Book Series I Fell Out of Love with Over Time

orangutan list

Hello all! I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about falling out of love with series. I guess part of this comes from realising certain books simply don’t interest me like they used to- which is a pity- but is all part of growing up I suppose 😉 We have our childhood sweethearts and then drift apart… However that’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. What I want to talk about today is the books that leave a sour taste in my mouth, the ones which feel increasingly tainted and the series that really broke my heart. Let’s get to it, before I chicken out…

mortal instruments

Anything in the Shadowhunter-Verse– this is the most obvious to me right now and the inspiration behind making this list. Sorry to the people that are still diehard fans, but the more I think about it, the more I’m bothered by the direction the series took (or in some ways, the lack of direction). The recycled characters and plots, the endless cliffhangers, the insertion of politics- it began really grinding my gears at the start of the Dark Artifices and had driven into a ditch by the end. And while I may continue to look back on my first foray into this world with fondness- ie the Infernal Devices trilogy- the more recent books are actually managing to taint my original view of the series as a fun paranormal romance. Sadly, its lost the entertainment value for me.

divergent series

The Divergent Series– I’m gonna confess, I was never a massive fan of this series. That said, I consistently rated it around 4* for enjoyment alone- always stating “don’t think about it too much”. Well I guess I couldn’t take my own advice, because the more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more I think it fails as dystopic fiction. The world building is nonsensical and the messaging (super important in this genre) is all over the place. And certain decisions in the last book are. so. frustrating (and I’m probably not even thinking of the one you are- which just goes to show how many issues there are with it!!)

twilight series

Twilight– unfortunately I have the awful claim to fame of being one of those peeps that liked Twilight before it was cool (I definitely ought to bury this fact somewhere- but for some reason I keep bringing it up 😉 ). Anyway, I think it’s fairly obvious why I stopped loving a story about sparkly vampires- not only is a concept like that bound to lose its shine over time, but that series GOT SO MUCH WORSE. I’m just sad I staked any energy in it 😉

kingkiller-chronicles-books

The Kingkiller Chronicles– ooh controversial opinion time. I actually LOVED book 1- however I ended up hugely disappointed with Wise Man’s Fear– in a way that made me question why I even liked the first instalment. My increasing despondency to this series hasn’t been helped by the huge wait between books. That said, this is the sole book on the list where I’ll happily read more and the only one that I think has a strong chance of redeeming itself with a killer finale.

poison study series

The Chronicles of Ixia– ah this is another one it pains me to think about these days cos I *loved* the first book. Unfortunately, it didn’t keep up its unique momentum in book 2 and managed to get progressively more generic as the series dragged on. Such was my disappointment that it’s even tainted the earlier books for me and, as much as I still have a soft spot for some of the characters (*cough* Valek *cough cough*), I always feel a twinge of sadness when I think about this series.

maximum ride series.png

Maximum Ride– now I didn’t want to include a lot of books from my childhood, because I know that my tastes have changed over time, I usually just read things based on what was available in libraries and mostly I look back on them with rose-tinted glasses even if they were lousy- BUT I can’t forget how much this series crashed and burned. It started out as a great concept and then flew wildly off track. Such a pity.

There you have it, these are all the series that cut me to the quick! 

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So do you have any series or books you used to love, but don’t anymore? Let me know in the comments! 

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Series that went on too long- lots of mini rants!

I considered being nice and titling this list something like: “series I lost interest in”- but that would be totally disingenuous, cos if I lost interest in a lot of these, I wouldn’t have bothered to read so many before calling it quits (in some cases 6- yes 6!- whole books!).  So instead, these are my (entirely subjective) book series that went downhill and could’ve stopped earlier:

