Fun Questions | Stay or Nay?

September 28, 2013 Fun Questions 26

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! Today’s Fun Question is

Stay or Nay? When a series you love goes bad…

I have a really hard time DNFing any book. To date, I think I’ve only put two books down without finishing them. So you can only imagine how difficult it is for me to give up on a series that I’ve really liked. I’m invested in the characters and the plot. I want so badly to believe that it’s going to get better. Sometimes it seems to just get worse and worse though. I hate when I’ve waited anxiously for the next book to come out, scrambled to read it, and then finish it and find myself wondering what the hell just happened to my series. Has the author had a moment of temporary insanity, gone of their rocker permanently, or is this a genius move that I just can’t see yet?

are you kidding

What makes this even harder for me is that I’ve seen series make that miraculous recovery just when I was getting ready to give up. For example, Chicagoland Vampires. I really loved the early books and then there was this space of about two books where I just didn’t know what to think. It wasn’t truly BAD but it wasn’t the series I’d fallen in love with either. But I stuck with it and sure enough, Chloe Neill restored my faith with the most recent book Biting Bad. I’m thrilled I stuck around.

One of my favorite YA series, Soul Screamers, had one book that I really did not like. That book turned out to be a pretty important transitional story, introducing key characters and setting up a path that made this one of my favorite series ever. What if I had quit it because of one book I didn’t like? I would have missed out, big time! I’m so glad I trusted Rachel Vincent to know what she was doing.

So, to date, I haven’t actually quit any series I’ve started and liked. But I do have a few that I’m feeling a bit lackluster about and wondering do I trust the author to give me back the story I loved? Do I still care about the characters? I don’t know – I really don’t want to miss out on what could potentially become great!

Have you ever quit a series? What was the moment you decided to quit?

Or do you hold on, trusting the authors to bring it back around?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

26 Responses to “Fun Questions | Stay or Nay?”

    • Berls

      That’s rough when you want to DNF a book in a series you were already reading – that’s about as bad as it could get. I can see why you won’t continue with the series. I haven’t had that happen yet – I think it would take a lot more for me to DNF a book in a series than it would to DNF a stand-alone (or 1st book in a series).

      • Kris

        It was a good ways into the series.. and I had let some stuffs that irritated me slide because I liked the main characters so much. But when the main character starts to change and their personality is no longer what they started out with, then I have issues with that. You come to know the characters and if they are written well, it’s almost like they are an old friend that you can constantly go back to. But the way I look at it, a person’s basic personality or makeup doesn’t really change so a characters shouldn’t either.
        Kris recently posted…Tuesday Teaser #10My Profile

        • Berls

          I totally agree! I love characters that grow over the course of a series, but if they change too much fundamentally then I start to really struggle to see it as the same series. I can see how you gave up on the series – the characters are what keep me glued to some of the ones that I’m iffy about.

  1. Alana

    I hate not finishing books or series. It’s like an OCD thing, even if really dislike were a series is going I literally panic just thinking of not finishing. There have been several moments where I disagreed or disliked books in a series (Tale of the Body Thief in the Vampire Chronicle). There have been 2 series that I read the first book and never read any further, the Dexter books and the Percy Jackson bookes. There are even fewer books that Ive just DNF. I always try to keep an open mind when I notice shifts in a series, I must remember that 1-I am not the author and therefore they are not my characters and 2- that I am reading is fiction and not rel life.

    • Berls

      You’re so right about us not being the authors and that it’s fiction! It’s funny but sometimes we do have to consciously remind ourselves because (speaking for myself at least) we can get so invested in these characters that its easy to get a little too passionate about what we think should happen to fictional characters. Thanks for weighing in!

