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Let’s Discuss: When You Forget What Happens in the First Book

It’s been a year or two since you read the debut book that got you hooked on the story. Now the sequel’s out and you’re excited.

You dive into book 2 and think, “What’s even HAPPENING right now?!”

Let’s discuss…

Let’s Discuss: When You Forget What Happens in the First Book

discussion post when you forget what happens in the first book


(^^^ These words have lost all meaning.)

What do you do when this happens? I think there are two main options: 1. Re-read book one or 2. Power through hoping you’ll get it eventually.

  • How do you deal with completely forgetting the first book of a series?
  • Has this happened to you with a particular book/series or in general?
  • What books have you taken the time to actually re-read?

For me, it can be bad. I forget relationships, names, how the book ended and even main plot points for the first book.

You’d THINK that would push me toward re-reading the first book, but when I think about re-reading anything other than Harry Potter my gut reaction is “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Which means I power through, resulting in 10-80 pages of me saying things like: “Wait, who’s that?” “Where are they even going?” “Who is this character and just…why?”

This usually only happens to me with specific fantasy books and then with books its taken more than a year for the sequel to come out. Our brains can only hold in so much info right?

Book nerd problems, amirite ya’ll??

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • tweetybugshouse

    I go to goodreads their always a reviewer who give you the basic information of what happen at least for me that gives me enough to read the second book.

  • Amanda

    I hate when this happens! I’m with you on not re-reading, too. There are just way too many books out there to spend all that time reading the same books over and over. When I run into this issue, I go to Amazon and search “spoiler” in the comment section of the book reviews to read over the major plot points before diving into the next book.

  • Sioux Trett

    This happens to me all the time! I can usually catch up mostly by re-reading the description and the wikipedia summary. Sometimes I’ll re-read the last chapter to try to get back into the world and language without taking too much more time. Once in a long while there’s a book that is simply a MUST to go back and read the whole first book (or first two!) before diving into the new volume. I did that with Divergent just becos I loved them so much. It’s interesting because I’m writing a sequel right now to my first book, and I’m wondering how this will factor in for my own readers. I don’t want to spend too much time rehashing the events of book one, but I don’t want everyone to be lost either. It’s a difficult line to walk for sure.

  • Beth

    In this, you and I are twinsies! Somebody needs to make a wiki (with hidden text you can expand for spoilers, so you can control how much info you want to see) that recaps each book in a series (I’m envisioning “here’s the setup/conflict:” and “here’s the resolution:” and “this is what happened in the final chapter:”). Because as bad as that lack of memory is for Book 2….it’s even worse when you’re at Book 6!

  • sfasdfs

    te sdfdsad

  • Jane McGarry

    OMG – this happens to me all the time. I usually wind up re-reading the previous book/books. I keep telling myself when I start a series to jot down the relevant info on a piece of paper and stick it in book one – so that when book two comes along< I can just reference it!! Never seem to remember to do it though!! Someone should create an app for this!!!!