Poison Study– Jeez- where to even start? I’ve said a number of times that I had given up on this series, because after the first book it was all over the place. It went from really unique to generic fantasy to WTF is even happening to oh gosh why… So yeah, I should’ve called it quits around book 2/3, especially considering how much I hated 3. The first books as well were originally a trilogy and that would’ve been fine- I should’ve stopped there. But, of course it continued and because *I am weak* and saw this in the library last week, I will admit rather shame-facedly that I finished this series the other day (to be fair, I was trying to counterbalance some of the darker books on my tbr as well). Thankfully it wasn’t the clusterfuck I’d come to expect from the series, although that doesn’t mean it was good #somuchguilt

Twilight– I will happily say that the first book isn’t that bad. I know this is unlikely to make me friends in either the Twihard group or the Diehard-We-Hate-Twilight side- nonetheless, I still consider book 1 firmly as a 3* read. Sure, it has sparkly vampires (for which this series has a special place in the circles of hell) but apart from that it’s pretty enjoyable. If it had ended there, with Bella becoming a vampire, it would have been a decent standalone. What, prey, could be worse than sparkly vampires? I hear you ask. Well let’s see, the later books devolved into: the unnecessary breakup book, the “is this whole book really centred on a marriage proposal?!” book, and finally the “did this just accidentally endorse paedophilia?! I am OUT!” book. Yeahhh there are good reasons why I stopped liking that series.

The Mortal Instrument– I’m kind of including all the spinoffs here as well and the reading order I did, just to be clear, was Infernal Devices, Mortal Instruments and now reading Dark Artifices (so help me!) I really loved the Infernal Devices series (though I get why if you’ve read Mortal Instruments first this might feel a bit samey) and thoroughly enjoyed Mortal Instruments overall (even though they are very similar to TID). But then, books 4-6 came and they just felt totally unnecessary (in fact, they were tacked on after the original trilogy ended, figures). And now I’m stupidly continuing with TDA- basically cos I want to know that one thing about parabatai- yet I’m not enjoying it anymore. I’m sorry, I know people love this series- I’m just finding it *so repetitive*, some of the bad guys less nuanced and the rest of them not properly bad at all. I think there are some redeeming features- only it’s not as good as it used to be.

Alex Rider– how many times can Alex Rider save the world in a year? For that matter, why are so many villains trying to *destroy the world* in the space of one year? And before people get annoyed at me for beating on a children’s book, I read this when I was a child and my teenage self could see how totally implausible this was, so… Seriously, why did Alex Rider have to stay 14 for the duration of the series? Plus, how many broken bones does he get that somehow heal? Doesn’t he get shot at one point? And go into space? How could he…? How?? Yeah, this got dumber and dumber.

The Savant Series– erm, I kinda blame myself for continuing this series. I viewed it as a bit of fun, especially the idea is basically *psychic soulmates*- which is basically enjoyable for a couple of books before it gets tiresome. I mean, how many times can this actually work? The primary reason why it’s on this list is cos the characters and situations they found themselves in got more and more annoying. I get it’s a cashgrab from suckers like me and I don’t really know what I was hoping for when it got to book 6- I just think the romance part could’ve been consistently good, even if the concept got old.

Stravaganza– I actually really love the first book and still recommend it to everyone- but you can just stop there and read it as a standalone. Even though there’s hints of bigger stuff going on, even after 4 or 5 books (I lost track of how many I read) it never really goes into the bigger conspiracies. Also, the whole book’s idea was that it’s a way of people from our world resolving their problems in an alternate-universe version of Venice and while the first person has cancer, the problems get significantly less important. This may be a bit harsh, but I like stories to up the ante, not feel tired and been there-done that.

The Declaration Series– again, I think it’s totally worth reading the first book. It’s actually a very cool dystopian take on what the consequences of living forever would be. And while it suffers from that YA need of turning everything into a series and resolving all the dystopia-problems (you know that annoying reset-the-world thing YA dystopias do), I don’t think the later books had to be so terrible. Both the original concept and the basic plots could have worked. HOWEVER, there was so much unnecessary filler- in particular the last book spent about half the page count recapping the first two books- WHY?! I am really not a fan of recaps in books (all the credit to Mark Lawrence who recently came up with the genius idea of sticking that in before the book starts) but I do get why people like a paragraph or two- half the book however?! Nope- no way! And I also thought the ending was infuriating (spoiler alert: they reset the world *and* hinted that in ten years it’d all just end up happening again… why?! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!!) So yeah, this one gets me all heated and no one gets it cos barely anyone made it to the end.

