Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Last Book in a Series

I just read MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, even though it came out last October. I even got an advance reader copy of the book at ALA back in July. It languished on my book shelf for more than seven months. The only reason I finally read it when I did was because my husband threatened to tell me spoilers if I didn't hurry up. I hate spoilers.

Oryx and Crake is one of my favorite books of all time. I read the companion book, Year of the Flood the week it came out. I was really excited about MaddAddam, especially since I had recently listened to Year of the Flood with my husband and fell in love with it all over again. But I didn't read MaddAddam because I was afraid.

Stab you to death in the shower afraid.

I am afraid of the last books in most series.

I like a good end to a series but they scare me too. Because when a good series comes to a good end, it's done. There's no more. Those are all the words you're going to get, pal. And what if the end isn't good? What if it's terribly disappointing? If the final volume of a series sucks and you don't read it, does it still make a sound?

The closer I get to the end of a story, whether it's books or a television series, the less I want to finish it. This is a fairly recent development, and I'm going to go ahead and blame the show Lost. I blame Lost for most of my issues. Never has the end of a story left such a huge gaping hole in my life. It scarred me.
Finishing the MaddAddam trilogy was painful even though I liked the last book a lot. I can't bring myself to move past season four of Breaking Bad. I still haven't watched the last episode of season one of Orphan Black (but I will before season two starts). I've been carrying around volume six of Locke and Key almost since it came out, afraid to open it up. What if Bode doesn't get his body back, dammit?

This is why I'm totally cool with George RR Martin taking his sweet time with A Song of Ice and Fire. Maybe there will be a last book, eventually. I don't know. But I don't have to worry about that book right now. I try to read series that are already over. For some reason not having to wait for the end makes finishing a little easier. But I can't do that all the time. I need to stay current for the sake of maintaining some sense of street cred with the three high school students who actually read the YA books I pick out for my library.

I need to get over this because it's silly. Reading MaddAddam was great. I loved it. If I had continued to ignore the book, I would have missed out on so many awesome moments. I would have missed out on a whole other level of understanding not available in the first two books. But reading it was still difficult because I am a wuss. I am a book wuss.

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