overall conflicts (like the first book). I felt no connections with the characters and the chemistry was lacking.
1. Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins
I am not a huge contemporary fan but I adored Anna and the French Kiss. Was I put off by the title… and cover initially? Yes, BUT when I finally got around to reading, it was so much fun and heartwarming. I loved the construction of flawed characters which made them RELATABLE human beings. Yes they were a bit angsty at times but I was able to relate with aspects of them, even the secondary characters and I loved the humour in it too. And sometimes I just need a cutesy, boarding school novel and it totally delivered. As for the other sequels; my 5 star rating for the first book didn’t even spiral downwards. It literally plummeted straight down. This is one of those series that have different stories with different characters, but “similar” type situations rather than the continuation of a story.
So in the second book, I just couldn’t relate to Lola and I really tried. She was quirky and different from Anna but I really really disliked her character, and I couldn’t justify her actions like I did with Anna. This is probably one of those it’s me not you situations but Lola was just so melodramatic and as the book is narrated through her, I just couldn’t deal. YET, I continued to finish the series with Isla and the Happily Ever After which had no story development or relationship development, just Isla and her obsessive crush literally ignoring everyone else. So needy… to be noticed by a boy. It’s like her life doesn’t even function without him, and I like it when the characters aspire more in their lives than the perfect romantic relationship. Also instalove *shakes head vigorously*. It seem I haven’t been nice to these sequels so some things I did appreciate; the cameos of characters from the first book. The diversity and very different personalities of the protagonists. Usually I find in these types of series, authors recycle the same characteristics of the first book; characters and storyline and just spit out different names and perhaps a different job. So this was a nice change I enjoyed.
So those were my top 5 books I can re-read the first books but just dismiss the existence of the rest of the series. As stated before; standalones, no series. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my opinions. If these are your favourites series of all time, good on you!! If I ruined your outlook of some of these books and now my issues are becoming your issues, I’m sorry. Bit of a killjoy… sometimes. Anyway, have fun reading whatever you want!
This is probably an obvious question, but do you have any series you only enjoyed to first book and wiped the memories of reading the sequels (or didn’t even get to the end just… because)? Or any series you wished were only standalones? Comment below!