Top Ten Tuesday #18: Best/Worst Series Finales

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Best & Worst Series Finales
 
Worst:
 1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games). Let's get this out of the way. I didn't hate this book, but it did royally piss me off. Gale and Peeta both acted sompletely insane in this novel. Peeta's arc is just...ugh. No. And then three scenes toward the end infuriated me to no end. I don't want to spoil this for those of you who are waiting on the movie, but those of you have have read it should understand why I found those two deaths completely inconsistent with the story and extremely unnecessary, as was Katniss's decision at the end. She of all people should not want to inflict that pain on others, especially innocent people. BAD KATNISS.

2. Reached by Ally Condie (Matched). After such a strong beginning in Matched and a good middle book that did well to defy the tranditional fall of the sequel, I think Ally reached a little too high with this final book. It was disorganized and messy, and the strong relationships developed in the first two books did not seem present in any way. Sadly, this was just meh for me.




3. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush). I just don't even know what happened here. I think I should have done a reread of the whole series before I read Finale because I was confused the whole time. I was excited when it was announced Silence was the third book of four instead of the final book of the original Hush, Hush trilogy, but after reading Finale, I found myself wishing it had remained a trilogy. Also, Becca killed off a character I cared very deeply about. There are always casualties in these kinds of books, as there should be, but I didn't agree with this one.


4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium). Again, what on EARTH did I just read?! Whereas I was confused by a lack of clarity with Finale, Requiem frustrated me because it was just...not good. There was nothing that I really enjoyed about this book. The love triangle was concluded horribly in that it was not addressed in any way. Julian was huge in Pandemonium and then completely ignored in Requiem (which is exactly what happened to Alex in Delirium and Pandemonium). I disagree with Raven being as big a character as she was. Her story didn't add anything for me. Wholly unnecessary. No, wait, I actually did like Hana's pov. Her story seemed so much more powerful than Lena's became. Her scenes saved Requiem from a rating lower than 3 stars.

5. Afterlife by Claudia Gray (Evernight). I actually had another book completely typed up in this spot, but then I rediscovered this on my Goodreads Read shelf, and I remembered how horribly disappointed I was. I had to include it, I'm sorry, Claudia! This book was so traumatic, I clearly had stricken it from my memory. Evernight was a series I loved so much in the beginning. I recommended it to everyone, but Hourglass and Afterlife were a quick downfall after the awesomeness of Evernight and Stargazer. I adore Balthazar, but after this messy conclusion, I'm terrified to read his story!

Other disappointing finales: The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita (This didn't feel like a final book. I still hope she'll find another story to add to this series!). Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Undead Much by Stacey Jay (I still need that third Megan Berry book!). Sever by Lauren DeStefano. Endlessly by Kiersten White. Just for Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (Need another book in this series too. Too open-ended). We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han.

Best:
1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices). Where do I start?! This was absolutely perfect. I feel thoroughly satisfied with the way this series concluded. The part of me who is Team Will is happy and so is the part of me who is Team Jem. I know there was a good deal of slut shaming for Tessa's decision, but I'm ashamed of those people. Tessa made the choice to take charge of her life, her body, her sexuality, and I'm the kind of feminist who can support that. Also, we found out about two of Will's distinguishing physical marks: the Herondale scar and his Welsh dragon tattoo. Booyah.


 2. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials). This book gave me the feels before I even knew what feels were or at least referred to them as such. This is one of those books with the not-quite-happily-ever-after conclusion, but because it felt so perfect, so natural to the story, that I wasn't upset at all. Oh, okay, I was upset (read: cried like a baby), but I accept it. Will + Lyra forever, folks!




3. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Across the Universe). You can read a very in-depth description of all the ways and all the reasons I love Shades of Earth here, but let me just say that although I was saddened by the sheer number of characters Beth kills off (RIP all her former students!), this book concluded the Across the Universe extraordinarily well. Elder is seriously my hero, and you know what? Amy is too.




 4. Goddess by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed). Hector is my boy. Everything he did in this story made me love him more. While I don't know how well I agree with all the matchy-matchy loose-end-tying new relationships introduced, I really loved this book. The fact that Josie included some tragedy was very remniscent of the actual myths on which she based this story, and I approve. It takes guts to kill off characters, but it really has to be the right characters at the right moment. Also, Lucas's sacrifice is so meaningful that it's impossible not to love this book. Also also, conclusion of the pressing are-they/aren't-they incest question.


5. Elegy by Tara Hudson (Hereafter). Oh, my. This book. Sometimes, it is impossible to do Happily Ever After, and Elegy is one of those books. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this book is hella traumatic. While I was reading Elegy, there was really only one conclusion for the novel without a magical save. Tara mentioned during her YA AdVANture tour that her first draft had the magical HEA ending. Her editor asked if she had gotten it out of her system, she said yes, and then she went on to write the true ending. I told Tara that yes, this was a tough book to read (I cried and sobbed and cursed), but it was the only ending I could realistically envision. Props to you, Tara, for not taking the easy way out. Read my full review here.

