Hello fellow bookworms! This post is a bit late (like everything seems to be with me and my blog), I wanted to get it up in early January when everybody was still making New Years/2019-themed posts, but now it just gets to be special!
As I’m sure you can all sympathize, my TBR is actually an atrocity against humankind. I’ve noticed something in particular about my reading patterns over the last couple years though – I’m absolutely terrible at finishing series.
I used to be a really big fan of long series when I was a kid – all the Percy Jackson books, Magic Tree House, it didn’t matter what it was, I was never deterred by a long list of sequels. In fact, I preferred it. But once I started counting the books I read on Goodreads, getting into the book community, and receiving ARCs, I switched to a vast majority of standalones.
But one of my big goals for 2019 (that I’m already low-key failing at but it’s FINE) is to read and request less ARCs, so that I can finally turn my attention to the mountains of books – specifically sequels – I have on my shelves. Here’s a list of all the series I’d really like to finish (if all the books are out) or continue (up to the most recent release if not all the books are out yet) in 2019!
1. The Thousandth Floor
This isn’t exactly a series I would call a “blockbuster” or of high literary merit, but I had a lot of fun reading the first book back in…2016? 2017? It’s been so long I really don’t remember. But this series is basically Gossip Girl set in the future, with a bunch of cool technology and a whole lot of drama. I actually own signed and personalized copies of the entire series (thus far) so I feel terrible that it’s been literally years and I haven’t continued past the first book. Also I’m pretty sure those are some of my favorite covers of all time, I’m obsessed with the color scheme!
2. Stalking Jack the Ripper
I’m in pretty much the exact same boat with this series as The Thousandth Floor, I read Stalking Jack the Ripper last year and enjoyed it (though not as much as I hoped to, honestly). From what I’ve heard, Hunting Prince Dracula is the best book in the series though, so I really want to read it soon! It’s funny because I remember bringing Prince Dracula with me to my university freshman orientation over the summer because I thought I would be able to start it, and now I’m in my second semester of college and it’s still unread. RIP my past self, you really tried. Oh, I also have signed/personalized copies of all of these books as well, maybe there’s a correlation with that somehow??
3. Red Queen
Okay, hold down your hats and prepare to be blown away people, I actually made it through the first TWO books in this series before I stopped! So I’m *brushes shoulders* halfway through this series he he. I feel like I’m actually in the minority for liking these books so far, and definitely for liking Glass Sword even more than Red Queen. I’m super excited for King’s Cage, since everyone seems to think that it’s the best in the series. I went into these books with very low expectations, hoping for a cheesy good-old 2012 style YA with love triangles and your typical headstrong YA heroine, and that’s pretty much exactly what I got (with some good twists thrown in along the way). I only stopped after Glass Sword because I had to read some ARCs and King’s Cage is rather long, and I’m always intimidated to pick up a longer book these days since school makes it impossible to read at anything but a snail’s pace.
4. Mask of Shadows
I read an eARC of Mask of Shadows way before it even came out, so by the time Ruin of Stars released I just found it hard to be excited enough to work it into my reading schedule. It’s not that I don’t want to read it (I definitely do, or else it wouldn’t be on this list), but it just didn’t have that “Oh-my-god-if-I-don’t-have-this-book-in-my-hands-in-one-second-I’m-going-to-spontaneously-combust” quality that usually helps drive me to pick up a sequel. I’m hoping to get to this one though because I remember the ending of Mask of Shadows was absolutely crazy, and I really want to find out what happens to the characters in the sequel! Plus, since it’s the only book left in the duology, that’ll be a whole series I can check off my list!
5. Strange the Dreamer
Seeing these books on my list actually makes my stomach twist, because Strange the Dreamer was my favorite read of 2017 and one of my favorites of all-time, so the fact that Muse of Nightmares fell into the wasteland of my sequels TBR just makes me so sad. If I read just one book on this list, I want it to be Muse of Nightmares. I need to know what happens to Lazlo and Sarai after that soul-crushing cliffhanger!!
This is by far the most ambitious series on the list, given that there’s at least 12 books (6 for The Mortal Instruments, 3 for The Infernal Devices, and 3 for The Dark Artifices) in Cassandra Clare’s world so far. I read the first 5 books in TMI waaay back in 6th grade, and I really don’t remember much (except that Clary and Jace became fake-brother and sister like four times and it really annoyed me). But after seeing so much love for the characters in the other two trilogies, I really want to get back into this world even if I go into it with low expectations, sort of like I did for Red Queen. I’d prefer not to have to reread TMI, since I especially thought books 4 and 5 were *ehem* complete garbage. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to start with The Infernal Devices (or maybe another book in TMI that doesn’t require me to read all 6 books) I’m super open to suggestions!!
7. Shatter Me
I believe I read Shatter Me back in 2017 (maybe 2016, basically I started these series prior to 2018), and just never got around to reading the other books even though I own a boxed set of the original three. I won’t say this it blew me away, but I definitely thought the premise was really cool and there were some fun characters (aka Kenji and Warner) who I really want to get to know better. Maybe I can binge all the books before the release of Defy Me, that’d be cool!
8. Leah on the Offbeat
I know these books aren’t technically a series since they can basically be read individually, but I’ve read both Simon and Upside and absolutely LOVED them, enough to call Becky Albertalli my favorite contemporary author (her spot may have been taken by Jenn Bennett last year…oops). But all the negative reviews surrounding Leah on the Offbeat really killed my excitement for it, and since then I just haven’t wanted to pick it up. Becky’s books are always super quick reads though, so maybe when I have a break in my ARC reading and a free weekend, I’ll finally blast my way through Leah!
To be honest, I included this series as an afterthought, because I read Frostblood and liked it but it’s nothing special when it comes to YA fantasy. You have a) elemental inspired magic, b) a European-based kingdom and politics, and c) a dark, broody dude. It was fun and the ending was compelling enough to buy the sequel, but I’ve gone so many months without even thinking of those characters now that I really don’t care about continuing the series. If I hadn’t already bought a copy of Fireblood (stupid me), I wouldn’t feel any need to continue at all. Do you guys ever do this, buy a sequel just because you read the first book without even thinking about it? I used to do this all the time, and luckily I think I’ve gotten much better about picking and choosing what I spend my money on.