I’m Always Reading: Series Finale Fear!

Posted February 22, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 35 Comments

This picture is mine, as is the coffee inside of it.
(By the time this post goes live, this coffee will be gone!)

Last time I did one of these I’m Always Reading! posts, I talked about my Bookish Stress and how it affects me so much. Like, SO MUCH. Here’s a little of what I had to say about my bookish stresses: 

When I feel Bookish Stress, I get the feeling that I’m having a fluttery heart…. 
I pace the floor while I read. I make lots of faces, and I’m sure they’re hilarious…. 

You guys, I FEEL the books I read, down to the core of my very being. 
It’s bookish stress! 
It’s the very best kind of stress to have, you see. 
I absolutely love it.


It isn’t an accident that in the very same bookish stress post that I mention above, I mention Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy. If you want to talk about something to really get me going, mention the final book in a series that I love and then suggest that I read it. Deep down I WILL WANT TO, I really will. But I will be scared to. WHY IS THAT? 

I loved Wither so much. The story is so dark and gritty and yet at the same time, Lauren DeStefano was able to write such a bleak, sad, and horrific world with a language and prose so stunning that I could barely handle its beauty. I was captivated by all of her words. And then when I picked up Fever, I nearly ATE that book with the fervor that I felt while reading it: I can remember at one point, I was pacing my floors, holding the book in my left hand and gesturing wildly with my right hand. I was YELLING at a certain character because of a certain thing that he/she was doing! And the thing is, that isn’t the only time that happened during that book! Wither and Fever made me FEEL things, and I love them so much for it. I read these first two books with such a broad range of emotions – ALL OF THE EMOTIONS – and at the end of Fever, I knew I was doomed. DOOMED! 

(Hang on, I need to take a second to catch my breath. I’m not even kidding.)

My beauties:
Wither and Fever by Lauren DeStefano
I love them so much.
Friends, the moment of truth is here. It is NOW. Sever is out. Release day has come and gone, and Sever is out in the wild! That is so exciting, right? Oh, absolutely! And the book is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. 

But I have left it sitting by my bedside for days. DAYS! What!? Asheley, what are you talking about?? Oh, I think you all know. YOU KNOW. It’s the final book in the series, see – the end of the trilogy. So that means I have not been able to read it. I haven’t even been able to PICK IT UP. The closest I’ve been to reading it is to glance over a few times and see it there, sitting patiently in the stack. Admission:


It is an ugly monster. And it is very real. 
I’m taming this beast, because it has gotten ridiculous.
AND there are so many great series ending this year. 
And even more to come next year. 

2013 is my year! Cross your fingers for me! 


Let’s Back Up. 

All of that being said, I did in fact crack open Lauren DeStefano’s beautiful book Sever. And because I am such a melodramatic series finale oddball, the very act of opening the book was like a ceremony and I had to take a picture of the title page and just look at it for awhile. (I do this for all of the books, particularly the finales – when I read them, which isn’t often.) 

And then I turned to the Acknowledgements…

Do any of you ever actually read the Acknowledgements section of the books? I do. Everyone should, because they are a real treat. I love to see who the authors thank and for what. And some of the authors’ acknowledgements (cough*Tahereh Mafi*cough) are like absolute poetry, they’re so beautifully written. But anyway, I read the Acknowledgements of Sever…aaaand here come the tears. WHY WHY WHY? Probably because I’m already a little emotional and nervous to be starting the book? Probably because Lauren DeStefano decided to thank her family first instead of at the end, like I often see? I DON’T KNOW. I don’t know! But the tears began with the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, you guys. 

I made my title page picture into
an Instagram. OF COURSE.
So then I start the book. And I read for a while. I’m loving it! Questions that I’ve had for the entire series are being answered! I’m totally hating on the evil villain! The story is perfect so far! BUT…..then I have to put the book down to do some real-life things and I HAVE THIS HUGE LIFE-ALTERING THOUGHT. An AHA moment, if you will. (Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but just go with it.) 

