Another Bookish Fear I Have..And I Totally Didn’t Realize I Feared It!

By now, if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you know I have sometimes irrational fears  (or sometimes not irrational depending on who you ask) — like this one or this one. Well, this one, I didn’t even realize I HAD it or could pinpoint it until recently.

I realized I have this irrational fear of moving on to the next book in a series.


I love the first book, anticipate the next and then I get my hands on it…but then I am so scared to pick it up. It’s like I psych myself out.  How I realized it? I’ve been STARING at two of my most anticipated books  Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi and Requiem by Lauren Oliver for MONTHS (not to mention a zillion other books in a series). Just staring at them on my shelves. I feel like I side eye them every time I walk into my bedroom as if I’m afraid they are going to jump out like a snake at me.  I also realized I have this fear because I’ve been talking to lots of people about Unravel Me and everyone just keeps saying “GO READ IT ALREADY!” and then I say “I Will!” and then 5 books later I still haven’t picked it up. It makes me scurrrrred. I don’t wannnna.

With Unravel Me my fear is what I’ve heard about how a HORRIBLE character suddenly becomes beloved and seriously EVERYONE has turned and now loves him. I don’t want this to happen. I DON’T WANT TO LOVE HIM! Furthermore, I don’t want to KNOW how Tahereh Mafi SLAYS us enough to make us get to that point. With Pandemonium, I’m just seriously afraid for how Lauren Oliver is going to end this series. She is fearless in with the things she does in this series and is not afraid to rip your heart out. Also, it’s the end of the there’s that. I always fear that just as much as I am SO ANTICIPATING IT.

I guess it’s just this fear of what the author is going to DO TO ME and the things that they may put me through knowing how INVOLVED I feel in some of my favorite series.  How they could KILL a character I love. Or make the character go through something horrible.  How they might make me FEEL so intensely knowing what I know from the previous books.  Or that they might take it in a direction that I hate or don’t want to go…even though I trust them. I’m just too afraid of the slaying that might occur on my heart.  Then my little heart trembles thinking about the next book (if the series is still ongoing) and how it is going to pain me to wait and, if the series is over, how my heart will just ache forever and ever. Look at all the psyching myself out I do??

I love series. I do. I get so excited about the next book in a series and progressing in the story but apparently I fear them, too. And it takes A LOT OF COURAGE for me to pick up the next book. I guess perhaps this explains part of the mystery I posed in my Series SUCK post). I do know that this isn’t the SOLE reason for why I accidentally leave series hanging but I see now that I’m just a big ol’ scaredy cat in actually STARTING the next book but typically welcome being back in the world and with the characters.

Am I the only one who psychs themselves out about starting the next book in a series? Or do you just dive right in to the next book easily? If you are like me, which series have been like this for you where you were just almost putting it off because you were fearful of WHAT the author was going to do? Or am I just completely a weirdo and need to get a grip?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. well… u know i feel the same way you do about unravel me… which is why i’m forcing you to wait so we can deal with it together! i’m also freaked out about requiem. lauren oliver is the queen of cliffhangers!

    it really is scary though! i hate falling in love with a book, knowing there is a good chance the next book will change everything I fell in love with in the first place! don’t they know what they are doing to our hearts?!

  2. I relate to this a lot. WHAT IF MY OTP DOESN’T END UP TOGETHER?! I mean, I just spent three books invested in them THEY HAVE TO. Of course they often don’t and that is actually best for the character and I know that. But my heart still has issues. I trust the authors, I do. But I understand the series fear because WHAT IF?!

  3. I totally understand and I’ve probably done this at times myself, but I still can’t believe you have Requiem in your possession and haven’t read it yet!!! With the cliff hanger that was Pandemonium, I don’t think I could postpone reading the final book, no matter how nervous I am about how things will turn out. So. jealous.

  4. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    I hear ya. It’s the same reason that Insurgent sat unread on my shelf for MONTHS. Although, with Lauren Oliver I have no reservations, because I know it’s gonna be awesomely unreal. And the book comes out the day before my birthday, and hubby knows what I want for my bday 🙂

  5. …I’d already have dropped everything to read Requiem already.

    I never have a fear. I mostly have faith that an author that impressed me in the previous books would be able to do it again. But then again, I rarely care if my favorite character dies (assuming it’s not only for the shock factor) And I don’t mind the author not doing what I want…if I am impressed in the end.

