There are so many book series that I have given up on; sometimes because I read the first couple of chapters of a book and thought we wouldn’t be the right fit, sometimes when I didn’t like the first book enough to continue, when everyone is telling me that the sequels are way better. I used not to think twice about it, because there are so many books I want to read, but so little time.
However, over the past year or so, as I started wanting to give another chance to some book series, I realized that what could have been true once isn’t set in stone: over the years, my reading tastes change, so books that I thought weren’t for me, I could actually enjoy later on.
Of course, it’s not true for every book out there, but sometimes, while your present self isn’t ready for a book, your future self might end up loving it later and it’s been on my mind a lot lately. We talk a lot of second chances, so why wouldn’t books deserve that too? 🤔
As I was thinking about book series I was giving/wanted to give another try to, I realized that most of them leaned towards adult fantasy and it doesn’t surprise me, to be honest: it’s a genre that used to intimidate me, but I read so many adult fantasy novels now. Three years ago, I would have been wary before jumping into Robin Hobb’s Realms of the Elderlings (really long) series or G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and maybe I’d have disliked them for some reason, but now? I always get so excited when I pick up one of these books.
It got me thinking that while I read some books when the timing was right for me, I might have missed out on others because I wasn’t ready for them, and that’s okay. It’s not too late to go back and figure out which books I might have missed out on and to enjoy them more this time around.
At the moment, there are four book series that I want to give another chance to or have picked up again, because I feel like the timing is right. I’m mainly giving them another chance because I’ve loved the authors’ other books, because my friends and reviewers I trust loved them, or because of the hype, it all depends.
This series is the reason I started thinking about this blog post. I “tried” reading the first chapter of The Bone Season four years ago, but it wasn’t working for me, so I just moved on and that was it. However, when I read The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon this year, I fell in love with it so much that it ended up becoming my favourite book of the year.
Because of that, I needed to read more books by Samantha Shannon, so I decided to give The Bone Season another try and when I looked the summary up again, I was so intrigued again. This series is set in a dystopian London where being clairvoyant (e.g. seeing spirits) is illegal, but the main character is one of the most powerful ones and works for a criminal organization… and then it all goes from there and gets more complex, it’s so worth it! This time around, it worked: while the first book in the series isn’t my favourite, I was so intrigued by it, read it really quickly and soon enough, I found myself ordering the second book, which was everything I wanted and now that’s it: I’m committed for the rest of the series.
I read The Bear and the Nightingale early 2018 and I expected to love it so much, but somehow I was disappointed. This book is about Vasilisa, who lives in Russia with her family and grows up with fairytales told by her nurse, until her mother dies and his father marries a woman who discards all the family’s ways. I don’t remember much about it to be honest, I found the world to be fascinting, but was quite disconnected from the story and I didn’t get to the sequels, as I forgot so much about the first book overtime.
That being said, I feel like I could adore this book way more now: it’s full of magic and folklore and I usually love slow-paced books. Moreover, I know that my friend Aseel loved the sequels more than the first book and we have very similar reading tastes, so it really motivates me to give it another chance and reread it this winter.
My relationship with Nevernight started the exact same way than my relationship with The Bone Season: I read the first few pages and thought it wouldn’t be for me. It made me so sad, because come on, a book about a female assassin?! I was so ready for it.
Then, in August, right before Darkdawn was released, it felt like everyone I followed on BookTube and Bookstagram was either rereading the series in preparation for that release or starting the series and I started getting big FOMO… So I ordered Nevernight, read it and fell in love with it as well (as so many people say, you just have to get through the first 50 pages!). I cannot wait to get Godsgrave when I can, but I’m so happy I gave Nevernight a second chance: I need more of Jay Kristoff’s adult books now!
Last but not least, I really want to give another chance to the Blackthorn & Grim trilogy. These books are set in ancient Ireland and follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and one of her fellow prisoners. To escape prison, she makes a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years, which means she can’t get revenge on who imprisoned her. After seeing so many people raving about Juliet Marillier for years, I felt a bit let down by Dreamer’s Pool, first book in the trilogy when I read it, to be honest. Still, it really felt like a fairytale and I was so intrigued by this world, so it was quite a bummer.
Since then, I have read the Sevenwaters series by the same author and it’s my favourite book series of the year so far, so I really want to get to all of Marillier’s works. Looking back, I think I enjoyed this book way more than I first thought, so fingers crossed I’ll love it this time!
Do you ever give second chances to books because you think the timing wasn’t right for you to read them? If so, have you enjoyed said books/series more?