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books, books, and more books! > If you do not like the first book in a series do you continue to read them?

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message 1: by Bianca (last edited Oct 30, 2011 10:28PM) (new)

Bianca (sugardustedbooks) Something that has been bothering me lately is how when I go to read a review for the third or fourth book in a series I have to read past a ton of reviews that begin with with "I absolutely hate this series" or something else along those lines. You have read the first three. You hated all three. Why did you pick up the next one? I understand when someone says they don't like that particular book in their review but I don't understand when people keep reading a series it is obvious they dislike. For me if I don't like something I stop reading it (unless I'm on the fence and in that case I will read a little more to decide whether i like it or not). So I guess my question is what do you think about this? Do you continue to read a series once you know you really don't like it (and I mean really don't like it)? If so why?

p.s. I am not sure if I posted this in the right topic category. I was between this one and rants.


message 2: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
This is a great discussion. I for one have done this with 2 series.
First, the Twilight series. I really disliked the first book, then it slowly got worse for me, until book 4 then I enjoyed that the most, but still not a great book for me.
Second, The Uglies series. I thought the first book was okay, but then the second really rubbed me wrong, spoiler so I won't post why here, and then the 3rd was a real struggle and the 4th again, my favorite of the books, but still not good.
Why did I do this with 2 series. Mostly because of the hype. I figured there is something I am missing if everyone LOVES these books as much as they do. Not so much hype on the Uglies but we did have them as group reads here, and at the time, I kept up with the group reads a lot better than I do now.
I wouldn't say I absolutely Hate these books, but I really didn't care for them.


message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily Series tend to get worse as they go along (with exceptions of course, Harry Potter comes to mind), so if I don't like the first I usually don't read the rest. I liked the first twilight so I read the second, which I thought was horrible, but i wanted to know what happened so I read the third which was a little better, but the 4th was just ridiculous. I thought the first Uglies was okay, so I read the second, but didn't enjoy it enough to read the third or fourth. The first Hunger Games was okay, but i have so many other books I want to read I don't think I'll be reading anymore in the series.

I think some people keep reading series because they think they are going to get better, or they keep reading them to find out what happens to the characters (thats what I did with twilight).


message 4: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 604 comments I've always wondered about this too, Bianca. I remember thinking this a lot when it came to the Twilight series and I noticed that a lot of people gave every single book in the saga one star. I would always think, Why did you continue reading this series when you obviously hated it?, which was pretty much the exact same thing you thought.

I'm like you. If I hate a book in a series, I'll stop reading the series. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel comes to mind regarding this question. I really liked the first book and I thought the second book was okay but the main character Ever was really starting to get on my nerves. When I finished the third book, I hated Ever and I stopped reading that series. I just don't want to waste my time on books/characters I dislike, no matter the hype surrounding them. Even if the series does end up getting better, I doubt it would be worth all of the horrible books I'd have to read to get to those two or three decent moments at the end of the series.


message 5: by Minnie (new)

Minnie Nielsen (agentcookie) I'm with all of you. Why would you continue to read a series when you can barely finish the first book? There have been some series, even highly rated, that I could not get through the first book (like The Nanny Diaries). I consider the first book the front man. This is what you're getting yourself into for the whole series. Sadly there have also been series that I love the first or the first few and then there is one book in the series that ruins the whole thing and I stop reading. Usually when that happens I pretend the last good book is where it ended.


message 6: by Bianca (new)

Bianca (sugardustedbooks) I guess that is understandable wanting to see if it gets any better or for some just to see what happens next. I usually quit reading a book a couple chapters in if I can't get into it. That doesn't happen often for me and I tend to like almost everything I read but if I don't I have way too many books in my to-read list (it grows everyday) to keep reading something I really dislike.


message 7: by Jessie Marie (new)

Jessie Marie (jessiemreads) Twilight is the only instance (that I can remember so vividly) where I loathed the first book, but kept reading all the way through. Why? That will forever float in the unanswered questions of my brain. I guess it's because I fed into the hype. Or my curious nature took over and I had to finish? Or, perhaps, I'm a glutton for punishment and thought, surely, with this much obsession, it's got to get better, right? Nope, didn't really ever do that. Not for me.