    I guess it’s also because I have no time to waste “pondering.” Especially since I am desperately balancing school with reading that any opportunity I get to read–I take it.

  6. I’m exactly the same! I ordered Froi of the Exiles and Quintana from fishpondworld to get them ASAP, and over a year later both are still sitting on my bookshelf. I’m too nervous to pick them up! I don’t even know why, it’s a tiny bit ridiculous.

  7. I don’t know if I have any fears. Great post tho.

  8. Oh no, you are not the only one. I not only have an irrational fear of moving on to the next book in a series, I also have an this irrational fear of starting a new series. I mean, it’s way past time to start reading Delirium and Divergent but I’m not. I peer at them on my bookshelf every day though. Such a paradoxical situation. Sigh.

  9. Yes, I totally understand you, the same happens to me. I really wanted to read Pandemonium and the second part of Matched, but since I really loved the first book in the series I’m very reluctant to do it. I don’t want them to let me down :'(

  10. You are definitely not alone! That being said, however, I am *shocked* you *still* haven’t picked up Requiem, despite shaking hands. The ending of Pandemonium made me wish I had waited until the series was complete before reading them. 😉 My fear/nervousness usually doesn’t deter me from picking up the next one, just makes me tread lightly for fear of drowning in my feelings/frustrations. But, I figure those are going to come whether I read it now or a year from now so I may as well get it over with. 🙂

  11. I completely understand. For me, there are some series that I love so much that I just cannot wait to read the next book, and then I get the book… and it sits there. I own both Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie, and Prized by Caragh O’Brien, and I dread reading them. I’m scared of what the authors are going to do next. What if I hate it? With both Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan and the final Artemis Fowl book, I waited a couple of months after buying them to actually read them.

    But then there are other series that I didn’t hesitate with at all. With the Hunger Games, I read the whole trilogy over two days; I just didn’t want to put it down. I just bought and read Prodigy by Marie Lu on Wednesday.

    I think the big difference is that with these series, I either owned all the books so I didn’t have to wait for the next one, or the next book came out only within a couple of days of me reading the first so the wait was short. I didn’t give myself enough time to mull over what the author was going to do next; I just jumped right in. With the series I’m putting off, because I had so long to wait between books, there was plenty of time to build up all sorts of ideas of what might happen next, both good and bad, and now I’m scared to see which of my predictions come true.

  12. YES! Mostly when other people have been talking about how much the book killed them or made them cry or something along those lines! I still haven’t read Pandemonium because of this. And I’ve heard similar things about the fifth book in the Soul Screamers series…
    And I’m not really prepared to like the person you’re referring to in Unravel Me either 😉
    It’s actually worse with the last book in the series cause what if the author does something heartbreaking and then it CAN NEVER BE FIXED??

  13. Interesting. I’m not afraid of endings or picking up the next book or what happens. I *am* afraid of picking up a series in general if it hasn’t finished yet. I think I’m more afraid of waiting than anything else. This is why I haven’t read Shatter Me or Delirium yet…I HATE waiting. I think I’m a binge reader…

  14. I’m not sure I would call it a fear but I totally psyche myself out ESPECIALLY when it comes to first installments that I love. I’m living this at the moment… I loved Grave Mercy and am so very disappointed in Dark Triumph. And I know this isn’t the whole instance but I totally understand! 😀

  15. I feel the same way about most second books…actually about the last books in the series, because I’m terrified for the ending! I just don’t want series to end. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I’ve got piles of books that are the next in the series that I am terrified to get to as well. Series DO suck!

  16. I DO THIS TOO! I am just now picking up Insurgent. I totally loved Divergent, and I’ve had Book 2 staring at me for months now, but I was scared of what would happen to characters that I have become emotionally attached to. Why must the authors torture us with traumatic events in book 2’s??

  17. Oh goodness this is EXACTLY me. I have started trying to wait to read series until their complete, because I find myself panicking less when I can read them straight through. If I leave long breaks, I end up doing too much THINKING and ANALYZING. And that can get me into big trouble. My current issue is with love triangles. I was seriously hurt by the end of one recent triangle that I had loved before (I bet you can guess which one), and I do NOT want to go through that again. I also try to rely on friends for their guidance. I get so emotionally involved in characters, that I worry so much for them.

