Thursday, August 8, 2013

Reader's Rant: Second Book Relationship Slumps

I have noticed this happening a lot lately in the books I've been reading.  The second book in a trilogy rolls around and our main, happy couple turns into our main, unhappy couple.  Their relationship goes from strong and trust worthy to secret-filled and shaky to say the least.  

This, I feel, is such an unnecessary conflict in second books and yet it is almost as frequent as the love triangle.  And most of the time, when the main characters experience problems within their relationship, it's often a result of one or both of them being absolutely and uncharacteristically idiotic.  I feel like the author is forcing the characters to be stupid and petty just to work up a bit of drama.  If your plot and world and writing are strong enough, why would you need to do this?

I totally understand that it add conflict and causes more tension in the plot, blah, blah, blah.  But plenty of awesome books work just fine without any relationship drama at all.  For example?  The Evolution of Mara Dyer.  It's the second book in the Mara Dyer series and I loved it so much because Mara and Noah, the main couple, trusted each other.  They had no relationship problems (besides small, quickly resolved and normal problems) and I think it made the story better.  I was able to focus on the plot and the twists without becoming annoyed with all of the stupid drama. 

So, to all those second books out there, keep the relationship drama to yourself.  Let the story and the writing work together without the added conflict of second book relationship slumps because they are unnecessary and, as I said earlier, just plain annoying.

What is your opinion on books with this problem?  Have you read any great second books that stayed away from the second book relationship slump?


  1. Great post! I had this in Insurgent. I loved Tris and Four in Divergent, but suddenly in book 2 they got all weird. In many other sequels there is indeed suddenly a conflict why the happy couple can't be together anymore, so irritating..

    Eveline's Books

  2. Yes, I'm starting to notice this thing too. It feels like it's a new trend besides the insta-love and love-triangle. I don't care for it. Why change a happy couple into two people who can't stand each other just for the tension? Just come up with something interesting for the plot, because I'm not reading it for the romance..


  3. Totally agree with you, it's like said Authors can't think of a plot line to fill the 2nd book before they become happily ever after in book 3, or it causes a tension in book 2 between the main couple so the readers start holding their breaths for the other guy in the love triangle, but at the end (book 3) we all know she'll still end up with the main guy that she was originally with in book 1 anyway…ahhh…(takes a breathe)!

    Like Mel I feel like it's Authors not just thinking of a better plot line to be honest.

    Great post!

  4. It one of those things thrown in so you think that maybe the love triangle will be different. Maybe she won't stay with him. blah blah, I do hate books that focus too much on this


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