I'm sure I'll take a lot of heat for this but I really don't like the Sookie Stackhouse books. I tried. A friend of mine gave me the series and I powered through the first one. But it wasn't enjoyable to me. The show? I got into that and I /never/ like the show/movie more. I won't put in the effort to read the rest of this series and it'll collect dust in a drawer at work cause I won't even take the effort to carry it home.

I guess a little tangent to this would be the question...

What happens when you absolutely adore the first book in a series that you avoid reading the rest cause you don't want them to ruin the first? Do you read it for the sake of reading it, or let the loved book live on it's own?

I've run into this twice: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and Paullina Simons Tatiana & Alexander. I cannot bring myself to read the sequels because the first ones meant so much to me that I'm afraid anymore plots/characters/etc. will destroy them.


message 8: by Kelly A. (new)

Kelly A. | 499 comments Jessica: The second book in the Outlanders series was SO disappointing, I can't even bring myself to read the third book even though I own it. It's so sad because I adored the first! I should've just stopped there.


message 9: by Jessie Marie (new)

Jessie Marie (jessiemreads) Kelly A. wrote: "Jessica: The second book in the Outlanders series was SO disappointing, I can't even bring myself to read the third book even though I own it. It's so sad because I adored the first! I should've ju..."

Ugh, see that's disheartening. There are seven books in the series now, an eighth on the way. I feel like I love them enough to /want/ to read the rest. The question is should I. Am I that much of a fair-weather reader?

This could get real philosophical quick.


message 10: by Rose (new)

Rose (miss_rose) This has only happened with two series of books that I don't actually like anymore because I've moved on to better authors.

When I first read the Twilight series, it was alright. It took me a while to get into the first book but I kept reading it and actually ended up liking it. I finished the series and thought it was the best I'd ever read, but I hadn't realized why. The reason I think that the books are so popular are 1) Bella is very easy to relate to. She's a weak character. and 2) Who doesn't love vampires and werewolves?

Another series I couldn't get into was Marked. The first half of Marked I was very bored but my friends kept telling me that it gets better, and it did. I've read nearly all of the books out now, but when I go back to re-read them, I can't get into them. (I guess this is natural but I usually re-read books a few times.)


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (counttess) Kelly A. wrote: "Jessica: The second book in the Outlanders series was SO disappointing, I can't even bring myself to read the third book even though I own it. It's so sad because I adored the first! I should've ju..."

Oh my goodness I so desperately wish I hadn't read the second one. It made me want to read the third one, just so that it would get better hopefully, but I don't even remember if I did or not. Apparently it didn't leave me with much of an impression.

For the most part, no, if I don't know the first book I won't read the rest.


message 12: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Sometimes my curiously of what happens make me pick up the subsequent books even if I didn't love them.

My problem is I suck at keeping up with series. I seriously MEAN TO. I get so excited and anxious for the next book in the series and then I just forget or get distracted or SOMETHING so I have all these unfinished series just waiting to be picked back up.


message 13: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin | 65 comments I'm not a big series reader to begin with. I grew out of Harry Potter and I have not given any other series the time of day.

Last fall I gave the Hunger Games a try. I fed into the hype, just like a lot of you have mentioned and/or fallen victim to. To save a lot of space and spoilers, I really did not enjoy nor saw the Hunger Games as a book worth literary merit. So what did I do? I did not continue to read them. A lot of people have given me a lot of business for not giving them a fair reading or whatever you want to call it, but that is because of all the hype.

I am currently reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I never read the series as a kid, so I'm reading them now. Maybe I will finish the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games someday...but I think I need to give it some time.


message 14: by Nitzan (new)

Nitzan Schwarz (nitzanafterwords) Usually, no, I won't read the next, unless there is something that really intrigues me, or if I hear really good reviews for the next books that say the series really gets much better, than I might give it another try.
But I'm really not into the habit of torturing myself with books I don't like. I have enough to read without those books.


message 15: by Hassan (new)

Hassan (hassandepp) | 1 comments No,first of all I'll throw that book away, and try to get over being deceived by over-hyped reviews.


message 16: by Niel (new)

Niel | 390 comments I read the next book if the first book has enough loose ends to annoy me into read the next one and answer my questions. Recently I read a book,Fade, I didn't care for it too much and was going to read the second one until at the end most of the loose ends were wrapped up.


message 17: by Taylor (new)

Taylor (ttakats) If I am disappointed with the first one, I don't think I ever have continued! If the first one isn't that great, the following ones are not likely to beat the first and so would be a waste of my time! There are so many amazing series and books out there that it seems silly to me to force myself into a series that I'm not loving!