So do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Are there any book series you’ve fallen out of love with? Let me know in the comments!

Types of Parents in Books

Hi all! I have a quick, fun post today about types of parents in books. Some of these I hate, some I like, let’s just get right to it…

  1. saint anythingNon-Absent Absentee Parents– gosh I hate these ones- they’re there, but they’re not quite *there*. They are totally oblivious to things like their daughter becoming a vampire or stupidly manage to somehow invite a sexual predator to come live with them (hello Saint Anything– yes I’m talking to you!) Easily confused with…

 

  1. twilightCool Cat Parents– you know the type: the I’m-so-cool-I’m-basically-your-sister ones. Not gonna lie, I find these ones irritating too. Because arghhh can’t they just be a parent for one second?! But no, they’re too busy being “scatty” (another word for useless) and marrying some sporty guy to actually be of some use (yes, I am talking about Bella Swan’s mum)

 

  1. to all the boysThe I’m-doing-the-best-I-can type– and I don’t mean that sarkily, I mean it in a sweet kind of way. I mean, they’re a bit rough around the edges, often still learning the ropes and can even have a ton of problems, but at least they’re trying to do the best they can! Like Lara Jean’s absolutely lovable dad- who hasn’t had it easy but makes things work.

 

  1. matildaTotally tyrannical– not to be confused with a tyrannosaurus rex, though they have that temperament. Nope, these are humans that have about as much virtue as a toilet brush. Take Mr and Mrs Wormwood as an example- they literally punished their daughter for reading. It doesn’t get much worse.

 

  1. City_of_Bones (1)The Villain All-Along– often slick and charming, this one can totally take us by surprise, cos they were the villain all along (chorus of sighs). I did think of an example here that was super spoilery, but decided not to go with it, so instead I’m just gonna say Valentine from Mortal Instruments) cos we all know he’s the bad guy.

 

Annnd I think I’ll leave it there for now. Which parents in books do you like the most? Which ones get on your last nerves? Let me know in the comments!

Top Five Divisive Books

So I’ve just got back from the polling station and it was as anti-climactic as ever. But my social media is still a massive battleground…

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Now since politics today is probably the most divisive topic out there (because if you don’t agree with me on everything you’re not a real *insert political affiliation* and you are an *insert insult here*) I thought I’d have a relaxing evening and talk about books that people get *really* up in arms over. These are the books with incredibly INTENSE fan bases and detractors- and my goodness- people have fought tooth and nail over them. So without further ado, this is my list of divisive books:

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

1. Harry Potter– ooh er- I’m nervous to even put this on the list- which oddly enough is why I have to include it. Because while many of us book bloggers are proud Potterheads or are friends with them, they are some of the most diehard fans out there. They will not brook even one iota of criticism for their beloved books and saying anything less than “the books are perfection and I want to kiss the feet of the goddess JK” is enough to get you excommunicated from bookish communities… Anyone not with them is a muggle and all that jazz. So yeah, Potterheads, I love ya, but you can be a bit scary!

twilight

2. Twilight– I think a lot of people have grown up about this one, so while there are still Twihards out there, they seem less inclined to stab you with a stake if you don’t happen to like sparkly vampires. But the main reason I included this on the list, is because it sparked the phenomenon of not only going after the non-sparkly-vampire-lovers (what’s the term for that? Normal? 😉 ) but also massive in-fighting. Before it was cool to fight over whether you shipped Gale/Peeta with Katniss Everdeen or Stephan/Damon with Elena, there were hordes of teens running round shouting “Edward!” “Jacob!” at each other. (Also “bite me Edward!”- seriously it was a weird time)

Throne_of_Glass_UK

3. Throne of Glass– so this book was a bit of a phenomenon in that first it was really popular to like it and then it was really popular to criticise- I don’t know if that was just me that noticed that? Either way, you guys know I fell in love with this series cos of the characters, but since it wasn’t instalove for me, I can see both sides of this argument. Either way, the reason it’s on this list is because I have seen plenty of passion when it comes to both its fans and its detractors. Fortunately that hasn’t devolved into anything truly nasty.