    As for the series to which you refer above, I went through the same thing. As well as a huge mourning period when I discovered that book 2 appears to introduce a triangle. However, I will echo all your friends in saying JUST READ IT, and TRUST TAHEREH MAFI.

    And if that doesn’t convince you, remember that it will only take you about 5 hours at most to read the book, and in the grand scheme of things that’s not long. So if you hate it after that amount of time, you can start something else to clear your head (but you will LOVE IT, I’m sure).

  18. Thank you, yes!! I am this way, too. I’m also staring at ReQUIEM…and BOUNDLESS and REACHED! I’m biting the bullet and reading SEVER right now, though. I get the irrational fear, too, though, especially when it’s the end of the series. Will it get the job done well? With some books…I hear how much better REACHED is than the first two books, or I hear someone who HAS read REQUIEM saying to read other books first and let it slip…sometimes, this also plays into my mental state of mind! I hate when author torture us. Jennifer Armentrout, for example. I’ll only read one series by her at a time. Sometimes, I just want to STARE at the sequels and pet them, but am just afraid to read them and see what has happened. Thank you for putting this into better words than I could.

  19. I have the opposite problem, I read series books too and then wish I’d slowed down because they’re over too quick

  20. I HAVE THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM! I have SO many series that I own the next book, but am putting off reading it because I just don’t want it to be over, or there to not be another book to read, or to have to WAIT for the next one. SIGH!

  21. I am having that problem with Blood and starlight right now!!!!

  22. I am currently doing this with Unravel Me and The Evolution of Mara Dyer. It’s so bad 🙁

  23. I think I do this more with TV shows than books(especially Gilmore Girls–I waited YEARS to see the final season), but I definitely do it with books too. Right now, I’m kinda putting off reading Scarlet after reading Cinder, even though I want to read the book SO BADLY. I have a feeling Divergent #3 will make me feel the same way. And I’m super nervous for Requiem, especially since I felt a little let down by Pandemonium.

  24. Watching that .gif on loop forever.

  25. Yes, I have this fear too. I still haven’t read Insurgent or Reached. *hangs head in shame*

  26. I psych myself out sometimes about series, but I usually just forge ahead. I’m always scare though. What if it sucks and I realize that this author isn’t made of magic and unicorns? Sometimes I am betrayed, but sometimes not. Oh, also, series books are intimidating because my memory sucks and I’m like “I don’t know what’s going on!!!!” if it’s been to long, but if it’s too soon, then the recap can kind of suck too. So yeah, both the second and last book in a series are generally terrifying.

  27. I think I have the opposite problem! I get so hooked on a series that I just read them all SO quickly and don’t slow down. And I don’t give myself enough time to just enjoy everything! And then I have all the feels when it’s over and I just want to characters to go on living and having adventures and HOW CAN IT BE OVER? But I love that you’re afraid to move on in a series! I wish I slowed down some when I read a series!

  28. OMG same! I kind of didn’t realize it until you posted this, but I do too!

  29. It is like you READ MY MIND when you wrote this post, because I’m certainly the same way. As much as I look forward to continuing with series, I definitely hesitate before moving on to the next book. It’s hard for me because I worry about how I will feel after reading this book (whether I will like a character more or hate one completely, or whether I will learn something new that will make my jaw drop, or whether I will freak out over someone dying, and so on).

    There are times when I feel ready to keep going in a series, and I don’t mind finding out what happens next. Those times are rare and few in between though, and I currently don’t have any series that I felt this way about.

    Also, about Unravel Me, I have read it and I still am on Team Adam – even though it’s irrational to most people after reading that book. One thing you CAN look forward to is Kenji because he’s totally AMAZEBALLS in this book.

  30. I am so with you on this. For me it’s not necessarily what the author is going to do to those characters, but whether the next book is going to be as good as the first/previous one. BEcause what if it sucks? What if it completely ruins the series for and I never want to finish the books because that one inbetween book ruined it by having what I call ‘second-book-sydrome’. If someone whose reviews I trust tells me that the next one is as good as or even better than the previous it’s not so bad. But there is definitely that fear of “I’ve invested so much into the previous book/s, what if it sucks?” for me.


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