Full Series Stop

Many staff writers here at Round Robin Writes have been beyond excited for the release of King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love with Aveyard’s writing in just the first seven chapters that EpicReads.com released before Red Queen‘s publication. But Glass Sword had a lot of issues with it, most notably the repetition of “Anyone can betray anyone”. And I did feel betrayed when the book took me so long to get through because there was a complete lack of action until the very end. And now, with the excerpt recently published by EpicReads.com of chapters six and seven of King’s Cage, I feel like I will begrudgingly read the book rather than enter into it full of hope.

But the Red Queen series isn’t the only one that has left me wanting more. By the time Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were released, I was in college, and not really looking forward to reading about Harry and co’s extended camping trip. The House of Night novels also did this for me. I was intrigued by the idea that vampirism was a religious calling, of sorts, but by the third book I simply wasn’t interested anymore. Heck: Where the Bad Kids GoThe Lunar Chronicles, and Shadowhunters are just a few others which have made me especially hesitant to pick up Book 2 in any series.

But what do we do then? Never read another book if it is part of a series? Only read stand alone novels?

Obviously, the answer is no. But I do have some methods for getting back into a series, or even back into reading, when you find that you aren’t enjoying any of the printed word.

Stop Reading

I know—this is almost treasonous. Sometimes, you’re just overloaded from how often you read. If you’re anything like the staff here at Round Robin Writes, then you probably put more than one book away per week. And if you’re a student, you doing even more. Giving yourself a week, even a month, off can help you to distance yourself from the work and let your senses readjust to it all. It’s a bit like being smell blind when you’re surrounded by scented candles, but once you leave the room and come back you can smell it all over again.

Start Over

“But if I’m not enjoying it now, why would I re-immerse myself?” Sometimes, you’ve read too many books in between. I know I do. Most book series have a long, solid year in between publications and if you’re reading, let’s say, 52 books a year, that’s 52 books that have nothing to do with what you’re trying to remember. You are most likely expecting a certain writing style that’s just not going to be present and it’s beneficial to re-introduce yourself to the world that you fell in love with in the first place.

Get the Audio Book

This is probably the weirdest one that I do to be honest. Sometimes, I can’t stand reading. Not the act thereof, but just what’s actually written on the page. So I get the audio book. It’s lighter, for starters, and fits on my cellphone so I always have it with me. It’s nice to hear some soothing tones of professional readers. Plus, you can read in the car or while you’re walking, so it’s multitasking at its finest.

Come Back Later

I know you waited for—like—ever for this book to come out, but if you’re not enjoying it don’t force yourself to. Put it down, along with the rest of the series and just come back to it all later. After you’ve forgotten what happens and many other books take up space in your head, head back to the series and see if it will spark for you again. Always try to give it that second chance.

Forgive Yourself

Not finishing a book or a series is not your fault as a reader—nor is it the fault of the writer and/or editor, even though we like to blame them first in reviews.  Most of the time it’s a sign of growth. You expect more because you’ve read more—and while all books are not the same you eventually become pretty keen to the clues authors drop. Don’t think of them as bad writers because you saw through it; think of yourself as an attentive reader.

It will make you feel better I promise.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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