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

4. The Fault in Our Stars– so back when this blew up, I was into watching a lot of booktube, and yes, naturally the youtube comment sections are the cesspit of humanity, but I think this was the first time I saw people giving out death threats over a book. I get that people love John Green, I’ve been there, but man you don’t have to fight all his battles for him. If a few people don’t like his books, it’s no biggie. He’s still a bestselling author and I’m sure he can handle minor criticism from folks on the internet- just sayin’.

catcher in the rye

5. Catcher in the Rye– I had to squeeze at least one classic onto this list. Now I know this gets assigned at schools everywhere in the states, so a huge number of people have read it. What is phenomenal about this book is that *every time* I mention it, I get a chorus of “I love it” “I hate it” in the comments. It has to be one of the most “marmite” books ever- you either love it or you hate it.

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(ok that may have just  been the most British reference ever)

Anyhoo- so do you agree or disagree with these choices? What books do you think are very divisive? Let me know in the comments! And can all the Twihards and Potterheads looking to lynch me get in line in an orderly fashion… 😉

Top Ten Worst YA Tropes

Now after my post on why originality is overrated, I thought it might be fun to flip my argument on its head and talk about some unoriginal ideas I don’t like. Partly cos I’m a HYPOCRITE but mostly cos it’s FUN! Also I recently read this book:

eve

I’m not gonna bother reviewing it, because frankly I don’t want to waste more time on it than I already have and there is literally nothing *new* I could possibly say about it. It was pretty much the definition of bland. So instead I’m gonna take this opportunity to talk about my least favourite tropes in YA.

*Rather-Obvious-Disclaimer: there are exceptions to every rule*

And honestly- I love to be proved wrong and find one of my most hated tropes done well. But *most of the time* these guarantee an eye roll or a despairing groan. So here are my top ten worst YA tropes with a few of the biggest culprits as examples:

  1. essenseSpecial Snowflake Main Character– this one often combines two of my least favourite tropes: the Chosen One and the “I’m a what?” tropes. Basically this character is super special, because they have a gift that no one else has, so they’re gonna save the world. Oh and they had no idea that they’re special- of course. In fairness, there are rare occasions when this doesn’t suck- but they are few and far between, so authors need to *stop using this trope* (unless you’re writing something like Carry On, then all is forgiven). An example of this is the Essence series- because my-oh-my this character is a special snowflake indeed.
  2. unbecoming of mara dyerInstalove– I’m gonna try and not let this dissolve into another rant like the last one- but c’mon!! When does this ever happen in real life?!? And let’s face it, it wouldn’t even be a good thing if it did- it would be super weird and creepy if your boyfriend of two days started declaring his undying love for you! That’s when you need to get a restraining order- *not* to start ordering wedding invitations. I’m looking at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and so many others!
  3. The Plain Jane– I *hate* these characters. Not only do they come across as super whiny and annoying- but they also make no sense. I mean, they’re supposed to simultaneously be the ugliest of all the ducklings *AND* be the most desirable female with every single guy in the vicinity desperate to have your babies. Sorry, but to quote Cinderella Story:

you can't be both guys.png

The best example of this is Ana Steel in Fifty Shades of Grey. And all those hoards of attractive males brings me onto my next point.

