Top Ten Tuesday: 10 YA Series I Have Yet to Finish


Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Today’s topic is Series I Have Yet to Finish, and this is an easy post to write because the answer is, most of them. I am not a big fan of series—at least not for myself as a reader. For other readers, especially for reluctant or uncommitted readers, I love them because there’s nothing easier than putting Book 2 in the hands of a reader who just finished Book 1 and can’t stop raving about it. I know self-professed non-readers who devoured the entire Twilight series in a week or read a Bluford High novel a day until there were no more Bluford High novels to read. Series are a godsend for book pushers like me.

But for whatever reason, they seldom work for me. One of my bad reading habits is to read the first book in a series, love it, and then somehow never get around to finishing the series. Often by the time Book 2 is published, I feel like I need to reread Book 1 before moving on, but it’s hard to make myself reread books when there are so many new books waiting to be discovered for the first time. I’m constantly in pursuit of the shiny and new, for one. And the lack of conclusion to the early books in a series frustrates me. I like books to stand alone and wrap up the strands of plot and story. I don’t want to have to read Book 2 to find out how Book 1 actually ends. Most of all, I think it’s a question of writing quality. So often, a popular series has to be written quickly, and I think the final product shows that rush in book bloat. Even Laini Taylor’s magnificent Daughter of Smoke & Bone series could have been trimmed to its advantage. I do finish series—I’ve read all of The Hunger Games, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and Harry Potter. But I’ve started far more than I’ve finished.

knife of never letting go

I adored The Knife of Letting Go–except for that one scene where I nearly threw the book across the room. Why, Patrick, WHY? The only reason I haven’t finished the series is that I know I have to reread Book 1 to go on with the series, and I just can’t face that one scene again. It was too harrowing the first time! (And since there are lots of harrowing things that happen in this story, perhaps I should clarify that it’s the scene with my favorite character, Manchee, that I’m referring to. I’m guessing several of you were traumatized for life too.)


Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina is one of my all-time favorite first volumes in a series, but I still haven’t read Book 2. Again, I need to reread Book 1 before I feel like I can move on, and I just haven’t had time or desire for rereading yet.

raven boys

By the end, I liked Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys quite a bit—enough to start reading Book 2 immediately. But then I got bogged down and struggled to keep going. If I get back to it in the next couple of months, I’ll be able to read without rereading. But if I wait longer than that, I’m not going to remember enough from Book 1.


It probably goes without saying that I never finished Twilight. I did read New Moon in graphic novel format, but that’s as far as I got—though I have watched a few scenes from the 3rd movie. Enough to let me know I was right to stop reading the books when I did.


I am fond of the Divergent series because it’s turned a couple of my non-readers into readers, but I was bored by the first book and wouldn’t have been able to go on with Book 2.


Same for Matched. So many of these dystopian worlds just aren’t very interesting places to spend time. What is it about our current cultural moment that makes dystopia so compelling to so many readers?

city of bones

As I was reading City of Bones, I had every intention of continuing the series. But by the end, I felt that everything except the kitchen sink had been thrown at me, and I was too exhausted to read more.

clockwork angel

Cassandra Clare has the dubious honor of showing up twice on this list. Before I broke down and got an Audible subscription, I listened to every YA audiobook my library has, which is how I ended up reading Clockwork Angel. There were things I really liked about the story, but the climax felt very anti-climactic and I didn’t care to read more.

lightning thief

I have a soft spot for The Lightning Thief. A non-reader in my Children’s Literature class spent his entire semester reading his way slowly but surely through the entire series and considered himself a reader by the end. My son has read most of the books with partners at school or listened to them on audio and loves the world of mythology that Riordan creates. But there just wasn’t enough good writing or character development for me to want to keep reading.

the giver

I suspect I would find good writing and character development if I read the rest of Lois Lowry’s companions to The Giver. I have no idea why I haven’t read these books. They’re thin, so they can’t suffer from book bloat. And since they’re companions, not exactly sequels, I probably don’t need to reread The Giver before reading the rest of the series.





14 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 YA Series I Have Yet to Finish”

  1. SciFi and Scary Avatar

    Oooh, your number 1… That scene with Manchee was EVIL. E-VIL! That series is on my TBR though (just read the first one last week). Divergent series and Mortal Instrument series – neither could hold my interest. The Percy Jackson series was good light reading, but his Heroes of Olympus series.. *yawn*

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It IS Evil. WHY?! My husband got so tired of having me respond “Poo, Todd?” to many of his comments while I was reading that book. I’ve read two of the Heroes of Olympus series out loud to my son, and I do consider it one of my more heroic reading performances. Book 2 is ok since there’s Percy, but man, Jason and Piper are dull characters.

      1. SciFi and Scary Avatar

        Haha, you sound like me! So nervous to pick up that second book, but I will eventually. I’ve got Station Eleven and The Secrets of Blood and Bone to get through first.

        Yes, Jason and Piper are bloody dull. I can’t see honestly trying to pick up that series again.

  2. Carrie Avatar

    I didn’t even know until recently that The Giver was PART of a series lol. I should have included it on my list this week. We do share Twilight 🙂 My TTT

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I have students who read all of the books and absolutely rave about them. I have no idea why I haven’t read more. I do find dystopian lit hard slogging often. I’m more of a fluffy bunnies, sparkly unicorns, rainbow confetti kind of reader. Life is hard. Why make it worse by spending your reading time in a dystopia??

      1. Carrie Avatar

        LOL! I completely agree with you there!

  3. Anthea Avatar

    Great post! I decided to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! So congrats, hope you get a chance to do it !

  4. jkmclain3 Avatar

    I have to tell you I read all of the Twilight series and the books are so much better than the movies! I don’t think the movies give the author credit. Like most books that are turned into movies, the book has SO much more insight to offer! If you haven’t completely given up hope I would suggest finishing the series 🙂 Have you read all of the Harry Potter Series?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I love to hear from Twilight fans! I do think I have completely given up hope, however, LOL. Maybe on audio? I often like listening to books on audio that aren’t working for me as actual reads. I have read all of Harry Potter–multiple times because I love the audios so much and listen to them every 2-3 years. Prisoner of Azkaban is definitely my favorite! AND it’s my favorite of the movies too. What about you?

      1. jkmclain3 Avatar

        I haven’t even seen all of the Harry Potter Movies!! As I said I have a friend who started reading them again so I hope I can get back into it!

  5. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    Don’t read the rest of The Giver books! They are one of my few book regrets. The Giver still reigns as my favorite book, ever.

    But when I read the new books so much later, I mainly just felt betrayed. There were some very odd choices made, and I would have been much happier had those books simply been published on their own and not associated with The Giver. (But I still wouldn’t have liked them.)

  6. Erica Avatar

    I guess that I am such a “Harry Potter” nerd, I could not ever bring myself to read “The Twilight” series. Haha. 🙂 I felt like it might be unfaithful to good ole’ JK Rowling. However, I don’t really regret this, because most people have told me that the it just isn’t that great.

    I also read the first 2 books in the Divergent series, and loved them. I thought that they were very interesting and was excited to see how the series ended. However, the third book was SUCH a disappointment that I could not even finish reading it–it was almost like another author wrote it, it was that bad!

  7. jayciecheatham Avatar

    Honeslty, I wouldn’t waste my time on the rest of the Divergent series. In my opinion the first book was the only interesting one, after that it seemed like Roth was reaching too much as far as the conspiracy goes and Tris and Four got REALLY unbearable. Always bickering and picking fights… One of the only couples in a book series where I wanted one of them to die. Harsh but true.

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