I remember a long time ago when I watched the movie Postman with Kevin Costner. I loved that movie so much. So very, very much. When the movie was over, for a fleeting second I was all YES! THAT MOVIE WAS AWESOME! and then I was really sad for a while. Why? Because I realized that I could never again experience it for the first time. 

We all, as readers, have those moments when we read books and LOVE THEM SO HARD and we want to dance and flail and shout from the rooftops and HUG THE BOOK and everything, and then for a minute we wish we hadn’t read it yet so we can read it all over again for the first time. I know I’m not the only one. I know it! 

So when I sat down this series finale to do the real-life things that I had to do, I felt all of the weight of reading it for the first time and KNOWING that it will be the only time that I will read it for the first time. This is part of my series finale fear! Add to that the fact that I have no idea what is going to happen with this story. And then add to that the even bigger fact that this is the end of the road for these characters that I’ve grown SO ATTACHED TO – All of these things just make it so hard for me to pick up final books in a series. 

I have it. 

It isn’t just The Chemical Garden Trilogy, oh no! This series just happens to be the series that that I happened to be reading when I chose to write this post. There will be lots of these series this year because I’m planning to beat this ugly beast (bites nails) this year. I have all of you guys to help me with that. In fact, I just recently read Boundless by Cynthia Hand, which was the final book in her Unearthly series! GO ME! 

I know I can do this. 
I know I can do this. 
I know I can do this. 

The comment made to me when I got up to do the real-life things went something like this: ARE YOU REALLY CRYING OVER A BOOK? 

My response went something like this: YES. YES, I AM. I JUST GET REALLY ATTACHED. 

Fact: I had just finished Chapter Three. (of Thirty-One. Long road ahead, no?)


Are you curious about my thoughts on: 

Wither? See them HERE
Fever? See them HERE


Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner has also done some blogging on 
her big fears! I love these posts. You should check them out! 

When someone reads a book she loves/recommends: HERE.
Moving to the next book in a series: HERE.
Favorite authors releasing new books: HERE.


Am I the only one out there with SERIES FINALE FEAR?

Honestly, how ridiculous is it?
You’re not gonna hurt my feelings! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


35 responses to “I’m Always Reading: Series Finale Fear!

  1. Hahaha I love it! Well, not that you have fear of course, but the post was so much fun to read!!
    I totally have the fear!!!! I am SO SCARED to start Requiem (the Delirium series) because this is CLOSING THE SERIES and people have mixed feelings!! MIXED FEELINGS!?!? Nooo! This is the LAST BOOK. It HAS to be great! I'm terrified LOL.
    Great post 🙂 Lots of fun!!

    • Haha thank you! It was fun to write too! (I needed to get all those feelings out, ya know?!)

      I UNDERSTAND about the Delirium series! I've just started that series myself and am not that far into it, and I already like it a ton so I JUST KNOW I'll be right in this exact same place when I'm about to start book three! And I'm seeing around twitter and the reading world where people are anticipating the release of that one like crazy! It makes me glad I waited to start reading the series but also a little bit nervous to read them all close together!

  2. I AM SO WITH YOU!!! AHHHH. I can't even look at Sever! And right now I'm "currently reading" Requiem which means in the past week I've read maybe 30 pages because I'm actively avoiding it for this reason. WHYYYYYY.

    ALSO I LOVE THE ACKNOWlEDGEMENTS! Stephanie Perkins (LOLA) and Gayle Forman's are my fave! ALSO the acknowledgement for Boundless killed me…as they always do when a series comes to an end. GAH I did a post about my favorite acknowledgements and how I love them but now like I feel like I want to post random acknowledgements and dedications I come across and love. GAHHHHHH. I can't even read Sever's. I just can't. I'm so glad YOU GET ME.