  1. matchedThe Love Triangle– ahh the dreaded love triangle. Twilight made it popular and for some horrendous reason it hasn’t gone anywhere. Why? I have *no idea*. This bloody thing is everywhere and one of the worst offenders of this is Matched. Basically, it’s just an easy (and terribly lazy) way for authors to pad their plot with unbearable amounts of angst, as their main character frets over which wonderful person they’re going to spend the rest of their life with. And while we’re on the subject of the main character…
  2. selectionThe Nice-ty Main Character- you know the nice/nasty ones that kill you with kindness (you know the type). This is basically the main character who is allowed to be a total biatch, just because they’re so “lovely”. And we are constantly reminded how sweet and caring they are as they mess around two guys at once, two time and generally act like a whiny cow. And all the while, it’s somehow the guy’s fault that they can’t figure out their feelings. The perfect example is America in The Selection, because let’s face it she’s a right *insert-expletive-here*, but we’re supposed to believe she’s wonderful and completely selfless. Really? It’s totally selfless of her to spend 3 books choosing between two guys, is it?
  3. TwilightbookDouchbag Love Interests– and when we don’t have the horrible female leads, we have the horrible male love interest (sometimes we’re really lucky and get both, *ahem, Twilight*). These, often controlling, usually bullying and always brooding characters somehow steal the heart of the main character (*ahem, Twilight*- I could probably call this “the Edward Cullen Trope” after all). It’s like a recipe for domestic abuse. But hey, they’re good looking, so we shouldn’t worry about any of that. *Face palm*. And while we’re still on the subject of love, this is something that really drives me crazy:
  4. Bronzehorseman.jpgPretentious Characters That Recite Reams of Poetry– I’ve read a few lists ions ago, but haven’t seen this one about- probably cos most people like this. But honestly this just does my head in. I have never met anyone that does this in real life, but I swear, if I ever met someone that reciting whole poems was a good idea, I’d probably want to hit them too. Basically, this makes me violent- don’t do it, unless you want a banana aimed at your head. I could think of a ton of examples where this happens- Infernal Devices (although admittedly I like that anyway), The Bronze Horseman (yeuch!) and John Green makes so many pretentious references he may as well do it.
  5. aunt jennaNon-Absentee Absent Parents– okay, moving on from the romance in YA, this one bugs me quite a bit. I’m being fairly specific here, because I don’t mean the dead parents trope, which I don’t actually mind so much- even if it is overused. No, this one bugs me because it just makes the parents look really dumb. Basically, they’re the parents that are about but they’re so useless, they can’t tell their children have been entertaining demons in their room. Or even worse, the parents that know something is wrong, but still let their children run off to fight monsters. And cos I’m zonked, the best example I can think of is Aunt Jenna in Vampire Diaries (I know, I know, I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead). This often combines with…
  6. City_of_Bones (1)The Dumbledore– you know, the parent/teacher figure that withholds information for mysterious *reasons*. Just because the author doesn’t want to reveal stuff too early. Usually, it’s parents who knew their child had powers but didn’t tell them. Often, they find out their parents knew all along after they have some near-death experience. Which always makes me wonder why on earth didn’t they tell them sooner- you know, maybe they could have avoided all this. It just makes me think they need parenting lessons, cos there are some secrets- like your father’s an evil maniac- that parents shouldn’t keep from their children. Much as I love the series, Mortal Instruments is guilty of this.
  7. shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024Stupid Names For Evil Characters– so I don’t always hate this and I can forgive it most of the time (let’s be honest, I’m guilty of it too). I mean, I have to allow for the fact that dumb names like the “Dark Lord” or “THE EVIL ONE” will catch on when regular people are naming them. And this is usually okay if the villain has an alternative name (ie Voldemort). *BUT* what I cannot forgive is when the main character cannot tell that the guy with the obviously evil name is evil. And how no one else in the story picks up on it- I’m looking at you “Darkling”- how was that a surprise when he turned out to be evil for crying out loud?

Okay that’s my list. I almost put “The Brave Idiot” on here too- but I’ve warmed to that character in recent times, because I’ve read quite a few that are really good.

