Bookish Discussion

Would You Give a Second Chance to Authors Whose Work(s) Disappointed You?

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?

23 thoughts on “Would You Give a Second Chance to Authors Whose Work(s) Disappointed You?

  1. This is such an interesting discussion, Vera! If an author’s work disappointed me, I subconsciously won’t pick their books up anymore, unless I 1) hear super great things about it and/or b) am interested in the premise of the book. I think a great example of this is Marie Rutkoski (I have no idea if I’m spelling her name right). I was disappointed in the last book of the Winners trilogy, but her upcoming book, The Midnight Lie, has been receiving great reviews, plus it’s f/f! So I’m very much looking forward to reading it. Besides, I wasn’t that disappointed in The Winner’s Kiss, and I really enjoyed the previous two books in the Winners Trilogy, so it wasn’t a hard choice to make. On the other hand though, I recently read A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price, and I was incredibly disappointed. The love interest showed abusive tendencies (without being challenged), and the writing and plot of the book were just plain bad. I probably won’t read anything else she writes.

    At the end of the day, I think it depends on how much I disliked the book. If I absolutely disliked it, then it’s gonna be wayy harder for me to give the author a second chance (or I won’t ever give them one), but if I was just slightly disappointed, it probably won’t take a lot for me to give the author a second chance! Great discussion ❤ It gave me a lot of food for thought :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀 I agree with everything you said, and I think it does matter a lot how bad a book was, and even why it was bad. I think I’d rather give another chance to an author whose books I simply didn’t connect with – like my first Courtney Summers read – than one who included tropes, characters, or scenes that were problematic, or made me uncomfortable. I haven’t read A Thousand Fires, but I’d be so angry about a love interest having abusive tendencies, and on top of that you have the bad writing and plot.. eh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this discussion!! It really depends on the book really and how MUCH you disliked the book in the first place. It’s all so relevant though. Like if you love an author that came an out with a book that wasn’t your favourite, it doesn’t mean that you’ll no longer read their other books. You should always keep an open mind.

    On the other hand, what if one of their books is extremely problematic? Would you not read ANY books from that author or separate the author from their work.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 🙂 Definitely! And it’s so weird how I’d give a pass to a favorite author for one (or more) bad books, but I’m a lot more reluctant to give a second chance to someone whose book I disliked, even if another title by them sounds great. Logically I *know* these cases are the same/similar, but when it comes to favorites it seems so much easier to make the leap of trust that “okay, you disappointed me this time, but I doubt you’ll do it again.”

      For me, I’d give an author a harder time for being problematic, but then again, there are levels to that, and I’ve seen authors develop a LOT.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I usually don’t write them off for a “meh” book UNLESS the author does/says something really stupid that I cannot forgive. So, not related to their writing. I mean, I love Jennifer E Smith, but Windfall was not a favorite. However, I read and adored her next book. Katie West is another, that though none of the books were bad, I was a bit disappointed in the romance. However, I will be standing in line for her next book. I guess it depends on how deep my love is for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, that’s a whole other thing that can be a deal breaker – the author’s real life persona, haha. I’ve been extremely turned off of authors’ works because of things they said/did IRL. Yeah, I also think it depends on how much I disliked a novel – was it disappointing, or terrible? There’s definitely a difference there for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this really depends on the author and the genre for me. If I read a book that was offensive or really pissed me off, then I do hold some resentment on the author and would steer clear of further books. Also, sometimes I will attempt to read books in genres I am not interested in, and when I dislike the book, then I am very reluctant to pick up another book by that author if they only write in that one genre.

    But, if I just simply disliked the book, but enjoyed the genre, then I don’t see why I wouldn’t give the author another shot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uh, yes, absolutely!! If a book is problematic, or has something in it I *hate* – e.g. not like other girls trope – I’ll be extremely reluctant to pick sg else up by them. Obviously, there are levels to this, and authors can develop but yeah.

      That’s good though – you’re more open-minded than I am, haha. It’s just, there are SO MANY new books I want to get to so I rarely go back to authors whose previous work I didn’t like.


  5. This is an awesome discussion post and actually only one example came immediately to mind. Last year I read Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and I’m sorry to say that I was so annoyed by the characters and the writing style that when I finished it I went into a fairly long reading slump! 🙈 But then Normal People came out this year and I have to be honest, the hype really got to me so I caved and picked it up and… I loved it! The writing style was the same but I felt such a connection with the characters (especially since her books are so character driven) that it made it a really impactful read. It might even be one of my favorites this year because I know I won’t forget it anytime soon! That said… I think that it really depends on a few different factors. I think if an author tends to write stories about tropes or topics that I know I won’t like, then I most probably won’t pick up another one of their books… But it definitely doesn’t hurt to keep an open mind because you never know if you’ll end up enjoying it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 🙂 This is such a good and encouraging example of giving another chance to an author. Going from a book that pushed you into a slump to one that is a potential favorite is awesome! I tend to be very reluctant to give another chance to an authors whose characters got on my nerves, so I love to see that in one you were annoyed by her characters, and in another you connected to them so well. I should rethink my life choices!! 🙈