The only instance I can think of where a series gets significantly better as it continues is Harry Potter (and the first one is still good, the later ones are just sooo much better!)


message 18: by Niel (new)

Niel | 390 comments I see your point. I have so many series I need to finish and want to start, that I barely keep up with their releases.


message 19: by Megan (new)

Megan (penkevi2) I'm one of those people that will continue to read a series even if I don't like it ha. Well maybe not the whole series but I usually will read the 2nd even if I hated the first. I guess why I do this is because I want to give the series a second chance and sometimes I even feel bad for hating it. So I will give it another shot by reading the 2nd book if it still doesn't peak my interest I will usually stop there though.


message 20: by Alina (new)

Alina | 6 comments Sometimes I dislike the first book but I'll read the second one anyway to see if it's any better. If I really, really hate the first one, then I probably won't read the rest of the series.


message 21: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 61 comments Typically I don't continue reading a series if I can't stand the first one. That having been said, there are some cases where I'm bored and have access to the next book, have the entire series as a gift, that kind of thing and I'll keep reading. I can't really think of any instance where I had a sudden change of heart halfway through the series though.


message 22: by Mirra (last edited Nov 30, 2012 08:35AM) (new)

Mirra (Mirrkat) | 7 comments Depends. If I didn't particularly care for the first book, I might not rush to the store to pick up the 2nd book though I may in time if I decide to give it another shot hoping the next book will be better. There is always that glimmer of hope.


message 23: by Fiona (new)

Fiona  (fiona_reads) Usually, if I absolutely dislike a book, I will not finish the first book never mind continue with a series. I read a lot of first books I am on the fence about (City of Bones comes to mind) and I will pick up the second one to see if I like it better.


message 24: by Kate (new)

Kate I give a series two books max before I make up my mind about continuing. If I keep reading, it's either because I love the series or because it's so ridiculously awful I read it for the laughs (I know, I'm really mature and stuff). I can't think of a series I started out disliking but then it got better, so my two book rule works out pretty well.


message 25: by Al (new)

Al (alstone) Usually, if I dislike the first book in a series, it ends there for me. I know I should probably give the second one a go, but when I lose interest it's hard to get back on track. I have a short attention span, so if it doesn't captivate me enough, I'll just move on.


message 26: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa I'd have to say I'm the complete opposite! I'm the type of person that once I start something I HAVE to finish it. I started reading the 50 Shades series and didn't care for the first book but I thought it had to get better and of course there was a cliff hanger so I read the second and didn't care for it either. Now that I've read 2 out of the 3, I feel like I NEED to finish the series, even though I didn't like the first two books.

If I don't finish a book I have started (or series for that matter) I feel kind of incomplete I guess until I finish it. Plus, it's the bad books that make us appreciate the great ones! :)


message 27: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
What if you really enjoyed the first book, then the second was okay, then the third was a struggle.......

That is where I sit now. I finished the first 3 of the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, and I really struggled through Queen of the Damned. The others were entertaining but this one. UGH! I wanted to slap the Queen. She was as bad as the whiny angst ridden teenagers Bella in my opinion.


message 28: by Heather B (new)

Heather B (heatherbenson) I have trouble quitting something once I start. So, unless the book was absolutely horrible I will finish the series more than likely. It eats away at me when I don't know how something ends, or if I feel I've left something unfinished.

The problem I some across more often then not liking the first book to a series is liking a series and having it's quality slowly diminish wish each subsequent book. In this case I don't completely give up on the series and quite, once again because that would mean leaving something unfinished. I am just more likely to put that series off much longer.


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