Fairytale News 47. Second chances.

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

Second chances happen in real life, although I must admit that I’m a difficult person. If you screw things up, I will hold that to against you. I’m not someone who can let go and forgive easily. I'm a little different when it comes to books. Sometimes we need to give second reading chances and there are three types to me:

-You return to a book/series you placed ‘on hold’ 
-You try the new book from an author whose previous work(s) you disliked.
-You read the sequel even when you didn’t like the previous book(s).

I am a mood reader, which means that I sometimes dislike a book I know I might like when I’m in a different mood. Sometimes a boo doesn't work for us at that moment. Instead of DNF-ing them and banishing them to the book graveyard, I place them on my ‘on-hold’ shelf. I must admit that it takes A LOT of time before I return to these stories, but sometimes it works out. The first time I read Daughter of smoke and bone I wasn’t blown away, so I decided to step away from the series. Last year I reread it and I flew through the series, suddenly falling in love with the characters, the world and the prose. My current on-hold books are: Frostbite, Heartless, Stormdancer, The eighth day and Gone girl.


The first book you pick from an author can decide how your future relationship with their books is going to look like. I find it hard to try their other books if I hate the first one. It also depends on what I disliked. Sometimes it’s just not the story for me or I disliked the characters; this will give them a second chance. If I disliked the writing-style I’m less inclined. An example is Stephanie Meyer. I didn't like The host or Twilight, so I won't read anything else by her again.

This is probably the hardest second chance; how do you decide if you need to give up on a series or if you need to push forward? I always finish duologies, because I like to cross that series off my mission impossible list and I can handle one extra book. I find it hard to decide what to do with trilogies.

The first book; is the story not fantastic because it’s a set-up or is it simply crap? 
The second book; is it simple the middle book syndrome or is the story over?
The last book; is it even worth it?

It depends on how I feel about the separate aspects of the series. I might continue if I feel invested in the characters of if I have that bad case where I'm still curious enough about the ending. An example is The madman’s daughter. I liked that book, I LOATHE the sequel Her dark curiosity, but I was already so deep into the story that I had to find out what would happen and the last book, A cold legacy, wasn’t even that bad. I made the mistake to force Amy Plum’s Revenant series on me. It just wasn’t for me.

Tell me, what do you decide about second chances for a book, an author and a series?

45 comments

  1. When I don't like the first book in a series I won't read the second book. It may be wrong but I can't just bring myself around to do it. If it's the second book that I don't like, well, I may decide to get to the third anyway depending on how much I liked the first one.
    However if I don't like a book by an author and then they write something different.. why not? I read Sublime by Christina Lauren and didn't like it but she has written so many NA books with such a high rating that I want to give them a chance!

    But yeah, if I start reading a book, a stand alone for instance, and I start hating it... I probably just DNF it, I won't put it on hold :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes sense to stop reading a series if you didn't like the first book! For me, it really depends what I didn't like :)

      Delete
  2. Fantastic post Mel! Personally, it depends how bad a book is as to whether a second chance comes along. For example, I tried reading Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison and that flopped, so I tried reading New Girl, which was a little better, but I put down. I still have that book though, because I'm convinced I'll push through it soon, and I will, so there's a second chance. I also gave three chances to Panic by Lauren Oliver but could not get into it at all.. Then there's Julie Kagawa: I LOVED Iron Fey, I disliked Immortal Rules a lot, and then Talon was just - urgh, and I don't know what to do, so many chances for her.. Second chances are hard, they make you wonder whether you got it wrong, but it's a mood thing, and sometimes, I just punish myself with bad reads anyway, because oh well.

    Brilliant topic though Mel, this is great! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, if I just didn't like the story or any of the characters, I will not continue. If there are only a couple of mweh things I might see if it gets any better. It's a shame you didn't like Immortal rules :(

      Delete
  3. For me, or really depends on what I didn't like about it and how badly it bothered me. I'm also a mood reader, so sometimes it isn't the book, it's me so I normally give it another try when I'm in the right mood.

    Sometimes I just can't take it anymore, so I never pick it up again, but that hasn't happened to a whole lot of books because I'm kind of picky about what I read.

    But, yes sometimes a second chance is definitely worth a shot in the book realm! I started reading one book, and put it down never to return to again. I was even going to return it (it was 3 books in 1 so that was just way to much torture)! My mom said she would read it, and after she was done she made me try it again saying that after I got far enough into it I would like it. Well, I didn't love it, and sometimes I really felt like putting it down again, but it was worth a second chance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's logic that we are not very interested to return to books we didn't like, because there are so many stories to explore, why bother?

      Delete
  4. I sometimes give a series, book or author a second chance, but it really dependsw on the situation. Just like you if the first book I read by an author is one I dislike, I probably won't read another one of their books. But sometimes another book sounds really good and I might give it a chance. With series it's often that when I don't like the book I won't continue the series, if I gave it a 3 star I might conitnue the series or maybe not. 4 star or above almost always have me continue the series. If I liked a few books by an author and then dislike a few I might still give new series a try, although I won't continue the series I didn't like. If I dislike more books then I liked I probably won't try any new books, unless ofcourse those new books sound really good. And even if I like one book or series by an author it still isn't a garantee I will read their other books or series as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a HUGE mood reader too Mel and sometimes when a book and I just aren't clicking, I can't help but think that if I'd picked it up at a different time, I'd have had better luck with it. For me, if the series keeps getting mad love from trusted bookish friends, I'll likely give the sequel a go...BUT, like you said, it might take me a loooong time to get back into the series. I wasn't sold on the Fever series after the first few books, but man did those ever pick up right around the middle of the series!! Now I'm so happy I stuck with them. The Ashfall series though? I adored the first book but the second drove me mad in some parts. I still haven't read the last one cause I'm scared it'll be just as frustrating >.< hehe Awesome topic and post^^ ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gorgeous post Mel. <3 Thank you for sharing :) And hah. I'm not good at giving second chances in real life :p I hold a grudge too. But books. Sigh. I'm not sure how I decide those things. As you say, sometimes I'm just in the mood for one type of book, lol :) Like how I read a one star book at the end of december, and decided to read book two right after, which was also a one star read :p But that was because they were both Macmillan ARCs. Hmm. I might even try to read book three, lol :D I'm curious, though I hated the books. So yeah. It varies a bit :) Anyway. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also more inclined to give ARC/eARC books a shot.

      Delete
  7. I tend to completely walk away from a series or an author's work if I absolutely hated the first thing that I read by them. I couldn't stomach Fallen by Lauren Kate so I knew straight away that I didn't want to continue on with the series or any of her other books, but with Rainbow Rowell's books they've either been good or just okay for me so I'm still reading them in the hopes that I'll find one of her books that will amaze me.

    I have got a few books that are on hold and that I'm aiming to give second chances to like Tiger Lily, Losing Lila, and I'm also about to give The Shining a third chance because I just wasn't in the mood to read them when I was reading them. I'd much rather put them to one side to come back to because I'm not hating them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Lauren Kate is also an author for me. I also disliked Fallen and I don't think her style works for me. TIGER LILY *contains happiness*

      Delete
  8. Unless the book I'm reading is inappropriate for my age, I like to give authors and their books a second chance. I've often found that with time I come to appreciate a story more, and with each reread, I may like the story better. Additionally, even if an author's first book may not have been fabulous, his/her other books might be. I also know that when I become an author, I'd love for readers to give me second chances.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh yes, you definitely need to be in the mood for Stormdancer, but it's awesome! I do the same as you. If I'm not in the mood for it, I won't enjoy the book itself so I put it down and read it another time. If the first book was only okay but I enjoyed it enough, I'll give the series another chance by reading the sequel. I'm all for second chances. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone I know is raving about it, I can't wait to pick it up again when I feel like it :D

      Delete
  10. Maybe I'm just unforgiving, but I usually don't give a book a second chance. If I put it down it's usually for good reason. Sometimes I'll give the author another chance by picking up another one of his/her books. I rarely come back to DNFs... Nice post, Mel <33

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's definitely hard sometimes trying to decide whether you want to continue on with a series! To be honest, though, because I'm such a mood reader my decision will be made in an instant with the question- "do I feel like reading this book RIGHT NOW?" If I don't feel like reading it at that point in time, if maybe I see the book again later in the library or something, I'll ask myself the question again- and so on, and if the answer is always no, then I just won't end up reading the book.
    If there's a book that I've disliked from a particular author, I'll usually give the others a try- different genres work for different authors, so it feels appropriate to give them another chance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. First of all, an on-hold list sounds like what I need. I end up pushing a lot of books I'm not in the mood for in my dnf list and that takes it right out of my view and bam I never return to them.