  6. Interesting question. My favorite authors are Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. They’ve both written books I hated, but I continue to buy their stuff because I like most of it. If I really dislike an author’s first book, I probably won’t give them a second chance. If I feel “meh” about their first book, I might give them another chance. It will depend on how interesting the synopsis sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree – and I think, and this is not the author’s fault, but there is a big differences between loving one or more books by someone and then finding one you dislike & at, first try, reading a book you dislike, and then not feeling up to experimenting more. Sometimes it’s pure luck, I guess, which is why I do want to keep an open mind. 🙂


  7. I think this is such an interesting point because when I have read a book from one author and not enjoyed it, I probably do have the habit of writing them off as not for me or not even bother looking at what the rest of their work is. Which really is quite unfair as like you said author’s writing changes and presumably improves over time plus they have different plots which you might really love.

    I had a similar time with Patrick Ness, I read one of his book and I didn’t particular enjoy it so I never looked at his books again really until I picked up the audiobook from the library probably because it was available and I loved it so much. I’ve read more of his work now and I really admire his writing so it is so weird to think months ago I would have said Patrick Ness? Not for me but now I really love his books!!

    I think it is interesting and we should give authors more than one shot and look to see if the plot intrigues us and you might end up finding a new favourite!! Not every book will be for you but that part of being a reader!! Lovely post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same – unless I keep seeing a book/books (on blogs, for instance) by an author I’ve written off, I’ll likely won’t even bother to read the blurb of anything else they have written.

      Patrick Ness is kind of a hit or miss for me, but I do want to read more by him for sure. It definitely matters that the book I loved by him, I genuinely adored, while the one I didn’t, I was only somewhat disappointed in, I did not hate it. I’m glad you have had such good experiences with his books recently. 🙂

      Exactly, we should definitely be able to keep an open mind, and at least read the blurb, read some reviews etc. 🙂 Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Honestly, I do haha especially if that author is extremely popular. I guess I just want to see what’s the hype is all about! Case in point are Rainbow Rowell and Patrick Ness. I absolutely hate The Knife of Never Letting Go, but I enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here 😀

    For me it’s the other way around, if the first book is amazing but other books are disappointing, I would steer clear of the author’s books. I always give multiple tries though. For example, Renee Ahdieh. I love TWATD, but really disappointed in TRATD, as well as her second duology. So I have no intention on reading The Beautiful :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patrick Ness is definitely a hit or miss for me – I didn’t much like The Rest of Us Just Live Here, but A Monster Calls? EXCELLENT.

      Oh yes, that can happen to me as well – if they continuously disappoint me I’ll probably give up on them. But if I read, say, 10 books by someone and 2 of those are meh I’ll keep going, because that’s a good enough ratio.


  9. What an interesting discussion! First, I am so glad you caved and red Sadie – I loved that book so much.

    For me, this question isn’t exactly black and white. I’ve given Victoria/V.E Schwab a lot of changes because her books SOUND amazing and up my alley. I think I was disappointed by like 5 books before I finally decided to stop trying. But with Leigh Bardugo, my three attempts to read Six of Crows is all the chances she is getting from me, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, Sadie was such a highlight of the first half of my 2019. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it.

      Schwab is a special case for me as well – I adored Vicious, and was either a bit let down or incredibly disappointed by everything else I’ve read by her, some I ended up DNF-ing. She is so hyped and beloved that I thought I must be wrong to not love them, haha. Oh no, I love SoC so this makes me sad. Bardugo did become a weird case for me recently though, because I’m not a fan of the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I DNF-ed Ninth House, so at this point I liked less by her – the SoC duology + Language of Thorns – than I disliked. 😦


  10. I can be forgiving – at least if the author in question gave me a brilliant first book and a lacklustre second one – but since I’m very much genre-driven, I tend to abandon writers who never seem to come back to writing in my favourite ones. For instance, since Mary E. Pearson and Rin Chupeco have taken a dive into fantasy, I’ve felt zero urge to read their books. And after loving The Dead House and being disappointed in The Creeper Man, I was willing to give Dawn Kurtagich another chance, but the reviews of Teeth in the Mist alluded to tropes I don’t enjoy, so I decided to remove it from my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it definitely matters if an author starts to write in a genre I don’t like – and even if, one day, they do write in a genre I’m interested in, I may have lost interest in their works by that point. I’m on the fence about Teeth in the Mist – I’ve heard good things about it, but the story itself does not really interest me. 😦


  11. I give authors three chances, and then they are out. Some people think three is a lot but I tend to have favourite books over favourite authors. For example, I love the raven cycle but I hate the shiver series with a passion. And I love noughts and crosses by malorie blackman but I think some of her other books are just okay… so yeah, three strikes and you’re out is my policy.

    Liked by 1 person

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