  2. Belle Read

    I am finally in the place where I can DNF without feeling bad about it. I used to feel that I was wasting the time that I had already invested, but have decided to not waste more time by finishing.
    I am not all the way there when it comes to series. I have dozens of series that I am reading and am tempted to ditch it when things go south, but am always afraid that the series will make a recovery and I would have missed out like you said. Great post.
    Belle Read recently posted…Weekly RecapMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Belle! I think that’s my biggest fear – what if it gets better? I mean, it was once good, so it could be again! At least with a book you know that it has only x number of pages to get better! Though I’m still not so good at DNFing books either, but the thought process make sense!

  3. A Voracious Reader

    I DNF more often now that I just don’t have time to stick with a series if the books aren’t living up to the first ones *or* I just couldn’t get into the books to begin with. There are only two series teetering on the edge of being pushed into the DNF Abyss right now and they are Anita Blake and Stephanie Plum. I have forgiven a *lot* with those, but the new books from this year (Anita~July, Plum~November) will be the tipping point. If I ever get a chance to read them, that is.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 11th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls

      I think that time is going to be the major factor that ends up pushing me to DNF more frequently too. Before I started blogging DNFing a book didn’t make as much sense to me, but I also didn’t have 100s of books to read. Now that I literally have a reading list of books I need to get to by certain dates, I can see myself calling it quits on a book much more easily. And I may just never make time for those series that I’m not so sure about anymore – it’ll be easy to keep pushing them back for when I don’t have something I’d rather read.

  4. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairytale Reviews

    I hate to admit it, but I do DNF books at times. There are just so many out there to discover that I have a hard time justifying reading a book I’m not liking. But, in terms of your question, I can’t think of any series that I’ve quit recently. If I like the series in general, I am more likely to stick with it. I’ve read the first Soul Screamers book and it was just okay to me, but I’m glad to know that it gets better. Great discussion question!
    Jennifer recently posted…STACKING THE SHELVES (9) and WEEKLY RECAPMy Profile

    • Berls

      I think it’s great that you’re able to DNF books. I wish I were better at it, because I agree with you – there’s just so many good ones out there, why waste my time with one I’m not liking?

      I do highly recommend the Soul Screamers series though – there’s only 1 book in the whole bunch that I didn’t like and in the end it was actually an important book too. And if you do audio books, Amanda Ronconi reads them, so they’re killer on audio!

      Thanks so much for weighing in :-)

  5. Emily

    I also rarely DNF but I have no problems splitting with a series that starts to go downhill. I was really sad to quit the Sookie Stackhouse series because I initially loved it, but after several books I felt were declining in quality I finally said no more at book 10. Sometimes, particularly with UF/PNR, I feel like series go past the point they should have ended because of contractual obligations. I also quit the Anita Blake series when I felt it was taking a severe decline in quality. There are others I am on hold with, possibly indefinitely. Then there are other series that, like you, I am glad I stuck with, such as Laura Wright’s Mark of the Vampire series. I didn’t love it at first but it has become a favorite.

    • Berls

      I agree with you about contractual obligations – it does seem like this is a particular problem with UF/PNR books. IT seems like it would be in everyone’s best interests to stop a series while it’s still good instead of dragging it on after it’s no good.

      I haven’t started the Sookie Stackhouse series, mostly because I keep hearing people saying that they called it quits before it was over. It makes me less interested in starting it. I have Mark of the Vampire on my TBR, so I’ll have to keep in mind that if I don’t like it at first it’s one I might want to push through.

  6. Jenna

    I don’t have a problem DNFing individual books, but it is hard with a series, especially a series I once loved. If I don’t like one book in a series I’ll still read the next, but if there are two in a row, it’s time for me to start thinking of quitting. The only series that I dumped (at least that I can think of right now) is the House of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast. I never really liked it in the first place. I WANTED to and I felt like I should, but I just didn’t. Finally I got so irritated over a tiny, insignificant detail that I decided I was done.
    Jenna recently posted…Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

    • Berls

      It’s interesting that you say you felt like you should like the series – I’ve had that experience before – in fact with one of the few books I DNFed. I had read other books by the author and loved them, and I’d also seen reviews from people I trusted that liked it. So I felt like I SHOULD like it. I sometimes still feel a little guilty about not finishing it. But I think if I had pushed through I would have had the same experience as you – the series wouldn’t have lasted and something small would have set me off.

