The Sequel

The sequel to what, you may be asking? Did I do a post, and this is a follow-up to that post? No. This is literally a post about sequels! And, more specifically, the awesome-yes-I’m-so-happy ones, and the now-I-can’t-speak-for-the-tears-will-come dissapointing ones. There’s an abundance of each, with some stories needlessly dragging on with little plot, lots of cliché, and general confusing-ness, but with others rising and expanding from their previous books and going on to become even better, 2.0 versions. And a lot of books that have horrible sequels have originals that make it onto my favorite list, while not all that have great sequels make it onto my favorite’s list at all. Either way, here, I have a list of my top 5 sequel wins, and my bottom 5 sequel fails.

Sequel Wins 

1. The Harry Potter Series

The first book was great. We’re introduced to Harry and his friends. They take down a troll, deal with Mr. Snape, and use their individual advantages to stop Voldemort and save the day. Plus, we get to see a bunch of wizard candy and treats on the train to Hogwarts. I love the first book. But the series doesn’t become epic until later books. Harry grows up, and so does the depth and maturity of the writing, and so many delicious plot twists are introduced and put together, and the characters become your best friends, and you secretly develop a crush on Sirius Black, and–oh…oh, wait. Was that last one only me?

2. The Alex Rider Series

For anyone who is a fan of this bestselling action spy series by Anthony Horowitz, then give me your feedback. Do you, also, like the sequels even more than the original? Because I feel like there’s some divide on this. On one hand, the emotional vulnerability and connection to the reader that Alex develops is most prominent in the first book and other earlier ones. He hardens as time goes by, and in some ways, becomes a little intimidating. But I still like the sequels better, because the other characters in the book really have the opportunity to grow and show off their background. Like Mr. Smithers! Ah, Mr. Smithers…too epic.

3. The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Series

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging was a great start to one of my favorite series ever, but let’s be real. Things weren’t at the prime until Dave and Georgia’s true friendship developed, and Masimo came in.

4. The Stephanie Plum Series

Our little bounty hunter is just starting out in the first book, but the series grows progressively as the books go by. Plus, Ranger is featured more, and I’m definitely Team Babe in that aspect, so…yeah. I do feel that the first book has more of the mystery/cop style writing going down, while sequels take it more lighthearted and frivolous.

5. The Sisters Grimm Series

If you haven’t read these adorable, awesome fairytale books, then you have to, no matter what your age. I haven’t really watched much Once Upon a Time, but from what my friends tell me, the book follows a similar format–with all these classic fairytale people in one town, many being highlighted in different books. In any case, in the first book, the main character, Sabrina, is bossy and irritating. In subsequent books, I actually begin to like her. Always a good thing to promote a books’ sequels.

Sequel Not So Wins 

1. Bridget Jones Series

Bridget Jone’s Diary is my go to book when I’m feeling down, and need a little pumping up. It’s v. funny, and Bridget wins so many times over. That said, the second one was a disappointment. It just lacked the energy, verve, and sparkle of the first book, and I prefer to just laud over the original. The third diary, released somewhat recently, improved upon the second, although the first book is still my favorite by far.

2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Okay, I love a lot of the sequels of this book. That is to say, 1-4 were great. Fantastic! Really. But then came the fifth, geared toward adults. It featured the sisters all grown up. WHY? WHY? Why couldn’t Ann Brashares just stop after the fourth, and leave us all with the lingering sense of completion? And I’m not even mad because of *spoiler alert, stop reading, stop reading, stop it!* Tibby dies, but because the whole book was three hundred pages of sadness, and ten pages of completion. It wasn’t fun to read, like the previous four books, and instead of becoming more close to the characters, I felt distanced. The Sisterhood should have ended after the fourth.

3. The Vampire Diaries

Because several of the sequels were written by ghostwriters. L.J. Smith, the original author, was terminated from further books, and in my book (he-he, book) that is not okay.

4. Uglies

I loved the first book. I loved the second book. The third was where it lost me. Specials, and then Extras, were good books, but they didn’t live up to the original. They were kind of confusing, and I no longer felt the connection to the characters that I felt in the first two books.

5. The Devil Wears Prada

I haven’t actually read the sequel to that, but that’s only because I heard it was so astonishingly horrid. Just look at the Goodreads plummet. The first book has a score of 3.6, while the sequel has a shockingly low 2.7. The first book was told in first person, and Andrea’s thoughts were really what made it as funny as it was, while the second one is, for some reason, in third point of view, and it apparently lacks everything that makes the first one appealing. I don’t know though, so if you’ve read these two books–give me your opinion. Is it really as bad as everyone says it is?!

 

So, what do you think? Do you agree with my picks of sequels that are even better than the one before, or disagree? What about the sequels that were worse? What are you favorite sequels, and what are some sequels that disappointed you and the original novel? Let me know in the comments! 

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28 thoughts on “The Sequel

  1. haha I’m sure you’re not the only one who had a crush on Sirius. (Personally I liked Snape. Then by the last book everyone else started liking him too…) I agree with you totally! The Harry Potter books only got better! (Except the last one was too sad!)

    I’m with you on the Uglies series too, Specials just didn’t do it for me. I haven’t read Extras.

    Sequels are sure hit and miss. It must be hard to have a great book and then have to keep up that momentum.

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    • You think? Because Sirius just has that certain quality about him. Like, he’s kind of cocky and a badass, but he’s so loyal and loving, you know? Haha, Snape is awesome, too, especially when you find out how he feels about Lily.

