Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They are great at bringing new top ten themes and they have a huge list of them well in advance for those bloggers that like to plan super far ahead. You can learn about joining in here.
It’s another Top Ten Tuesday! I’ve decided to do these every other week, which is why there wasn’t one last week. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut. I’ve tweaked it a bit and made it Top Ten Sophomore Novels: 5 I loved and 5 I couldn’t even make it to.
5 Sophomore Novels I Loved
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (from the Harry Potter series)
This is the most obvious choice, but it’s still a great choice. In fact, I liked the Chamber of Secrets more than the first book. When I was younger I started reading the book after I watched the first movie (gasp! I know, I watched the movie first) and so I found the first book to be boring. But the second book was completely new! It had a flying car, a flying aunt, and I’m sure other airborne items.
Year of the Flood (from the MaddAddam series)
In this case I accidentally read the second book first. It feels very uncommon to see a series in literary fiction so I didn’t even think to think about whether After The Flood was part of a series. Even after reading Oryx and Crake, the second novel still feels superior. It has a grittiness to it not explorer in the first book
Catching Fire (from the Hunger Games series)
I love love loved the second book in this series. Don’t ask me how I feel about the third, but the second was gold. The main reason for this being that I am sappy. I loved all the Peeta and Katniss love bits and I also liked that you learned more about the other people competing in the games. In the first book they were just competitors, but in the second book they’re just people.
The Likeness (from the Dublin Murder Squad Series)
When I think about Tana French’s books I imagine rolling in a field of daisies and sunshine. Which might make you question my ethics because these books are all about murder. The second book was great for exploring a character that you didn’t really get to the root of in the first book. Also it involved a cop posing undercover as a dead girl and that’s pretty cool.
5 where I couldn’t make it to the second book
Shiver (from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series)
My issue with this book was (and the feminist in me is deeply disappointed by this) the main guy was too nice. It’s a werewolf book! I wanted a rough around the edges lead, or a scruffy vagabond with a heart of gold. But he was so painfully nice and gentle. Gentle and sensitive is for brooding vampires, just my personal opinion. It’s been a bit since I read this, but I just remember everything being very slow. So when I finished, I was finished.
Matched (from the Matched series)
I think that Matched has such a great concept. I often wonder if like won’t become like this in the future. Why not let someone pick your perfect match? Except this book shows you how that can go wrong, or be used as a weapon. I was so excited for this book, sometimes I think about giving the series another shot. But the fact is that I finished this book and could not bring myself to be even remotely interested in the next book. A lot of post-apocalyptic series follow the structure of “perfect society is actually not so perfect”, “heroine goes off to rebel, shows people the truth”, “all out war”. Everything felt too predictable so I didn’t continue.
Wake (from the Dream Catcher series)
Evermore (from The Immortals series)
Need (from the Need series)
For these three books I honestly can’t remember the specifics of what I didn’t like about them, or what bored me. I only remember getting excited to read them, and then feeling disappointed at the end. I find that a lot of YA novel trilogies fall prey to this. Someone reads it, thinks “meh” and then never bothers with the next one. It makes me wonder if these books would have done better without the pressure to create a trilogy. Would a slightly longer stand-alone book have gotten more praise?
What do you think? Anything on this list you agree with? Passionately disagree with? Let me know!