Other great finales: United We Spy by Ally Carter. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. Boundless by Cynthia Hand. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. Awaken by Meg Cabot. Twilight by Meg Cabot (I was happy with this as the final book in the Mediator series, which is why it's here, but it is actually getting replaced as Meg is writing a seventh!). Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins. This is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott. Sweet legacy by Tera Lynn Childs. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. If I Should Die by Amy Plum.

You may notice I left two significant series enders off either list so I want to address those here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was disappointing to me, but I would never put a Harry Potter novel in a worst list ever because none of them is bad. However, I had to put DH down several times because it was too much emotionally and yet also a bit on the boring side. I didn't like the resurgence of Ron's jealousy or the random and too-drawn-out wandering in the woods. Plus, Dobby and Fred, both favorite characters of mine. I just...I can't. I'm not saying people shouldn't have died, but those two... Oh, man. I sobbed for hours after reading both of them.

Breaking Dawn is on a lot of worst final books today, and I can't entirely ssay I blame you. I know it was a disappointment for many to get to this epic showdown only for it to fizzle out like a day-old Dr. Pepper, but I think that if the fight had happened, Stephenie probably would have been forced to kill my boy Emmett, and that would have broken my heart. so for my dear East Tennessee boy, I'm glad the series ended with that lack of a climax. Some of the books on my best liest are books that dared to kill characters, but some of the books on my worst list are the books that killed the wrong characters. Breaking Dawn is not the best-written book of all time by any means, which is why it did not make my best list. However, I think a lot of people are blinded by their hatred of the Twilight series as a whole, and use it only because it's a popular choice.

So what do you think of my choices? Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. Your TTT links, as always, are welcome.

28 comments:

  1. Great list! I scanned through some to avoid spoilers, but I agree with you on a lot of your worst endings. (I haven't read any of your best.) My favorite explanation is your one for FINALE. I absolutely think this series would benefit from a reread, because when I read FINALE I kind of felt like I read the last book in a series without reading the previous ones. I was lost several times, and that hurt the book.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

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    1. Oh, I hope I didn't spoil anything for you! I think one day I'll go back and shotgun the whole Hush, Hush series. Hopefully it'll be a better experience the second time around. Right now, though, I'm a bit too busy, and I'm definitely still a little sad about it. Thanks for coming by!

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  2. Nice list! Yes, I put Elegy on my Worst list, only because it saddened me soooo much. That's the only reason why. I could see that it was really the only way to go, but maybe I was hoping more for a goodbye between our characters, I felt like because I didn't get that...a literal in my face goodbye, that I was left utterly devastated and sad. Took me a bit to get the sadness out of me. Hence the reason why it ended up on my "worst" list, although as I said in my post it's not that the endings were horrible, I just wanted more!

    Great list too btw!

    Thanks for visiting my post!

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    1. I know. I cried for a long time while reading this, but really, there wasn't any other way it could possibly have ended. It was perfect for me. Well, not entirely. I told Tara I could have done with a bit more kissing. They spend books 1 and 2 making out like nobody's business and then just shut down in 3 so that was frustrating, but as a whole, I really enjoyed it. And yes, I could have had more!

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  3. I definitely think that United We Spy belongs on the best list, too. However, Mockingjay and Deathly Hallows, to me, do not deserve to be on the worst list. I think that in order to provide shock factors, give you something to think about, and make you realize that you will never ever know the next step, their plots were neccessary. And with Breaking Dawn, i just felt it was too... nice of a story. I think the whole series was good, but she was too afraid to do anything insane or weird or daring and they just got boring.

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    1. I enjoyed United We Spy, but I'm okay with having left it off my primary list. I think I loved it more because of the series than because it was actually super fantastic. Same with Deathly Hallows. I would never dare to call it bad because it wasn't. It was just disappointing to me so I can't call it best either. Mockingjay, however, really made me angry. It didn't give me anything I wanted so, as upsetting as it is to put a beloved series on my worst list, I had to. I don't always buy into a forced shock factor. The entire THG series was one big shock. Extra thrills not required, imo. Agree with BD, however. Again, can't call it best, can't call it worst.

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    2. Yeah, I guess we just get so invested in a series that when it doesn't live up to what we imagined or doesn't play out they way we wanted, then it's just a big disappointment.

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  4. Clockwork Princess and Requiem made my list too.
    Thanks for stopping by My Top 10 Tuesday

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  5. I hate it when I get invested in a series only to have the finale be disappointing! I read Mockingjay so long ago that I don't remember what happens but I don't remember hating it!