      Yeah, it was disappointing because I really liked the first two.

      Sequels really are hit and miss. I feel like they have the opportunity to make characters really connect with characters through sequels, but if the story doesn’t hold up, then it usually flops.

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  2. I can assure you you were not the only one with a secret crush on Sirius Black (the “bad boys who are really good” never fail to get me). I actually haven’t read a lot of the original books or the sequels on this list, but there’s a few I’ve read.

    I have to disagree with you about the Uglies series. I actually like Specials quite a bit. I thought it just kind of showed how the characters, Tally in particular, kind of became so cold. It was almost depressing when you think of how quickly she became so jaded and hard because of how awful her circumstances became. I like that realism. Extras was a let-down though.

    Also I kind of enjoyed most of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books, but I was a lot younger when I read them and maybe they aren’t as good as I remember. Devil sequel was terrible you got that one right.

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    • Haha, yes, Sirius Black is just so crush worthy!

      Hmm, interesting. I get your point of view. I think that’s why I liked the originals more, though. Stylistically, the realism was a thoughtful decision, but I just slowly felt myself drifting away from the characters, until I got to the point where all I wanted to do was go back to the first book. I didn’t mind Specials, though, I just didn’t like it as much as Uglies.

      No, I totally agree! I loved all four of the sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. The fifth one that was awful came out recently, though. Or, at least, a lot more recently than the others. It’s called Sisterhood Everlasting, and it was just–so depressing, and kind of meaningless. I felt like it dragged on.

      Oh, okay, thanks for letting me know about the Devil sequel. Such a shame, because I really liked the original. I thought it was funny and easy to read and just good for a laugh. 😦

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  3. I am not even going to talk about HP. I am a potter head. Ravenclaw. That’s all.

    Didn’t know Prada had a sequel. Other books by the same author that followed Prada were a waste of my good money. I also wasted money on twilight and 50 shades. Don’t judge. It’s a request. 😉

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    • Haha, yay for fellow potter obsessors. I’m a Gryffindor. 🙂

      Yes, Prada does (unfortunately) have a sequel! I don’t think I’ve read any of her books after Prada. Don’t worry–I’m not judging! I’ve never read 50 shades, but I’m not abut that book shaming stuff. I did read all the Twilights, and when I was younger, I was all into that Team Edward/Team Jacob stuff, haha. Now that I’m older, I don’t hate the series, I just really have no opinion on them.

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  4. From this list, I’ve only read Harry Potter and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants–I totally agree with you about the later Potter books (and especially about Sirius Black). I didn’t even know there was a fifth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, and the thought of it makes me so angry because the fourth book ended so perfectly. Sigh.

    I think my least favorite sequels ever are Insurgent and Allegiant. I think *overall*, the series as a whole is entertaining, but the final two books lacked everything I found intriguing about Divergent.

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    • Yay! Who knew that so many people liked Sirius Black like I do? Haha, yes there is a fifth, and yes the fourth ended perfectly, so naturally the fifth had a lot to stand up to, but still.

      I’ve heard such mixed reviews about the Divergent series. While almost everyone likes the first one, there’s apparently some huge plot twist that caused controversy in the last?? What happened?! I read Divergent, but I never bothered to read on.

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      • Sirius Black fans FOR LIFE. ❤

        Yeah, a lot changes in Allegiant and it's a huge spoiler so I'm not sure I should say it here, but the twists aren't even the main issue I had with the series. I think Four gets pretty infuriating in Insurgent and Allegiant (so much that Insurgent is my least favorite. Allegiant is a little frustrating, but for me, it was better because overall I enjoyed the themes and message of the book). Tris was never one of my favorite heroines to begin with, so it was hard for me to really empathize with her struggles, too. Maybe that's just me.

        I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I thought Divergent was so entertaining and intriguing and then it just kind of fell through. I think the series as a whole is worth a read (despite all of my complaints, it is entertaining), but Divergent is definitely the best one.

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        • YES, haha 😀
          Yeah, that totally makes sense. It always sucks when the first book is great, but the other two are just disappointments. I’ll probably just stick to having had read Divergent, because, like you said, it sounds like the best of the three. Besides, I’ve been less and less in the mood for Dystopian lately. I’ve just read so many of them, that I think it’s time for a little break before I start any new dystopian series. 🙂

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    • Yes indeed! It came out long after the original four ended; I had no idea until I came across it at half price books. Hmmm…that’s a hard choice, because it’s like how can you just let the fifth Sisterhood book sit unread?? But on the other hand, if you don’t read it, the original four will remain untarnished…

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  5. I didn’t know The Devil Wears Prada had a sequel either! Good to know, but I’m not stocking it on my reading list just yet.
    When it comes to sequels I find it very hard to keep up with the story after the book count goes over 3 or 4 in a series. I for one start feeling sorry for the characters, and wishing they’d have a happy end already!
    One of my favorite series is The Mortal Instruments [I truly think the first book was written extremely well], but I’m already on my 5th book, City of Lost Souls, and I can’t bring myself to finishing it, knowing that book no. 6 awaits (At least 6 is the final one, thank heavens!)

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    • Yes! Yeah, it got really terrible reviews. So sad 😦
      Yeah, I feel you on that. It has to be a really solid book series for me to keep going in the long run, especially when it gets over ten, like the House of Night series or Pretty Little Liars.
      Mortal Instruments is so good! Cassandra Clare is so awesome. I finished City of Lost Souls, but I haven’t read City of Heavenly Fire yet because I want to re-read the series first.

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