Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last year, I wrote a (non-Top-Ten-Tuesday) post about books that need prequels. Today, I’ll be talking about some standalone books that need sequels. This list is shorter than usual because of how many authors and publishers are eager to publish sequels to stories that do well. There simply aren’t a lot of books that I wish had sequels. Hopefully, some of you will have longer lists.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

While I loved the ending of this book, I couldn’t help but to hope we’d hear more from Starr again. The resolutions to her problems were incredibly realistic, but they also left a lot of room for speculating about how or if they might shift again in the future. What can I say? I wanted a happier ended than the one we got, and I’m still holding out home that it might happen someday. (The film is still on my to-be-watched list, so maybe it was different? Please don’t give me spoilers if they changed the ending!)

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda, the main character, had been through something so awful she couldn’t even talk about it. I loved getting to know her sweet, creative personality and slowly uncovering the cause of her pain. She was a lovely person, and I sure would like to see what she was like a few years or decades after this terrible time in her life.

Skip the sentence below this paragraph if you want to avoid all spoilers. Keep reading if you prefer to know about potentially triggering subject matter ahead of time .

This book is about rape and the long-term traumatic effects of that crime. I was caught off-guard by that plot twist, so I feel obligated to let other potential readers know about it.

3. Bridge to Terabithia  by Katherine Paterson

The friendship between Jess (the main character) and his neighbour, Lesie is something I still think about to this day. While the ending to this tale was well done, I’d sure like to see what life was like for the characters decades later. There’s so much room for growth here.

4. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Imagine what it would be like if your father tried to marry you off when you were fourteen! I was a kid when I read this book, so I knew very little about the cultural norms of the 1200s in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter). Birdy’s story is something that has stuck with me for years, and I’d love to find out what happened to her after the events of the final scenes.

5. 1984 by George Orwell

1984 was about a man living in a harsh, totalitarian society who tried to figure out a way to escape it. I had a lot of mixed feelings about the ending even though it fit the tone of this tale well. It would be so interesting to revisit this universe a few decades later to see what might have changed in it.

6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

There were so many unanswered questions about the other flat Coraline discovered. How long has it existed? Why was it created? Will anyone else ever become endangered by it?

A sequel would be the perfect place to answer these questions.

What standalone books do you all wish would have sequels?

120 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

  1. You mentioned so many of the books I love! I adore Bridge to Terabithia and The Hate U Give. You are absolutely right. We need to find out what happens to these characters!

  2. I definitely agree about the Hate U Give. It would be interesting to see what happens next with the characters, even if it’s 5 years later or something. How does Starr use that tragedy to shape her life?

    And I never even thought about a sequel for Bridge to Terabithia but I can see how that would be interesting as well!

    Awesome list. 🙂

  3. “1984” has the darkest ending I can think of. But this is what I love about “adult” dystopia. The protagonist isn’t on a mission to overthrow the regime, they’re just trying to survive, and stay true to themselves.

  4. Ha, I love that we both had 1984 on our lists! I would love a sequel to Bridge to Terabithia, too. With such a magical (and tragic) childhood, I’d love to see what becomes of the children and how they cope if their children find their own bridge, etc.

  5. I really need to re-read Bridge to Terabithia and a sequel set years later would be interesting considering the way that Paterson writes about the way we cope with the hard things of life.

  6. I’ve only read Coraline off your list – and you’re right it would be good to explore further.
    I’ll check out some of these other books. The Hate U Give has very good reviews and so I’ve got my eye on that one as it is.

    Lynn 😀

  7. I completely agree that this week’s TTT was difficult. So many authors now do sequels (and sometimes too many, if you ask me). I actually think it’s quite refreshing to have a standalone novel to read. It allows us as the reader to imagine our own futures for the characters… I’ll admit though, the idea of sequel to coraline intrigues me 🙂

  8. I haven’t yet read The Hate U Give, but the movie was so wonderful — and yes, I agree, I need to know more about Starr. I just finished On the Come Up and that’s another of her books that is making me want more!

  9. I am in love with your list! First off, we both included Speak which is great, but secondly it is so great to hear mention of Catherine, Called Birdy. I loved that book and it would be super fun to revisit her story in a sequel. I remember being so impressed and in awe about how candid she was. Bridge to Terabithia would be really interesting to read, especially how all of the events of that period of his childhood impacted him later on. As for 1984, as interesting as it would be…I think I’d be too scared how horrifying that sequel could be!

    • So glad to hear that. What a nice compliment.

      It sounds like we have very similar taste in books. Do you think there could ever be a way for a 1984 sequel to be more upbeat?

    • I don’t want to give away spoilers, so all I’ll say in response to this is that The Hate U Give might not be the book for you. It’s good you know exactly what you do and don’t want in a story.

  10. This is a fabulous list of books. Speak has always been on my list of books that completely took my breath away. Such a powerful story.

    Honestly, though, I’m not sure if I like the idea of a sequel to books like Speak that I have loved. I am afraid that most of the time a sequel spoils a book.

  11. The only one I have read is The Hate U Give, but I would LOVE to see Starr pop up in one of Angie’s future books, so we can kind of check in on her, you know? Maybe it’s a few years later, so we get more of her future story? That would be perfect!

  12. Ohh great post and great picks in book I was so going to pick Coraline as well for my TTT post I absolutely loved and enjoyed that book too. Thank you so much for stopping by my TTT post last week.

  13. I definitely agree with you about Coraline. I’ve got so many questions and now that you’ve mentioned yours I know I’ll be thinking about this for a while. Great post!

  14. I’ve never read “Bridge to Terabithia” or seen the film, but it seems like a unique, magical story that I should discover. Someday. 😀

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland last week, Lydia. Apologies it took me this long to circle back here.

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