Staying Current with YA Series

Posted January 16, 2019 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Discussions / 10 Comments

One thing that is becoming increasingly obvious is that YA series are becoming longer. Whether it’s an originally planned trilogy that turns into seven book saga or a series that sets off a million spin offs, very rarely these days do we truly have to say goodbye to characters and stories we love. Which is a great thing! I’ve written about how I don’t understand all of the hate that authors get for expanding and playing in these universes they’ve created, but as a reader I do find it hard to keep up sometimes! In 2018 especially we saw the conclusion of many, many epic series with Kingdom of Ash, Queen of Air and Darkness, etc. and I was (and still am) running into the problem of not being able to keep up with the canon for all of these new installments!

The way I see it, I pretty much have three options as a reader when it comes to new series installments:

  • Reread the entire series prior to the new release so it’s all fresh in my mind.
  • Leverage review sites to try to brush up my memory on the happenings in previous books.
  • Dive right into the newly release installment and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, none of these choices tend to be ideal for me. I rarely have time to reread, and have pretty much only been able to commit to one major series reread per year (in 2018 it was the Throne of Glass series which I started rereading in March and AM STILL NOT DONE WITH YET). In 2019 I’m hoping to reread some of the Shadowhunter books (probably The Infernal Devices in order to prep for Chain of Gold, the first installment of the new series The Last Hours). There are some amazing review sites out there which I love and am so grateful for, but find they only get me so far (I read a TON of reviews/recaps WITH SPOILERS for Caraval and I STILL didn’t feel like I remembered enough to read Legendary despite pre-ordering it). And then of course the method of diving right into a new series installment and hoping for the best is one we probably all have to do sometimes, but that makes me feel as though I’m cheating myself out of the true reading experience. But what’s a reader to do? Take a look at a small peak of some of the more popular YA series I have not completed yet or am not caught up on (even if it’s not finished):

  • Throne of Glass
  • Caraval
  • The Dark Artifices
  • Witchlands
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Lux Series (I thought I had read all of them but I think they just keep publishing more???)
  • The Wrath and the Dawn
  • The Illuminae Files
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper

*The sad thing is I own most of the books in these series even if I haven’t read them yet…

And waaaay older series that I own and will probably still never get around to finishing:

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (lol this one is so old and I STILL haven’t read the final book! I also had the ending spoiled for me so #nomotivation)
  • House of Night (these are sort of wild looking back on them TBH)
  • Wolves of Mercy Falls (never read the spin off book about Cole)
  • Divergent (lol considering I know WHO DIES this will probably never happen now)
  • The Lynburn Legacy
  • Splintered

Sometimes keeping up with series is so exhausting that I just want to wait until a series is complete before binging it. I’ve done it a couple of times when I’ve been late to a series (like with the His Fair Assassin series- except it’s actually getting another installment now!) but as a book blogger it can really make you fall “behind the times” if you’re not keeping up with all of the new releases, especially when it comes to big fantasy series that generate a lot of hype.

The point of all of this rambling is that I want to hear about how you tackle the issue of keeping up with these lengthy YA series! Do you reread? Do you wait for all of the books to be published? Do you just reread the most recent book in the series? Do you dive in and hope for the best? Have you moved away from series in general to avoid this problem? Are you deterred to start new series until you’ve finished others (perhaps something I need to think about doing!) Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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10 responses to “Staying Current with YA Series

  1. I totally get what you mean! I have to brush up before new releases sometimes as well and I’m also not a *huge* re-reader. I do feel like so many series ended last year that I won’t be having that problem in 2019 (the only YA series that I’m really reading as they’re released are The Folk of Air, Shadow of the Fox and Caraval).

  2. I really hope that more recap sites start popping up, or old ones become more active! I’ve found Recaptains and Book Series Recps SO helpful in the past but it’s not like they can write every series. I just think with authors expanding series so much that hopefully the sites have some value and keep it up! I hate taking notes when I read so I don’t feel like writing them myself haha.

    My memory overall is so terrible and my own reviews never even help me haha.

    PS A Great and Terrible Beauty is one of my faaaavortie series. I highly recommend the audiobooks even though they’re long because the narrator is pretty great. That’s how I reread all of them last year.

  3. Filipa

    There is a website called Recaptains (http://recaptains.co.uk/) where they make recaps of series. It’s really good!

