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Yesterday I talked about series fiction and how it is the characters that usually keep me reading. Some of my favorite series I have been reading for a decade or more, and I am reluctant to start any new series anymore, unless there is something about them that really catches my interest.
The rise of the trilogy is changing that reluctance to commit, for me and for my students. Trilogies are not a new phenomenon (see Lord of the Rings). But the Hunger Games and other trilogies are dominating the young adult market like never before.
A trilogy has a lot of appeal. You know that you will get to the end and have all the answers at some point in the near future. If you wait until all three are out, you can read them all in a row and get the whole story without having to wait every year for a new book. And, best of all, the author can tell a complete story over the course of three books, without running the risk of entering an endless loop of the same plot over and over again to try to draw out the series.
This weekend I read the conclusions of the Medusa Girls and Razorland trilogies. My students and I are anxiously awaiting the end to The Testing and The Selection trilogies. In the meantime, I still have the last of Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright trilogy to finish. My students will be as glad as I am to have these trilogies finish up, not because we are tired of them, but because we can finally know what really happens in the end.