Second Time’s the Charm…?

Posted February 15, 2016 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 28 Comments

Sometimes, reading a less popular book by a new-to-you author can be a great strategy, as you won’t be ruined by the “hype” that surrounds they’re most popular works. However, I’ve been burned by this strategy a few times, as it’s led me to be underwhelmed by an author who I’ve heard nothing but great things about. I still have faith in these authors though, and really want to try out their writing again, so I’ve done some research into what I should try next by them to be sure to have a better experience!

Second Time's The Charm

I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Just One Day by Gayle Forman | Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young | The Program by Suzanne Young | The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West | The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Full Disclosure: I’ve already read Just One Day by Gayle Forman and it has completely proved my theory that sometimes you start off on the wrong foot with an amazing author due to not grooving with a particular book. I always try to give authors at least a 2 book try before I completely write them off!

Let’s Discuss!

Have you ever read a book by a new-to-you-author that you didn’t click with, only to find another book by them that you loved? Can you attest to the “should have read” books on my list being better? Do you have other recommendations for those authors? Let me know in the comments!



28 responses to “Second Time’s the Charm…?

  1. I love this post! I have definitely had this experience. I am going to be trying Just One Day next month. I haven’t loved Gayle Foreman before, but I am willing to give her another try. I haven’t read Kasie West yet, but The Distance Between Us is the one I was planning to try, so that seems like a good idea.

    I have struggled with Jenny Han. I hated To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Do you have a recommendation on which book I should have tried?

    Kate @ Mom's Radius recently posted: Book Review: Stars Above (YA)
    • I really, REALLY think Just One Day will change your mind on Gayle Forman. It really seems to be the book that makes everyone fall in love with her writing, despite the hype of If I Stay. I’ve also had trouble with Jenny Han, I had to DNF TATBILB at 16 pages, and the only other writing by her I’ve tried is a short story in the YA holiday anthology “My True Love Gave to Me.” I think unfortunately she may not be an author for me!

    • I’ve actually stayed away from If I Stay for the same reason, it just seems like it would bore me! I sort of broke the rule of seeing the movie before reading the book though and I LOVED it, so I almost don’t want to read it now because the movie was so perfect for me!

  2. I usually read the book that has more ‘hype’ from an author, and I have proven time and time again that it’s a terrible idea. The worst part is that even if I want to give the authors a second chance, most of the times I don’t read anything else by them. It’s just that I have so many books I want to read, that when I’m gonna pick, if the book is by an author that I have read before and didn’t like, I end up picking something else.

    Great post!

    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

    • You bring up a great point, and it’s something that I’ve been wary about too. If I had a lackluster experience, why prioritize that author? I’ve found that great motivators in those situations for me have been buddy reading (since then I have someone holding me accountable for reading it!) or starting it as a secondary read to something that I am loving (such as it being my work or commute read).

  3. The Program was a complete dud for me but I still really want to read Hotel Ruby and A Need So Beautiful.

    I think Beverley Kendall is an author that I didn’t immediately connect with in Unforgettable You but enjoyed her other series Trapped.

    Otherwise, if I have a meh experience with an author it tends to stick despite reading their other series. Sophie Jordan and Katy Evans are two examples where I hope their newer series will finally get me on their side because I always love their concepts but not so much their executions…

  4. I always give an author two chances, but after that I hesitate because there are so many books on my TBR pile.

    I may be biased because I love everything by Kasie West, but The Distance Between Us is my favorite book by her. Good luck and enjoy!

    Kay @ It's a Book Life recently posted: The Love List
  5. It’s so easy to judge an author based on a single book, but I try to give them another go if I don’t enjoy my first read but another of their books sounds appealing to me. But I also have this two strikes policy, if I don’t like two of their books, I probably won’t give them another try. Too harsh? I’ve only made one exception and that was Lauren DeStefano. I wasn’t a fan of Wither or Perfect Ruin, but she had a middle grade book that came out last year which I ended up really enjoying. Recently I read Truthwitch by Susan Dennard which I liked a lot more than the first book in her other series. I liked The Fill-In Boyfriend, but didn’t love it. It probably won’t be my last Kasie West book, I keep hearing it wasn’t her best, so I think I’ll give her another chance. Nice discussion!

    Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense recently posted: Kernels of Nonsense: A Bookish (and not-so bookish) Valentine’s
  6. I had this experience with Rainbow Rowell. Everyone was talking about her books, and her newest book at that time was Fangirl, so I read that. But I ended up disliked it so much it took me so long to read Eleanor and Park. I ended up really loved Eleanor and Park. It’s one of my best reads in 2015. But if I really hated the book, then I won’t even bother to try any other books by the author… Amazing discussion! 😀

    • I’ve seen people have really divided thoughts on Fangirl! I loved the novel portions, but skimmed a lot of the fanfiction. I sort of didn’t know about the hype going into it either, so I think I was able to not have to high of expectations either. Once I realized I was a Rowell fan, I could then confidently jump into her other works with more hype (like E & P).

  7. I haven’t read The Fill-In Boyfriend, but I’ve enjoyed all of Kasie West’s other books! On The Fence is my favorite book of hers, but I did devour The Distance Between Us in two days (very fast for me) so I definitely recommend it as well!

  8. LOVE seeing that you’ll be giving my girl Kasie West another shot. I haven’t read The Fill-In Boyfriend yet but I’ve given ALL of her other published works 4.5 or 5 stars. I also loved The Program (I read that first) and didn’t MIND Hotel Ruby…but The Program was fantastic and so are all the others in the series.

  9. I fully recommend The Distance Between Us. While I have not read The Fill-In Boyfriend, I know you will not be disappointed with TDBU. The characters have a lot of depth and there are a lot of issues discussed besides the romance (plus there is an awesome mother-daughter relationship!).
    I also really enjoyed The Program. I do not think that it was predictable at all and the world-building set up the character’s situations extremely well.
    I hope you have better luck with your second chances!

    • Hi Tessa! I actually recently posted my review of the Distance Between Us, and while it wasn’t a 5-star read for me, I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the fill in boyfriend (and I thought Xander was pretty adorable!)

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