Should we give second chances to authors if we disliked their previous novel(s)? This question has been on my mind for some time, and I’m still unsure about the answer. On the one hand, logic says we should – not only can an author’s writing change drastically, but so can the type of stories, the type of characters they create. On the other hand, I cannot help but feel a tad bit apprehensive when it comes to authors’ whose works have disappointed me before.
Interestingly enough, this doesn’t work in the opposite direction. If I love an author, which can happen even after reading one of their novels, that love is hardly going to fade because I dislike one (or more) of their works. A good example of this is Taylor Jenkins Reid, whose writing and story-telling is impressive, to say the least. I absolutely adored The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and I enjoyed Maybe in Another Life… but Daisy Jones & the Six was an awful disappointment. Despite that, I’m incredibly excited for Jenkins’ other novels, and I expect to enjoy them.
So the question is, why do I feel okay writing off an author based on one bad, or mediocre novel I read by them? I honestly don’t know. Yet, I have done it multiple times. I read Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers in 2014, and it didn’t work for me, at all. After that disappointment I steered clear off the author’s novels, even though she’s steadily received high praises. I was interested in both This Is Not a Test and All the Rage, but decided against buying them on multiple occasions, because I keenly remembered the disappointment of Cracked Up to Be. Only after seeing amazing review after amazing review of Sadie did I cave in and buy Sadie – and I’m so happy I did, because it turned out to be one of my favorite novels of 2019.
It was this experience that made me realize that judging authors so harshly after one disappointment isn’t the way to go. I doubt I’ll go out of my way to discover books by authors whose previous work(s) I didn’t like, but I’ll 1000% be more open-minded when it comes to promising novels, even if I haven’t been a fan of an author’s work(s).
What’s your take on this topic? Have you ever hated a book by an author… but adored another work by them?