Sunday 22 December 2013

Sequels - What Makes Me Read One

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Amanda is talking about sequels and what makes her read them.

How many of you have read a book and thought 'oh god, do I want to carry on with the series, is it not quite good enough?' I can hazard a guess it's a very large majority of you, and that you do it all the time. I can easily confess that I have that thought a lot of time, and sometimes I'll give the sequel a shot, and sometimes I'll spend months, even up to a year deciding and pondering, and sometimes, I'll just never get round it. I'll have spent my moneys on a book that I will never know the ending of. So what gives me the push to give a sequel a go? Lets find out.

  1. A 3.5 Stars or Above Rating: I'm usually very picky over what sequels I will read, as money doesn't grow on trees, so I want to make sure that I'm buying a book I really want and that I'm going to really enjoy, and if I don't enjoy it, no problem, it was the book at fault not my lack of judgement. For example, I read The Knife of Never Letting Go earlier this year, and gave it a 3 stars, and this book follows my rule perfectly. A book that's half way through your rating is too much of a risk, for me personally, you couldn't decide whether to pros outweighed the cons, and if that's the case, who's to say the sequel won't be the same? Will you then go out and buy the next sequel in the hope that one improves, or will you give up? Then you've got half a series on your shelves, go on, buy the last one, the last two even, it's only money.. NO! No matter how pretty a complete series will look on your shelves, is it worth the £20 to get there when you could buy undiscovered gems instead? I don't think so. Books that I've rated 3 Stars or below rarely get their companions as company on my shelves.
  2. Matching Covers: Slap me down and call me vain I don't care, if the book has surpassed the first challenge of a good rating, it's down to the cover now. This is were cover changes come in, and as you all known, publishers and authors tend to change their covers after the FIRST book, therefore all the sequels that follow won't match the original. Way to annoy your fans publishers. Another well fitting example is Across the Universe. I read the first book and gave it a 3.5 stars, just about passing muster and then BAM! ..cover change. I was so willing to give A Million Suns a chance, the chance to improve and do everything I wanted the first book to do, and it probably still might, but I've been weighing up the sequel for around 10 months now and every time I get close, either the cover distresses me, or my bank balance is too low. However, if you're like Becoming Alpha; your covers match and compliment each other and you've gained the rating, then were down to point three.
  3. The Reviews: Yes, that's right, I spend hours a day looking and scrolling through reviews, even through to the point of trying to look a see if my favourite blogs have read and reviewed the book. I put a lot of trust into other reviewers, I like them to be bluntly honest about a book. If they hated it, I want to know why, if they couldn't put comprehensible sentences together, I want to know that too. To me, it's the reviewers that really sway me on a book. I may have been eyeing up a book for over a year and it's only the reviews that put off, while everything else may just seem perfect. I've very recently completed Blood Red Road and enjoyed it enough to consider the sequel, yet when deciding whether I wanted to carry on with the series, I went and looked at reviews of Rebel Heart and the direction of the plot really has me worried, so at the moment, the reviews have put off buying the sequel for now; perfect example of why looking at other peoples opinions is not always a really good thing. It's a swings and roundabouts, but if I find a few reviews that I trust, that are honest, and that give a good two sided discussion on the book, I may then move onto looking at one of the most important aspects of my decision.
  4. The Formats: This is where sites like NetGalley come in and distress me. I'll have found a gem like Cursed, read it, and loved it. The cover is beautiful and if the authors style is anything to go by, her sequel covers will match perfectly too, BUT, they're only available in ebook format. Just let me fall down this never ending hole and cry now please. I don't own an ebook, and I don't know if I'll be considering one soon, but in the case of this series, I may just have to. However, it's the same with Hardbacks and Paperbacks. Some publishers will release a hardback first than a paperback months down the line, or some may only publish a hardback and never do a paperback and SOME books are only available in foreign languages! I'm sadly not talented enough to read an entire book in French, so there goes Sherlock, Lupin and Me.
  5. Money: Of course, after I've spent days, months, even a year deciding and find the book available, it all comes down to my bank balance, or lack there of. I have been blessed with the Birthday/Christmas curse, where people get you joint gifts, or just throw money at you at one time of year, the end of the year, meaning I have to wait the WHOLE year to get new releases, which aren't so new anymore and sequels which were released in January/February, much like Bloody Secrets. It's my money that in the end lets me know whether I buy a sequel and it's at times like now that buying books and sequels really scares me. I'm currently trying to decide what books to buy in the New Year, and this is a very dangerous thing for me; do I buy new series and hope they're good, or do I buy the sequels of series I like? They have to last the year, so what about those books that come out next year, do I pre-order them, or do I put the money to one side and wait for a good pre-order price, or do I wait and hope that I can buy them when they are released? There's so much pressure in buying books in the sales, and sequels don't help the matter whatsoever.
It's not all bad though, sometimes, a book will make it through all of these challenges; the rating, the covers, the reviews, the formats and I'll have some money in my pocket, and it's those books that I really appreciate. Those are the books that make a year full of counting down bearable. Those are the books I get most excited for reading.

What do you like or hate about sequels? Does the wait kill you? Or do you struggle like me to decide? Leave your comments down below and if you've done a post similar, link it and I'll go and have a nosey on your blog. 

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