Thursday, July 19

Series That Are Kinda All Over The Place, But I Love Them Still


Book series are simultaneously one of the best and worst things in my life. Why, you may wonder. Well, here's why.

On the positive, more of my favorite characters and worlds (etc.) is always a blessing. However, series can go downhill so fast your head will be spinning like so:


... and that ain't a good feeling, my friends. I'd know, this post is all about being conflicted over series, and wow, did putting these contradictory feelings down made dizzy. 

For ease of reading, you'll find 'the bad' and 'the good' of each series divided from each other - may you have fun embarking on this ridiculous journey with me. 




THE BAD.

This is exactly like your typical, Twilight era YA Fantasy novel in many aspects; for fuck's sake, Obsidian reads like a lowkey copy of Twilight. I'm also conflicted about the way Daemon treats Katy in the first book - on the one hand, I do understand that he has to at least try to scare her away from his sister, but the whole hot-and-cold attitude and disrespectful behavior is meh, no matter the reason. With that being said, it's not like Katy lets him get away with that ,nor does she forgive him easily, which is quite nice.

 THE GOOD. 

Lux is the epitome of mindless fun! The easy writing, the charming characters and the rather well-paced plot all add up to a super enjoyable read that I've gone back to revisit multiple times, especially when I was feeling blue. The banter and snark, as well as the weird, but endearing group of characters have made me laugh out loud various times. Despite the fact that JLA undoubtedly uses similar character-types in her novels, there are a bunch of iconic ones to find here, e.g. Luc. WHO, BTW, IS GETTING HIS OWN BOOK, titled The Darkest Star. I mean, how cool is that?




THE BAD.

We have a love triangle here, friends, one that's quite, quite cringy to watch unfold, especially because Sophie's love interests happen to be brothers...  The plot is highly, no I mean, HIGHLY unrealistic and quite rushed at parts. I barely felt any of the emotional effects of the traumas Sophie faced (okay, I'm rather cold-hearted, but still), partly because the (rather large) supporting cast was far from being top-notch.

 THE GOOD. 

The trilogy was highly enjoyable and easy to get lost in. Actually, I was so interested that despite my misgivings I eagerly awaited each novel's release. Sophie was an intriguing heroine: she was a normal teen girl - finally someone who made mistakes and wasn't perfect, which, yes, I totally dag - thrown into this whole mafia business and danger. On that note, her friendship with Millie was EPIC to say the least - these girls could count on each other no matter what. Also, about that love triangle - it wasn't even that bad! In book 1, Sophie was mostly interested in Nic, and then later fell for Luca, and yes, she was cute with the latter. 




THE BAD.


The twists were more often than not easy to guess - it was only in the third book when the author managed to surprise me with some things. However, the 'big twist' of book 3 seemed to come out of nowhere, and it wasn't one I could fully get behind, especially considering that it made me disappointed in a character I liked before (I know, I know, this is highly subjective, but shh). The romance was... not the best. I couldn't help but feel like Eleanor deserved SO MUCH BETTER than Daniel, and that feeling didn't go away AT ALL.


 THE GOOD. 


The premise is so cool!! Eleanor joins forces with the Spirit Hunters, who are killing zombies with the combination of technology (yay, steampunk!) and magic. Following Eleanor on her journey of discovering who she wanted to be was fantastic - I loved seeing her grow and change, and was so proud of all she's accomplished. Also, she had her morally gray moments, so that was super-cool. That brings me to one of the supporting characters, Oliver, who appears in the second novel first, and is SUCH AN ADORABLE PERSON. 

I actually have an extensive, but spoiler-free review for the series here.


THE BAD.

Okay, so first thing first - Yelena is A WOMAN OF COLOR, and the fact that she's viciously white-washed on the covers makes me go into a RAGE. *takes calming breaths* This series is HARD for me to talk about, especially with the bad-good parts divided like this, but watch me try my best.

The biggest problem here is how inconsistent the quality of the six novels is. Poison Study (book 1) and Shadow Study (book 4) were 5 star reads, while Fire Study (book 3) and Dawn Study (book 6) only received 3 stars from me. That's... a big difference in the same series. So, what was wrong in these? I was bored by the plot, thought it was repetitive and messy. Moreover, the pacing felt uneven. IDEK, man, this is one of the few series where my opinion varies so drastically between the novels, and I just really don't know how to feel about it.

 THE GOOD. 

I adored Yelena - she was such a fierce, independent young woman who went through so much shit, but survived. She was a protective friend and someone who deeply cared about what happens to others. Valek was another intriguing character, being an assassin and all, and the romance between him and Yelena was EVERYTHING. I also loved that after they became a couple, they had their individual lives instead of becoming one and the same. Ah, and the supporting cast was marvelous - the Commander was one confusing as fuck character, meanwhile Ari and Janco were so! darn! precious! 



THE BAD.

The first 3 books were fantastic, I loved each better than the previous. After that though the series went downhill real fast. The romance (which I so shipped & adored originally!!) felt too cheesy, while I felt like Adrian's POV was boring. Sydney's voice changed A LOT, and by the last book the supporting cast was barely - if at all - included.


 THE GOOD. 

Like I said, I truly loved Sydney and Adrian - it was only later when their relationship started to annoy me, and even so, they remain one of my OTPs. Also, the plot was always intriguing and (more or less) fast-paced... up until the 5th book that is. The supporting cast was fantastic - full of unique characters who were leaving their own lives, and weren't just secondary people in Sydney and Adrian's story.



