Showing posts with label jla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jla. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2016

Prequels and Sequels for a Finished Series: When Is It Beating a Dead Horse? | YA Talk






As you might know, I'm absolutely crazy for Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series. 

When I found out about OBLIVION, the first book OBSIDIAN from the point of view of the alien love interest Daemon, I wasn't so ecstatic.

With five books and a prequel novella, the series is already pretty long, too long for my taste if you consider the lack of actual story.

Unfortunately it seems to be common right now in the YA market to release additional content, usually novellas that aren't necessary to really understand the story.


Prequels: New Trend in YA?

Kiera Cass, Sarah J. Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Lauren Oliver - almost every YA author that celebrated success with a book series within the last years seems to have published at least one novella, collection of short stories, or (unnecessary) prequel that doesn't really add any additional value to the series.


Why I'm against Additional Prequels/Sequels in General

If you're a hardcore fan of something, obviously you'll be happy for every bit of extra content you get. But is it really necessary to keep on releasing content even long after your original story is done?

Whenever I read novella reviews the common reaction is "it's okay but you don't have to read it". I mean, if you don't have to read it, does it have a right to exist? Why should I pay money for something that doesn't show me a mind-blowing new perspective of things? Only because I'm so emotionally invested in the characters that I cannot refuse?

It's easy to say "if you don't like it, don't read it", but really - why should anyone support an author that doesn't seem to care about the quality of their content as long as it brings in more money?

Please Just Do It Like JK

Spin-offs that I think actually make sense are things like FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, one of the text books from the Harry Potter Universe that J.K. Rowling released in 2001. As a fan, this is a nice touch of authenticity. Unfortunately, not all prequels and sequels on the market serve that purpose.

Riddle me this:
  • In what way is a prequel consisting only of an alternating POV to an already published book a treat for the reader? It's not like you could possibly get any groundbreaking new info, the series is already finished. 
  • If an already successful author loves their characters so much that they decide to continue writing in that series, why don't they do it like Cassandra Clare and turn their passion towards writing multiple new series in that universe? 
  • Why half-ass it and cram out the stuff that didn't make it into the first book in a "collection of short stories", that are actually just the things your editor cut out of the first draft? 
True story, there is a highly popular author who admitted to doing that


A book series ends where it's supposed to end. Publishers, editors, and marketing specialists make sure of that. Any additional content provided should only be a treat for the reader. 



How Do You Feel About Sequels and Prequels for a Finished Series?


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

[Review] Don't Look Back - Jennifer L. Armentrout

In DON'T LOOK BACK mean girl Samantha is found covered in blood wandering around in the woods. She has no idea how she got there, who she is and why she is there. When she gets home her family tells her that she isn't the only one who went missing:
Reminiscent of Mara Dyer- But Better

I love memory loss novels. This is exactly my niche. DON'T LOOK BACK has all the things I missed in THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER. Essentially the story lines are very similar: Girl is involved in an "accident", has no recollection of what happened, but is sure that she played a significant role.
In Mara Dyer, we obviously have a supernatural protagonist. In Sam, we just have an ordinary girl that is involved in some serious high school drama de luxe. I love novels about mean characters, about unlikeable, terrible people who have their reasons for being like this; Or who are maybe just bratty teenagers. It's insanely interesting to have her react to all the terrible things she did before the incident. There's nothing more entertaining to me than mean girls redeeming themselves.

The love interest Carson is just an overall cutie that is just the perfect guy next door. He's the son of their gardener and their romance is really adorable. Still, I'm not a fan of romance as a side plot and I would have preferred either having those two star in an all-romance novel instead of being hastily dealt with in a thriller.

I Didn't See That Ending Coming

Just as in every young adult novel we have a sloppy romance plot in here. I didn't like it the slightest bit and I thought it was extremely unnecessary. Even though the characters, from mean girls to servant's kids to Samantha's family, are all planned out very well, their relations to each other are very cliche. Armentrout obviously took the safe route and only paired stereotypical characters together:

Her brother with the old friend, the mean girls with someone else's boyfriends, the unhappily married unequal couples - the novel is full of things that I've read about dozens of times in literature. Not even once she seems to take a plunge and debut a new idea. In general, you can pretty much say that the novel is a mashup of all clichés in the genres that it combines.

BUT- this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. I did enjoy the novel and despite all the cliché characters, Armentrout manages to shock and produce a decent thriller. It's not scary or actually thrilling in the least, but it keeps you up on your toes. I wanted to know desperately how it ends.

Rating:

★★★☆☆

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

It's all that THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER couldn't be. This novel gives you the notion to be predictable read, but it really isn't. You will want to desperately continue and find out what happens next. 


Synopsis:
"Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her- even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory- someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?"

Have you read any of Jennifer L. Armentrout's books?

Do you prefer her YA or NA novels?

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