My Favorite Book Series
If you look at some of my monthly reads in my January post or keep up with me on Goodreads, you’ll see that I love book series. I think that was ingrained in me in childhood with Goosebumps, The Boxcar Children and The Babysitter’s Club. Now, I gobble up series in a months time, most of them mystery or suspense. But surprisingly, I do have a favorite series. The Gretchen Lowell/ Archie Sheridan series by Chelsea Cain.
Introduced to Chelsea Cain
I found Chelsea Cain through two different avenues. The first being in college I became absolutely obsessed with Chuck Palahniuk. I was going through a really terrible break up and surprisingly enough the movie Fight Club actually pulled me through it. That’s a story for another day but then I dove head first into his novels. This was around the time that I discovered that my field of study wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Reading and writing was where my true passion lay.
That in turn led me to his writing website, and to me searching for more books like his. That is when I found Chelsea Cain. But curiously enough, I already had her first novel on my shelf. So how did that happen? Oh, thanks to me hoarding books at our yearly library book sale when I spend way too much on previously loved books. So obviously I read it. And read it again. And read it again. Mostly because I didn’t realize it was a series, but also because I loved the book.
So like I said before, Heartsick was already on my shelf, so why hadn’t I read it previously? Or known anything about it? Well when I go to those library book sales, all common sense goes out the window. I start picking up books that I like the covers and the titles instead of reading the book jackets. I have dialed that down a little and now have a list of authors that I look for first, but I used to just run amok at those sales.
I fell in love with Gretchen Lowell. Yea, yes I know she’s supposed to be the antagonist in this book, but she reminds me of a character I once wrote about in a novel that was sucked into oblivion after my computer crashed. Side note: Back up your work. Do it. Right this minute. Don’t suffer my same fate. But back to Gretchen. Her development through the series is something I strive for in my writing. I think trying to figure out her sick mind is a part of the reading experience that I enjoy.
I sear I have read this series so many times, that I feel like I intimately know Archie. He can be frustrating but incredibly intelligent and keen on seeing parts of cases that others do not. I think that he is the knot that ties all the characters together. I can also put him into the role as father figure in many of his interactions, even though his actual children are rarely seen. I think that that is an important factor in understand him and how everything that has happened to him has affected him.
I think this might have been the intention with how she wrote Susan Ward, but I completely see myself in her and am sure a lot of other people like me would too. As much as I want to be the buxom, beautiful Gretchen Lowell, I’m more like the pixie impression I get of Susan. Ward is probably the character that we get the most emotion from, the one that we can feel how she’s feeling because she isn’t afraid to express it. And when she is afraid to express it when get a further glimpse into Susan.
Honestly I don’t think I’m going to give a review review in this post because I think that it’s hard to boil so many books down into a few paragraphs. I’ll probably do one over the first one, Heartsick at some point but not today.
What I do want to tell you though is why I love this series so much. So I told you how I found her, about some of the characters, but why is it my favorite series? Well truthfully, I wish I had written it! That quote by Beverly Cleary “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” That is how I feel about this entire series. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not jealous or envious. I am thankful! It opened my eyes up to a writing style that I adore, and that women can write powerful characters that you can be scared of. It’s 100% the series that helped me return to writing.
- Evil at Heart
- The Night Season
- Kill You Twice
- Let Me Go
Side note: One of my World of Warcraft characters names was Hertsick and Sweethert, so just another way I feel connected to these books. Silly, I know.
I don’t typically read books over and over multiple times, I love to discover new works, or read more indie authors. But this is a series that if I pick one of the books up, I sometimes don’t put it back down till I’m finished. Do you have any books or series like that? I love new recommendations, especially now that you know what I like! Let me know down below, or find me on twitter where I am most active!