Finishing Series is HARD
Recently I noticed that I had quite a few series that I was nearly finished with, but that I still needed to read the final book. I thought it would be a good idea to finish these last books one after another, that way I could say I had read a bunch of series to their completion.
I forgot one very important detail, I really, REALLY care about the characters involved in these, and there was a reason I had subconsciously been putting them off. I didn’t want to let my beloved stories to end, I couldn’t let go.
While it wasn’t the end of the series, reading Secret by Brigid Kemmerer had that same feel of loss, but in that case I knew I would interact with these characters in the future with all new stories. However, I just completed two MG series, one of which I have come to love recently, and the other a series I began in my grade school days. I am now an emotional wreck because I am NOT alright with saying goodbye. I’m not READY. I just want to hug the books and hope one magically appears so I can keep going.
The two series I completed were the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series & the Artemis Fowl series. Both The Last Olympian and The Last Guardian were superb endings respectively, but it is right there in the title what kills me, I don’t want this to be the LAST anything! Maybe it is because the series are MG-ish and remind me of a time when my emotions made it seem like every little thing was SUPER important, or it could just be that they are both awesome and the age range doesn’t matter at all. I don’t know.
I love Percy and Annabeth and their cute relationship and the rest of the amazing characters and the ending was so good but aaaaah. At least there is The Heroes of Olympus to make me feel better with that one. However, I enjoyed the Artemis Fowl series just as much, and while the popular ship didn’t happen at the end I still thought it was a good ending anyway. But that’s it, that series is over, no more boy genius and quick witted elf or goofy centaur. How do I go on?
To top it off I have more of these series-enders in my near future such as with Rogue by Gina Damico, Horde by Ann Aguirre, and Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (though that last one I think I will be fine with leaving). I know it won’t be much easier with completing these series, and yet I must endure in order to know what happens. The stories are too tantalizing to pass up, but I don’t want to say goodbye!
So how do you handle finishing series, especially ones you LOVE? That’s really what this post is all about outside of me rambling and pining for more Percy/Annabeth and anything Artemis Fowl related. Do you just push through to another series (or standalone) to force your focus in a different direction? Do you still miss certain series and wish that the story would continue, and if so does re-reading help or hurt you? Thanks as always for reading! *curls up into a ball of longing*
Middle Grade Books: Why I Love Them & Need to Read More
My latest Book Outlet binge (you’ll see the books tomorrow if you are interested) included a few MG books and made me wonder why I enjoy them so much, yet read them so sparingly. The Middle Grade books I have read recently such as Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, Doll Bones by Holly Black, and, of course, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, were absolutely amazing. That is not to say that I would or will enjoy all MG books, because that’s not the case for any age range, but so far my track record has been extremely positive. Why is that?
The running theme through all of the books I mentioned, and even ones I didn’t, have been that they are in the fantasy genre, as well as being in the MG age range. The childlike wonder that I see these characters expressing, something their more jaded or skeptical older counterparts in YA do not show, is beautiful. I don’t think that the fantasy genre has a monopoly on that, but perhaps it has the ability to show it off the best.
That belief that anything is possible, dreams can come true, magic is everywhere, and friendships can be just as strong (if not stronger) than romantic relationships, while all cliches, is refreshing and invigorating to witness. Maybe this just means I miss that time in my life or that getting older has jaded me and I wish for the innocence I no longer have, or perhaps MG authors just bring about a different set of emotions than YA, I don’t know.
Something that is a misconception, at least that I’ve seen among bloggers that tend to read YA and avoid MG for the most part, is that MG books are too simple, that the writing is too basic. Sure, MG books are targeted toward a younger audience so the word choice and length are often at a lower level, though not usually by all that much. However, I’ve found that MG books are just as deep, filled with as much content as YA, and often painting a picture that is easier to envision (at least for my brain, not sure what that says).
That brings me to my second question, and also my request. Why don’t I read MG more often if I enjoy it so much? Percy Jackson, Liesl and Po, Doll Bones, they have another thing in common: I found out about them through other bookish people, in this case specifically Kat at Katytastic (who is awesome). Maybe I don’t follow the right book bloggers (not that I don’t love the ones I do!) or I don’t pay attention, or whatever other reason there may be, but I never hear about MG books. It’s rare.
