Graphic courtesy of the lovely Valerie, who was kind enough to make me one when I bitched about not having enough time ♥♥
We’re going to talk about sequels today, friends! The reason? Well a few of my chums have decided to start a little friendly sequel challenge. Rashika, Val, Holly, and I had all decided that collectively we suck at sequels, so we should try to read them together. That’s fun, right? Only… while we were comparing our shelves, everyone else had like, a hundred sequels, and I started throwing unreleased crap on the list just to make it to 20. All my friends had assumed they were garbage at sequels, and I thought I was too. After all, I have had some on my shelf for quite some time, what was I doing?! But I guess the number I have on my shelves is not… so bad?
Basically, I started thinking: What exactly made me keep up with sequels? And did they maybe not have as great an impact on my reading as I had hoped?
Sequels are Comforting
Look, you know the world, you know the characters. It’s like seeing an old friend after a year or so. It’s familiar, it’s cozy, and sometimes, that’s really nice! No need to figure out a whole new style or world or whatever.
We’ve all heard of the dreaded “sequel slump”, wherein a sequel of a book you loved fails to impress. And sure, some sequels hit it out of the damn park, but a lot of times, I feel kind of underwhelmed. Like maybe that “old friend” wasn’t as awesome as I’d remembered?
Book One Was a Cliffhanger
Obviously, some evilly delightful author decided to end the book you were loving with every character’s life and limb in the balance. Did Sue survive the volcano? Will Mike and Joe stay together? I have no idea, because it ended with a non-ending that made me basically die inside for more, and now I must know everything.
We begin Chapter 1 with Sue’s narrative- obviously she’s still kickin’. The prologue is a glimpse of Mike and Joe’s wedding (or breakup, depending on how that particular cookie crumbles). Basically, we know the result pretty quickly. And after that, the high stakes you’ve built up in your mind seem to wane. Can the author pull you back in? Sometimes yes, but sometimes also no.
The Story is Awesome
This goes without saying, I suppose- if you loved the story, the world, the characters, you’re probably eager to continue. And you presume that you’ll still like all those things. And you might! Some worlds I simply haven’t been able to get enough of- like the Scythe series, or ummm, Panem.
Sometimes shit changes. Hell, sometimes you are the one who changes. Whatever the case, either the world isn’t really your cup of tea anymore, you don’t like where the plot headed, whatever. Sometimes you just don’t fall in love with Book 2 or 72 as much as you loved the first one. And that is hard.
Do You Think Sequels are Hard?
I like polls. So I ask: Do you find sequels to be wildly unpredictable? Do you read them anyway?
Also created by Val! And Rashika will get salty if I don’t tell you that she came up with the name!
Unlike my cohorts, I only have a handful of sequels, woo! And, not all of them are even out yet. Because as I mentioned, I am a mess of a person. Or not, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, here are the books I want to read! Not all this year even, mind you. Just… someday. I am only including books I have access to/will have access to within a couple weeks. Because no need to have you all tell me to read like, Obsidio or something when I very clearly cannot 😉
Sorry, I didn’t link because I am tired. And kind of want to go read. Ironically, not a sequel. 🤔