Agree? Disagree? What are your least favourite YA tropes? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you liked this post- stay tuned for something special coming next on my blog…

Book Sacrifice Tag

I must love courting controversy or something- cos I am pretty excited to do this tag- even though it’ll probably get me into trouble…. Ah well, c’est la vie! Anyway, I’ve always loved this tag, so thank you so much to A Novel Glimpse for tagging me to do it! Alrighty then- let’s get to it!

  1. An Over-Hyped Book:

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

Okay, okay- this is going to come as a shock to some people, but I didn’t like the Fault In Our Stars. Just be appeased by my casual reference to the book and *look away now*- cos damn that is a dumb reference. What? You’re not supposed to be reading this! Fine, if you’re still reading this, and haven’t turned away in disgust, then here are my reasons for not liking Fault In Our Stars:

  1. It’s obvious- I guessed what was gonna happen when they introduced Augustus as “in remission”- I mean, I’ve read other books about cancer before- heck I’ve read other books before period- it may as well have been a big neon sign HE’S GONNA DIE!
  2. Even if it wasn’t obvious, I didn’t connect with the characters enough to care. Because they all spoke in the most stilted unnatural way and were so far from actually being humans, I couldn’t relate- at all.
  3. In fact, the whole thing slaps you round the face with pretentious “metaphors”- and if that wasn’t bad the characters themselves described their own actions as metaphors- ughh get the sick bucket quick!
  4. The kiss in the Anne Frank house was distasteful. I don’t know what kind of weird wish fulfilment was going on here- but why on earth did Green think it should be applauded? Having cancer does not give you the excuse to be disrespectful about holocaust victims. I don’t have the faintest idea why Green drew parallels here- but it was so inappropriate.

I could go on, but I think I may have pissed off TFIOS fans enough for one day….

  1. A Sequel:

Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

Breaking_Dawn_cover

I know I’ve used this before too, but I have to pick any Twilight sequel. Surprising as this might be I didn’t totally hate the first one- and if it had ended at that my ire for the series wouldn’t have grown into fully fledged disgust. Cos that series got progressively more dumb. I mean this is how the rest of the series goes:

Sequel 1: “Oh no Edward broke up with me!! Let’s do reckless things and talk to myself so he’ll come back to me- no I’m not crazy. I’m just so in loooovvee- whine whine whine. Ooh evil vampire council has basically decreed we must be together for eternity- that’s convenient.”

Sequel 2: “Ahh the dastardly vampire council might attack us! And the murder rate is up in Seattle. But never mind all that- I don’t want to get married to the man I love- I just want him to turn me into a vampire- wah! And also I kind of sort of like Jacob enough to string him along- and that’s fine cos he won’t take no for an answer anyway.”

Sequel 3: “Yay I’m married. Oh and now I’m preggars- whoops. Oh, the babies just ripped itself out of me- how lovely. And now I’m a vampire. Oh my former beau Jacob is in love with my baby- wait what??!!!?!? Never mind that- the evil vampire council are coming… oh wait, forget it, they left again. Let’s not worry about the creepy pedophilia shall we…”

Ok on second thoughts, my final choice is Breaking Dawn cos- eww.

(and yes I totally got carried away with that)

  1. A Classic:

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

as-i-lay-dying

I would love to throw As I Lay Dying at my English Professor. In fact I would also like to see it drown and set fire to it! Words cannot express how much I hate this book- which is probably appropriate since it’s partly about how words can’t express things. Why did Faulkner write a book if he hated words so much? Why didn’t he just paint a picture? Or bake a cake? Anything other than write this stupid pretentious drivel.

  1. A Least Favorite Book:

Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt

Fifty Shades of Grey- is any explanation really needed?

Right, so I probably made that more controversial than it needed to be… whoops. 

At this stage, I’m not sure who’s done this already, so feel free to ignore, but I tag:

A Bibliophile’s Obsession

Codie

Rose Read

yourdaughter’sbookshelf

hashtaglovebooks

Marie

Kat

Embuhlee

booksandbakes

Art and Soul

Musings of a girl

The Book Finch

Eve Messenger

The Book and the Bone

The Paper Dragon

Quirky Book Nerd

And anyone that hasn’t done this and wants to!

