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)
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.
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.
Rachel: My first reaction is darn. I 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.
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 AcceptanceDana: 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!)
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.
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?