{List-O-Rama} Three Necessary Unnecessary Sequels

In between mint juleps, we were talking at book club this weekend about series and how frustrating it is that the publishing climate is such that series see to be the norm. And, dammit, sometimes you just want a book to have a beginning, middle and end! However, there have been a few times when I’ve found myself surprised by how much I love an unnecessary sequel. Here are three that are near and dear to my heart, that gave me the chance to revisit characters and settings when I didn’t even know I needed or wanted to see again. 

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta 
{Sequel to Saving Francesca}

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

It may be a bit of a stretch to call The Piper’s Son a “sequel,” it’s probably closer to a companion novel, but after reading and loving Saving Francesca, a fabulous Australian novel about a group of friends, I felt like the story had a level of closure that satisfied me. But! Along came Thomas Mackee and his aunt to sweep me away in The Piper’s Son. I loved catching up with characters from Saving Francesca several years later and despite that this focuses on a different character than in the first book, it brings closure that couldn’t exist without the sequel. (Also, I’m so happy that this one is finally getting a good cover in the U.S.)


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Where She Went by Gayle Forman
{Sequel to If I Stay}

Where She Went by Gayle FormanI went to an event in Seattle where Gayle Forman talked about how If I Stay (which is wonderful) is about love, while Where She Went is about redemption. That perfectly describes this pair of novels, and the two themes fit together perfectly. I would have never thought that the sequel to If I Stay would end up being one of my favorite books. I liked Adam in the first book, but I couldn’t imagine an entire sequel told from his perspective. But, holy moly, this one got me. I dare you to not love the scene on the bridge. (Pro-tip: Get the paperback—it has some really cool stuff, including Adam’s songs, in it that weren’t in the hardback.)


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Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge
{Sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup}

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron KoertgeI read Shakespeare Bats Cleanup on the recommendations of Gabrielle, who raved about it. I was thrilled to discover that Rob Koertge revisits Kevin, poet and 14-year old baseball player, in Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, which takes place shortly after the first novel ends. Like the first book, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is told in verse, but there’s little free/blank verse (part of the plot of both novels is the our narrator is learning different forms of poetry) for folks who have an aversion to the unstructured free verse common in YA novels in verse. I loved that in the sequel, Kevin and his dad’s relationship is explored further (it’s touched on slightly in the first novel) and that we learn the outcome of both his baseball and poetry efforts.


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Have you been surprised by a necessary unnecessary sequel?

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