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    1. Yep! I was an orginal Hunger Games fan. I'd loved Suzanne's work for years, and I got on that bandwagon when it was still pretty empty. I had been waiting for Catching Fire and then Mockingjay long before everyone else. The anticipation built and built and then nothing came of it. I was not a happy camper either. Part my own fault, part the media, but also definitely part the book not being as strong as it should have been.

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    1. Lots of lists have agreed with Mockingjay, but lots have disagreed as well. I've seen it on just about every list, but it's roughly half and half, unlike Reached and Requiem, which I think have been all negatives today.

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  7. I see we have few things turned around :D I still have to finish Amber Spyglass, I left it like 50 pages before the end, what even? :D
    Happy reading!

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    1. It is interesting to see different interpretations of final books for sure! I suppose you never can tell what people will like. You definitely should finish Amber Spyglass. There's a scene at the end with lyra and Will that is absolutely breathtaking. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I totally agree with Clockwork Princess. It's the best ending for me. I loved it. Also Requiem was kind of disappointing, as the ending was open too much. Great list :)

    Tanja @ Ja čitam, a ti?

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    1. Thank you! I loved CP2. Really great book, and just one of the best final books ever. Thank you for visiting!

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  9. Ack, out of the ten (and more) you listed, I've only read three: MOCKINGJAY, REQUIEM, and DH. *hangs head* So begins the comment of shame, haha.

    1. Mockingjay: Aw, I'm sorry that this wasn't as good as you expected. From what I can recall about the book (sorry, I just have really severe book amnesia), it was bloodier and darker than before, and I actually liked how realistic Katniss' development was, because it showed that Katniss, despite all the goodness in her heart, wasn't the PERFECT heroine. She still had a darker side, like all humans, no matter how good. That's kind of the perception I got.

    But when it comes down to the actual ending of the book, the epilogue, then I DO NOT APPROVE. Katniss totally belongs with Gale! :(

    2. Reached: Gah, I've seen this book on a lot of the worst series enders, and to be honest, I don't think I'll be even reading the first book now. I mean, it's good that the first and second book lived up to expectations, but this is exactly like REQUIEM. I don't see the point in reading a series whose final book I'll probably not enjoy.

    4. Requiem: The first two books were WAY better than this piece of shit. I have to admit that I enjoyed the story fairly well; it was the anticlimactic ending that left me SO unsatisfied that just made my blood boil! What the hell?! Lena's situation is not even resolved. Who does she choose? What happens next? I nearly flung the book down ten stories, ugh!

    7. Clockwork Princess: This one seems either a hit or miss for most people, but the overall reaction is pretty positive. HOWEVER, I still need to read CITY OF BONES, so as much as I want to start this one, I can't! Good to know that Cassie Clare satisfies at the end, though. :)

    8. The Amber Spyglass: For some reason, I just couldn't get into this book, so I ended up DNF'ing it after... a quarter in? Which is a shame, because I loved THE GOLDEN COMPASS and THE SUBTLE KNIFE a lot, and I was really looking forward to this. I will be giving it another go in the future, though, and it's even more encouraging that you cried! I find non-HEA endings good, because they're so realistic and refreshing.

    I really need to get started on the series whose enders you loved! I have STARCROSSED waiting on my shelf right now, so hopefully I'll be able to read it soon. And I've always wanted to read ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, only I couldn't bring myself to buy a copy because of the mixed reviews it's been getting. Oh well. We'll see how it goes. :) Great list, Mary!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Megan! Mockingjay was disappointing. I understand there needed to be some dark moments, but I did find a lot of incidents wholly unnecessary. I'm very sad you won't read Matched & Crossed now because Reached has been put on a lot of the bad lists. :( They're quite good! Requiem = ugh. I just can't with that book. Definitely read TMI so you can get to TID. Those books are AMAZING! And best wishes for Starcrossed! I loved all three of Across the Universe, if that helps. Lovely, lovely series. My friend Maura wrote up a great, fairly non-spoilery review of the series if you are interested in reading another opinion.

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  10. Clockwork Princess really was a perfect ending! COuldnt have been any better. Great list!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  11. I've never been more afraid to read a series now. I am glad you're warning me ahead of time about Tara's series though. LOL.

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    1. Oh, don't be afraid! It's quite lovely. But yes, you will be sad. It'll be a good sad, though!

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  12. I COMPLETELY forgot about Reached. Ugh.

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    1. Lucky you. I'm so sad I had to include it. The series started out SO well!

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  13. Sad to hear about Reached. It's the only book I'm missing in the series so far :( Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. I know. I was so depressed about it. I rated it 3 stars because I did like it, but it was nowhere near where I wanted it. :(

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  14. I was really disappointed in Reached as well. Like REALLY. I absolutely loved Shades of Earth too!! Such a great ending.

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