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    With series especially if I am vested I will excuse a few duds and keep reading, with trilogies if the next book comes out and I am still excited I will pick up the next if not I let it go..LOL. Since I read 250 plus books a year and many genres, I recently began DNFing. I hardly do it, but I like the freedom of being able to try new authors, books, genres and being able to walk away if it doesn’t work, before I would be leery of trying new books. It took 40+ yrs to learn it is ok to DNF. I am fair about it and will generally read 100+ pages and it isn’t a decision I make lightly.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…How the Heck Did You Do That?!? Blogger Tips & Tricks #14My Profile

    • Berls

      I agree with your approach to DNFing a book – I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it often. I think it’s a two fold problem – (1) I’m an optimist and really want to believe in the books and (2) I hate to miss out. What if it gets good and I miss it? LOL That’s probably the bigger problem.

      Interesting that you feel more loyalty to series than trilogies – I guess because they’re less likely to go someplace really interesting later, since they don’t have many more books left in them anyway? That would make sense (see how I just put words in your mouth LOL)

      • kimbacaffeinate

        I use to worry about missing something, but quickly learned the odds of a friggin’ miracle comeback on page 322 are slim to none! As for the series vs trilogies with series it can take time to establish the world and arc as it is often more in depth. So book one might have had issues but I usually hold off till book three before deciding when taking on a new series. With trilogies if I am not exciting for the next release, I figure I can live without knowing and since last year alone I read the start of 35 trilogies..i would say dropping a few isn’t a bad thing.
        kimbacaffeinate recently posted…How the Heck Did You Do That?!? Blogger Tips & Tricks #14My Profile

        • Berls

          LOL you’re right a comeback really isn’t likely at that point! Wow – 35 new trilogies in 1 year is A LOT! I don’t know how you read so much AND blog! I can’t keep that pace at all. But I guess if I would let myself DNF a bit more I might make more progress. Your logic makes perfect sense on trilogies v. series.

  8. Julie S.

    I’m so happy you didn’t give up on Soul Screamers. LOVE it. Was it the Mara book that got you to want to stop? I had trouble with that one. I don’t know if I’ve really quit a series but I have taken breaks from some to continue maybe sometime in the future when other books aren’t as enticing. I’m not sure if/when I’ll continue with the House of Night series cause after book 8 I am just kinda bleh about it. I’ve also taken a break from Love At Stake series because I think I’ve gotten burnt out a bit. I’m also slowly making my way through the Sookie Stackhouse books since I was so late to the party to get started, but am not in a hurry to finish the series. Good to know about Chicagoland Vampires. I’ve taken a break from that as well because it has lost the fun it had, but maybe I need to get back into it since it sounds like the most recent books have gotten really good again.
    Julie S. recently posted…Losing Hope ReviewMy Profile

    • Berls

      Yep – it was the Mara book. I was not a fan, but I’m so glad I stuck with it, because the series really changed directions after that and became insanely great.

      I would recommend returning to CV for sure, but I know what you mean about taking a break from it – a few books there were really rough. I’m also stalled out on Love at Stake – I think it’s in my someday maybe pile. I feel a little guilty when I think of giving up on a series, it’s like I’m giving up on characters I really used to love. Probably why I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. And maybe all I really need is a break, not a complete break-up!

    • Berls

      This is making me wonder how many of us have actually broken up with series but are living in a state of denial, thinking that we might be able to make it work again. LOL!

  9. Berls

    Yeah, I guess that’s probably the case for me too with a few of these… permanent hiatus. But I still have the next book on my TBR. I can’t bring myself to just take it off LOL

  10. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    I’ve only DNF’d one book…ever. So, chances of me officially declaring I’ll leave a series are slim. But, I’m on a hiatus from a number of them that are probably permanent. I just can’t admit it yet.

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