Despite having a terrible track record actually following up with sequels, I love to dream about what my favorite characters would be doing in a followup story. However not every book can go beyond a certain conclusion, and with that you run the risk of ruining a lovely novel. So with that fragile balance in mind, I’ve found a few books that deserve some kind of an additional rendering; be it a prequel, spinoff, or proposed trilogy. Just something to bring the world alive again for us devoted readers! This is a phenomenon all hardcore bookworms experience, so keep on reading for my thoughts!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way Kathryn Stockett wrapped up The Help. It’s a realistic conclusion that still manages to be wrapped in a bacon shaped happy ending of my dreams. I couldn’t ask any more of it, and wouldn’t want to ruin the perfection it delivered. Soooo…I propose a spin off. A spin off focusing on whom, I don’t exactly know; but I’ll leave the details to Ms. Stockett. One idea that might be really cool in her highly capable hands is a book focusing on Mae Mobley, or the three’s descendants. It could be set twenty or thirty years after the events in Jackson Mississippi, and would allow a lot of room for Stockett to build a palpable atmosphere similar to the 1960’s race dynamics so vibrant on pages of The Help. This timeline would put my proposed book at 1984 or 1994, the hotbed of emerging female rights and feminism. I think it would be a really cool subject manner to explore, while still returning to some of the characters we know and love.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
It’s been so long since I read Battle Royale that the specifics of the plot are fuzzy, but all you really need to know is that Suzanne Collins is accused of stealing aspects of THG from Koushun Takami. ‘Nuf said. Personally I always wanted a prequel to Panem’s origins, but I actually think the world Takami built (that of an alternate history Japan) has a lot more interesting avenues to be further elaborated on. Some questions that would need to be answered include: What really brought about the conception of Battle Royale? How are other first world countries responding to this drastic measure? Was there any forthright resistance to this radical shift in government? All are very valid questions I’ve long pondered upon, and always felt deserved a more complex answer than initially offered. While you’re at it let me know your feelings about the heated debate on Battle Royale vs. THG. I know my stance, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
I typically hate sequels in contemporaries. Very rarely are they needed, and more likely they just hurt an otherwise strong story. E. Lockhart crafted such a formidable force to be reckoned with in Frankie Landau-Banks though, that I just have to see how she would take the professional world by storm. If Lockhart decided to stay in the neighborhood of young adult, I would love to see how Banks would take on the secret male societies that dominate Ivy league legacies (Yale’s Skull and bones, anyone?). It would only further expand on her revolt against sexism and all other things traditionally associated with top tier private schools. Though I can’t see an adult novel working in quite the same format present in The Disreputable History, a TV show would also be really cool (as long as it’s not on ABC Family, the kiss of death for all book to screen adaptations). Let’s admit it, I would watch Banks as a tough-as-nails political fixer any day over Olivia Pope.
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
I know, I know. Ashes technically has not only one, but two sequels. Too bad they’re both horrible and disgraces to the awesome story Ilsa J. Bick initially set out to tell. I simply can not mince words on this topic. Shadows and Monsters are not only inhumanly long (528 and 688 pages respectively) but totally diverge from the series initial conflict. How is that even possible, you ask? Well a prospective reader should know that though Ashes is told exclusively from protagonist Alex’s POV, the latter books introduce close to twenty other narratives. I can’t care about twenty people whom I barely know, I could barely keep them straight! Thus I call for a redo. A trilogy that solely focuses on Alex, Tom, and Ellie as they try to save humanity from the effects of an EMP. I initially thought this series would prove to be one of my favorites of all time, and with a different follow up that could very well be the case.
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Typically I’m not into books featuring vampires/werewolves/other sexy paranormal creatures, but Claudia Gray’s Fateful is the one exception. It’s a cross between Titanic and Twilight, but I couldn’t help falling in love with the intoxicating blend of romance and suspense. Unfortunately, it also happens to be the only book in the vein of The Vampire Academy not to have any follow ups. Maybe it’s the Titanic setting that gave Gray the impression her story had a limited shelf life. Maybe she just felt this one didn’t have enough other content. In any case, I’m here to reassure her I will read anything featuring the soap-y saga of scullery maid Tess Davies and millionaire Alec Marlow. I can’t make this stuff up. Meanwhile, as I campaign for the capacity to write my own version of a sequel, just get on reading this one. It holds a 3.92 star average on GR, but only a mere 9,000 ratings. That needs to be remedied.
Do you guys ever read a book that NEEDS a sequel? Would you prefer it to be a traditional follow up, spin off, or prequel? Let me know in the comments!
-Keep Calm and Read On