Chat Between Chapters: Sequels – Better than the original?

April 19, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 19


 Let’s talk about sequels. Are they better than the original? Or do sequels/subsequent books start to lose something?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

There have been quite a few series I’ve read where the first book is excellent while the sequels just flop (case in point: Matched, The Testing, Delirium). Then there are other books where the sequel and subsequent books get better and better (Harry Potter, Soul Screamers) or the sequel is way better than the original (If I Stay – sequel Where She Went) . Most are hit or miss though.



I’ve been trying to think of sequels that I liked better, and I’ve only thought of a few. Lola and the Boy Next Door for sure (love Cricket Bell!). Good for You (the third book in the Between the Line series) was the best out of the series. I did think Where She Went was better than the original. And the Harry Potter books really improved as the series went on. But mostly, I think I love the original book so much and then the sequel, or the rest of the series is always a disappointment. The first book of the series is usually genuinely intriguing. But then the follow-up books fail to stir those same feelings in me. I think it all depends on the author and the characters. Do the characters grow? Does the plot have somewhere to go past the first book? Sequels need to have a purpose. And I think that lately, a lot of sequels do not.



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19 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Sequels – Better than the original?”

  1. Tina at Mommynificent

    I tend to think of books as series when they are part of one so it’s hard for me to differentiate unless there really is a huge gap in quality. I can think of a few examples both ways – where the author has gotten better and better as the series progresses and where they’ve gotten worse and worse. I can’t say that I think one or the other is the norm though. Sorry not to be much help on this topic! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #95

    • Julie

      Well that’s good that you think the norm is the series overall is on par with individual books in the series.

    • Julie

      It is rather hit or miss, but when the series finale book is epic, it is so much fun.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Like you both say, I think it depends. There are some sequels/subsequent books that are better and really add to my love of the characters. I’m thinking Colleen Hoover right off the bat. But then I’ve read a few series – House of Night and Evernight (off the top of my head) – where I stopped enjoying the story and/or stopped reading because I got bored. :/
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#ShelfLove ~ Preventing Relapse

  3. Cynthia

    Hmm, that is a good question. I think the only one I can think of is Twilight. The final book was better than the other two. It is rare that this happens though.
    Cynthia recently posted…Sunday Post

    • Julie

      Agree, the final book was the best in the entire series. But it makes sense as an author gets better with time, you’d think you’d see it more often.

    • Julie

      Good point, once the world building is out of the way, the characters can take over.

  4. Ramona

    Well, it’s rare for the sequel to surpass the previous book, but it does happen. But usually, the first book is really good, the second feels like a filler and the third is pretty decent. I can’t remember the last time I was pleasantly surprised by a sequel – maybe Chris Howard’s The Rift (sequel to Rootless)? Not that it stops me from picking up new series, lol 😀 Have a beautiful Sunday!
    Ramona recently posted…2015 ALA List Of Challenged Books

    • Julie

      I agree, too many trilogies have a middle book that would do better as a novella than a full novel. Catching Fire is a great exception to that rule though.

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