    • YES! YOU UNDERSTAND! I knew you would, Jamie! <3

      Acknowledements are sometimes like these hidden lovely thoughts from the author inside of the books and I feel like sometimes people just brush them aside and don't really read them. I understand because before I got involved in the blogging world and really interacted with authors, I kind of did too. But not anymore because they can be so special and WOW they are so emotional sometimes! (Particularly when you have your own set of emotions tied to that author or that book.)


  3. This was amazing— and you described this fear WE ALL EXPERIENCE perfectly!! I had so many thoughts reading this and feel like I should say something more, but you said it all so well. haha I wish reading this made me feel better about reading my next end of series book, but nope. At least I know I'm not alone. 🙂

    I wish Gabriel would have had an ounce of sexiness to him, but no. He just didn't do it for me. I feel dirty about liking Linden…. that's almost Warner creepy, but with Gabriel as the only option I don't have much choice. BTW… Sever is sitting on my shelf getting dusty. 😉

    • Thanks! Honestly, I wish writing this made ME feel better about reading the end-of-series books, but it really didn't either. I'm still petrified! That's just me, I guess. I'm so melodramatic about books and I get so emotional about them and GRRRR and AAHHHH but I love it. I really do! You're TOTALLY not alone. 🙂

      You know what, I'm totally a Gabriel gal! I like Linden okay, but I'm 100% Team Gabriel and I think that is what made this one so scary for me – I didn't have a firm grasp on where L DeStefano was going to go with it AT ALL before I went into the story. Like with Boundless, I LOVED both Christian and Tucker, so even though either way I would've been sad for the other guy, in this one I had INTENSE INTENSE emotions attached to Gabriel. FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR x 100000000. I absolutely cannot help it! It's almost just ridiculous. It really is.

  4. Oh god I totally suffer from this. I'll even take it a step further and admit that for a book that I really love, I'm even afraid to start the second book. I feel like I shouldn't admit this but… I haven't read Insurgent yet. And I PRE-ORDERED IT! It's been sitting on my bookshelf FOREVER, and I just can't work up the nerve to start it! I'm so afraid that it could never possibly stand up to Divergent, and if I read it and it's meh, then Divergent is tainted! Ahh!

    Right now I'm reading the Uglies series. And it's like an emotional roller coaster, because I thought Uglies was good but maybe not amazing, but the ending intrigued me enough to go on to the next book. Then I read Pretties and thought it was so, so much better than the first book and I got super excited and dove headfirst into Specials – and immediately hit a brick wall. Because it's soooo different and the main character has changed soooo much, and it's like I don't even LIKE her anymore and I don't know how to deal with it!

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets so emotionally involved with my books. Nobody better even mention Manchee or I will straight up start bawling.

    • Oh I totally understand that! If I have read a big, chunky fantasy book or something that I've really invested some heart and soul in (like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss or Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier) I have the HARDEST time moving onto the second book too! I have this weird thing where if the book ends in a place that I particularly love OR if I enjoyed reading it a ton, I just want to WALLOW in that for a while and not rush right into the second book. When I finished The Name of the Wind, I loved it so much I just KNEW it would be like a whole year before I picked up the second book even though I went ahead and bought the audiobook immediately. I wanted the OPTION to start it, but I didn't plan to. Same with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the second Jessica Darling book by Megan McCafferty (I know, that one is random!)

      I just LOVED the Uglies series. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Scott Westerfeld. So very much. And I can add to this crazy fear: I've read all of his series (some multiple times) and loved them – except for the Leviathan series. I wanted to leave one series of his available for when I'm itching for some Westerfeld, so I'm scared to start that one because I can never say that I have any un-read Westerfeld anymore. IS THAT CRAZY OR WHAT?? I've even read Stupid Perfect World, and I wish he'd expand it and make it a whole book, but I just cannot start that last series of his. BUT BUT hang in there with Tally because you may end up liking her in the end! Hopefully. 🙂 (TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THAT FEAR, THOUGH. If anyone does, it's this gal.)

      Chaos Walking is my favorite series. So I won't even go there. EEP!

