On Thursdays I'm going to take time to step back and just share my thoughts on things related to reading. Sometimes these may be my thoughts or thoughts I've gotten from my students. It depends on the Thursday. It depends on the topic. It depends on the week!
Sequels and Books in a Series
Lately I’ve been noticing a pattern about the books being released, and I’m not so sure if I always like it. Of the last 7 books I’ve read, 5 of them will have sequels! It seems that almost every book I pick up now will have a sequel or be part of a series.
Now this isn’t a completely bad thing. It’s nice to see more of these characters and what happens with them, but sometimes it’s also a little much. I feel frustrated when I put all my energy into the characters and the story, and then I get to what I think is the end and find out I don't have the full story or complete resolution. Worse, I get to the end and I'm satisfied with it only to know that it really isn’t the ending! I don't want there to be more after that ending! I want that to be it! And I know that in the sequel I’ve got to watch what the characters accomplished in the first book get yanked away from them, and they'll need to fight to get it back.
A perfect example of this would be Shiver. I loved the ending to Shiver. I was satisfied with that ending. Maybe there were a few lose ends, but not enough for me to lose sleep over. Now out comes Linger (which I didn't know about when I read Shiver), and I have to face more trials with these characters. I don’t know if I want to. Not because I didn't love the book and those characters, but because when I read, I read fully with my whole heart (ok that sounds corny I know!), and to now have to go through more with them just drains my energy! Yes, yes I know I could just not read the sequel, but I'd always know it's out there!
Another thing, with so many books coming out with sequels or part of a series, the first books aren’t always the most exciting. You can tell they are just a set up for the rest of the series. Do I really want to read my way through a whole book just so I can understand book two? Could book one and book two be one whole book instead? Yes there are some great books that have the type of storyline to carry into several books (The Hunger Games, Uglies), but honestly not all books have a strong enough plot. They should've been kept to one book.
So what do you think? Do you think too many books are being written with a sequel in mind? Maybe you love books with sequels, so you love all that are coming out. It’s just a topic that has been rattling around in my mind. I will say, as a teacher, I love books in a series because if the first book hooks a kid I know I’ve got them reading for a while!