My blog friend, Melissa at Bookmark Dragon, created The Series Series nine years ago. It consisted of three major discussions all about book series. Unfortunately, she’s no longer blogging and her blog domain has expired. I’ve decided to post something similar to The Series Series because I thought it was an ingenious way to discuss my love of series. The three discussions I’ll be posting are:

  1. Series I’ve finished and whether I recommend them to other readers
  2. Series I’ve started and whether I plan to finish reading them
  3. My top ten series I want to read next
Part 1: Series I’ve Finished

I’m starting off The Series Series by discussing series I’ve read from start to finish and whether I’d recommend them to other readers. Let’s get started.

Anna Duology by Kendare Blake

Number of Books: 2

Overall Feeling: I love the atmosphere. It’s eerie, suspenseful, and feels a lot like a SUPERNATURAL episode.

Recommend: Yes if you like ghost stories, a little bit of horror, and SUPERNATURAL.

The Books of Bayern Series by Shannon Hale

Number of Books: 4

Overall Feeling: It took me a while to get into each book and I didn’t particularly care for the final book. I do enjoy the retelling of a classic fairy tale aspect with THE GOOSE GIRL. I also like the elemental magic in each book.

Recommend: It’s up to you. Go for it if you like fairy tale retellings and elemental fantasy.

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

Number of Books: 7

Overall Feeling: There are aspects of this series I love and aspects I don’t. I love Narnia–the characters, the history, the world, all of it. However, I wish there was more character development and more detail in general. I also think the series should be marketed to be read in publishing order. The chronological order is for the birds. (I’ve read the series both ways.)

Recommend: Yes if you like fantasy and allegory.

The Dark Divine Trilogy by Bree Despain

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I’m normally not a fan of shapeshifting lore (i.e. werewolves). However, Bree Despain’s story completely captivated me from beginning to end. I love her characters and her world.

Recommend: Yes if you like paranormal romance.

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love DIVERGENT because of its clever dystopian society. I also love Tris and Four and all the other characters. I think both INSURGENT and ALLEGIANT are good sequels, but I don’t care for the world outside of Chicago and all that entails. I also don’t like being in Four’s head in ALLEGIANT. View Spoiler »

Recommend: It’s up to you. Go for it if you like dystopian societies.

Dragon Prince Trilogy by Melanie Rawn

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love this trilogy so much. I’m actually in the middle of a reread. I love Melanie Rawn’s writing, the characters, the setting, the complexity of the story, the political intrigue, and the ethical/moral issues it explores.

Recommend: Yes if you like high fantasy.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Number of Books: 7

Overall Feeling: I love the Wizarding World. I love the characters, the stories, and the magic I feel every time I read this series. Harry Potter’s one of the reasons I read and have a blog.

Recommend: Yes if you like fantasy and coming of age stories and you can get past it being associated with JKR.

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love this trilogy. I love the clever mythology, especially our souls appearing as animal companions known as dæmons. I love the fight between good and evil, in this case the militant religious vs. free will.

Recommend: Yes if you like non-allegorical theological fantasy.

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

Number of Books: 4

Overall Feeling: I love this series so much. I love the characters, even the evil ones. I think the story isn’t that far off if we let it happen. It’s a reminder that we need to fight against fascism and the people who want to rule and destroy the world.

Recommend: Yes if you like dystopians.

The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love love love this trilogy. Not only is it set in one of my favorite literary worlds (Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters), it’s also set in 19th-century London. View Spoiler »

Recommend: Yes if you like mythology-based urban fantasy and historical fiction.

The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy by Frank Beddor

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I’m not a huge fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice duology. I thought it was nonsense with no point to it. I read both of Carroll’s books so I could read this trilogy. I like this trilogy better than the originals because there’s an actual plot that makes sense. However, I’m disappointed in the lack of character development.

Recommend: No unless you like Lewis Carroll’s Alice duology and retellings of classics.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love the story of The Lord of the Rings and I love the characters, especially Samwise Gamgee. I do like THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING the best because I don’t like that the other two books are split half and half between Frodo and Sam, and everyone else. I wish Tolkien had interspersed them together so the timing isn’t so jarring.

