Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. You can check out more about this meme here!
This week’s topic: SHOULD YOU REVIEW A SEQUEL WITHOUT READING THE FIRST BOOK?
When selecting ARCs do you ever choose sequels where you haven’t read the first book in a series? Do you think it’s fair to review a sequel without the context of the first entry in a series? Do you take someone’s review seriously if they mention they haven’t read the preceding books? Should reviewers even be allowed to do this?
Okay, confession time: I have been known to do this with a good thriller series. That is, I’ll pick up a thriller that’s the 2nd or 7th in a series and read it. I’ve only reviewed one book that I’ve done this for, and it was such a good book that I couldn’t help myself because Lisa Gardner is a queen.
Until recently, I didn’t think anything of starting a thriller series from the middle. I love thrillers so much that it really didn’t bother me. However, I have definitely changed my mind since I’ve been writing a book review blog.
Recently I received an ARC from BookishFirst. I stupidly did not realize that it was the seventh book in a series. That’s on me. I entered a raffle for this book and gave the first look a generally positive review. I have now had the book for a couple of weeks and I can NOT get into it.
It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s just that the author didn’t have any sort of hook to draw in the reader because the author did’t need a hook for the 7th book in a popular series. By the 7th book in a series, the reader is already in because he or she knows and loves the characters. Since I did not know the characters, I was not enthralled by this book. Had I written a review, it would have been incredibly unfair to the author as well as to my own readers.
In short: a book reviewer should NOT review a sequel book without having read its predecessor(s).