5 Series I’ve Given Up On

I’ve come to accept that there’s a time in your reading life when you just have to say, “Enough is enough!” and give up on that series that you’ve been “meaning” to read. This has happened to me several times over the years and I wanted to share a few of those with you today.
Series I've Given Up On

I just want to clarify real quick, I’m definitely in the middle of some series that have…ahem…stalled…but that I’m still planning on getting back to (Caraval, Jackaby, or Miss Peregrine’s for example). In contrast, this is a list of series that I have legitimately no intention of going back to.

I Am Number Four series

I really liked this series and meeting the whole cast of characters, but it just has droned on and on. I think there are like…10 books at this point? I’m just done with the series and it would probably read too young for me anyway.

Cassandra Clare

I never ended up reading book 6 of The Mortal Instruments series let alone The Dark Artifices series. This is another case where I really liked the series when I was in high school, but I think that the writing probably wouldn’t live up to my current standards.

Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

I’m pretty sure I read the first two books in this series? But then by the time the third book came out, I’d lost interest. I had a copy of Champion on my shelf for a while, but I eventually unhauled it.

Firebird trilogy by Claudia Gray

Similar to Legend, I read the first two books and I actually still have the third sitting on my Kindle, but I feel no draw to get back to it.

Rick Riordan

This is another series that has kind of exploded with the number of books that are in it. There’s like three different series that are all intertwined or something? I’ve just completely lost track of which books I’ve read in which series. I’ll always love Greek and Roman mythology and they were great for the time of my life that I was in when I was reading them, but I need to move on.

What are some series that you’ve given up on? Let me know in the comments! And stay tuned for another blog post coming soon featuring series that I’ve finished and remember nothing about!
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Library book mini-reviews

So far this year I have read 49 books and 37 of them have been library books! 11 have been ARCs and only one has been a book that I actually own (oops…). Here are a few mini-reviews from some of my recent library reads!

mini-reviews

 

 

A Gathering of Shadows/A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

I absolutely adored this series. I’m partly kicking myself for waiting so long, but then at the same time I feel like I read it in a good time in my life when I could read all three books back-to-back and really feel like I understood what was going on. I really liked the competition aspect in the second book. With both Lila and Kell pretending to be other people, the suspense was HIGH. Then, in the third book, I continue to be astounded at the depth that Schwab has created for the character Holland. I completely understand why Rhy and Lila hate his guts, but I can’t bring myself to feel the same way. Despite everything, I LIKE him. One criticism that I have is that I want to know more about these worlds beyond London. It’s kind of a blank globe outside of the city. I highly recommend this series and could definitely see myself rereading them. Real quick, though, did anyone else ship Lila with Alucard? Or was that just me? 5/5

Shadows: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback
Light: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Lady from the Black LagoonThe Lady From the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara

This book was featured on one of Book Riot’s podcasts and the author was also on What Should I Read Next? In the end, I’m glad I picked this book. It was really different from the other non-fiction books that I’ve read since this author isn’t a non-fiction writer. Actually, she’s not really even an author (though, I guess she is now). Her tone was a lot more casual and I liked her snarky little footnotes. This book was definitely part history and part memoir and I thought the two combined rather well. I did have one issue with it, though. There was a brief section where O’Meara touched on something that is actually pretty personal to me and I don’t feel like she did it in a super respectful (or accurate) way. That cast a cloud on the rest of her book and gave me some doubt as a reader as to the accuracy of some of her other claims. Other than that, though, I really did enjoy learning about Milicent Patrick. 4/5

eBook | Hardcover

Always Never YoursAlways Never Yours by Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegmund-Broka

Blah. This book wasn’t what I hoped it would be. I think most of that centers around our main character, Megan. I think I was hoping for someone a little nicer and sweeter who handled her breakups more gracefully. Instead, Megan is really quite in your face while also being simultaneously oblivious. She just wasn’t the main character I was hoping for with this story line. I also hate when characters are all like, “OMG why am I obsessing over this guy’s hair? It’s not like I LIKE him or anything!” when they very obviously DO like him. Are people’s feelings really so mystifying to themselves? 3/5

The Enchanted HourThe Enchanted Hour by Meghan Cox Gurdon

This was another non-fiction book that I read and I read it for a book club. The premise doesn’t sound that compelling, but I’m actually super glad that I read it. As a new mom, they drill into you that “IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO READ TO YOUR BABY!!!!!!!” Like, literally, they’re shoving that down your throat. Which is fine, I’m not trying to dispute that or anything, but no one really explained to me why? I mean, I was going to do it, but how exactly does it help? I just want to know! This book answered most, if not all, of my questions about the benefits of reading aloud to my kid. Every time I would finish a chapter, I would feel so motivated to go read to him. A criticism I do have, though, is that the author isn’t super forgiving. Everything she says regarding technology came off as super harsh to me and it made me feel like a bad parent for ever defiling my baby’s eyes with a screen. But sometimes I need to take a shower, dang it, and he’ll sit quietly in his Pack n’ Play if I turn on Word Party! Overall, though, still a good read. 4/5

Loved this quote from C.S. Lewis that she included: “He does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: The reading makes all real woods a little enchanted.”