    • Augh, SO IDENTIFY with wanting the OPTION to start a book whenever you feel ready for it! I do that all the time, I'm the worst book hoarder.

      Oh gosh, this kind of makes me want to go ahead and read the next book in the Chaos Walking series! It's sitting on my bookshelf right now and I realllllllllllly want to read it but I'm afraid! (Then again, I also sort of feel like the worst has already happened so where's the risk?)

      Uglies is my first venture into Scott Westerfeld but I'm excited to read more! And I'm so glad to hear that maybe Tally is worth sticking with, because I can't even tell you how much I loved Pretties!

    • I am a (proud) book hoarder too!

      With Chaos Walking, they each get increasingly more intense, so believe me when I say I understand that fear because those are my favorite. By the time I got to the third book, I was reading like five pages at a time and that was about as much as I could take, so I'd put the book down and pick it back up the next day for a few pages. I've read them several times and I still can't even write about them on my blog. So i get it.

      With the Uglies books, KEEP GOING!! Do it!! 🙂

  5. YES! I totally obsess and anticipate and would KILL for so many final books in series and then when I get them it is like I'm backing away from a wild animal. But…but…it's over after this! When I won Requiem I stared at it for a while just thinking, it's all in there, the end, what happens to everyone, it's all encased in those pages, and then it's over! I want so badly to devour the last book when I get them but at the same time don't want it to end!

    PS-I do the same thing when I open a new book. Oogle the cover for a while. And I totally read the acknowledgements! My favorite I ever read was The Iron Knight and it said, Team Ash, this one's for you. Amazing! It was like she was talking directly to me! Love when authors do that.

    I am way too emotionally attached to books and characters. It's a problem that we all have. Good to know I'm not alone. FABULOUS post Ash!

    • You understand! I know I'm going to feel those same feelings when I get to Requiem because I feel myself getting attached to the characters. A lot. So I feel like I'm creating a monster with myself PLUS I'm audiobooking while I follow along in print, which always seems to make me much more emotional about the book because I'm using more than one sense (eyes plus ears instead of just eyes). I'm nervous about that Delirium series already! But excited too. But nervous! AAAHHH!

      OH THE IRON KNIGHT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS! I love all things Iron Fey, forever and ever, amen. That is all. Including the Acknowledgements and the flecks of ink that are accidentally printed on the pages, if there are any. <3 J Kagawa is instant-read for me because of that series, forever.

      I get so attached too, but I don't think I'd have it any other way, really. It just makes reading so much better when you FEEL IT so deeply. Even when there is THE FEAR involved!! HAHA

  6. We've talked about this, but my stress for characters makes me read books faster, and also this is why I like to read books in chunks instead of waiting…and thinking…and worrying. I am really proud of you for finishing up this series, especially because it sounds like one that is extremely emotional. Just think though, if you can make it through this one, you can conquer anything. And I am going to make sure you conquer some of your most feared series this summer. You are going to LOVE IT.

    I LOVE that you cried at the acknowledgements. You are awesome.

    • Oh my goodness, I was shaking when I opened the book. And I was watching my hands and thinking how ridiculous I was. But still nervous and excited and scared at the same time. If only it could've been video'd I bet it would've been a SIGHT.

      I'm gonna try to get some of these series under my belt! That way, I can make room for more! We'll see how it goes. I *AM* SCARED, you know. Paralyzed with fear. Next up is that Delirium series and everyone else's anticipation is kind of jumping on me, I think! HAHA

      I'll email you about my picture up there!

  7. lol you are so cute! I also have this fear. I just finished Forever yesterday, and it was hard, oh so hard to do.

    Wither was awesome. I still have Fever on my shelf, because middle books scare me too. and heck that whole series scares me, they are all ticking time bombs for goodness sakes.

    You can do this!

    • Oh! I need to finish that series too! GOSH that's another one I need to add to my list! I wonder did you like it?? I need to find out. I'm SCARED to read it! But of course, you know that by now, huh?

