Monday, August 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books and Their Sequels

"Top Ten Tuesdays" is a weekly countdown meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

I don't think this topic needs much of an introduction: despite the fact that I much prefer stand-alone novels for their solidity and literary clout, sometimes, you just want to spend a little more time in a wonderful world with wonderful characters.

(Or, just to see how much more havoc might be wrought: what would happen after the funerals in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? Would Montague and Capulet ever re-kindle their hatred-between-houses? Would the Prince ever get a handle on his city? And what of Rosaline? I've got to know!) 

Regardless, here are some of my favorite books, and their status with sequels these days. 

Books That Have Sort-of Passable Sequel Stand-Ins

1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Sequel: Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James
A mystery surrounding the inhabitants of Pemberley at the time of a party, and the description on Goodreads mentions the presumed murder of George Wickham (come on, don't tell me the last half of that sentence doesn't make you smile). And now, the BBC liked it so much, it's becoming a miniseries. 

2. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Sequel: Jane, April Lindner
It's a modern retelling, sure, but that doesn't mean you can't learn something new the second time round with a new perspective on things. 

3. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte 
Sequel: Catherine, April Lindner
Ditto to #2. I swear, April Lindner works magic, and I'm not joking. Read my very recent review here

4. Beastly, by Alex Flinn
Sequel(s): rest of Alex Flinn's modernized fairy tales
Alex Flinn has a very specific approach to the tweaking and twisting of classic and iconic fairy tales to fit into the life of the average teen, and her magic touch extends to some perfectly sparked YA romance, as well. I'm okay with less of Beastly, if I get things like A Kiss in Time or Towering... for now. 

5. Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
Sequel(s): Peter and the Starcatchers series, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
This book series is already beloved, including by the fifth grade version of me, as well as fans of the Broadway stage. Therefore, while they could never compare fully to the original's iconic and emotional nature, they satiate our need for Neverland in current forms of entertainment. 

Books That Don't Have Sequels and Never Will, and That's a Real Shame

6. Poison, by Bridget Zinn
Why Not? Zinn, tragically, died from cancer before her book was even published. She never got the chance to see firsthand what sort of an effect her novel had on fans, but at least her family knew that her talent was appreciated. So, despite the fact that her book was so immediately embraced, there cannot be a sequel. 

7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Why Not? The Pulitzer Prize winner had originally planned to follow up her instantly classic novel with another, involving a mystery and a murder trial, but she never did. Critics guess that it may be that she knew she could never reach the fame TKaM did, but still, decades later, fans wish that we knew the woman Scout grew up to be. 

8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
Why Not? First of all, do not mock me for still being hung up on a book I read in the eighth grade for English class. While there is not a shortage of spunky, spirited, ethically-minded young women in YA today, there are no books about "witches" nowadays that fill the bill left by an amazing portrayal of an ill-fought witch hunt without any actual magic occurring in it. Where are Kit and Nat now? Unfortunately, this book was published in 1957, and the author has since passed away. 

9. The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett
Why Not? There was a flawed 2000 movie (capitalizing on the 1993 successful adaptation of the original novel) called Return to the Secret Garden, starring a young Camilla Belle, but that doesn't count. At all. AT ALL. Does anyone other than me wonder what happened to the likes of Mary, Colin, and Dickon? And what happened to that glorious garden? 

10. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why Not? Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP, you naysayers: Yes, I fully understand that he was the voice of the Jazz Age, that he perfectly captured the end of the American Dream before the Roaring '20s crashed with a whimper into the Great Depression... but the man died in 1940! What would it have been like, to hear the voice of Nick Carraway speaking through his masterfully-crafted words again, as the nation experienced success after hard times, with the economic uplift in WWII? After speaking so eloquently and famously about the downfall of American excess, what about the success of America's rallying cry? Instead of fighting the demons within ourselves, clamoring for "more, more, more," we're also fighting the demons we see across the ocean, similarly on the warpath for power and conquest! Am I the only one who thinks that sounds cool? 

What are your feelings about books and their sequels?


  1. I love how you've demarcated you're list! That's so cool! But I dont know, somehow, unless the sequel's by the original author, it doesn't really feel like a sequel. And I am yet to read The Great Gatsby (I hate admitting that)! Should get to it soon :)

    My TTT

  2. I remember the weak 1987 adaptation of The Secret Garden, which was kind of sequel-ish. But when Dickon dies in World War One and Mary agrees to marry Colin... well, no. (They weren't cousins in that version, in case you were wondering.)

  3. Yes to POISON! That book was fun, and I think it would've made a great little series. It's so unfortunate that Bridget passed away, though! Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  4. Good list! I like your organization. And nuts, why didn't I remember The Secret Garden and The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Love them both, and would have so enjoyed a sequel in each case.

    I found your blog through TTT. We have a fair number of bookish tastes in common, I think. I'll be following through Bloglovin! Here's my TTT list.

  5. Great choices. I had no idea the books in the first half of your list had sequels. I'm especially going to have to check out Beastly and the related books, I love a good fairytale retelling.

    And yes, it's a pity some of the books in the second half won't have sequels, but in some ways that's what makes them so great.

    Here's my TTT.