Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reviews: Sequel Sensations

Sequels are lovely creatures. They are highly-anticipated continuations of the stories and characters we love. I usually have mixed emotions, as I’m both eager to read the next adventure and hesitant of the possibility that the sequel could let me down. Here are a few reviews of sequels that lived up to the hype, at least in my opinion!

Altered – Gennifer Albin
Released October 29, 2013
After reading Crewel, I immediately dove into Altered, its sequel. Even though Altered is a continuation of Adelice’s story, it’s a book of discovery as well. Adelice is on a new world, meeting new people while still on the run from Cormac. And if it wasn’t hard enough to be on another world, Adelice has to deal with the fact that this world moves slower, so her sister is quickly spinning away from her on Arras. This was a delicious, unanticipated twist. Speaking of unanticipated events, what happened between Adelice, Erik and Jost in this sequel took me completely by surprise. I don’t want to spout any spoilers, but I would like to say that it’s a mark of a great writer when she can make me weary of one character only to make me re-think my assumptions and grow to love him in the sequel. And all with words! I can't wait for the third book in the series, as I crave more of the Karios Agenda, Falon, Adelice’s sharp tongue and of course more developments on the Adelice-Erik-Jost front.

Independent Study – Joelle Charbonneau
To be released January 7, 2014
Sequel to the dystopian thriller, The Testing, this book ramps up talk of a rebellion while piling on action with conspiracy. Cia has moved on to Government Studies and subsequently been distanced from the only person she trusts in Tosu City, Tomas. One of the things that I love about this series is how deeply Charbonneau delves into Cia’s thought process. Also, I adore that Cia is a strong, smart and unapologetic female lead (even though this is becoming more common, it’s still refreshing!) I feel like Cia’s extracurricular adventures will catch up with her soon, especially after the cliffhanger at the end of this book! Speaking of, I appreciated that the cliffhanger was just right: not too big, not too small and just frustrating enough. I can’t wait to dive into Graduation Day, the next and last book in the series!

Just One Year – Gayle Forman

Released October 10, 2013
There was a point very early on in Just One Year where I could not set it down. It’s odd because I knew how it ended from reading Just One Day, as this is less of a sequel and more of a companion. In Just One Day, Allison and Willem have one glorious day together in Paris, but are separated. Just One Year is Willem’s story of the following year, as he searches for his mystery girl (because he never learned her actual name). So, even though I assumed their story would end at the same place, I needed to know Willem’s side of the story. I needed to know how he got to that apartment where Allison introduced herself, one year after their one day. I love almost everything about this book, notably the traveling and the everyday experiences that were both menial yet great. The only thing I wanted was more of an ending for Willem and Allison. I understand Forman’s creative choice, as they truly don’t know one another (as they did only spend one day together), so it would be unrealistic to provide them with a happily ever after moment. However, that didn’t stop me from wanting more, as a reader and as a romantic.

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