* Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge for book bloggers, hosted by Lainey and Sam. The goal is for bloggers to choose their top 5 picks for the week’s given challenge, and you can find out more over on Goodreads! *
This week’s challenge is to pick 5 series that started off not so strong – maybe downright awful, maybe just not as good as they could’ve been – and successfully improved during the later installments!
1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
This is the first series that comes to mind when I think of series that got better with each book! I’ll add a disclaimer that I’ve only read the first 3 books, but I feel like Scarlet was way better than Cinder, and Cress was way better than Scarlet! As you can guess, I have pretty high hopes going into Winter and Fairest.
2. The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Don’t get me wrong, Illuminae was amazing… but Gemina blew it out of the freaking water. It took everything good in the first book and just tripled it, and added in the adorableness that is Nik Malikov, and it was pure flawlessness.
3. The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White
I thought And I Darken was pretty good, but boring at points, and it relied a little too heavily on politics and super in-depth world-building, to the point that little action happened. Now I Rise, though? Amazing. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about that book.
4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I love the entire series, don’t get me wrong, but if you read them back to back, there’s a very clear differentiation between Jo’s early writing and the last few books. Her writing just became so much smoother and the characters and settings were much more fleshed out. Of course, that could also be partially due to the series shifting from MG to YA.
5. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
Wait, wait, don’t leave! Hear me out for a second here. I picked up Twilight when it was brand new – like, within a week of its release date. (*hipster swag*) I loved it! I’m not ashamed to admit that. (I also don’t judge anyone who still loves it, but that’s neither here nor there.) But when New Moon came out, I was stunned. I thought it was so much better than the first book! I loved Eclipse, too. Unfortunately, by the time I got halfway through Breaking Dawn, I was regretting my pre-order, and the series hasn’t been the same for me ever since. That said… I reread New Moon a few years later and still thought it was vastly superior to the first book.
What’s your favorite series that got better as it continued? Feel free to drop links to your T5W posts, too!
Wow! I’m so glad to hear that the series Cinder starts gets better… same for Illuminae considering I loved it, it’s so great that it can get better! I read And I Darken so to hear that Now I Rise is better is so great too! I liked AID but I was so over the love triangle by the end that I was happy with what she decided to do!! Great list!! <3
Oh man, if you loved Illuminae, I would be SHOCKED if you don’t love Gemina! It was one of my top reads of the year so far! So was Now I Rise, now that I think about it. Ugh, me too – I think you’ll be pleased with the direction that whole scenario takes in NIR, though. I know I was! I might have cheered over one specific scene – I won’t spoil for you, but it’s awesome lol! Thank you <3 <3
AHAHA i chose Twilight and TLC too ??
Bahahah YES! I seriously was like “oh god am I going to lose 100 followers for putting Twilight?” but seriously IT FITS.
ahahaha thats what I thought too! ?? But it really does fit. Ive always liked Twilight though sooo thats why I chose it ?
Could not agree with TLC and HP more!
All books of those series are awesome [Haven’t read Fairest and Stars Above yet though], but they get even more awesome as you read more and more books.
Honestly, I like it when series are like that because you can see and feel how the author is growing, haha.
Yessss, definitely! I have read some of the stories in Stars Above – maybe half of them? – but I haven’t started Fairest or Winter at all. I can’t wait!
I have the books, just haven’t read them yet, haha. I don’t know where to start anymore when it comes to my TBR-pile at home [not even mentioning the one on my Kindle].
I remember being mad at Winter because it ended! I was all “No, nonono. You’re adding at least a 100 more pages to this because I want more! Don’t end? Oh, come on.”
Worst book-hangover I had in a while, honestly. :’)
That’s exactly how I suspect I’m going to feel! It’s the #1 reason why I haven’t moved on with the series yet – I’m not ready for it to end.
It’s the most hateful thing about series, isn’t it? There just has to be an ending..
It should be illegal!
totally agree about Now I Rise. A MASTERPIECE.
I’m so excited to read Now I Rise it’s been gleaming at me from my shelf (after the moving house I promise!) but I agree about Gemina, I feel like they really hit their stride and I’m so excited for Obsidio.
I feel like I should be literally counting down the DAYS to Obsidio, even though it’s almost a year away *quiet sobbing*
they’re revealing the artwork soon though
I knoooow! Super exciting!
Thanks for the list! There are definitely some series here that I need to add to my (ever-growing) tbr list now (especially, The Illuminae Files!).
The Illuminae Files is just such a brilliant and wonderful series. The third and final installment comes out in March, so I wouldn’t 100% blame you if you put it off until you can binge read the entire thing, but either way, I HIGHLY recommend the series.
In that case, I might wait! I’ve currently got about 8 series where I’m waiting for the next instalment, and it’s killing me, so I’m not keen to add to the misery 😉
I feel you! It’s so rough. Especially when you pick up a new book THINKING it’s a standalone, and BAM, it’s a series starter… sigh.
Yup, or when you pick up a book, knowing it’s a trilogy, and then all of a sudden the author turns it into a series with 12 books! It’s tough being a bookworm ?
OMG. Right?! Sigh… It’s part of why I’ve never read any Cassandra Clare books. I’m not starting them until she signs a contract saying she’s done ??
Haha! Some authors just can’t be trusted – How DARE they write more books than they promised ?
I completely agree about The Lunar Chronicles! When I first read Cinder I wasn’t too impressed by it but that changed with every single book and now it’s one of my absolute favourite series 🙂
Right?! I almost DNFed Cinder at one point because, frankly… I was bored for a lot of it. I am SO GLAD that I didn’t, though, because it ended up catching my interest so well by the end, and then by book 2, I was hooked!
Hmmm, maybe I ought to read NOW I RISE. I read AND I DARKEN as an eARC and did not like it at all. 🙁 But if it gets better, maybe I ought to give it another chance!
If you COMPLETELY disliked AID, I don’t know for sure that NIR will have the same appeal for you, but I’d say it probably depends on what made you dislike AID. If it was the characters and plot, you won’t like NIR. If it was the slow pacing, you’ll probably love the sequel, because it picks up SO much.
Hmmm. I didn’t completely dislike it but I think I have it 2 stars. ? I didn’t like the characters very much so maybe I shouldn’t pick it up. ?
Aww, yeah, if you disliked the characters then it’s probably not for you ??
you have just got the most aesthetic blog ever! I love it!
Awww thank you! <3 That's so sweet!
OMG! Hi5 for being hipsters! I loved Twilight and I thought New Moon was even better, but she lost me at Eclipse. I can’t wait to start the Lunar Chronicles though.
Ahaha hipster life 4eva. I hope you love TLC!
I didn’t even have a single series that was the same xD
I like variety! 😀 I’ll go check it out!
So agree about both the Lunar Chronicles and Harry Potter! I never read Twilight, so I can’t really comment, hahah.
Deanna Reads Books
I mean, if you didn’t read them back in the day, you’re probably better off avoiding them now. ?