In honor of ETHERWORLD, the sequel to ELUSION and the conclusion to the duology by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam, we asked this dynamic duo to tell us what their favorite sequels were. Here’s their list, which spans movies, YA, and even picture books!
Claudia and Cheryl’s Favorite Sequels!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, (book and movie)
Even though this is the third book in the series, everything about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban feels fresh and exciting. The characters are more grown up (yet still evolving) and their problems more complex (Dementors anyone?). Plus, it introduces one of our favorite characters (with one of the best names) ever: Remus Lupin. We’re suckers for werewolves.
Lord of the Rings
Yes, these are three books (and movies) that we’re counting as one. But here’s the cool thing about this series: J.R.R. Tolkien wrote these as one big book and it was divided into three by his publisher. And here’s the second cool thing: the series was originally intended as a sequel to The Hobbit, which was published seventeen years earlier. Plus, these books are epic fantasies with kings, wizards and hobbits…how can we just pick one?
We have to confess, when Shrek came out, we saw it more times than we care to (publicly) admit. And we’re happy that the second one, with yet another spin on a classic fairy tale, is every bit as awesome. Who doesn’t love a story where Prince Charming is the villain and the Ogre is the hero?
Catching Fire (book and movie)
Oh how we adore Katniss! In Catching Fire, Katniss is back, and she is as smart and capable and strong as ever. We also like how author Suzanne Collins loosely mirrors the plot of the series debut, finding a way to increase the awake-all-night-reading, nail-biting tension. It just left us hungering for more. (HUNGERing. Get it? J)
We love that there’s a total 180 in this movie: the villain from the first movie is now the hero and the terminator is back–not to kill John Connor’s mother and thus wipe out his existence, but to save him and ensure his existence. How often does that happen, where the bad guy is the good guy in the sequel? Totally brilliant!
Where She Went
We were both emotionally devastated (in the best way possible!) by Gayle Forman’s riveting and heartfelt book If I Stay, so when we heard that there was going to be a sequel told from Adam’s point of view, we rejoiced! It’s not easy to write a companion novel from a completely different perspective—and with a time-jump of a few years, to boot—but Forman pulls it off with lyrical prose and a “one-night together” plot that reminded us a little of the Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke movie Before Sunrise. Speaking of which…
It’s impossible not to love this smart and sexy sequel to one of the most compelling romantic comedies in recent years. The dialogue sparkles with wit and emotion, and we literally cheered when we found out Jesse became a bestselling author in the nine years since he met Celine on a train to Budapest. The movie is just as philosophical as the first (without sacrificing the intense chemistry between the lead actors) and it leaves the audience wondering about all those “what if…?” moments we experience in our lives, especially when it comes to love.
The Giver is one of those remarkably soul-stirring and unforgettable books that you think can’t possibly be matched by a sequel. So it was quite clever of author Lois Lowry to set the second book in this quartet in the same universe as the first book, but featuring new characters for readers to become obsessed with. (We haven’t seen the movie adaptation of The Giver yet, but it is next in line on our Netflix queue!)
Knuffle Bunny Too
OMG, KNUFFLE BUNNY! We heart the original picture book written and illustrated by Mo Willems, and love how little Trixie grows from the first book to the sequel. But the best part about the follow-up book is the conceit for the story—Knuffle Bunny has a dopple-ganger and it sets off a brutal battle between two very committed stuffed animal owners. The art is just amazing and the text is perfect for kids, but adults can enjoy it as well.
Wrath of Khan
We’re both avid Trekkies, so we couldn’t resist adding The Wrath of Khan to this list. Not only does it have one of the best movie villains of all time, and one of the most moving death scenes ever, this sequel actually picks up a story line that was included in the original Star Trek TV series, 25 years prior to the film’s release. The characters have all aged, their resentment and quest for revenge only intensifying over time. The end result: the whole movie crackles with tension and conflict. The fact that JJ Abrams brought Khan back in his Star Trek reboot speaks volumes of the appeal of this movie and its titular antagonist!
What are your favorite sequels? Tell us in the comments below!