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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Discussion: Series Vs Standalone

Today I am going to be discussing series and standalone books and which I prefer. I'm quite tied I think. Both have their pros and cons and some stories are able to be be a standalone whilst some need to be more developed.


I love series. Harry Potter is definitely my favourite series of all time. The Hunger Games series is great (but I haven't read Mockingjay yet). Series allows the reader to really dig deep and I feel like I get to know the characters a lot better. I mean, by the time the 7th HP book came around I felt like I went to school with them as I knew so much about them. I don't think I could have felt that if it had been one book. it also means you don't have to say goodbye so soon. You get to spend longer pretending they are your best friend. My cons are that the first book in the series can be a little slow as it has to give a lot of background and set the scene. I also HATE having to wait. I am already majorly anticipating the next book in the Across The Universe series by Beth Revis!


That being said, I am huge fan of standalone novels too, especially contemporary reads. Sarah Dessen is one of my favourite authors and all of her novels have been standalone. They always finish nicely, with no loose ties yet something left to wonder about. Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are was beyond fabulous and I would actually liked a sequel of that, though it worked wonderfully. 


I'm torn. I refuse to choose. I think I can say that I prefer contemporary standalones and fantasy/paranormal series. Obviously there are some exceptions but that is my rule.


So what do you think? Series or standalone? Share your thoughts!

19 comments:

  1. There are a LOT of great books out there that are just being released, and it tears me apart that they are parts of series. I hate waiting as well! I'd much rather read a series if they are already completed. I'm glad that while I'm reading the Vampire Academy series that it's completely finished. I can read at my own pace without having to worry about waiting for the next book!

    I do love series, but I love it even more if an author can bang out a great novel and that's it. I LOVE a great stand-alone but sadly, I don't see much these days especially in the genres I read. :(

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  2. I love series, and I never want the adventure to end. However, I feel that that's all there is nowadays. Series, series, series. Not to mention trilogies. I don't mind it but I'd like to see more standalone novels. Sometimes it's nice to just leave the story at that.

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  3. Hmmmm this is tough. I love both but there are some things about series that bug me sometimes. I love it when an author is able to write a series and build off of it and have a clear plan of where they are going with the story. The characters grow and the story has a clear ending. Sometimes I feel like series just go on and on and there is no real point to them. Like Manga. :P And I particularly dislike when a novel is great as a stand alone and then the author decides they want to write a sequel or something and it just seems unnecessary. But then again sometimes those sequels are great. Stand alones are GREAT as far as contemporaries go. I guess its hard to have fantasy/dystopian be stand alone because the reader is always questioning things and wanting more. It all depends.

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  4. I'd definitely like to see more standalone novels. Almost everything is a series nowadays! I have a somewhat poor memory, so waiting a year or so between books is awful (I always seem to forget those little things that don't stand out but really matter in the sequel).

    Other than my memory issue (which I sort of combat by taking notes on books that I know will have sequels), I think series are fun! Especially when the story and characters are well done. :)

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  5. I definitely prefer stand alone novels. But, I do also like series. Unfortunately, the only series I've ever completed is the Harry Potter series. I've started many others and either given up on them or taken a really long break from with the intention of one day picking the series back up. Most of the time I get tired of the same characters. Maybe I need to start picking up shorter series.

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  6. This is such a tough choice! I do enjoy both, but I think I'm going to have to say stand alones. I love series, but sometimes you get really into a series because it starts off great, but then the rest of the books just start to become disappointing. I especially hate when you love a series and the last book has just a horrible ending! I know this can also apply to standalone books, but with those at least it's only book. With series, you get all hyped up and spend all this time reading those books and then the ending might not be that great. I'm not saying this applies to all series, because some of them are great, but it's how I feel. So, that being said, my heart lies with standalones. I love these discussions by the way! They're so interesting :)

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  7. Cialina: I tend to do that too because I can't wait! I read The Hunger Games series after it finished. I love a good standalone novel too and I am saddened by the fact that there are hardly any!