      Wither is fanastic. I think Fever is fantastic too, but it had a lot of mixed reviews because it is dark – darker than Wither. So IDK exactly where you fit in the grand scheme of darker dystopian-type books, but it is tough. But man oh man, it is so great, I thought. This series is just one that I love to pieces. BUT the fear is for all of the series, even when I don't love it that much. It's the putting away of a story line that is so heartbreaking and sad. I think I just fear being overly emotional, that's probably what it is.

      Yeah, I think that's accurate. Cause I will do the ugly cry over characters I love as fast as you can say my name.

  8. I actually enjoy finishing in a series. It's like a well-earned accomplishment…"I made it to the end!" I like to turn the last page, hold the book to my chest, and sigh (if the book was good). For me it's literally closing the chapter (pun totally intended) on that part of who I am, to move on to another part, and then another. I think that's part of the reason I'm more reluctant to begin a book that I know is part of a series, because I will want it to be good, and I will want to finish it out. I'm not hard-core about it. If I don't mesh with book one, then I don't continue. Reading a series is an investment emotionally, physically, and financially. So, I'm more careful picking what to read from the front end, and less concerned about reading the last page. I enjoy finishing a book/series.

    I completely understand what you mean about experiencing the book for the first time though. I think that's why I can't/don't reread books…

    • I love this comment because I can totally see this about you and your reading habits.

      I think being more careful picking out what you read from the front end is really smart. I am careful about what I read to a degree, but not in the same way – I'm careful in that if I think I'll enjoy it at all, I'll usually read it – it hasn't really occurred to me to think about it from the standpoint of the investment into the series as a whole from the very beginning. I just look at the description or the cover, OR if the author is one of those that I pretty much instant-read, I'll start the series without regard to how I'm going to be CRUSHED in three years when the trilogy is completed. That is pretty much coming full circle BIG TIME right about now because so many series that I enjoy are being completed at about the same time. Perhaps I should pay more attention on the front end to spare myself some ANGUISH on the back end.

  9. There is something crushing…yet totally relieving about finishing the finale. There are so many feels that go into it!

    Will it live up to your hopes? Will there be enough resolution? The story is over…now how do you live your life?

    I think it is totally justifiable to feel many feels about ending a series and to even mourn them a little bit.

    • Yes, you totally understand what I'm trying to say! Especially here –> "The story is over…now how do you live your life?" I just get so wrapped up in the characters that sometimes I think about them like they're people and wonder what they're doing out there in the world! Then I realize their story is over and they're NOT out there in the world, and THERE is where the sadness lies. The crazy fear I feel is my own way of trying to prevent those emotions.

  10. Oh my gosh, I am TOTALLY the same. I will put off reading the end of a series for foreverrrrr, or I just won't read it at all so I can pretend that it never ends hahaha. I had Requiem in my possession for almost two months before I finally forced myself to read it. I hate reading the last book in a series because I don't want to say goodbye to the characters/story and also because a lot of times I'm disappointed by the ending.

    • I'm hearing so much about people feeling this same way about Requiem and I've just started Delirium! I just know I'm going to feel exactly the same way!

      I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person that feels this same way. Sometimes I feel like a crazy person for getting so emotionally attached to the books and characters that I love.

      And being disappointed in the ending of a series is the WORST EVER.

  11. Haha I watched the entire Scrubs series, all of the seasons up until the last half of the last season. People make fun of me all the time for it and I feel the same way about my favorite book series! I always tell people, someday I'm going to want some new Scrubs episodes, or the next book in the ___ series and since I've saved it, I'll have it. 🙂

    • I love that! I find myself saving certain series by authors that have more than one series out so that I can still have some unread work by them to start one day. I mentioned earlier in the comments the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld – I really love Westerfeld a ton but I've read all of his other stuff, some of it more than once. Since I've saved that one last series, I know that I can always pick it up if I'm craving something new by him. 🙂

  12. *hugs* I understand completely/ I don't hold onto the series like you do (I'm too impatient), but they still get me. I cried at the end of LOTR when I saw it in theaters, because I was so sad it was over. Three years of Decembers, and it was done.

