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5 Excuses I Use to Avoid Sequels

The weekend is nigh! Your life is already bound for a course of fun and relaxation, so let's throw in some funnies with Front Five Friday. (More)

'Kay I don't need to make this confession, because I'm sure you've heard or noticed that I still haven't read Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Not what you were expecting me to say, eh? Yes, it's truth, my unsuspecting friends, please try to contain your shock if you didn't already know of this. And there are many poor books just like it who face the same dilemma: they can't get me to read them, even if I ALREADY OWN THEM. Now, in the case of Insurgent, you may be thinking something along the lines of

But let me esplain something to you. Sequels can be forces for good. You can look forward to the refinement of an author's writing style, long-awaited quality time with awesome characters, the story continuing and expanding, and, hopefully, the whole experience will be FUN.

They might even be beautiful.

Then there's, well, the shitty side of things. Didn't flush the toilet after shitty, where the sequel is so bad you don't even know how or why you read the first one, and then you remember the first one was SO GOOD. Then, you think, HOW COULD THIS BE?

That crushing disappointment, after you'd waited SO. LONG. for the book is indeed unbearable.

The worst thing about reading a terrible sequel, worse than even that leftover chocolate soup in your toilet bowl, is the buildup of expectations and the dramatic subsequent demolition. Like playing Jenga and losing THE MOMENT you place two fingers on a block. Nothing feels worse than disillusionment, and then the ensuing grief over the loss of that illusion.

And, so, I've come up with ways to convince myself I don't need to pick up a sequel. Yes, all of that was just to get things started. *grins*

#5: "I'm onto you, -INSERTDEVIOUSAUTHORNAMEHERE-, I know your pattern."
One of my favorite things I do to myself (*snickers* I said one of :P) and definitely among the worst I could possibly do is try to predict what the author is going to write in the sequel. Not like I'm Sherlock or some great powerful sorceror or seer. I just THINK that because I read ONE series of the author beforehand, that I KNOW the formula for how every series thereafter will run. Which is undoubtedly a little arrogant, very foolish, and quite pathetic. This is very much a serious problem and character flaw and could act as a strong deterrent, almost powerful enough to get me to stop in the middle of THE INDIGO SPELL by Richelle Mead... thankfully, my brain cells smothered and destroyed that irrational impulse.

Really, though, it's just a poor attempt at a defense mechanism to soothe arising anxiety that is possibly a bit dangerous. But, hey, what's the point if you're not invested, right?

#4: "I'll be sixty twenty by the time I get the next one and/or the following one."
So why should I bother with buying anything now? Starting anything now? It's like I'm asking for the devastation or BRING ON THE FAILURE. And then, what happens if it ends with a terrible cliffhanger or leaves you in the Pit of Despair, where people could be shouting down positivity and hope to you but you can't hear them because you're IN AN UNFATHOMABLE HOLE?

I mean, MAYBE if Allegiant by Veronica Roth were coming out sooner then I might find my way to the liquor store or a friend's basement the courage within myself to finally read Insurgent.

#3: "I loved the [rank here] one so much... so this next one probably isn't that good."
I actually ran into this sly form of self-doubt whilst reading HERO'S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE by Christopher Healy, which, STOP. Before you say anything, I know. I KNOW. It has nothing to do with trusting the author, not really. Okay, in certain cases, maybe. Although, my GOSH, Healy is a genius... I heard a tiny wicked voice whispering all about the improbability of the sequel living up to the enormous magnificence of the first one. How could my feelings rise that high once again? It SEEMS impossible. Like somebody saying you'll fall in love many times. Possible, sure, but not believable especially when you're a lonely eighteen-year-old who reads during ALL OF LIFE. One time seems so big and important already, imagining more amazing experiences gifted by the same author? Well, that sounds like something to make door-to-door sales. I haven't read THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer Nielsen and BOUNDLESS by Cynthia Hand because of this recurring wayward thought.

#2: "I'm not THAT invested."
Oh, yeah, I'm ALWAYS trying to convince myself of that one. Sometimes it is the truth. The first book could be mediocre, decent, or well-written, but when I see a chance at the sequel, I'm not inspired. Yes, whoa, I have self-restraint. Then there are others that are obviously amazing and that I loved in a twisted way Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan *reveals claws* which force me to pretend I don't really care one way or the other for the sake of my tattered emotional insides. So I let time go on until it SEEMS like I no longer have to pretend and I actually don't care. And on the day where my investment is at it's lowest "Unspoken? What's that again?" then I'll read the sequel. Cue bleeding insides afterward.


When someone writes, "OMZFG! THAT ENDING," or "YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THE THINGS," what do you think my response is going to be? A smile and a "Thanks, fellow blogger and book connoisseur, I am now scared shitless" "I'm so scared I don't even know where I am but I think somebody moved me to the tundra in the last five seconds, but thanks for the honesty"? You are batshizz crazy if you think I'm grateful after THAT (even if I secretly enjoy it). I am now about as wary of that book as that frog contemplating hopping over that electric fence over there. And maybe ONE DAY that frog will be stupid enough to try to make the leap and escape a fried future, but that day, my friends, is not today.

And you? How long does it take before you're ready to touch a sequel let alone read one? Do you have any avoidance techniques you've caught yourself doing? Do you think I'm insane? Don't answer that, because I think we both know what the answer is going to be, but seriously pros vs cons on sequels? Yay or flay... the author?


Princess Ash said...

I have quite a few negative experiences with second books (which leaves me kind of scared about Rose Under Fire since Code Name Verity was my favorite book of 2012) but I'm generally willing to give them a shot. I am most likely to read the sequel if I can find it on Netgalley and I don't have to wait quite as long!

Princess Ash said...

I really struggled to concentrate after the mention of leftover chocolate soup in the toilet bowl (and also fought to keep my breakfast down), so THANK YOU for that. But man, I feel like this post was written just for me! Although I HAVE read Insurgent, there are so many examples I can think of where I enjoyed the first book (loved it, even) but then refused to return to the series for whatever reason. Your #1 and #2 points are probably the main factors. Funny that you mention (or don't mention!) Unspoken actually. I'm trying hard to convince myself I don't care about the sequel either. (But hand me an ARC and I'll pounce on it).

Also, new look? LOVE IT! I especially adore all the colours. <3

Princess Ash said...

my god, your excuses are so right.. especially the one where we wait a freaking year for each sequel.. but also how sometimes the ending of a trilogy is so bad (*ahem* Chemical Garden trilogy *ahem*) and I had to power through Fever just to get to Sever and read that horrible ending. Also, many books are amazing for the first book but then they plummet (again, Chemical Garden trilogy).

Great post!!

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf