Good morning!!! Look who’s alive?! Yes, it’s me. I am BACK at least for today my friends and I am very happy that I have a little bit of time to write this post. I know I was gone the past two Fridays and I didn’t even say anything about that or have Dani do the linkup (sorry!) but I’ve just had too much on my plate and blogging fell away for a time.
Anyhow, we are here, and it is Friday, and of course, we shall have a lovely discussion today. For those of you that don’t know, Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by me & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is: Should you review a sequel, without reading the first book? (Dani)
This is an awesome topic, so thank you to Dani for suggesting it! As far as I’m concerned, the very short and very simple answer to this is No, but I am not a “very short and simple answer” kind of girl, so let’s discuss.
First of all, people actually do this????????
Why, just why would you read the second book in a series and then review it without reading the first book first? THERE’S A FIRST BOOK FOR A REASON.
Okay, before I go back to yelling, let’s talk about series and sequels.
Some types of series are the kind where you can read the 14th book and that is totally fine, because each book is technically independent of each other. It’s probably happening in the same world with the same characters as in the previous books, but you can read that 14th book without being completely lost.
Sometimes, there is also this side plot that is continuing from the first book, such as a romantic situation, and you might be a little lost when it comes to that, but usually not enough to make you be frustrated with the story. And it’s a side plot, so it’s really not that much of an issue.
In that kind of series, I can kind of understand you reading the sequel without the first book. But at the same time…it’s not really a good idea.
There are other types of series, where by not reading the first book, you are going to be 100% lost in the story, and have no idea what on earth is going on. Or maybe you are awesome at deductive reasoning and you can figure out what’s going on, but you are missing vital parts of the character’s growth.
You don’t know how much or how little a character has had to suffer in the first book that may possibly be the reason why they are taking this course of action in the second book. You don’t know what betrayals they’ve faced, or if they’ve lost someone close to them. You don’t know how that has affected them and therefore affected the course of the story.
You may hate them and their brusque, borderline cruel behavior, but maybe you missed an important part that shows you why they’ve became that person by skipping the first book.
In this kind of series, I can not comprehend why you would skip the first book and review the second.
Even if you actually liked the second book and gave it a high rating, I still think it’s wrong, because knowing the context and what happened in the first book can drastically change your opinion. If you give it a low rating, that’s just worse, because of course you won’t like it! Maybe the series is indeed just bad but how can you tell when you skipped the very vital FIRST book.
Don’t skip the first book guys. Seriously.
When selecting ARCs do you ever choose sequels where you haven’t read the first book in a series?
I don’t get ARCs frequently (I don’t think they’re even technically ARCs but let’s go with it), and when I do, they are usually standalone books. There’s been only one time that I got another ARC that was a sequel, and I had read the first book prior to requesting it.
I know someone who does request the second or even third book in a series as an ARC and then she gets approved for them even though she hasn’t read the first or the first 2 books. However, she makes a point of reading those first books before she starts the ARC and then she ends up reading the entire series in the span of a week or so because she wants to write the review for the second or third book in time.
It’s actually a great way for me to get her to read certain series lol, but I know that she will go back to read the first books before starting the sequel.
I also think it’s worse if you review an ARC that is a sequel without reading the first book since your review might determine whether or not hundreds, thousands, if not millions of people will want to pick up that book. You don’t have the whole story, so your review can’t accurately reflect whether the series or characters have grown positively or not.
I don’t believe reading and reviewing sequels without reading the first book is right, unless it’s from the kind of series where you can jump around with the order of the books and it doesn’t affect your understanding of the story.
The incidents and things mentioned/explained in the first book might make you have a better appreciation for the next book, or make you hate the sequel instead of love it if it doesn’t follow what the first book promised. You really won’t know until you read the series in the correct order.
And that’s my two cents for today.
I want to include all the posts from the past two Fridays as well as from today just in case you missed some of those awesome posts. So here they are:
The Pros & Cons of Book Blogging:
Reading Seasonally Discussions (lots of book recs!):
Eleanor @ Wishing Upon a Star
This Week’s Participants (Sequels):
How are you all doing? What do you guys think on this? Have you ever reviewed a sequel without reading the first book? Why or why not? Did you participate in any LTBs these past two Fridays that I missed? What’s something fun you’ve done recently? Share your thoughts in the comments below!