    And oh my lands, when Megan Whalen Turner writes the final two Thief books (like 12 years from now), I won't leave my room for a week at least.

    • I've heard MWT's series is pretty great. I know that I want to get to it, but I haven't taken that leap yet. I'm scared to get too attached to her books because she has such long breaks between them!

      I DO HOLD TIGHTLY TO SERIES. It's a blessing and a curse!

  13. I definitely get series finale fear! But only with series that have torn my heart in tiny pieces, taped them back together, then ripped them again. Like the Chemical Garden series. I've been waiting and waiting for Sever to come out and, now that it has, I really don't want to read it. I mean, I do, but I'm terrified of what will happen! I'm also feeling this way about Requiem. Definitely don't like this feeling; they're just books, right? :/

    • I am really nervous about Requiem too! I just read Delirium and I've always heard that Pandemonium is the best, and I'm nervous about what I'm hearing about Requiem in the world, on Twitter and such. I cannot help this fear!

      BUT I'm not as attached to the Delirium Trilogy as I was to the Chemical Garden books! Those were tough! 🙂

  14. I took last week off, hence the very late comment, A. My apologies!

    I love these posts! I love how you lay it all out there and are so honest about all your passions, and hang ups, when it comes to reading! You are such a devoted reader, the kind I think most writers DREAM of writing for:)

    I know finishing this series (The Chemical Garden) has been a BIG DEAL for you and I totally get why. There really are few things so wonderful as experiencing a favorite book, or movie, or piece of music, for the first time. And you are right, it's a small tragedy knowing that you won't get that chance with that particular book, etc, again. But I also think there is something so rewarding and fulfilling in seeing a series through. Through all it's high and low points. Kind of like a marriage. You have been in it through good times and bad. That's kind of how I think of it, anyway. Then it's not so hard to let those characters go:)

    And one more thing: your love for the acknowledgements. YES, I am right there with you! I know you are going to be reading the Lumatere Chronicles soon and Marchetta's end of book thoughts for Finnikin and Froi (I've not seen Quintana's yet, my arc doesn't have them)are favorites of mine. I call them thoughts because they aren't thank you's or acknowledgements, they are the ideas and feelings about the characters and the story Marchetta had while writing each book. They should be read after finishing the book. They are AMAZING. I hope your copy(s) have them (I believe the US final editions do) and you enjoy them as much as I:)

    • I am a devoted reader, probably too devoted sometimes, but I can't imagine myself any other way. This series is one that my heart and soul just loves for a ton of reasons, so it is hard. Like Chaos Walking and Iron Fey, and like His Dark Materials will be when I have the courage to finally finish that one, if I ever do.

      I just hate to end series, but I think that to have finished two months in this year and have finished two series, that's pretty good for me. I'm pleased with my progress. 🙂 HAHA.

      Acknowledgements or thoughts – yes, they're not given enough love. But they're the heart and soul of the author when they're done with the book, so I feel like I need to read them, ya know?

  15. Trust me, you are not alone!! Also, I just picked up Wither and I hope I love it as much as you do!! I've heard great things about it, and after reading this post – which isn't even so much about the trilogy as it is the fear of series finales – I just want to read it even more! I love books that make me have SO MANY FEELS!!

    • Oh, I hope you love Wither when you read it! I've known some people that didn't connect well with it because it is a darker dystopian story, and I understand that. But I loved it because of all of the feels! Good luck with it!

      I love any series that makes me feel lots of things. 🙂

  16. This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit! I'm one of those people who gets excited for the ending of a series or the next book in a series – and then leaves it on the shelf after just getting it. Why? I don't know. I think it definitely has something to do with knowing that I'll never experience it for the first time ever again. But it's also partly because I like having my characters in limbo, their futures unknown and still up in the air.

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