Talk To Me 16: Scared by the Next Book

A while back, I posted that I was hesitant of starting series. Today is another series-related topic and it’s about being scared to pick up the next book in a series. (Seriously, Ana, grow a backbone about these things!) Let’s take a look at what happens to me…

The scene is set with Ana finishing off a wonderful book, she is elated and happy and raves about the book. It is the first book in a series and she MUST get her hands on the next book now! Spurred on by the success of the first book, she gets her hands on the next book. It is shiny and holds all the promise of seeing the characters that she loves, of seeing more of the world that she loves.

But instead of diving right into the book, she holds it at arms length. She stares at the pretty cover. Then promptly places the book on the shelf where it sits for a day. Then a week. Then longer.

What’s going on? What happened to Ana’s want to finish the series?!

This is a typical but undesirable thing that happens to me when I get the next book of a series I love. A great example of this is how my copy of Froi of the Exiles is just sitting on my shelf instead of being read, even though I really SHOULD finish it and I know I have easy access to the next book. But… I can’t. I just can’t do it, Captain! I JUST CAN’T!

(gif not mine)

(gif not mine)

What’s going through my head when this happens?

#1: What if the sequel sucks, quality-wise?

This is one of my worries for both books and movies. On one hand, it’s great that I get to read and watch more of the world that I loved. But what if the quality just takes a total nosedive? What if the author originally wanted to end it at one book but the hype surrounding it ended up pushing them into making a second book?

Briana from Pages Unbound commented on that series post with the term “sophomore slump,” and that’s exactly what I’m scared of! (Also, hello, Briana!) Can’t I just live in happy land where the writing didn’t take a turn for the worse and Book One is just a standalone?

#2: What if I don’t like the sequel?

Unlike the first reason, this one is more subjective and relative to my own likes in a book. The writing is still as good as the previous book, I have no real issues with the pacing, but I just did not like where the book went. Maybe a character that I really liked went down a path that I really did not want them to go down. Maybe their character development completely went to the trash. Or maybe it just doesn’t work for me.

#3: What if my favourite character dies?

This is a legit fear of the reader, I say! A LEGIT FEAR!

What about you, dear reader?

Do you share my fears over starting the next book of a series?

Let me know in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “Talk To Me 16: Scared by the Next Book

  1. I have a tough time picking up sequels too! For me, I’m mainly hesitant to pick up a series conclusion. Sometimes, it’s because I don’t want the series to end, but mostly it’s because I’m afraid for some of my favorite characters’ lives. 😦 There’s a scary amount of series that I haven’t completed, but I just keep reading standalones or starting new series instead.

    I also tend to put off books I’m the most excited about reading–the more excited I am for the book, the longer it takes me to finally get around to reading it.

    Great post! I definitely can relate to this.

  2. I do not have this problem at all! As I went on and on and on about in great detail on your other post (LoL), I have my two book rule which keeps me picking up sequels on a semi-regular basis. Maybe I’m not thrilled about reading it, or I am worried about where it’s going, but I just read it. It’s usually the final book that has me scared. I’m simultaneously excited to know what happens, but also nervous, since it seems like more often than not, the ending goes in a direction that I don’t like. Or the ending doesn’t feel complete. Then that makes me more nervous for the other final books that I want to read next! Endings are scary!

  3. Oh pffftttt Ana YOU WILL LOVE THE REST OF THE LUMATERE CHRONICLES OKAY. I mean I was also petrified for many of the same reasons you listed, and the entire process of getting through that third book was beyond nerve wracking, but man. IT WAS SO GOOD. I’m definitely glad I read Quintana of Charyn with the other duchesses though because it required lots of moral support and synchronized sobbing hahaha

  4. I don’t think I am scared of reading the next books in a series, but I do have a problem. Like you, I go out and buy it and look at it and am all excited about reading it and then … I don’t read it. And I am not entirely sure why! I can be so excited about the book, and will literally jump up and down upon acquiring it, but then I let it sit there while I go off and read other unrelated books. granted, this doesn’t happen EVERY time, because sometimes the happiness and excitement takes over and I simply HAVE to read the next book. But this avoidance does happen. I think MAYBE it might be because I have it. I own it, it’s sitting there, it’s not going anywhere. And with library books and review books, I have a time limit. So they get preference whilst the next book in a series books slides down the TBR. Which kind of sucks. But I am trying to rectify it! I am slowly but surely ploughing my way through my review books and I am restraining myself from visiting the library because I really need to start reading the books I own. And that includes the next book in a series books that I was so excited about once upon a time!

  5. YES! If the book left me happy, I’m really scared that in the second book EVERYONE WILL DIE AND MY TEARS WILL NEVER END. Which doesn’t normally happen, unless that book is written by a certain Mr. Martin. I’ve noticed that even if I have a whole series, I quite often won’t read them all in one go, but pace them out and perhaps read something in between. I guess it’s part mood-reading (mixing up the genres), part not wanting the series to end and part terrified of what will happen.

    The exception at the moment is Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. I just finished book two last night and went straight on to the final book. Mostly cos they’re library copies and due back soon… but yeah 😉

  6. Ooh! If you find any good standalones, let me know! I’m always on the lookout for some good standalones. 😀

    Great to hear it, Kaitlin!

  7. Haha! I am such a chicken, it seems! I am hesitant about the finale too, because it can end up either as something I love or one I haaaate, haha!

  8. Haha! Thanks for the encouragement, Paola. 🙂 I’ve managed to finish it, and it was a good reading experience. 😀

  9. I’m pretty sure all GoT fans have both excitement and fear when a new book comes out. “OH YAY NEW BOOK. … OMG WHO IS GONNA DIE THIS TIME?!”

    The same thing happened to me with the first two books of Divergent. I haven’t read the last one yet, only because it’s on hold at the library, haha! 🙂

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