So perhaps I should follow more MG readers, if there are ones I can find, or just do some hunting myself. Once in a great while I will see a blog or vlog post that has maybe one or two MG books in it and I run off and insta-buy them. Though…that may speak more to my book buying addiction than anything else. o_o
So my questions to you! First, do you read MG, if so do you enjoy it as much as YA, adult, etc. and where do you discover new ones if you do? Second, are there booktubers/book bloggers I should be watching/reading more of and it boggles your mind that I haven’t already been doing so? Finally, what MG books would you recommend (with the knowledge that I read any genre and basically have no recent MG under my belt)? Thank you so much for reading and have a great weekend! ^.^
Summary From Goodreads:
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.
Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Normally I wouldn’t do b2b mini-reviews, but since yesterday’s wasn’t really all that short I’m making an exception, because with The Unbound my emotions can be summed up pretty quickly.
I loved it, so much so that I fought through an allergy & benadryl fog in order to read it today. I’ve had this book on pre-order since it was first available on Amazon, and NOTHING was going to stop me from devouring it. The Unbound is fantastic, filled with characters that I love, from Mackenzie the broken but resilient MC, to Wesley the always caring and sweet love interest, and even to Owen who haunts Mackenzie’s dreams and even sometimes her waking moments. They are all excellent, fleshed out, and the chemistry between Mackenzie and Wesley is especially beautiful to witness.
What amazes me about Schwab’s writing ability the most is how she can make the “real world” seem just as incredibly vivid as the Archive. Each is stunning, from the descriptions of the courtyard and buildings of the private school, to the labyrinth-like halls of the Archive. It’s impossible not to get lost in such a detailed, and truly beautiful world, one that blends realistic setting and the fantastic seamlessly.
What makes The Unbound a sequel that not only doesn’t succumb to second-book syndrome, but excel and even surpass The Archived, is the way that Mackenzie’s mind is breaking and altering her reality so that each twist and turn the book has is as shocking for the reader as the characters within. She has such a hard time determining what is in her dreams, what is in the Archive, and even what is real in her regular everyday life. The constant struggle to hold onto her sanity in the ever-changing world around her is something that many of us can relate to, and Schwab does it more justice than I thought was possible.
There is romance here, beautiful and touching, and heart wrenching at times too. Battles with the law, crime scenes, escapes, psychosis, and questioning of oneself, The Unbound has all of these things and so much more. If you haven’t read The Archived, I urge you to do so, because not only is that book great in its own right, but then you can read what I would argue is one of the best sequels out there. Thank you as always for reading.
Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #32/365
Totally Random Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about things on my reading wishlist! This can be anything that I want authors to write about; characters, issues, time periods, particular plots, and more. So here are a few on my list! ^.^
1. The Mongols – Really anything involving the mongols, even potentially non fiction if it is compelling, but fiction with them involved would be AMAZING. They are, as John Green often says, “the exception” and I think that there is a lot to work with there.
2. Horror – I don’t mean the genre, because I know people are still writing it, but I want to be freaked out. Mess with my mind, make me think one thing and lead me down a winding false trail, then slap me in the face with reality. Scare me. I’m begging.
3. An Abundance of Katherines 2 – I’m not being literal, or asking John Green for a sequel, but more stuff like this book would be perfect. Flawed geniuses, a story of finding yourself, nerdiness and mathematics combined to produce witty dialogue. Maybe it is out there already, but I want MOAR. o_o
4. Samurai – Yes, there are plenty of books with them in it, but I’m looking for a story showing the process of becoming one. Something detailing the trials and the emotions someone might feel if they were forced to go down that road, even if they come to disagree with what they learn about the emperor and empire they were serving.
5. More College Books – Not textbooks mind you, I have plenty of those. >.< I want college settings with classes and meal plans and real, regular college life. I don’t need more “New Adult” sex/drama/love triangle focused repetition.
6. Flawed Love Interests – I don’t care if they are male, female, alien, shapeshifter, or otherwise, just please stop creating these seemingly perfect beings that the MC can’t help but fall for. Make them…people, that’s all I ask.
7. Dystopian – The genre seems to be doing pretty well for itself, but rugged, tough, and dangerous worlds seem to be giving way to Divergent-esque “less than perfect” ones that, while they can be great stories, feel too shiny and polished for what I thought dystopian would be. Maybe I don’t know the genre as well as I should, but I’m looking for something…harsher. Think Ann Aguirre’s Razorland trilogy.
8. Mythology – Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, anything really. I luckily have a bunch of Rick Riordan’s books to help in this area that I will be reading this year, but there can always be more of this sort of thing I feel. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake is the best example for how to do it right.
9. No Cliffhangers – Sure, books in series need to leave questions unanswered in order to have the reader wanting to keep going with the story, or at least it doesn’t hurt. However, making the book feel incomplete by itself because major plot elements are left hanging or twists are thrown in at the VERY end doesn’t make for a good transition, it’s just frustrating.