    T.B. I think there needs to be more variety in the book world. There are definitely too many series, despite the fact I love them. it is definitely nice to just have one book and be done with it.

    Julia: I definitely agree. I hate it when there doesn't need to be a series yet they drag it out anyway. It does tend to be the fantasy types as the whole world has to be created which is tough to do in one book!

    Lauren: Agreed! Tell me about it! I don't know how I am going to cope. I finished Catching Fire a couple of months ago and I have no idea what even happened :S Series can definitely be fun!

    Jackie: I completely understand that. Some characters just get boring after a while and it is nice to just to have read a book and know that it is finished.

    Shaylene: It definitely is! I do hate it when series drag out at the end and get worse because they have run out of things to do. Stand-alones are great! Aw, thank you :) I'm glad you like them.

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  8. I'm with you on this Alice! I love series, but sometimes it kind of annoys me... I hate it when a book that shouldn't be a series is, and when stories are just unnecessarily drawn out. I like companion novels too, but sometimes a stand alone is just perfect :)

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  9. I'm with you! I'm torn between the two. Some books are better as stand-alone and others are so great they need more books to finish the story. This is definitely a hard one! Great Post :)

    Also, I wanted to let you know I've given you the One Lovely Blog Award! Check it out here.

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  10. With me it depends on what mood I'm in. Sometimes I'll just want to read a standalone and I'm getting to the point in the series' I read that I don't often get chance to read a stand alone as there's always another book coming out in one of the series I'm into.

    I do like both, but sometimes when I find a book is the start of another series, I go urgh, do I really want to get into yet another series? I hope that makes sense.

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  11. Cicely: Definitely! Books that are just drawn out for the sake of it really anger me!

    SimplyMe: It is so hard to choose! Thank you :) Wow thanks for the award!

    The Slowest Bookworm: I almost feel like I have no time for standalones as I am always catching up with series.

    I feel that way too. I just want a bit of finality when I finish a book sometimes!

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  12. l think some series feel too pushed, they could easily be a stand alone and aren't!
    l have never liked Harry Potter, l must be the only one?! lol

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  13. :O BLASPHEMY! Who doesn't like Harry Potter? Goodness me. :P

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  14. I really enjoy both series and standalone novels. I do have a problem with series that stretch on without adding anything new to the storyline.. My favorite series would have to be Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Each one of her books has a different character narrating while meeting new characters and not leaving out those from the past. This is an excellent series which I have been promoting for a while now. :) Standalone most favorite would be Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

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  15. Definitely series for me! If I love the characters in a book, I'm usually not willing to part with them right after finishing a read. I want to continue with their story!

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  16. Moonlight Gleam: I haven't read that series but I have heard it is very good. I haven't read Go Ask Alice but it looks amazing.

    Aylee: That is definitely a perk of a series!

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  17. I think a book has its own ideal length. Some work really well as a series, but others it just feels forced.

    That said, as long as the books are all published when I discover them, then I love series. I'm such a more is more person, so I love getting to spend so much time with the characters and watch them grow. Some of my all time favorite books are series because of the depth and freedom they allow the author to construct something truly fabulous (need I even mention Harry Potter as an example?)

    But my memory sucks and I'm super impatient, so I'm always a little annoyed when I discover a fantastic book I really want to read NOW, but it's part of a series that will take years to be fully published. A little part of me whimpers and dies.

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  18. I do find the wait excruciating but I cannot hold off sometimes! I have a sucky memory too! I probably should write a few notes on it after I have read it!

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  19. Standalones definitely give me a more "finished" feeling, and it's kind of neater in a way because I know the story is complete. But a series gives more space for character and story development. It depends on whether the writer is able to sustain the reader's interest throughout the whole series, and not just because he/she wants to drag out the story over a series. Sometimes some stories are more suited as stand-alones.

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