Survival Guide #1: The End of a Series

Completing a book series can take years: waiting for cover reveals, anticipating release dates, making plot predictions. You have time to develop relationships with the characters, since you're embarking on a journey that spans multiple novels with them, and understand the world to the point that, when the series comes to an end, it's difficult. You may resort to re-reading the series, or sending the author emails begging for a sequel, not wanting to admit that it is, in fact, over.  Here's a survival guide to help you through!
If you're planning on picking up Veronica Roth's Allegiant or Patrick Ness' Monsters of Men anytime soon, it could be a good idea to purchase a few boxes of Kleenex, to make sure there are tissues at your reach throughout the novel. Authors are known for not bringing all their characters to the end of the series; some making these decisions before the publication of even the first novel. Whilst readers expect the plot lines to be resolved by the end of the series, it usually takes a rebellion and a few half-hearted battle sequences to do this, resulting in some brutal ends for characters that you have spent hundreds of pages reading about.

Whether it's an awful day at school or plans gone-wrong, it is a known fact that most turn to comfort-food. A slice of cake; bowl of ice-cream; bar of chocolate. It's the same for finishing books. When reading, have your favourite type of snack beside you, especially when the final few chapters are coming to a close. In fact, there's nothing better than curling up with a box of chocolates and a book, period.  What better excuse to eat those foods that are meant to be treats?
When it comes to finishing series', you will need your phone or laptop - and internet access. If you're a little bit shocked or surprised, sobbing even, contact a friend. When I place that final book back on my shelf, and I know that there is someone on my phone's contact list who has also finished the series, I'll ring them immediately. Although, I do normally log straight into Twitter or my email account, to start a conversation about the ending with those I know also loved the books. With my vision-blurred from tears, it's always possible I've missed something, so discussing plot-points helps me organise my thoughts.
If you want to be more productive once a series has concluded, you should buy the author's other books in advance. This means that, the moment you put down one set, another can be picked up. Reading other novels by the same author makes it easier to adjust, especially if you have read their other series back-to-back; their works will, despite having a different storyline, have a similar writing style. Recently, publishing e-shorts has become extremely popular, the likes of Kiera Cass continuing to write from the perspective of other characters from her Selection series, and it's possible the author of the series you have just finished may have released some over the course of writing the novels. Make sure you've downloaded them for whenever you need to revisit that specific fictional world.

I may have a love/hate relationship with book adaptations, but they do mean that, for me, The Hunger Games still hasn't ended. Katniss' story still continues as each film is released; and, with that, the excitement that I felt when I first read the trilogy. Take advantage of Hollywood's obsession with YA novels, and if - like most series' - there has been an adaptation of the one you are about to finish/have finished, buy it! A movie gives you a chance to re-live your favourite moments repeatedly, fast-forwarding over any events in the novel that you would rather forget, experiencing the good ones over again. Choosing an upbeat, laugh-out-loud film that is completely unrelated to the novel can also be useful; for the first time in weeks you might be able to stop thinking about the ending.

So, what is part of your end-of-series survival guide?

Tell me in the comments!


  1. I usually clear my schedule. Make sure I have time to wallow in the loss of the book ending and having plenty of treats is always good. Just allowing time to grieve is good.

    It's sometimes just sad that it's over, without the book being sad too.

    Great post! :)

  2. Unlike some people I never want to retread a series after I read it. I usually take. A couple days to digest it then I go on and read something completely different.

    Amelia @ YA Bookologists

  3. Fantastic post, Sophie! I've noticed that I don't finish a lot of the trilogies I pick up - even if I really enjoyed the first book! - so I've been making a conscious effort to change this over the last few months, and I could definitely have done with reading some of this advice beforehand! I'll be referring to these survival tips whenever I reach the last book in a series from now on :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to read - and comment on - this blog post! I read and reply to every comment, so feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer!

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Sophie Louise