Recommend: Yes if you like high fantasy, despite my issue with the second and third books.

Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I think Ally Condie’s dystopian world is really interesting. Before I finished the series, I kept wondering how she was going to resolve the problems. I think the journey from beginning to end is a lot of fun. I also always love the poetic feel to Ally’s writing.

Recommend: Yes if you like dystopians.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Number of Books: 6

Overall Feeling: I love the world of Shadowhunters. It’s one of my favorite literary worlds as I said above. I love Cassandra Clare’s use of different religious and cultural mythologies to create her stories. I also love the characters, angst, and the fight between good and evil.

Recommend: Yes if you like mythology-based urban fantasy.

The Night Walkers Trilogy by JR Johansson

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love the dark, creepy–in a not scary but very suspenseful way–vibe of this trilogy. I also think the concept is very clever.

Recommend: Yes if you like dark, creepy paranormal stories.

Pivot Point Duology by Kasie West

Number of Books: 2

Overall Feeling: I really like the alternate timelines. I think the story’s unique, fun, and suspenseful. I also like that it’s a duology instead of a trilogy.

Recommend: Yes if you like alternate timelines.

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Number of Books: 4

Overall Feeling: It’s no secret that I love the Twilight Saga. I love the characters, the mythology, the romance, etc. I also love the readability of this series and its ability to suck you in right from the start. This series is the main reason I read and have a blog.

Recommend: Yes if you like paranormal romance and character-driven stories.

The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

Number of Books: 3

Overall Feeling: I love how the fiction intermingled with the medieval time period–the time when paganism and Christianity clashed, rather than trying to coexist together peaceably. I adored the Russian setting–the language, buildings, scenery, clothes, food, everything.

Recommend: Yes if you like mythology-based fantasy.

Conclusions

Whew! That was fun. I’m surprised by how few series I’ve actually finished. I thought there’d be more of them. I’m now curious to see how many series I’ve started and not finished because I think there will be a lot more. I’m not surprised that most of the series I’ve read are YA because that’s what I used to read the most of. I’ve only started reading more adult novels in the last five or so years.

Be sure to tune in next Wednesday for part 2 of The Series Series. I’ll be discussing series I’ve started and whether I plan to finish reading them.

What about you? Have you read any of these series? Do you agree with my comments? If you haven’t read any of these, what series have you read from start to finish?

Review: Book LoversTitle: Book Lovers
Author: Emily Henry
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 398
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
Sexual Content: 3 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming. Nora Stephens’ life is books--she’s read them all--and she is not that type of heroine. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again--in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow--what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

My Thoughts

My IRL book club chose to read BOOK LOVERS for our February book. I’m glad we did because I loved it.

The enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes are two of my favorites and BOOK LOVERS didn’t disappoint. The execution of the enemies-to-lovers trope was excellently written, producing a spicy slow-burn romance with some of the best bantering I’ve ever read. The sexual tension between Nora and Charlie is palpable and leaves you wanting for more.

In her author’s note, Emily Henry mentions that she loves watching Hallmark movies. Most of the movies were about some kind of rich, cold business man who leaves the big city to shut down a struggling small business and turn it into a profitable chain location. While the business man’s there, he meets a small-town girl that helps him realize life isn’t all about work or money. He falls in love and decides to stay there, dumping his equally heartless girlfriend in the big city. She said BOOK LOVERS is about her question of does the seemingly heartless ex-girlfriend get her happily ever after?

I love concept of BOOK LOVERS. I love that Nora was successful as a book agent and that she loved living in New York. I love that she loved her authors and worked hard for them. And, I especially love that she didn’t have to compromise her dreams for her happily ever after.

“Maybe love shouldn’t be built on a foundation of compromises, but maybe it can’t exist without them either.”

BOOK LOVERS isn’t just a heart-warming romance, it’s also a story with some meat to it. It explores complicated familial relationships, feelings of not fitting in, extreme anxiety, different types of love, loss, and healing. It hit very close to home and is as if Emily Henry wrote about my own feelings of struggling after my mom’s passing. (This isn’t a spoiler as you learn that Nora’s and Libby’s mom passed away in the first chapter.)