    Also, yes, I can’t keep up with the amount of series there are. I’ve already given up on a few, unfortunately.

  4. This is honestly such a dilemma. I’m completely with Lauren on this one: my memory is awful when it comes to books and in an effort to write non-spoilery reviews, they are essentially useless in refreshing my memory on plot points, character relationship, etc. I was honestly thinking about starting a recap series on my blog (or possibly doing what Arkham Reviews (https://arkhamreviews.wordpress.com/) does – basically a recap of the entire book before the review) just because, like Lauren also said, we need more recap sites. Normally, I just resort to speed-rereading the whole series to prep for the new book or I just read the new book cold to see what I can pick up and then chat with someone to fill in the holes. I STILL need to read Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls) but honestly, like you, I doubt that will ever happen. I vaguely remember starting it and being confused πŸ™‚ And the Lynburn Legacy!! I completely forgot about that series, actually! But that one again, I think is best left in the comfort of the early 2010s, never to be reread again.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks recently posted: Entering 2019: The State of the ARC
  5. Yes! This is such a difficult thing! More and more I find myself waiting until the series is all the way published before I start reading. I did that last year with The Raven Cycle and thought it was an excellent experience. That being said, I do have many books on my shelf that are like…the last in a trilogy. At this point, I really need to reread the first two books, but who has the time? I’ll probably just end up diving into those. I might give up on Cassandra Clare’s world, though, because I feel just so far behind at this point haha.

  6. I don’t read very many YA series, but in romance or urban fantasy/paranormal, in those series, I just go back and re-read the reviews that I wrote for the books leading up to the one coming out and then I’m good to go. I write a review for every book that I read so it’s not hard for me to go back and read my thoughts.

  7. OH HOW I WISH I HAD A SOLUTION TO THIS. I feel your pain.
    Like you, I tend to tentatively bounce between the 3 options you’ve given. It’s very rare that I do a reread, because I am overall quite a slow reader and my TBR is always large, it has to be a pretty amazing series for me to pick it up again (I’m really, really getting the urge to reread The Hunger Games this year!)
    A lot of the time I dive in and hope for the best (and then get confused ‘who’s this character again?’) but when I get TOO confused I look up recap sites. Some series I read so long ago that even though I liked them, it’s been so long that I’ll probably never return to them.
    I guess audiobooks would be a less time-consuming way of recapping, though? Although I’ve never tried audiobooks, I know you do!

  8. Oooh I could not agree more, it is HARD to keep up with all the series! I find that even if I *loved* the first book, I struggle to read the second. I am half afraid of disappointment, I think, half afraid I won’t remember anything, like you said. Plus there are just SO many books in general, right? I also do the “pre-order sequels and never read them” thing hahha. Brand new copy of Legendary is on my shelf, too! Series are such a struggle!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Let’s Flail: Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
  9. I have such a hard time staying current with YA series that have already been published, I definitely can’t keep up with the ones that are happening right now πŸ˜…

    AHHHH THE ILLUMINAE FILES. I read Illuminae back in 2015 (!!!) and still have not continued on despite it being one of my favorite books of all time. I definitely have to go back and do a re-read … I can’t remember much, to be completely honest!

    I rarely re-read, although I *want* to but there are so many books to get to! But I think it helps whenever I take extensive notes because I can go back and read through my thoughts. And sometimes that reminds me of what I read.

    I’m currently reading Siege and Storm (I read Shadow and Bone a little more than three years ago, again in 2015) and I just looked up a bunch of others’ reviews/recaps to “prepare.” Luckily, it’s a popular series and there’s a lot of information on Wikipedia but I just hoped for the best and it’s been okay so far πŸ˜‚

    Amaris (amarisafloria.com) recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of 2019
  10. Omg I love The Lynburn Legacy!!! And it’s super bingeable so if you ever find the time I highly recommend it! But I know this struggle all too well. I’d say most of the time I take my chances and try to dive in. Usually, and especially if it’s a series I care about, I get the hang of it pretty quickly and if I don’t then I go looking for a review site like Recaptains. I don’t tend to reread unless it’s a favorite series (like Raven Cycle) or it’s been soooo long since book 1 that I want to give it another try before moving onto the rest of the trilogy/series. It’s always a struggle lol!

    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted: Review: Famous in a Small Town

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