10. Tsars of Russia – I find this time period to be fascinating, that of the Tsars (or czars), the changing of dynasties, capital locations, plenty of wars and civil unrest. There seems to be so much to work with here but I rarely (if ever) hear about books, especially in fiction, about this era. I’d love some!
So those are the top ten things on my reading wishlist! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your wishes for new worlds, characters, or plots? Are they perhaps about a particular genre or set of issues you want more content on? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
If you read my (ridiculously long) post during Dewey’s Read-A-Thon you would have come across one of the mini-challenges I participated in called Literacy Mini-Challenge. The point of that challenge was to celebrate the reading child in some way, I chose to do so by discussing my relationship with reading when I was younger. For those who don’t want to scroll through that crazy-long post here is what I wrote:
I was a very lucky kid when it came to reading and books in general. My mom is a high school teacher and my grandmother was a librarian, so my love of books began almost immediately when my mom and grandmother would read to me before I learned how to myself. A little after I turned four years old I started reading by myself, small books at first, but chapter books followed soon after. Reading to me still reminds me of that time with my family, even if we weren’t reading the same thing it was a closeness that we shared and still do at times. I also remember feeling that because I could read I was growing up, I was capable of doing the same things as the people I looked up to the most and that made me feel special. I’ve never lost that love for reading, books fascinate me in a way that nothing else can and I am forever thankful to my family for sharing that gift with me.
As you can see my love of books stems from an upbringing that allowed me to surround and immerse myself in them from a very early age. Now, you may be wondering why I am bringing this up again. I went with my mother and sister to a 2-day gigantic book sale held by Half-Price Books where EVERYTHING was 3$ or less. I should have taken pictures of the event itself to give you an idea of the sheer size but alas I did not. You walk into this giant area where on rows upon rows of connected long tables there are thousands of boxes of books. There were also rows of cds and dvds but my focus was solely on the books. Of course, if they are offering them at 3$ or less you won’t find many new books, but the selection was still quite astonishing. How does this connect with reminiscing? It was the kind of books I found and ended up purchasing. Did someone ask for pictures? Why yes I do have some!
As a kid I immersed myself in fantasy books and as such there were three main series of books that I loved dearly. (I apologize for the photo quality, all I have is my phone =/)
The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale:
The Star Wars Books:
The Dragonlance Books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:
Only the Pendragon books could be considered a true “series” just based on length and having one true ending. The Dragonlance and Star Wars books, amazingly, are still being continued with no true end in sight. I don’t see the interest, especially in the Star Wars books, dying out anytime soon so they will keep being written for quite some time.
All three sets of books captivated me when I was younger, sending me into different times and realms, filling my head with intergalactic battles, a variety of alien races and even a romance or two. My imagination was at its peak while I was reading these books and I wish I could thank the authors for that with more than just a blog post.
With all of the new books out there now, and a seemingly never-ending stream of ones being written as I type these words I can see how it would be hard to go back and read some of the books that you enjoyed as child or teenager. So my questions to any who read this are:
What kindled your passion for books?
Do you ever go back and read the books you loved when you were younger?
Did you keep all of them so that you could re-read them or did you, like me, have to give away or sell them at some point?
While reading this what books were you thinking of and are you now more inclined to go back and read them?
To be honest I have no idea when I will get to read any of these books. I may be participating in another read-a-thon next week (more on that in a later post if I decide to do it) which could help with this but I have a hard time keeping up with the new books I get as I imagine many of you do as well. Blogging every day and reviewing about three books a week keeps me pretty busy so as much fun as reliving my childhood by reading these books would be, I don’t know when I will, though I know I will get around to it someday.
You may be wondering how I could only get books I’ve read the majority of before when there were countless rows of books to choose from. Don’t worry, I got some other ones too! One of my favorite authors is Stephen King but I don’t actually own that many of his books (it pains me to admit) so I picked some up while I was there.
I can’t wait to read these, though again I don’t know when I’ll be able to.
Finally, I did pick up some random books! Here you go:
These ones I had never heard of and simply got because they sounded really interesting. I’m a bit of a Roman history nut so that’s the reasoning for that one.
Thank you for putting up with me while I took a bit of a trip back to when I was younger. I really appreciate it. ^.^ Please leave comments if you enjoyed this kind of post so I know whether I should do other “randomness” ones in the future and if you’d like to answer those questions I asked earlier feel free! That’s all from me for now (thankfully), as always thanks for reading. 🙂