I took up six reading Challenges in 2019 as well as the Goodreads challenge. Of these seven, five were successes. The two failures were the Totally Harry Potter Re-Read through and the Learn Something New Challenge. Both these challenges I will discuss later. But first, the successes!
The Series Books I Finished in 2019
For this challenge I wanted to finish off the series books that were already on my physical shelf and in my electronic to-be-read pile and, for the most part, I did. Also, in September with the help of Meeghan’s September Series Challenge I focused on just series books. This was wonderful except I found it nearly impossible to review the series books without including major spoilers. So, I defaulted to not reviewing anything at all. Because I am ridiculous.
Besides old series wrap ups I also found new series books to love. Here are the series books I read in 2019!
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan,
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan,
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Magnus Chase II, Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase III, Rick Riordan
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Dragonwatch #1 by Brandon Mull
Dragonwatch #2 by Brandon Mull
Tunnel of Bones Victoria Schwab
Illuminae Kaufman and Kristoff
Obsidio Kaufman and Kristoff
Gemina Kaufman and Kristoff
Beard Necessities by Penny Reid
Beyond not reviewing because I didn’t want to print any spoilers (and finding that I often defaulted to the old ‘it was awesome, trust me!’ review), I had one other problem with series books: There really seems to be a pace for reading them.
Sometimes, series books give you that recap at the beginning. Middle grade books are great for this so Magnus Chase didn’t need an independent re-read because the whole first section of the book is a nice review. Similarly, any Stephanie Plum book includes a refresher so you could really pick up any book after any length of time and read them.
But, YA and adult books, especially those that involve deep world building ask different things of their readers. I had a huge gap between staring and finishing The Raven Cycle and, honestly, it took its toll on the series. I struggled to remember what was happening between books two and three and it cost me the deeper enjoyment of the total series. This is completely my fault and after that I vowed to either re-read or keep a series together. The author deserves at least that much!
So, since I couldn’t remember at all what the set up was in Queen of the Tearling I took the time to re-read it. Re-reading is always quicker and I refreshed my recollection and moved on in the series very quickly. This made the series feel complete and I found myself fully immersed in the world. I did the same thing with The Illuminae Files, consuming them book after book until there were no more.
So, for 2020, I am going to continue reading series books but actually think about how they are meant to be read and take into consideration honestly how much I remember about previous books. (I’m looking at you Toll). Also, I am going to find a way to review them that will bring you the feel of the series without major plot point spoilers.
Tell me, please!
In a series review, what are you looking for?
For my fellow bloggers, how do you handle the spoilers?