    As for second chances, I will very occasionally return to a book I placed on hold or try something from an author whose work I didn't like before. But it is almost impossible for my to continue a series I didn't enjoy the first book to. I have a lot of books on my list and I don't see the point of wasting a minute on a story I don't enjoy. There will always be people to love those books but I will move on to different things. I know a lot of people have a thing about finishing series no matter what but that was never me.

    Great discussion!

    -Mari

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wat heb jij een superleuke blog zeg! Ik ben zelf ook een potterhead :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He, bedankt! HP fans zijn altijd meer dan welkom :D

      Delete
  14. This is an interesting post Mel, if I normally can't get into a book and I end up DNF'ing I usually don't go back to give it another go, with me I don't usually DNF really early on, I'm always thinking that I'm going to be missing out on something if I do, but its great that you're able to put it on hold and try again, that's even more great when you end up enjoying the book second time around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, sometimes it's so hard because I keep thinking 'WHAT IF it does get better?' That's why I tend to skip towards the ending if I'm DNF-ing it.

      Delete
  15. I'm less likely to give books a second chance actually - I feel like I have too many others books that I can be reading. I think the only scenario of "second chance" for me is if I've read a book I didn't like by a particular author and try to read a different one. If the other book really interests me, then I'm willing to take a chance. It was interesting to read your thoughts on this Mel! I'm not really a mood reader, so reading how that can really change your views on a book series was surprising!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, being a mood reader is sometimes a really annoying, yet interesting thing :p

      Delete
  16. There are a few books I want to revisit because I think it was just a matter of timing but this has yet to happen so we will see. I will always give an author a second change. I didn't care for Rainbow Rowell's E&P but I LOVED Fangirl (that's just one example that comes to mind). As for series, if I found the first book "just ok" or worse, it's highly unlikely I will read the second book because I just won't have the motivation. But if it's the second book that sucks, i'll usually continue just for closure. It might take me a while to get around to it, but I like to cross it off my list at that point.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a mood reader as well,and I often try to give books second chances.Only problem is that I don't get the time to reread a book which I didn't enjoy much before.When I have so many books lined up before me,I get distracted and forget about the book altogether.
    When I think that I'll love a book more if I'd read it some other time,I'll put into my maybe-later shelf in GR.And when I get the mood for it,I sometimes revisit those books.

    ReplyDelete
  18. When I don't like like the first book, I'll usually not read the second book. But then there are also days that even though I liked the first book, I won't read the second book because it took too long to release and I'm not longer excited for it. Unless I have a lot of extra reading time, then I'll probably pick it up. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That has happened to me before too. Waiting for TOO long can take the enjoyment away.

      Delete
  19. I usually don't continue a series when I didn't like the first book, with the exception of Wings. I don't even know why I picked up the second book, but it was a welcome surprise as I liked it better!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm like you: I don't to forget things with IRL issues, but with books its different. For example, I did not like Twilight, but tried The Host and loved it! That time a 2nd chance worked. :) Where is hadn't worked is with Maggie Stiefvater's books. I didn't particularly like The Raven Cycle, but I decided to try the Scorpio Races and had to DNF... I've decided that her books just aren't for me! :) I love this post, Mel! Its a discussion I've never seen before :D xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that sometimes happens to! We can't all like the same authors, sometimes they just don't work for us :)

      Delete
  21. Oh god, yes to this entire post. I’m a mood reader, and it really changes the way I feel about a book.

    If I’m pressured into reading a book when I’m in no mood to read it, I will dislike the book. Like last summer, I read the Art of Wishing, a book that everybody was raving about, because I was pressured into reading it, and I found myself being a black sheep and absolutely disliking it. But a week ago, I decided to reread it to write my review, and I found myself enjoying it more than I originally did. Not having the pressure and actually being in the mood to read it totally changed my experience of the book.

    I sometimes have a hard time trying authors with books I didn’t enjoy. I’m always weary because reviews of their books haven’t been good either. And when I read the first book of a series, I do feel like I need to finish it even though I loathed the first book. Kind of horrible because I’ll hate my experience of a book, being a mood reader and all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forcing yourself to read a book is never a good idea, no. It's only frustrating.