eBook | Hardcover

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This book is super twisty. It was already on my TBR when my sister texted and was like, “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS.” So the next time I saw it on one of our library displays, I grabbed it. I absolutely LOVED the premise. Each of Aiden’s hosts contributes more pieces to the puzzle. Longtime followers may know that I hate mysteries where the reader doesn’t have all the information necessary to solve the mystery. With this book, I do feel like we were presented with all of the information necessary, but the author didn’t quite lead us to the final solution. In the end, I found the conclusion of the book to be a little…out of nowhere, but I still enjoyed. I could definitely see myself rereading this one and picking up on more clues. 4/5

eBook | Hardcover

CirceCirce by Madeleine Miller

When I was a Sophomore in high school, we read The Odyssey in English. I enjoyed it and ended up writing my essay on how the Greek Gods absolutely do NOT deserve their power. This book just brought back all of those feelings. Seriously. Disney’s Hercules gives you all of these warm, fuzzy feelings towards the Gods when in reality they’re THE WORST!!! Anyway, I wanted to like this book more than I did. I’ve always been a fan of Greek Mythology, so I liked it from that standpoint, but it wasn’t totally for me. The writing was a bit much at times and the pacing was a little strange. All of the sudden, a thousand years would pass without warning–but I guess that’s what it must be like when you’re immortal. I didn’t really care for Circe for a good 50-60% of the book, but in the end, I found myself happy when she found happiness. One thing I really did like about this book was the portrayal of motherhood with both Circe and Penelope. Being a mom is freaking HARD and so some of Circe’s struggles with Telegonus really resonated with me. 3.5/5

Not as bad as April, but still so busy | May Wrap-Up & TBR Update

Today is my last day working at the library. It’s super bittersweet. On one hand, I’m looking forward to living in a new place and spending more time with my baby, but on the other hand, I’ve really loved my job. As we get ready to actually move, I probably won’t be on here a ton, but I hope to still be reading in between packing boxes. Hopefully the rest of this Summer is a little calmer!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 9
Books currently reading: 
1

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of May = 466
Books added to TBR = 14
Books read/deleted from TBR = 20
Total on TBR now = 460

How did your reading go this month?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

The Gentle Lord rules the land and keeps the demons that are always lurking in the shadows at bay. He makes deals with the villagers but always asks a steep price–one people think they are willing to pay until payment is actually due. It’s because of one of these deals, made by her father, that 17-year-old Nyx finds herself getting ready for her wedding to the monster that she’s always feared and hated. Once married to the Gentle Lord, it’s her job to find a way to defeat him and rid her people of his treacherous deals and deadly demons. What she doesn’t count on, however, is actually falling in love with him and what consequences might result from getting rid of him.51kLYnddfHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Another fairy tale retelling! This one is based off of Beauty and the Beast and the fact that they throw some Greek mythology in there only makes it sweeter. I thought this retelling was very well done–much darker than I thought it would be, but not too dark. I started to like Nyx as a character because she seemed like a strong, determined sort, but I was a little dismayed at how quick she fell for Ignifex. Sure he was handsome and she felt an irresistible attraction to him, blah blah blah, but her whole life she’d grown up thinking he was evil. Not just evil, but the most evil. Some may argue, “But she was just trying to manipulate him and steal keys and whatnot!” Fine, that might be true, so she’s excused for kissing him, but not for enjoying it right away. I don’t know…I had a hard time reconciling in my head how evil she thought he was before she married him and then this weird physical attraction she felt afterwards.

That being said, I really did like the book despite that inconsistency. I liked when Nyx would explore the house and it felt a little like a treasure hunt looking for the four hearts. And like I mentioned earlier, any book with Greek mythology in it automatically gets a few points in my book. Ignifex himself was an interesting and complex character. I had a hard time figuring out how he and Shade came to be and what role they were supposed to be playing in each others’ lives. So it was enjoyable to have that revealed to me later in the book instead of having figured it out within the first 50 pages.

Overall, I enjoyed this darker retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The ending was satisfying even after I, as a reader, had lost all hope of a happy ending. There’s currently a short story out called Gilded Ashes set in the same universe. This one’s based off of Cinderella and even though I’m not planning on reviewing it, I certainly enjoyed it (the romance didn’t feel too fast even though the book is so short). The second book in “The Cruel Beauty Universe” called Crimson Bound comes out May 5 and is based off of Little Red Riding Hood. I will definitely be reading it!

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Daphne Raines has lived in the same Southern Utah town her whole life and she’s ready to get out. The opportunity comes when her rock star father comes to town claiming custody. He whisks her away to the super exclusive community of Olympus Hills where everything is not quite as perfect as it seems.

Meanwhile, Haden Lord is sent from the underworld to the surface to complete a quest. If he is successful he’ll be reinstated as prince. If he fails, however, he will be destroyed by his own father the King. He’s tasked with bringing back a special “boon”–a girl–who will save his people in their fight against the air gods.16150914

I’m always interested in books that include Greek mythology, so I thought I’d really like this one, but it fell a little flat for me. It’s pretty good, but romance occurred between Haden and Daphne a little too fast for my liking. Also, there isn’t actually too much mythology going on. The different gods are mentioned, but it’s more like they’re just other characters. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I think if you read the book, you’ll understand.

The secondary characters were mildly interesting, but not that great in my opinion. Daphne’s friends were okay, Haden’s friends were okay… I’m interested to see where the second book goes with the story line. The Eternity Key comes out April 28, 2015 and we’ll see how it is. I’m planning on reading it, but if it’s about the same as the first one, I probably won’t read a third if it comes out.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Moderate. One mildly graphic scene.
Sexual Content: Mild
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Some teenage drinking.