5 Books Suffering From Middle Book Syndrome

After reviewing Wise Man’s Fear yesterday, I’ve started to think about other books that suffer from Middle Book Syndrome. These are books that do not serve the overall plot of a trilogy, feel unnecessary and tend to drag terribly.

  1. Wise Man’s Fear

The_Wise_Man's_Fear_UK_coverI spoke about this in depth in my review yesterday- it has all the symptoms of suffering from Middle Book Syndrome. It’s slow, self-indulgent, repetitive, uneventful and just does not live up to the standard set by the first book. Overall, I was phenomenally disappointed by it- but I am hoping that it is just a prime example of middle book syndrome and that the last book in the series will pick up.

Invisible

  1. Magic Study

magic studyI’m cheating a little with this one because honestly this series went downhill after the first one, so I don’t know if it really counts as suffering from middle book syndrome. Honestly, I was not a fan of how Magic Study turned out. The first one was so exciting and different- but this one was just a generic fantasy filler (before the ultimately boring, crackpot conclusion that ruined the whole series for me). I could never understand how a series that started out so well became so awful. Having read a lot (6 or 7) of other books by Maria Snyder now, I have little hope that her books will ever recapture the same magic as Poison Study.

  1. PS I Love You

p-s-i-still-love-you-9781442426733_hrOk, technically this isn’t a middle book because it’s the second in a duology (although there is definitely room for it to turn into a trilogy). In my review I talked about how pointless this book was. Although there were still parts I liked (for instance the sister relationships) I really did not like where Han took the romance. Basically, (*mini spoilers*) it felt like Han spent the whole book convincing the reader that the relationship in the first book wasn’t any good, which was pretty depressing, but once she’d convinced me of that she went and reinstated the relationship- and that didn’t make any sense! So yeah, I wasn’t a fan. Other books in the romance genre suffer from similar problems- sometimes that happens because the author is regurgitating a formula that’s already worked, but usually because once the romance has been established they have to invent a fake conflict to keep the reader interested- which never works.

  1. Crossed

crossedGosh there are soo many terrible middle books in YA dystopian books- I feel like it’s almost guaranteed in the genre (possibly because dystopian books aren’t really designed for sequels). I’m using Crossed (Matched 2) as an example because I completely lost interest in this series after book 1 and it because it is filled with non-existent conflict (despite, ironically, being in the middle of a war zone), but I easily could have referred to the Resistance (Declaration 2), Burning Kingdoms (Internment 2), Independent Study (The Testing 2), Prodigy (Legend 2), or The Elite (The Selection). Many of these are prime examples of a dystopian sequel that goes nowhere. In a lot of these books *nothing happens*. Side note: even though Catching Fire is a regurgitation of the first Hunger Games, I still think it is not in this category because it is eventful (if a bit repetitive) and the plot does progress as a result of the things that happen in this book.

  1. Eclipse

EclipsecoverNo one is saying Twilight  is great- but my goodness it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if it had just stopped after book 1- I mean why didn’t Edward just let her become a vampire then and then we’d have all been spared all the creepy paedophile stuff. Though it is the third in the series, this one was ultimately the pits- because (forgive me for being repetitive) *nothing happens*. This book pretty much was just there for Meyer to foist the ridiculously pointless love triangle on us- the whole “plot” revolves around Jacob being confused with the concept of what a third wheel and that Bella is not interested (despite the fact she constantly tells him and even punches him in the face! Jeez- can that guy not take a hint?) This has to be one of the best examples of a book that was just a dumb filler and never needed to happen.

Footnote: if you fancy reading more about Middle Book Syndrome and how to avoid it- this is a great article: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/07/avoiding-middle-book-syndrome-by-django-wexler-author-of-the-price-of-valor/

Alrighty then- hope you enjoyed that! Agree or disagree with my list? What books do you think suffer from Middle Book Syndrome?