01 December 2014

The Leap from Book 1 to Book 2 for Readers

The Leap from Book 1 to Book 2

I’m not here to talk about the difficulties of writing a book 2. I already ranted about that like ten times. No, I’m here to chat about reading sequels.

I’ll be totally honest, the only sequels I’ve read in the past five or six years have been from the Monster Hunter International series and The Hunger Games.

Last night I finished reading the book Cinder—Cinderella is a cyborg, a mechanic and much, much more. It was a great story. Very cool. I really liked it.

My hubby looked at the book on the table and asked when I was going to read the second one.

I mentally shrugged. I hadn’t thought about actually reading the second one. Like I said, it was a good book, the ending wasn’t a cliffhanger, but it led directly into the next one. I’m interested, just not enough to go out and buy or borrow book 2.

Since then, I’ve been wondering why. Why don’t I ever go on?

I’ll make a list, because I like making lists.

1-Volume. I write YA, therefore I need to read a lot of YA. Almost all YA books are part of a series these days, which is somewhat annoying. On the other hand, if you love, love the first book, then of course as a reader you want more. But I have a mountain of YA books waiting to be cracked open. I figure once I’ve read the first one in a series, that I get the gist of how the author writes and plots and presents their ideas. Time to move on.

2-Time. This pesky time thing is irritating, at the very least. There are only 24 hours in a day, and so many hours in a week and I work some of those and I have some devoted to writing and I have to entertain my hubby or he gets really weird and frightens the neighbors and if I don’t work-out not only do I get more chubby but I get grouchy and I do better when I go to a class and someone tells me what to do rather than self-motivating myself, I have a church calling that takes out one evening a week with awesomeness…so you see, there’s a lot going on. If I don’t adore a book, I won’t read the next one. Even if I thought it was great. Adore is different than great.

3-Interest. I like stories in all their forms, and if I’ve already guessed the end of the series before I’m finished with the first half of the first book, then why go on? YA is intricate, but it often relies on tropes that don’t get old as much as they get to be stale. Maybe that’s the same thing. However, I use tropes in my books—teenagers haven’t been introduced to all of the tropes, so this is totally fine. If my interest isn’t piqued, then I’ll move on to something else.

4-The Feel. This goes toward all of those dang dystopian books. If the feeling in the first book is dark, dank, dreary and morbid, then I probably won’t go on to the rest of the series. I like good endings. They don’t have to be perfect, but there needs to be something to smile about. If I’m not liking the feel of the book/series, then it’s kind of dead to me.

That’s my 2 cents worth.

What about you? Do you read a whole series? Why or why not?


Jonathan Stringer said...

I always find that for me to leap from book one to book two is difficult. For me there has to be two elements in the first book.

1. A good character.
2. An interesting story/world.

I've read all of Harry Potter because the world was fascinating and while Harry wasn't the greatest character his friends were.

I only read Angels & Demons and probably will not pick up another Robert Langdon because his character was not that interesting and his story was too contrived.

Lace and Books said...

Searies books are really starting to bug me. AND I've always felt that if you can't tell your story in 3 books or less - you have issues as a writer.

I have found that at book 4 inevitably the story turns hack.

So why do I pick up the next book. When I do it is because I've connected with a character. There is one (or more) persons that I have become "friends" with and I honestly want to know what happens next. Sometimes that a good thing and sometimes it's because I want to know if the stupid crewel thing the author did to my friend will get fixed in book two. But if I get to the end of book 3 and good things aren't going on...I'm likely to pick up book 3 at the library.

I have had some reads where the book desperately needed a book two because the author left so much open, but I've also read book 2s and been all "that's crap!". You can tell the author was filling a contract & was over the story.

It's a tough line. But I'll almost always give book two a chance...it's that 3rd that makes/breaks for me.