What Do You Think Of Second Book Slumps?

What Do You Think Of Second Book Slumps?

I know that I’ve referenced the infamous “second book slump” in posts before, but a few days ago I started thinking about it more. Is it really fair to all second books? What about our disappointing third books, they don’t have a name like that! What books have had this second book slump for me, and does it happen often?

For those that don’t know, a second book slump is when you read the sequel to a book you loved, or at least enjoyed, and find it does not live up to the first one. It might be boring, or the characters might seem like completely different people. Whatever the reason it’s not as good as the first, a lot of people like to refer to it as a second book slump.

I wanted to write a blog post about it. I see it mentioned often in reviews, like “This book wasn’t as good as the first, it had a second book slump.” I know I’ve done that before! I wanted to take a look at series I’ve read and see which ones did and did not have disappointing second books, to see if for me, there really is a pattern of disappointing second books.

A note: for the books that I place under the category “second book slump”, it does not mean I hated them at ALL. Some of them, I might have enjoyed! There was just enough of a difference between my love for the first book and that book that I felt it belonged there.

Second Books With The Second Book Slump

Insurgent by Veronica Roth


I read Divergent when I was first getting into YA, and loved it. Even then, when I was a less critical reader, when I read Insurgent I knew that it was not even close to as good. It was such a disappointment.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer


I enjoyed Cinder, the first book in this series, but when I read Scarlet I just…wasn’t as much of a fan. I think it may be because I didn’t like Scarlet’s character as much? This was a long time ago, so who knows, but it is for sure my least favorite book in the series.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor


I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and while this book wasn’t bad at all- in fact, I enjoyed it- it just wasn’t AS GOOD as the masterpiece of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You can read my review here.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


This book hasn’t been released yet, and while I enjoyed it, I have to say that it just didn’t live up to Illuminae, which I loved.

Second Books With The Second Book Spunk

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


As you can see from my review, I adored this book so much more than the first, which I thought was just okay. I wasn’t planning on continuing the trilogy, but I decided, hey, why not? I’ll just try it. And I am SO GLAD I DID. This book was incredible.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab


You can see in my review here that I LOVED THIS BOOK. Lila. Kell. Alucard. Rhy. I just love them all, and although I loved the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, this book was still better.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


While I enjoyed Throne of Glass, the second book was so much better. It was what really made me love this series.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu


While The Young Elites was good, this book was fantastic.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir


Yes, this book isn’t out yet, but I HAD to put it in because it just blew me away. It was even better than the first, and I really liked the first.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater


I enjoyed The Raven Boys. A lot. I didn’t think anything could be better. And then I read The Dream Thieves. This book was just INDESCRIBABLY (is that a word? it is now) perfect, and may be my favorite of the series.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


The reason this book was better than the first for me MAY have to do with the fact that in Siege and Storm, we are introduced to Nikolai. I LOVE HIM. But besides that, I DID think this book was better than the first.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson


The Kiss of Deception was good, but this one? 10000000000x times better.

From these VERY SCIENTIFIC results, I can conclude that for me, most second books I read are actually BETTER than the first and do not have the second book slump! This, of course, is just me, but I found it really interesting especially because we reference the second book slump so much. Honestly, it surprised me how little second books I found that were disappointing! And I still ENJOYED most of them. I expected to have a lot more books in that category.

What second books have you read that disappointed you? What second books have you enjoyed more than the first? Do you believe in the dreaded second book slump, or do you usually find second books to be better than the first?

Thanks for reading!



33 thoughts on “What Do You Think Of Second Book Slumps?

  1. I actually liked ACOMAF better than ACOTAR, though I think Maas threw Tamlin under the bus for drama. I have a lot of anger about this issue. 😉

    I completely agree about Gemina though. The format is still beautiful, but the story was definitely much less interesting than Illuminae. I’ve been hesitate about how much I care about Book 3 after reading it.

    I didn’t even finish Allegiant. Divergent was by far the best book of the series. I have no interest in anything else Roth plans to publish.


  2. Omg, Gemina disappointed you?! D: I’m still waiting for its release so I hope it doesn’t disappoint me. ;-;

    I very rarely have second book slumps since I always make sure to finish a series when I start it, but I know what you feel. I felt the same way with Insurgent – Divergent was really good, but Insurgent? Meh…

    You have a lot of second books on your list that I still have to read, and I’m afraid I’ll hate them too. T_T


  3. I feel this so much. I even did a blog post about Middle Book syndrome haha.
    I haven’t read many of these series/sequels, but I’m glad to hear that The Heart of Betrayal is better because the first was only okay for me. And I ADORED the Young Elites, so I’m glad to hear the second book is fantastic too!

    Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging


  4. Omg yes, second book slumps happen to me so often… it kinda happened with City of Ashes, the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. It’s still a good book and still one of my favourite series, I just don’t think the second book quite lived up to the rest! So I totally get what you mean about some of the books you mentioned. But I must say, YES THE DREAM THIEVES AGH ITS SO PERFECT. I love the entire series, but that book is just something else, right? Loved this post! ❤


  5. Nice post !!! When I first was scrolling through your post I though you said acomaf had second book slump and I was like WHAT but you said spunk haha and that is correct for sure. I’m always disappointed when the second book isn’t as good as the first, it’s definitely something all of us readers can agree, it sucks.


      1. Yeah, it always breaks my heart when the second isn’t as good as the first, let hope acotar #3 is even better though !!!


  6. I agree-ish with Scarlet! While I actually did enjoy Scarlet, for some reason I was in no rush to read Cress. Then when I finally did pick up Cress, I just wasn’t into it. I also noticed that happened with The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave Book 2). I started reading book 3 the other day and I honestly forgot EVERYTHING from the second book. When I looked it up, I was like “well, that’s not very exciting, no wonder I forgot it” haha xD

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook


      1. No, I haven’t xD I put it on the list for the Make Me Read It readathon, though, and EVERYONE is voting for it. So it looks like I’ll be reading it soon lol

        I’ve heard mixed reviews for The Last Star (the last book) which is making me hesitant to read it >.<


  7. I’ve only started noticing this happens recently – probably because I’ve only recently started actually continuing the series I start haha! I knew it was a thing, but didn’t really think about it before. For me, it’s true for The 5th Wave and Anna and the French Kiss. Both those books are on my favourites list, but the seconds books – The Infinite Sea and Lola and the Boy Next Door – are nowhere near. And unfortunately, Siege and Storm didn’t do it for me either. I still don’t know why though. That’s a weird one.
    BUT I feel like authors know of this now, and there’s more of an effort to avoid it. All Sarah J Maas books avoid it, A Gathering of Shadows and The Dream Thieves I definitely agree with!
    It does make me hesitant though about sequels!


    1. I TOTALLY agree with you for Lola…, I adored Anna but the second one I just didn’t like as much! I still need to read The Infinite Sea, but I’ve heard a lot of not-so-good things, so we’ll see. Aww, I’m sad you didn’t like S&S- what did you think of the third one, if you read it? SJM just manages to improve with each book, I love it, and so do Maggie Stiefvater and VE Schwab! They’re such great writers.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m the total opposite, I almost didn’t read The Lunar Chronicles because I was so let down by Cinder. Scarlet made me love the series a bit more!

    I do agree that Siege and Storm was a lot better than Shadow and Bone.

    I do believe in the dreaded slump but I usually end up loving the second book more! There are times where I just drop a series depending on that second book.


  9. i think whether the second book in a series is good or bad depends on two things: either the author finds nohing to write about in the second book, OR the author improves his writing and plotting. loving or not loving a book also depends on the reader and his tastes.


  10. When the first book of a series is awesome, it automatically sets your expectations higher for the next installment. I dread series for this very reason. It is very hard to keep your standards when you write a series.
    I was a little disappointed in The Scorch Trials, but it sure was because The Maze Runner was a gem.
    I am currently reading Crown of Midnight, and I admit there’s a little more to like about it. I finished The Raven Boys last night and I really hope the rest of the series will be as good.


    1. I agree! Especially when the first book is a favorite, and the second one just…isn’t. I couldn’t even finish The Scorch Trials. 😦 I loved COM so much more than Throne of Glass, and I hope you enjoy it! And The Dream Thieves is my favorite book out of the whole series, so I hope you LOVE LOVE IT.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really enjoyed Crown of Midnight and I had less issues with it than with Throne of Glass. You make me want to drop my TBR and scheduled reads to grab The Dream Thieves 😀


  11. There are only a few times where the second book disappointed me. Firstly, “The Scorch Trials” by James Dashner, and (whilst you stated that you enjoyed it) “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo. I remember loving the first books so much, but these second books were never lived up to my love of the first ones.

    I think that there are a number of times that the second book may not be as good as the first one. Mostly because we love the first book SO DAMN MUCH, that we tend to expect so much for the second. And most of the time, our expectations just aren’t meant. Which I don’t think is always the author’s fault.


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