      Delete
  22. If I didn't like the first book, I probably won't continue the series. But if I read a book by an author and it's my first book of theirs, I'll probably pick up another (unless it was REALLY bad). It could have been the genre or the storyline or the characters that didn't sit well with me. A lot of things depend upon the book itself, not on the author. If I've DNFed a book, I probably won't pick it up again. There's a reason I DNFed it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm a mood reader too so when I start a book and realize I'm not in the mood for it, I'll immediately put it back on my shelf since I know my mood will affect on how I view the book in a negative way. This happened to me with 172 Hours on the Moon. I picked it up one day because I didn't know what else to read (even if I had a bunch of books right in front of me lol) and after reading 5 chapters, I couldn't go into it but I really wanted to because that book was so hyped up in the booktube community and it's SCI-FI! I love sci fi books with mystery so I decided to just drop the book. After a year or so, I picked it up (which was 2 weeks ago) and I flew through it like there was no tomorrow! It was so GOOD. I'm really glad I gave it a second chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So funny how a book can go from 'nope' to 'SO GOOD' when you pick it up on the right timing!

      Delete
  24. This is a really interesting post - I'm a mood reader as well, I go for what I'm in the mood for. Other times, I browse goodreads and read the reviews of why people liked the book - If they say it's good, sometimes I give it another chance :)

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
  25. The DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series is most definitely on my "hold" list (if I even have one, I'm not sure). I read the first book, and it wasn't even a solid three star read. I just wasn't in love with it at all. But now that you said you felt the same way, I must say that I am a little more inclined to read it now! And I have all of them personally signed, so maybe I should read them (I like reading books I have signed; I feel a bit fraudulent if I haven't).

    I think I am very harsh when it comes to giving books and authors a second chance. I mean, there are more books in the world than I am ever going to be able to read in my life and should I waste my time on a book I'm not even convinced I will like? I'm not sure.

    Although I didn't really like THRONE OF GLASS, but then continued with the series because I had the second book for review, and now I love it! So maybe I should be more free with my second chances. Who knows - the same thing might just happen again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had exactly the same thing. I found it underwhelming, but when I bought the sequels I decided to give it another try and wow, it really blew me away the second time :) I've heard more people who fell in love with TOG after reading COM.

      Delete
  26. I know this might be wrong but I am more apt to not continue with YA series if it's a three star now a days because I feel like so many of them are rinse repeat. It's like you can expect the same thing from so many

    ReplyDelete
  27. For some reason my ipad wouldn't let me keep typing the rest of my comment. So yah ya I give up way easier then if it were adult because so many of them are the same. If I think there is a lot of promise showing then I will continue. But even with adult book series as well I'm choosing not to continue. There are just so many books I want to read that I don't want to keep going for a meh story and I no longer feel that burning need to know what happens at the end since I'm not that interested to begin with. The downside of reading so much is that much of some genres are just being regurgitated. I think that is happening with YA right now..

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh no. Oh, no no no.
    I'm way easier on books than I am on people. Unless it's crap, I will finish the book I am reading. I will even finish the series. I won't give up.
    But if someone disappoints me in real life? It's their funeral. Well, not their funeral. I do forgive pretty easily, if I didn't have high expectations in the first place. But if it's people I trusted to do better, they are dead to me. And they know it. Double standards? Maybe. But then again I don't trust many people.
    I should probably start doing the same with books as well...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, precisely. If you screw things up with me, it's over :)

      Delete
  29. I consider myself the queen of second chances. It's actually bad in some cases because I'm way too naive. If I hate the first book in a series, I might be drawn to the second one, just to see how it does. I'm pretty good with that. What I don't do is read books from authors that either behave badly or piss me off personally. At that point, I'm like "...nope."

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm not a mood reader, so I don't often give books a second chance. If I'm not liking it - I'm pretty much not going to like it. But, depending on what I disliked I often give authors a second chance. Especially if it's a new series and the idea sounds interesting. Or if I didn't love the first few books they wrote - I'll give later work a chance.

    Because I think authors, like anyone else, generally get better the more they practice their craft. Some of my favorite authors wrote terrible first novels :) So if I don't love the first book or even the first trilogy, I like to try out later series. But if I don't like a book or two in a series - I won't finish the series. I'll wait until the next one.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate it and I will return the favor as soon as possible.