Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I Feel Differently About...After Reading Their Sequels'.


At first I really thought this topic was going to be hard. I don't really reread many books and so don't get much of an opportunity to reflect on previous reads! However, thinking about it, I actually doubt my previous opinions a lot when it comes to sequels. If I love a book, then hate it's sequel (or vice versa) I always find myself wondering whether I was overly generous/harsh to begin with. Here are ten series that I've done that with!

Sequels I've Liked Less...

1) The 'Divergent' series by Veronica Roth.

I'm sticking this one at the top because it's still pretty fresh on my mind. When I read 'Divergent' for the first time, I adored it. Seriously, I thought it was the best Dystopian I'd read (not that I'd read many) and gushed about it for days with my sister and various other friends. Then some time later, I read book two and the seeds of doubt were planted. Sure, I still liked it but where was the uncontrollable adoration I had for book one? Now I recently finished 'Allegiant' and sad to say I really didn't like it. Once again I look back on 'Divergent' and I think...did I really like it that much?

2) The 'Queen Of The Tearling' series by Erika Johansen.

I remember reading somewhere that Emma Watson loved this book, so when I read it I expected to love it too. While that didn't happen, I certainly found a lot to like about it: the characters I found really 'likeable' and the plot-line felt 'fresh'. And yet when I read 'The Invasion Of The Tearling', I ended up wondering if I'd really enjoyed book one all that much. Because in book two, I certainly didn't like the characters all that much and the plot-line was a little dull. I'm actually considering not bothering with the next book in the series I felt that annoyed by it.

3) The 'Red Rising' series by Pierce Brown.

Now looking at my ratings, we can all see that I did enjoy 'Golden Son'. However, I found the writing really didn't appeal to me, and nor did the choppy nature of the plot. So why did book one, that suffered from the exact same issues receive such a rave review from me? I can't remember it all that well but I remember saying I loved the characters, while I found them forgettable and flat at times in book two. Weird.

4) The 'Benedicts' series by Joss Stirling.

This is probably the strongest example of not trusting my own opinions. When I read 'Finding Sky' which I apparently thoroughly enjoyed, I only found the slow start an issue. But in 'Stealing Phoenix', the second book in the series, I had real problems. Laughable villains, an excruciatingly bland plot, an annoying heroine and a real lack of good writing or consistency made this a pretty terrible read, especially in relation to it's predecessor. I worried for a long time that my judgement was flawed after comparing the two!

5) The 'Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' series by Laini Taylor.

No one shoot! I had a really great time with this series, but my confidence in Taylor fell after reading the finale. While the first two books had really received great praise from me, when I got to book three I found it lacking in a lot of areas and it made me wonder how I would feel if I were to reread the previous two. The plot jumped around way too much and became so confusing, and I really felt that the conclusion to the story came about two thirds of the way through the book so have no idea what that bit tagged onto the end was supposed to be. A real shame.

Sequels I've Liked More...

6) 'The Grisha' series by Leigh Bardugo.

While I didn't technically rate 'Siege & Storm' any higher that 'Shadow & Bone' it did reaffirm my love for the series and restore my confidence in my original rating. You see, so much time passed between the two books that I began to reflect on my original rating and wonder if I'd been too generous as I could remember more negative aspects than I'd really talked about in my review. Upon reading book two however, I remembered why I love the series so much and can't wait to finish it!

7) The 'Modern Faerie Tales' series by Holly Black.

While I gave 'Tithe a pretty good rating, I did critique a fair few points that I felt disappointed by. This was mostly because friends had really hyped this series up for me and I felt a little let down despite enjoying it. After reading 'Valiant' however, I completely changed my mind! This series is such a great one and while I'm still reserving complete judgement until I've read 'Ironside', I am so pleased that I stuck with it!

8) The 'Curse Workers' series by Holly Black.

Holly Black is an author that I've read a lot of books by because I adore her imagination, and yet at times I feel let down by her 'blink-and-you-miss-it' writing style. This was the case with 'White Cat', the first book in this series, and combined with the fact that I didn't like the characters all that much I felt like it wasn't going to be one I would enjoy. 'Red Glove' however impressed me a lot more! I finally began to feel attachment to what was going on and I really hope that the finale to the trilogy turns out to be the best of the bunch!

9) The 'Winners' Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski.

'The Winner's Curse' was a book that, I felt, had been given way too much hype. When I read it, I found that I felt frustrated by the number of 'incomplete' moments in the books and it's pacing was a little off. Rutkoski's writing style just didn't grab me. But when I got round to reading book two, 'The Winner's Crime', I felt much more invested in the series. Rutkoski does politics and tension very well! I'm looking forward to getting hold of 'The Winner's Kiss' because I've got a feeling it's going to be an explosive read!

10) The 'Afterlife' series by Terri Bruce.

The first book, 'Hereafter' got a pretty good review from me though I did have some real issues with it. Mainly in the form of her MC, Irene Dunphy. Irene's stubborn, irritating behaviour throughout the book frustrated me a lot and I found some sections repetitive. However in 'Thereafter', Bruce really stepped up her writing game and I can see now what she's trying to achieve. You aren't supposed to like Irene...at least not at first. Because Irene is going on a journey of self-discovery and I can't wait to see her grow in future books!