Saturday, October 17, 2015

Second Time's a Charm

Sometimes I love an author's second book so much more than their first that it's like two different people wrote them. It doesn't necessarily mean it's the second book the author's written, but it's the second of theirs I've read, and for some mystical magical reason, it hits me in a way the author's other book didn't. I don't know what alchemy and dark magic goes into the subjective business of having a book grab you vs. not, but it's also why I'm always loathe to give up on authors, even if I read a book from them and am like "nahhh." Because you never know if that second book of theirs will be the one that gets you. You never know if that first one was a fluke.

Everybody listen to the wise murder princess

Recently, I've been having a lot of "Second Time's a Charm" experiences, most notably with Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, a book I totally loved. (Giffily enthusiastic review here.) Taken, Bowman's first book, just wasn't for me. Vengeance Road almost felt like it was written explicitly for me, with its tough, half-Mexican heroine with a heart full of murder, grit, and vengeance, its cute cowboy brothers, its sucker punch plot twists, and its Western setting. I'm really glad I read VR and can wholeheartedly and unequivocally recommend it.

Two rootin' tootin' pistols up

 Then there's Vampire Academy, a series opener I liked but didn't, you know, wet my pants over or anything. I finished it, and a year went by and then I was like, huh, these VA series paperbacks have been redesigned nicely and are a good price. Let's check them out. So I read Frostbite, book two in the series...and fell straight down the rabbit hole. I read the entire series in five or so straight days of madness. And then I launched myself straight into Bloodlines, and now Richelle Mead is an auto-buy author.

This is why I try so hard to separate books from their authors, and why I really like a whole bunch of authors whose books I didn't particularly love. I still love my neighborhood cafe and their excellent sandwiches even though I never order their brownies because they suck, but damn, those sandwiches, man. They are some great sandwiches. (Yay for metaphors that slightly a little bit almost work woo!)


Other "Second Chance Authors" who turned out to be very successful for me:

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, a DNF for me, and Pawn, which I super enjoyed

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios, which was meh for me, and I'll Meet You There, WHICH IS SHEER HEARTBREAKING PERFECTION GO READ IT NOW

don't eat me

Have you ever had that "Second Chance Author" experience? Which books were they?


  1. I was just thinking about this the other day. I have a rule that if I don't enjoy 2 books by an author, I don't force myself to read anything else they write. Second time has been a charm SEVERAL times this year. Heather Demetrios, Mindy MicGinnis, Robyn Schineider have been three authors who's previous books I did not like, but this year, their books have been some of my standouts.

  2. I always try at least two books by an author before I give up! :D I loved Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott, but didn't like The Collector at all, but I read the sequel to Fire and Flood and loved that too! I'm trying to think of other authors like that for me... I read Shiver, but wasn't a big fan of Linger and then I read The Scorpio Races and loved it!! I am now reading The Raven Boys and I am a fan. Okay, that is trying more than just two books, but same type of deal. Anyway, I totally agree with you and love this topic! :D P.S. I wasn't a fan of Taken either but now I for sure what to read Vengeance Road because I have heard so many good things about it!

  3. YES! Vengeance Road was this for me too. And the Mead books! I didn't love VA but the second one was so much better. I'm on the third now. I have Soundless too which I hope I love. I think it's a great reminder to always give an author a second chance.

  4. Melina Marchetta was a second-chance author for myself. I strongly can't stand her fantasy series, but Jellicoe Road put her back on my map!

  5. Scarlet is the book that got me hooked on Lunar Chronicles. Before that I was pretty whatever on the series.

  6. Hmmm! I have Frostbite and Shadow... something (book 3) of VA, looks like I need to try the series again. And I TOTALLY know what you mean! Of course I can't think of any examples of second chance authors right now, but I know I've had them. I try to give them at least 2 book, especially if the 2nd book sounds good. I think CJ Redwine will be one because I'm super excited for The Shadow Queen but didn't love the Defiance series very much.


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