Top 10 Tuesdays: Standalones That Need a Sequel

For some reason, I had a lot more trouble with this prompt than I expected. It’s only really been in the past couple of years that I started reading more series in general. Up until then, I read mostly standalones and it can be really hard to imagine many of these books having a sequel. In most cases, when a book is already designed as a standalone, the story is already pretty self-contained and doesn’t necessarily need much added. Most of the standalones I read are thrillers, which seem really difficult to add on to. I also read quite a bit of YA contemporary, where it is a little easier to envision sequels, but rarely seems necessary. There are few YA characters that I connect with so strongly that I really feel the need to see more of them, and even when I do, it’s hard to imagine what else I’d want from their stories. Actually, one of my biggest struggles with this one was that I had trouble remembering specific details of books that I’ve read, or at least with how they ended. I find most books wrap things up quite well, so it was hard for me to come up with any that really left me wanting more.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

19351043This was the first book that came to mind when I thought of standalones that need a sequel. I’ve read this book twice in the past two years, and absolutely adored it both times. Both times, this book left me wanting more of these amazing characters, and I think there is a lot of room for more stories here. I’d love to see a prequel that focuses on Blackheart and Goldenloin, or a sequel to see what Nimona herself is up to since the events of this book. I thought this book was so much fun to read and the characters were so interesting, and surprisingly relatable. There was one scene specifically, where Nimona and Blackheart are watching a scary movie, that I remember taking a picture of and texting to my boyfriend as soon as I read it because it’s exactly a conversation that we would have. I left this book wanting to know more about the characters and see what other adventures they get up to, so I would really love a sequel to this one!

2) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

17571564I’m not sure if I can necessarily consider this book a standalone, but it is the only one that this author has released so far. There is another book, Solutions and Other Problems, that has been mentioned online a few times but it has been pushed back indefinitely. This book is a series of comics based on Allie Brosh’s popular online blog, that talk about a variety of experiences in her life including her struggles with depression. I wanted to re-read this book the second I finished it, and there were several sections that I did go back and re-read immediately. I’d love to see more of Allie Brosh’s work. I find her comics so relatable and funny. I know a lot of people get put off by the very simplistic drawing style, but I thought they fit the comics very well. I hope Solutions and Other Problems will eventually be released, but if not, I’m hoping this will get another sequel at some point.

3) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

15745753I read this book as part of my first reading challenge in 2015, and the only specific thing I remember about it is how frustrating the ending was! This book is about a teenage girl named Eleanor who lives with her mother and her abusive stepfather and is also bullied by her peers. When a classmate named Park invites her to sit beside him on the school bus, they soon develop a very sweet relationship. I thought this book was just adorable, but the ending was so frustrating because it is left quite ambiguous. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to risk spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I would love a sequel to find out what happens next for both of these characters! To be honest, this wasn’t my favourite book at the time and I think the ending was part of the reason, but I’d love to re-read it at some point now that I know what to expect. It was still a great book and I know a lot of people would love a sequel.

4) All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

36344555I read this book very recently, and I felt like it ended just when it was getting to what would have been the most interesting part for me! This book is about a teenage girl named Lyla who had a drunken photo of her at a party go viral. It is told from the perspectives of Lyla and her father, as well as the mother of the boy who took the picture.  I read this book in the first place because it was recommended by Jodi Picoult and I expected it to be similar to her kinds of stories. I thought the concept of it was very interesting and the writing was compelling enough to keep my attention, but the plot didn’t delve into the topic to the level that I expected. I was hoping to see the court case surrounding the photo, but that was glossed over and instead we only got an epilogue that follows the characters many years after the fact, which I didn’t feel was quite enough. It felt like the story suddenly ended just when it was getting to the best part, so I would have loved a sequel to give some room to go into the court case in more detail.

5) What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

36341204This was another book where I felt like it ended only partway through the characters’ story. It is about two teenage boys, Arthur and Ben, who meet at the post office where Ben is trying to get rid of a box of his ex’s stuff. The two of them go on a series of bad first dates as they try to figure out whether fate brought them together, and if so, what they should be to each other. I really enjoyed this book, and although I thought the ending was realistic, I was still left wanting to see what happens next. I’ve seen many other reviewers complain about the ending, but I actually liked it since it was something a little different. This book left me wanting to see what happens to these characters in the future, even though there is an epilogue. In general, I find epilogues can be great but they don’t always do enough to wrap things up. Considering how quickly things developed between Ben and Arthur, I think it would be interesting to see how their connection develops when they actually know each other better.

6) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905Cath is one of the characters that I’ve mostly strongly related to ever, and I’d love to see more of her in general. I know there is Carry On and the upcoming Wayward Son spin-offs, but that is not the same kind of sequel that I would want. I’d actually love to see more of Cath as she continues to move through college and maybe adjusts to it a bit more. I’d also be very interested in seeing Cath graduating and moving into her first “grown-up” job and trying to navigate office politics. I think most of my interest in that is just wanting to see a character who is a lot like me in a situation that I’ve been through myself. I know it’s not usually fun to read your own experiences, but I love having characters that I connect with very strongly and it is pretty rare for me. It also might be fun to see a sequel or spin-off that follows other characters, like Wren or Cath’s roommate (whose name escapes me at the moment). In general, I’d also love to see more books about characters who are college-aged and dealing with these kinds of life changes. I didn’t go away to college myself and it’s hard for me to relate to stories about moving to dorms or trying to fit in with partying classmates, so I think this one really stuck with me because Cath presented a different kind of college experience that felt equally real and one that I think is very important to have represented.

7) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

18584855This is one of those books that I actually think wrapped up very well, but I loved the characters so much that I wanted to see what happened for them next anyway. Heartless is already a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, focusing on the origins of the Queen of Hearts. I absolutely adored this book and its characters, although I thought Catherine’s transition into the madness of the Queen happened a bit too quickly. The main reason I want another book is because I want more of these characters, and some time to draw out Catherine’s story a bit more. I think a sequel could follow Catherine through the time that Alice is actually in Wonderland, and it might be interesting to see what was going through her mind during that period. I kind of envision it as something along the lines of the Wicked series, although maybe a little less dense than those books are. Actually, I think of Heartless as more similar to the Wicked musical and although I think it ended well, I’d love to see more.

8) Uprooted by Naomi Novik

22544764This book very quickly became a favourite, and I’m already looking forward to reading Spinning Silver at some point this year. To be honest, I can’t remember too much detail about the way it ended because it’s already been about a year and a half, but I remember that it was a pretty self-contained story. I would love a sequel to this one because I thought the world that it was set in was fascinating and I’d love to see more of it. I’m not sure if I’d want more about Agnieszka and The Dragon since their story was already excellent, but I’d love to see more books set in this world even with different characters. It might be interesting to see a story that focuses on Agnieszka’s friend Kasia, or to see how their world has changed now that the events of Uprooted have happened. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not entirely sure whether Spinning Silver counts as a sequel to this one, but I’m pretty sure they are entirely separate stories in separate worlds. The magic system in this one was very interesting and I especially love the characters, so it would be great to see more of both.

9) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

4667024It’s been such a long time since I’ve read this book, and it is still one of my all-time favourites. This book is set in Mississippi in the 1960s, and is told from the perspective of Skeeter Phelan, a white woman who wants to become a writer, and Aibileen and Minny, two African-American maids who work for white families. Together, the women take on the project of writing a book exposing the realities, both positive and negative, of the maids’ experiences and the families the work for. While I think this book once again was a great self-contained story, but I would love to follow these characters through all the societal changes that follow the civil rights movement. I can see Skeeter getting involved in the feminist movement, and to see a bit more of the aftermath of the book for these women and the other maids who were involved. Part of what I loved about this book is the way the writing brought the characters to life, to the point where I often forgot that they were fictional. It might also be interesting to see some of the descendants of Aibileen or Minny living in a more modern time, and how they handle current social justice topics (ie. Black Lives Matters), maybe with Minny or Aibileen there to provide some insight into their own experiences as a contrast.

10) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

12000020I’ve heard that a sequel to this one actually is coming, but I haven’t heard much about it. I would like to re-read this book at some point because I think I rushed through it a bit when I read it. The ending didn’t quite sit right with me because it felt like one of the characters was pushed into it, before he may have been ready to admit his feelings to himself. I was a bit disappointed since I fully expected to love this one as much as everyone else did, and I get the feeling it was because I missed something while reading by going too fast. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ari in general, but I thought Dante was just adorable and I’d be interested in seeing a bit more of how they interact with each other. I think a sequel would be great to see how things develop between them. I honestly left the book with the impression that they were more friends than a potential couple, but I’d be interested in seeing more of these characters. I definitely want to re-read this one before I’d read a possible sequel, but I think it is a story could definitely be expanded further.


3 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesdays: Standalones That Need a Sequel

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesdays: Give Me More! | Abyssal Librarian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s