I only rather recently found out that a genre of books called “Young Adult” books (or “YA” for short) even exists. I made that discovery via watching a lot of Booktube and reading book blogs and even though I’m 25 years old and regarded by most of society as a full-fledged adult I find that the genre suits me rather well. Mostly because I see myself as a child with a drinking permit but also because I really enjoy fast-paced, dystopian books. And in making that discovery I also noticed that apparently nowadays EVERYTHING is a series. There aren’t a lot of stand-alone books in the YA genre. Most of them are duologies or trilogies or series of up to six or more books. I personally don’t mind reading book series at all; in fact I really enjoy it. I love getting immersed in a story and sometimes, like with my favourite TV shows, I never want them to end, so today I thought I’d like to talk a bit about marathoning book series and especially YA book series because that’s the genre I mostly read right now.
I’m someone who once I started reading or watching something I literally can’t stop. Best example for this would be every time I discover a new TV show I really like I HAVE TO WATCH all the available episodes back to back without stopping (ok – bathroom and sleeping breaks are sometimes necessary) until I’ve seen everything there is no matter how horrendously crappy the later seasons get (*cough* “Lost” *cough*). The same applies to book series. I have to read and finish it all no matter how much I sometimes grow to dislike a series. “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare for example makes me physically cringe just by thinking about it and still I know I’m going to read the last book when it comes out just because I’ve read all the others.
The first YA series I binge read was “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I jumped onto that bandwagon very late when the first movie was already out and I remember I bought the first book so I could read it before I watch the movie. I finished it in about two and a half hours and immediately after finishing it I went back to the book store and bought the other two books, took them home and continued reading, because I simply COULD NOT STOP with the story.
Now the main reason I lately started to marathon my series is because I’m a very impatient person. I just can’t wait to find out what happens next, so usually I tend to collect all of the books in a series and then sit down and read through them in one go. Another reason I like to binge read my series is that I love to completely immerse myself into the world and the characters. Sometimes if I wait too long between two books I tend to forget some of the things that happened in the previous one. I remember the overall plot but it could happen that I completely forget about subplots or some little important details and I even sometimes completely forget about some characters. Usually if that happens I just read the next book in the series and hope most things come back to me but sometimes I have to re-read the previous books and that is something I generally hate to do. I have two favourite stand-alone books and two favourite series that I’ve read more than once but that’s it. I hate wasting my time on having to re-read books in order to being able to properly read the next book of a series whilst I could spend that time reading something I haven’t read yet and really want to read.
Sometimes though I find a book that is part of a series where only the first one has been published yet and I’m immediately drawn to it and I have to have it NOW and read it NOW. Recently that happened with “Pawn”, which is book one of Aimée Carter’s “Blackcoat Rebellion”, and “Shadow & Bone”, which is the first book in the “Grisha” trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Saw them, read them, fell in love with them and now I AM DYING for the next ones to come out. (“Siege & Storm” is already available, but only in hardcover and I have to wait for the paperback to be available. Yes I’m a paperback whore. Deal with it.)
I do have a general rule though when it comes to marathoning series and that’s no more than three books in a row. Otherwise it gets a bit overwhelming for me. I like being immersed in a series and its characters but generally after three books I need a break, unless it’s a series that I just really effing love beyond all rationality – *cough* Harry Potter. Another thing I tend to do is that if it’s a fast-paced series with intense cliffhangers at the end like “The Hunger Games” or the “Uglies” series by Scott Westerfeld I plough through the entire series in one go, but with longer series that have a rather slow pace like the “Mistborn” trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and where each book has a massive amount of pages, I like to space them out a bit and read something entirely different between each book in order to not get burned out by the series.
So it seems times have changed for me and where once the most exciting thing for me was to wait for a new book to finally come out in my favourite series by my favourite author, now it’s the discovery of a new great author with a great series already completely published just waiting for me to plough through it in one glorious haze of fiction. YA series are my addiction. And they are a pretty wonderful one to have.
— Alina xx