THE BAD.

In the first two books it was hella easy to guess who the culprit was, which is... disappointing, to say the least, in a mystery novel. The author's attempts to make the readers suspicious of other characters are so damned obvious. Also, the supporting cast feels incredibly two-dimensional; which is a damn shame when they all sound very interesting, especially, say, Thomas's sister in book 2.

 THE GOOD. 


The main characters are incredibly lovable, fleshed out and they form one epic pair - romantically and as detective partners both. Their hate-to-love romance has been fantastic to watch blossom, and I honestly love them so darn much. The writing is very engaging and the historical descriptions are easy to imagine. Moreover, the books have a very feminist overtone, with Audrey working in a field mostly reserved for men, and fighting for her right to build a career and the life SHE wants. 

Let's chat!
Have you read or started any of these series? What series have made YOU conflicted? Share, share!

12 comments:

  1. I actually liked Bloodlines better than VA. I just looked at my GRs for this series, and it seems like I felt opposite you. My ratings went up. I thought the ending was a little quiet, but I am still holding out for a Declan spinoff series. Think about it, age him up, it could be great.

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    1. Okay, but a Declan spin off would be EVERYTHING!! I have always really wanted a Marcus spin off, tbh, and thought it might be in the making, with him having a bigger role as the series went on. I mean, both him and Declan could be main characters. HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE.

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  2. I love this post, Vera! I completely agree with the Lux series! I haven't reread it in a while but I'm thinking that with my current standards, it wouldn't stand up to snuff anymore. Honestly most of the time I can't even read romance books (the ones where the main plotline is the romance) because a lot of the time that kind of romance is featured and it's just super annoying and awful and irritating! Still, it is a great easy read and a good introduction to YA (a gateway read, if you will).

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. Thank you, Laura! Ooh, that's a good way to put it - it is a good intro to YA, especially into lighter, more fun YA. I like to look at the romance as an upgrade from what was "the norm" at that time - we had all these girls taking horrible treatment from guys, and then Katy stood out with from that gang. So even though it's not perfect, I have positive memories of it. :)

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  3. This post is so interesting! I think there are a lot of series where I like AND dislike things about it. I haven't re-read the Study books in a long time but when I read the first three they were all five stars. I think the only one I rated four was Night Study. I haven't gotten around to Dawn Study yet! I kind of want to re-read the whole series because I feel like I've forgotten a lot.

    As for the Bloodlines series. When it started I LOVED the books but at some point I just... lost interest in reading the rest of them, even though I own them :/ I just think I got over the whole thing, oops.

    I agree about the SJTR books. The mysteries are very easy to pick, but there's something about the series that I really like that makes me keen for Escaping from Houdini anyway, haha.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you loved the Study series - I love the characters so much, but the plot felt super-repetitive. But again, I might not have detected that if not for binge-reading the whole series haha.

      Haha, that's understandable about Bloodlines - and the books REALLY got worse and worse, sadly.

      Same! Here I am bad mouthing the SJTR series, but at the same time I could kill for Escaping from Houdini lol.

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  4. Fun post idea. There are so many series that I don't really like or have issues with but once I get attached to the characters I *need* to know what happens.

    I haven't finished the Lux series but that would be one of them. Well JLA in general. Her heroes tend to be alpha a**holes but sometimes I can't help myself because when they turn it around they are swoony lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Thanks!! Ooh, yes, the characters can definitely make me continue a series that's plot I dislike - that's what happened with the Study series.

      JLA can write such great characters!

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  5. I have given up on the Bloodlines series and the Obsidian series. For Bloodlines, I agree that the first three books were the best and then I had no interest in the story whatsoever. Everything became too focused on the romance and it got too cheesy for me. The same thing kind of happened with the Obsidian series, so much romance and cliche with not enough originality. I think that I got through Opal, but I never made it to the end of the series (though I am a fan of her other writing too and I want to try her other series).

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed the Poison Study series. I have only read the first three books (Poison Study and Magic Study were both five star books for me while Fire Study was three stars) I didn't even know that there were more books coming out! And then by the time I finally caught on, I mostly forgot what happened in the series. Is it worth it to read the second half of the series? Like you said, Yelena is such a strong, female, POC lead who I don't want to miss out on.

    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

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    1. That's understandable. I actually started to enjoy Lux more as the series progressed - I think for me book 2 was probably the worst - but then it got so much better.

      Hmm, I really don't know haha. I don't think I would mind if I hadn't read the second part of the Poison Study series, but it was also great to see the characters years after the 3rd book. One thing I really did mind was that they didn't feel that different!? It was as if no time went by, I was super-disappointed about that. (Also, the world didn't really change all that much either.) With that said, you did enjoy the original trilogy more than I did, so you might love this too. Also, yes, I LOVE YELENA.

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  6. Oh I've only read the first Jack the Ripper book but I REALLY liked it! 😂I mean it wasn't perfect for me either, for sure, but Thomas and Audrey Rose were so fun together and I love their snippy dialogue. Definitely want to read on eep. And I only read the first Something Strange and Deadly too...I feel like I'm really bad at continuing series.😂

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    1. I love Thomas and Audrey together - to be honest, I'd read the most basic story if they were in it. They are so entertaining and cute together. I relate, continuing series is harder than it looks lol.

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