Top 5 Wednesday: Second Book is Best

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
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This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic: Second Book is Best

We talk about series that start with a strong first book and then fizzle out.
We talk about series that finish with a bang.
But what about those series where the second (or middle) books are best? 
Here are my favorites.

A Court of Mist and Fury | ACOTAR series
ACOTAR was wonderful and ACOWAR was great... but ACOMAF was simply epic. 

Crash Into You | Pushing the Limits series
I love the entire Pushing the Limits series, but Crash Ito You was a real stand-out for me. 

All Broke Down | Rusk University series
Silas and Dylan's story is the one that really did it for me.

Catching Fire | Hunger Games trilogy
The middle book in the Hunger Games trilogy was the strongest in my opinion and is still my favorite.

Opal | Lux series
I *love* the entire Lux series and wouldn't be able to pick a favorite, but Opal (#3 in the five book series) is where the stakes were truly upped. There was more suspense, more action, more relationship development, and that final scene... unforgettable.

What's your favorite second (or middle) book from a series? 
Let's discuss!


  1. I haven't read Hunger Games [yes yes I know, I'm a disgrace to the bookworm race but PLEASE, be my friend still!:)] BUT I did watch the movies and YES! The second book is so much better than the first one!
    I HAVE to read the other books on your list!!!

    1. I'm in that position with so many books. Like, I'm convinced I'm the last person on earth who has not read the Vampire Academy series and the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. Apparently you and I are quite the rebels. :)

  2. I am definitely there with you for ACOMAF. It was definitely the star of that series. I loved Rachel and Isaiah, but my fave Pushing the Limits book was actually the novella, Crossing the Line. I found Lincoln and Lila's story so fun, and really wanted a whole book of them. The Rusk books are another fave series, but I think my fave at this point was Nell and Mateo's story. There was just something about it that I found really special.

    1. I loved Crossing the Line! It happens to contain one of my favorites Katie McGarry lines ever. Lincoln is thinking to himself: Play this right, Lincoln. She deserves a man, not a boy. That line right there... just wow.

      I had to laugh because Nell and Mateo's story is my least fave. I still totally enjoyed it but out of the three books I'd put it at #3. I loved Teo but I just could not connect with Nell. She is sooo different from me (all logic and no emotion) and that made it hard to understand her.

  3. Out of these, I've only read Catching Fire but I DO think it's a great one. :)


  4. Oh! WHat a great idea! There's so often series that have amazing first books and then a let down in the second but there are definitely series that go from strength to strength.

    I definitely agree - ACOMAF was the absolute best in that series. I LOVED IT!

    I haven't read Pushing hte Limits of Rusk University OR LUx (although Lux is on my TBR) but I can't remember which HG book was my favourite... I'm in two minds here - the first was simple and elegant in it's makeup and I liked the slightly naive outlook of Katniss in that one... Catching Fire upped the stakes which was good, but something is holding me back on choosing it as my favourite... I may need to reread!

    I think all of SJ Maas that I've read so far she draws me in further and further with each book - the first time I read Throne of Glass I think I rated it 3 stars? It was Okay but I wasn't too invested. Same with ACOTAR although that was probably 4 stars first read - it was just a better start IMO but she's definitely the author I would pick if I had to say which one puts out amazing sequels. :)

    I also found The Grisha trilogy - books 2 and 3 were far better IMO.

    1. Don't mind my typos! I didn't read through before I published!

    2. I don't know that I've ever reread The Hunger Games. Probably not... but even all these years later Catching Fire was still the stand-out for me. Lux series on the other hand... LOL I've read that series several times.

      As much as I loved the ACOTAR series, I confess I never made past the first book of the ToG series. I read ToG about 3 years ago and was just... meh. I gave it 3-3.5 stars. A friend kept telling me to keep with it because the other books were all so much better but I've just never continued. Maybe I should try again one day?

  5. Most of the series that I read are kind of standalones. So I don't really recall any second or middle books that stood out to me. I haven't read The Hunger Games but I enjoyed the movies. :) ~Aleen

  6. Opal and ACOMAF! Yes those two are my favorites two. It's because those two books were so good I ended up continuing the series, and did not regret it.

  7. I'm yet to read Opal! I've only read Obsidian and Daemon Black is bae!! *heart eyes* I think I liked THG more than catching fire though! Great post Tanya :)


    1. OMG, don't even get me started on Daemon Black, Uma. LOL He is my ultimate book boyfriend. I got to meet the cover model for Daemon (Pepe Toth) at a signing Jennifer Armentrout was doing and I was practically delirious. He signed my books along with Jennifer and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. :) Can't wait to see what you think of the other books as you read them!