Series are more common than not in YA. Why it equals profits. But more often than not books don’t need a sequel or their respective series should stop way before they actually do. I’ve discussed this issue before when I wrote an essay about cash cows. But today, I’m listing my top ten jump the shark moments for various YA series–fyi, when another sequel wasn’t necessary and they should’ve just thrown in the towel . Needless to say, this list is going to be a bit more juvenile than my essay though hopefully just as informative in some ways (or at least will spare you from continuing a series that should’ve been finished a long time ago).
Prophecy Girl by Cecily White (Angel Academy- Don’t they Mean Vampire Academy Lite?):
This book was just written for a series. The title says it all. But it reads standalone. A standalone with a massively overpowered heroine who is a rip off of some awesome and not so awesome YA MCs. And honestly after reading it I have to wonder how are you going to make a sequel, White. How? You gave your MC everything. You even made her a princess. Grant it, she’s not a Disney princess but close enough. The below clip basically is the ending of this book (minus the horse).
Fins Forever by Tera Lynn Childs (Fin series):
It’s not a bad book (though if I had to redo my review, I’d probably give it a lower rating now) and honestly I was reluctant about putting it on this list. But this is one of those books that is purely a place filler. This trilogy really shouldn’t be a trilogy. Each book reads like a standalone. And while I love the world Tera’s created if we’re going to have a series I expect an overarching plot. There’s not an overarching plot in this series. The closest thing that we get is the fact that Lily f-ed up and Quince isn’t a merman becuase of that but honestly it’s not that big of a deal. There’s a fix at the end of every book. How is that for drama? The second book I think is the worst offender because it had potential for plot. The Dosina thing could’ve been pretty interesting to read about but it wasn’t….it was well fluffed over.
A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies:
Honestly, I wasn’t impressed much with A Beautiful Dark, but at least it had a story arc. This book was a waste of space. Once again it merely was written as a place filler. Little lesson for me, if you don’t have enough to write a trilogy either a) rethink your plot or b) write a duology .
The Selection by Kiera Cast (The Selection-a.k.a. That Bachelor knockoff):
This is another book I wonder why they needed to have a sequel in the first place. Nothing happened until the very end of the first one. And honestly I was so bored with it I barely even remember what the cliffie was. That’s not good. And really there’s not much room for this one to go. I bet one of the following (or more will happen in the series)
A) America will choose the boy that causes the most angst (at this point that means Ass-pen but I’m sure the prince and her love will be just as angsty since he’s sucking up more screen time then Ass-pen)
B) America and Whoever Her Man-cessory is will change the world bringing back good ole’ American values. Even though American values and debt was what got them into the dystopian world in the first place.
C) Celeste will get “justifiably” bitch slapped.
D) They’ll all get a rare dystopian disease and die
See, not that exciting save for maybe D and we know that won’t happen.
Princess in Waiting (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot):
This is a weird one to list because the series does recover (sort of). I mean, I never think it reaches the awesomeness of books 1-3. But books 8-10. Damn, Meg manage to salvage this series even though I’ll never get Lana Weinberger and Mia being b.f.f. But books 4-5. Ugh, ugh. Especially book four. A good third of the book was a freaking day planner. And though Mia and Michael were cute together on their first date, it’s otherwise pretty much plotless. You know what, I’m going to help you guys out who want to read the series but skip these four lackluster books by summarizing them.
Book 4: Mia and Michael go out on their first date after Mia freaks out.
Book 5: What about prom, Michael. Essentially a homage to Pretty and Pink and other John Hughes movies without the hideous dress. Although, there’s a Hilton sisters reference in there that makes me hate Mia (sort of).
Book 6: Mia freaks out about sex. This might be good foreshadow reading for book eight.
Book 7: Mia meets a new guy who plays her love interest in a play. And sexy dancing.
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto (The Halo Trilogy-or the why not let your very impressionable daughter read Twilight)
I’m probably a little bit hard on Ally Adornetto. I’ll be the first to admit it, but her books just annoy me so freaking much. They have horrible messages, but in comparison to some other offenders they’re not that bad. That being said, I think Halo would’ve fared better as a standalone after that abomination known as Hades.
This is the definition of sophomore book syndrome. It’s horrible and it makes the already bad world building look even worse. It does nothing for the series. And quite honestly I don’t know why any sane person (and no, I”m not sane) would want to read the third book after this. Once again, there’s a happily ever after-sort of with a OMG we need a cliffie for a third that makes this one just obnoxious.
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (The Goddess Trilogy):
The last book was bad, but this one. Holy poo on toast. It ruined the series. In The Goddess Test Kate was smart and self sufficient but…
But holy slut slamming. I swear, someone replaced Kate with a pod person in the second book. Or at the very least, there was some major shake up with the editing team or Carter got bored. Or maybe I didn’t really read the first book like I should’ve.
The last one’s probably correct. But unless you love slut slamming, skip this one.
3) Untamed by PC and Kristin Cast (The House of Night-a.k.a. that series that put MJ into liver failure)
Most sane people wouldn’t read the House of Night period. Those of us who have stuck it out, usually give up around book four or five. Four really should’ve been the very end of the series. Nothing freaking happened at the end of that book. And I get Zoey fans (are there any Zoey fans) that if the series would’ve ended after the third book Zoey would’ve ended up with no one. And you know what, to me that would’ve been a happily ever after for this cruddy series. But nope, we have Untamed where Zoey gets two freaking more guys introduced to her harem.
Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods):
Okay, used to I wouldn’t have said this was a jumping the shark moment. Used to I would’ve said it’s a nice place holder that’s essentially starting the second act of the series. But no that the series is done and I know what happens.
What the Freakity Frack was that book?
Almost everything that happens in Misguided Angel is discarded in the rest of the series. Most notably the character, Deming Chen. Why was she even introduced as a main character if she was only going to have a bit role in the next two books and then get killed off unceremoniously? And the Nephilims? What I thought could’ve turned out to be a cool plot device turned out to be essentially a page filler.
God, what a shitty sequel.
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (The Ever Expanding-so must that it has surpassed the Big Bang-Shadow Hunter series):
Honestly, this is probably the worst offender when it comes to cash cows. Yes, I get Cassandra Clare has a popular series and should be allowed to profit on it. But five series. Five series! That’s right. So how many books will that been fifteen, twenty, five hundred? Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have mind all the excess books if…well, they were necessary.
Take City of Fallen Angels which I will arguably say was Clare’s jump the shark moment. The book before it, City of Glass, wrapped up everything in The Mortal Instruments nicely with a bow on top. There were no loose ends, no need for a sequel. Then City of Fallen Angels happened. It would’ve been one thing if something actually interesting happened in this book, but nope it was pretty boring to the last few pages. Where it left the audience with a lackluster ending that provided nothing new or really exciting for the next book which was just as bad or worse. Honestly, it might’ve been okay if the book would’ve been a spinoff or something. But nope it’s more Clary and Jace angst. And after that brother and sister thing how much more angst can one have? Oh and yeah, the incest plot sort of rears its ugly head again. Really…really…..Was this necessary?