I honestly don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that BOOK LOVERS may be a fun contemporary romance AND it’s so much more! It’s my second 5-star read of the year and I look forward to reading more books by Emily Henry.

Have you read BOOK LOVERS? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for loss of a parent.

I love read-alongs! Love them! I especially love joining them with my friends. The last one I participated in, besides the Narniathon21, was in 2018 when I helped host an ANNE OF GREEN GABLES read-along. I miss participating in them. It’s so much fun to read the same book and discuss our thoughts on our blogs and / or channels.

As luck would have it, one of my besties is hosting a read-along for FAIRY TALE by Stephen King in March. You can visit Suey over at It’s All About Books to get the details. She’ll be posting stuff on her blog, on StoryGraph, and her YouTube channel. (This is the push I need to finally join StoryGraph, lol.) Anyway, the read-along should be a lot fun!

To be honest, I’ve only read one Stephen King book, MISERY, and DNFd another, THE STAND. I like the MISERY movie with James Caan and Kathy Bates so I thought it would be a good gateway into King’s books. Unfortunately, I only gave it a three-star rating. I loved the story; I just hated his writing style. Even though I really like THE STAND miniseries and new series, I could only get a little over 100 pages into it before I decided it just wasn’t for me. Again, the story was great; I just hated his writing style.

With those two glowing reviews , I probably wouldn’t even consider reading FAIRY TALE. I hope I just haven’t found the right Stephen King book and maybe FAIRY TALE will surprise me. If not, at least I’ll have fun reading it with friends.

Have you read FAIRY TALE before? If so, what did you think?

Sunday Post and Sunday Salon are blog news memes hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer and Reader Buzz, respectively. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and other things.
Feeling

I’m feeling a little bit tired. I stayed up Friday night and last night reading two very good books. I often don’t stay up reading because I love my sleep too much. When a book can get me to forget about my sleep, then it’s definitely going to get a 4- or 5-star rating.

Blogging

Here’s what I posted on the blog this week:

Reading

I finished reading BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry and listening to THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES audiobook last night and I loved them both. I’ll post both reviews soon.

I’m going to start reading THIS SPELLS LOVE by Kate Robb today and I’m going to continue reading The Hunger Games series via audio.

Listening

I’ve been listening to a few songs Corey adores. If he’s not listening to his main playlist that consists of 60s and 70s rock, then he goes back and forth between listening to the three songs below. I think the first one is weird, but funny and I like the second and third. Let me know what you think of them.

Watching

We went to BEEKEEPER in the theater on Friday. It’s the new Jason Statham movie. You always know what you’re in for when you watch a Jason Statham movie and it definitely delivered. I liked it, but the story felt underdeveloped and rushed. I think his Transporter and Mechanic series are better.

We also watched the three Kingsman movies and the two Hitman’s Bodyguard movies at home. I love the Kingsman movies and I’m excited for the new one to come out later this year or early next year. I love the first Hitman’s Bodyguard movie the best. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are hilarious together. The second one isn’t as good, but it’s still fun.

Loving

I love the bookmarks I made for a few of my friends. We met in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and have been friends since. This week was two of their birthdays so I crocheted bookmarks for each of them.

Wanting

I want to go swimming. I miss Bear Lake. I know I can swim in the indoor pool at our local recreation center, but it’s not the same. Bear Lake is not only a gorgeous blue green, but it’s fresh water with no salt or chlorine and it’s cold. It’s nice to take a dip on a warm summer’s day.

Needing Craving

I’m craving my spicy oatmeal cookies because one of Corey’s colognes always reminds me of nutmeg and other spices. They’re cake-like cookies, fluffy and soft, and they taste like spice cake but better.

How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books in March 2010. As of February 2013, it’s hosted by Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer.
Today’s Question(s) is …

How long have you gone without reading?

My Answer(s) is …

If I don’t count the length between books when I was younger, then about three months. When I was a kid / teenager, I hated reading. I read maybe one book a year, if that.

Even when I’m in a reading slump now, I usually still want to pick up a book every three months. I was in a slump last year and so I read by listening to audiobooks while I driving or laying in bed.

What about you? How long is the longest you’ve ever gone without reading?