Book Blogger Confessions (6)


I decided to write this post last month: I had checked out Just One Year, the sequel to Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, a book that had certainly gotten mixed reviews (either gushing or kind of dismal) and that was making me kind of dread finishing the book before it because it meant having to read JOY (yes, I used the acronym to be a bit ironic). I sat there, this book in my hand that I really didn’t want to read, and decided that I was being silly.

There were probably plenty of people who would see this book at the library and immediately smile, their day or week or month made because they had finally gotten their hands on it. I had had great experiences with past Forman books, and the thought of marring my record with her loomed over my head. There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t force myself to read this book – so why was I?

So, I put this book in the “return to library” stack and moved on to another book. I decided that Just One Day, a pretty decent book in my mind, was a standalone. Allyson’s journey ended at the end of that book, and Willem’s journey just wasn’t important to me.

I rarely do this, but this wasn’t the first time that I decided not to change my opinion about a book by reading an unplanned or unwanted sequel. Nancy Werlin’s Impossible is one of my favorite books, but I was kind of horrified when I heard it was getting a sequel about five years or so after it came out. I was so happy with the way Impossible ended. Sure, I would love to read more about Lucy and Zach and the rest of the characters, but things ended so well for them – I didn’t want to read about more problems. The summary of the sequel suggested that their lives would once again become tough and unhappy, and I really didn’t want to read about that. I didn’t want to change my opinion of the book by reading a sequel that might be of lesser quality.

I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s helpful to the authors of these books – yes, I’m not reading their books, but I’m also not panning them. Sure, I might not dislike them, but if I’m happy with the way the previous book ended, there’s no reason I should force myself to read the book.

I can’t be the only one who pretends books are standalones, right? Or am I the only person who possibly takes the easy way out?


6 thoughts on “Book Blogger Confessions (6)

  1. I rarely bother to find out if a sequel was supposed to be in the works all along or if it was written only because the first book was successful. I find it too much of a hassle. This means if I liked the first book, I simply go looking for the sequel. Although, if it comes out years later, then I don’t bother mostly because I’ll have forgotten about the first book or I don’t realize that a sequel has come out.

    1. Standalones suddenly becoming series don’t bother me as much as some people (like My Life Next Door getting a sequel! Definitely happy about that!), but when things end well in a standalone, it’s easier to pretend that things are over. With the sequel to My Life Next Door, it focuses on a different character, which is part of why I’m looking forward to it. With Impossible‘s sequel, I’m just worried about seeing more problems for them, so I’m going to stay away. It just depends for me!

  2. This such a good post, I’d never considered it before, however, I do always here about standalones getting sequels and them flopping and the series becoming ruined for some people.I can understand why you’d want to leave a book behind if you loved how it ended, so this is a great confession! 😀

    A Rant: Book Covers

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’m trying to get better at avoiding books I don’t think I’ll like so I have less DNFs and low ratings, and avoiding sequels when I’m happy with the first book the way it is seems like a good idea for me. I hate it when earlier books feel less special and awesome because the later book or books aren’t as great!

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