The 7 Stages of Grief When Getting Over a Series

The 7 Stages of Grief When Getting Over a Series

Not a Rigid Model of Reader psychology some authors put you through all of these and others leave you with the feels. So this works for both books that you love and books that you hate.

This post was inspired by the release of In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
*You may not personally agree with this or go through all of this in every series.*

To Read Them or Not To Read Them (AKA DENIAL)

Dana: Hi, everyone! I am here to say that I have a problem. A problem with reading the last book in a series. Case in point: The One by Kiera Cass, Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick, Rapture by Lauren Kate, and BOTH Origin and Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout. There are probably many more examples, but my memory is failing me. I hate reading the last book in a series. This stems from not wanting to let go of characters and worlds that I love or the fact that I don't want to be disappointed with the ending. This may not be a problem that everyone has, but I think a lot of readers hesitate to read the final book because then it is over. (Or you get a spin-off which leads to a whole new area of hesitation, we shall discuss this more in another post.)

Rachel: I also have a problem with reading the last book in a series. I'm just not ready to say goodbye!! I have no restraint though, so I normally do read the final book in the series right after it comes out because as I said, NO RESTRAINT. I usually go through these steps and enter a whirlwind of pain and suffering and feels as I leave these characters behind. In the Afterlight, third and final book in the Darkest Minds series came out on Tuesday. I jumped on that book the day it came out. Even though I don't hesitate to read the final book, I always experience a wide spectrum of emotions... I know I'll miss the characters and the story and the setting, and I'm hoping I'm not disappointed. Final book in a series = feels overload. I go through denial by pretending the series isn't over.

The Feels
Dana: This is the stage when you are just so overwhelmed to be in the characters minds and world that you love it no matter what is happening or going on. This is the magical stage where you are just obsessed and flying through it and you can't get enough. This book is incredible or just an emotional rollercoaster. You read it so fast sometimes not just out of love, but because you need to know what is going to happen next.

Rachel: I like to describe this stage as "being caught up in the moment." You don't care what's happening, your favorite characters are in it and you love this series and you just don't want it to end. You wonder what you'll do after these characters leave you. You can't handle it! You get overly emotional and dramatic over every scene. Your emotional response is overly heightened as you realize this is your last time with these characters. Yes The One by Kiera Cass, I am speaking to you.

Dana: When you close the book and realize you are totally not satisfied with the ending. You had hopes and dreams about this book and none of that came to be. The characters you rooted for made stupid judgements and your ship never fully sailed. Or the author wrote an ending that wasn't at all resolute leaving you theorizing on future events. Sometimes it is a bunch of things all combined to leave the book feeling sorely lacking.

Rachel: My first reaction is darnI was expecting more from this. A crushing weight comes down on me as I realize that this book isn't as great as I was hoping. This stage happens the quickest; it comes and goes so fast. If you loved this final book, then you still feel disappointment since it's over.

The Anger
Dana: You begin to aim your disappoints at the characters and author. You may want to throw the book at a wall, but then you rethink that and decide to not take it out on the book. This is the point when you realize EVERYTHING WAS A LIE! Frustration and feelings run high ending in some harshly written subtweets about the book that you may later delete.

Rachel: You see red. You are so angry that you invested your time and energy and heart into these books just to be brought to an unsatisfactory ending. "Really? That's it?!" *cough* Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian *cough* Or if you did enjoy this book, you're still so angry that it's over. You want these characters and their story to live forever!!

The Reluctant Acceptance
Dana: You gently push that anger deep down and think about the why. The author obviously had their reasons. They created this world. These characters are their babies. Maybe they were justified in their choices. This was the only path that they could take. This is the way it is and you just have to deal.

Rachel: You try to forgive (well not really) and forget. As a distraction you immerse yourself in a new book. You've come to terms with the fact that the series is over. You need to move on so you accept the ending and go to the next step.

Start a New Series (There are other fish in the sea/bookstore!)
Dana: The only way to fully cope is to pick up a book in a new series. Get attached new a new world and characters. Preferably a series that will be longer than a trilogy so you don't have to confront the last book for at least several years. You need to give yourself a mourning period for the old characters, before you have to give up the new ones.

Rachel: This step is just like the first day of school when you're so nervous. The anxiety levels are high! You hope this new book won't disappoint. You're looking for a book to fill the void left in your heart from the prior book, and you hope this is the book to do it.

Dana: The end is always near for a series except maybe Outlander (What number book is she up to?). Reading a series is a commitment and the breakup can be really bad sometimes. You find yourself face the signs of booknerd grief and the only option is to pick up the first book in a new series and start the cycle all over again. It is rough to be a booknerd these days. At least we have the community to deal with our mourning. We are a bookish support group. We are here for you!

Rachel: We bookish people have it rough. We become enraptured with these books and then fall apart when the series comes to an end. We go through the grief and the feels. We feel it all.

Questions For The Comments:
1. Do you go through this when you finish a series?
2. Are you hesitant to start a series or the last book for any of these reasons?
3. What books did you go through these steps with?


  1. Awesome post girls! I really loved TVD gifs. Damon was the highlight of my day! ;)

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. Absolutely fantastic post, girls! I'm currently going through this with the last book in the Mara Dyer Rachel, I have no restraint. As soon as I am able to read the book, I'll start it. But then, like Dana, I'm very hesitant. I begin to read the book slow, because I don't want it to be over!

  3. Ahh I love this post! I couldn't agree more :) I'm still at the "reluctance acceptance" stage after Blood of Olympus

  4. Awesome post! I'm avoiding reading Opposition and Blood of Olympus because of this! I don't want to let go of the amazing characters! I just finished the Hush, Hush series and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and it's so hard to get over!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  5. Fun post, ladies :D My problem with series is forgetting about them and never really going back and finishing them :P With a series that I am following, when a new book comes out I immediately buy it, although sometimes I don't read it right away. Not sure how I restrain myself though :P

  6. It always takes me longer to read the last book and I've been known to 'save them' for quite a while. That's the worst feeling when I'm not satisfied by the ending of a series. It's like "after all that, this is that I get?" Mentally makes better ending. (Imager, Ruin and Rising) I have a problem setting my expectations too high, but usually I still like the last book even if it wasn't all I was hoping for. (City of Heavenly Fire, Blood of Olympus) After finishing any book I need a brain break before I start another book, usually a day.

  7. Haha, awesome post and quite accurate, if I do say so myself ;) I've never been afraid to read the last book of a series, though. All series have to come to an end, and seeing a happily ever after or an ending or a closure makes me happy despite the outcome. Yeah, it's bittersweet, but the characters have gone through enough, and I just think that it's time for them to enjoy life now! Haha.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. Great post and oh so accurate. I have so many last books on my shelf that I've avoided. I want to read them...I think? But I can't fathom saying goodbye.

  9. I think every reader knows how it feels to let go of a series you have grown to love. I have been hesitant a few times but it will never come to a point where I will have to put off reading the last book. I agree with Faye, all series must come to a conclusion! I was going through all those stages when I was reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Legend.

  10. I really enjoyed to watch all these funny gifs. I also enjoyed to read your blog post. Recently I heard about Darkest minds one of best selling sci-fi movie adapted from the same named novel. I already Watch The Darkest Minds 2018 Online trailers and videos on social media and YouTube. Now I am excited to watch the movie.


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