As one of my Christmas presents, my mom bought me Out of the Woods by Lyn Gardner. I decided to read it, even though I had not read the first book. Now, I'm reading the first book, already knowing how the story ends for all of the characters. It's a little weird, I wouldn't recommend it.
While I'm reading Into the Woods, I am also starting my Sarah Dessen books. These books are kind of like Brian Jacques Redwall series. The books read just fine on their own. You can pick up any one of them and know what is going on. If you read all the books through, you start seeing a bigger picture. The books pretty much all take place in the small town of Colby, and the people that are kind of just background characters in one book, are the main characters in another. I might just be weird, but I find great joy in reading one of Sarah Dessen's books, and recognizing a character or place from one of the other books. It makes me feel like my understanding of the story goes deeper. I've been reading The Moon and More, which is one of her newer books, and while I've been reading it, I keep thinking of things like "Hate Spinnerbait", and "No, no, to Tallyho". These thoughts really have nothing to do with the book, but Spinnerbait and Tallyho are mentioned in passing. These sayings come from other books by the same author. It's like I have intimate knowledge of all the people in this little town. If the books were based on reality, I feel like I could go to Colby, the town where most of the stories takes place, and walk around like a local. I would gladly go visit this little town that has captured my imagination.