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Book Chat > Series or Standalone?

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message 1: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Feb 28, 2012 01:56PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Do you have a preference between reading a series vs. reading a standalone book?

Do you like being able to read about favorite characters over and over as they tackle different adventures, or does the thought of taking on yet another long series seem daunting at times?

While reading a series, is there a certain amount of books you'd prefer to read, or would you read a series as long as it continued on?

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 302 comments Personally I'm a series girl. I like that authors can drag out the plot lines, tension, and emotions for more then one book. That usually means great characters and plots. (Though this can also backfire when an author drags out a series that should have ended.)

I'm still really fond of standalones. A good standalone can create a world, plot, and characters that are sooooo rich in a single novel. It's just sad not seeing them in another book.

message 3: by Carina (new)

Carina  | 1629 comments Oh this is a good question. I'll be back to write my essay of a response, haha!

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 302 comments Can't wait too see that essay Carina. ^_-

message 5: by Carina (new)

Carina  | 1629 comments I can't write it from my phone so I'll wait till tonight when I get home, but I'm writting it on paper right now cause other wise I'll forget what I wanted to say and I already have 2 pages down! Yikes!

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 302 comments wow!! I'm expecting a really good essay!!

message 7: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments We'll be grading it too. :p

message 8: by Carina (new)

Carina  | 1629 comments No preassure....*gulp*...Here I go:

I think it has alot to do with the author. Some authors write amazing standalone books. So good in fact, that I end up hoping for a sequel or series. But some books are MEANT to be stanalone and they are great.
The one that comes to mind, because it was written and executed beautifully, is Dragonfly Dragonfly by Julia Golding . Its a High Fantasy book, and it has amazing detailing. The story flows easily and at the end, it wraps up in a way that leaves you happy and satisfied.

Other authors are gifted with being able to write amazing series. Richelle Mead comes to mind, as does Karen Marie Moning. These ladies are brilliant in keeping their series entertaining and engaging, without them feeling dragged out.
I do admit that some endless series are outstanding, like for instance The Black Dagger Brotherhood. But I have to take in to account the fact that this series features different Main Characters in every book. So I don't know if I would love it as much if it was the same couple. Probably not.

Other series come to mind that started out insanely good, and now have been dragging a bit. Yup, you got it. I'm talking about the Night Huntress series. I devoured the first 4 books of that series(which became some of my all time fav books) and moved right along to the spinoff, which was really good too. When I found out that there were only to be 7 books to the series I had a huge fit. So I joined many of the fans in emailing Jeanine Frost to PLEASE make it longer. We won, and there were 2 more books added to the series. But now, after reading book 5 and having listened/read to many, many, MANY reviews of book 6, I think it might have been a mistake. For some reason the series lost its spark, and I feel like book 5 was a sort of filler book that is now dragging the story just for the sake of making it longer. I guess this goes to show you, fans make mistakes just like authors. =)

For some reason, I find my self really attracted to trilogies (or series with 5 or 6 books top). They give me enough books to have individual conflicts as well as a major series conflict, and it ends before the story starts to drag.
Some series are short and still seem TOO long. Some series are long and you just can't get enough. Like I said, it really depends on the author.
One series I 'thought' was gonna be a trilogy, but is turning out to be longer, is Charley Davidson. I am extatic about this! The writting style of the author just...clicks with me. Its like we were meant for each other! lol, jk. And there are other authors who just should not be allowed to write series, like.....Ok, ok, enought book praising and bashing! haha

So yeah...just a few thoughts.......Not too long right?

message 9: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (last edited Feb 28, 2012 09:57PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments I feel the same way about Night Huntress. I loved the first two books, liked books 3 and 4 just okay and was completely disappointed with book 5. I still have yet to read number 6, and truthfully, I really don't want to. The only reason I'm even considering it is because I am interested in Vlad's spinoff books (the only character left who I really like now) and don't know if I'll miss something by not reading book 6.

message 10: by Carina (new)

Carina  | 1629 comments Its sad really, cause I could not believe how much less I liked book 5 in NH compared to the first 4. I think that I even rated it higher that I should have because I felt bad for not liking it much.
I'm with you in the fact that I'll probably only read book 6 so that I won't miss anything when Vlad's book comes out.

message 11: by N.B. (new)

N.B. Dixon I like a series. You really get to know the characters and watch them develop. That said, there have been some truly amazing stand alone books.

message 12: by Wendy F (new)

Wendy F (blessedwannab) | 2731 comments I'm like Stacia, I loved book 1, really liked book 2, but 3 kinda fell off for me. I haven't read 4 yet and don't really feel a drive to read it.

I fall in the middle. I love a great standalone if it's wrapped up well. I love a great series if it doesn't feel like it's dragging (Fever!). Sometimes I worry that some series go on too long just because of the hype (NH and Steph Plum).

So I guess, i dont' fall in one catagory or the other. Just point me at what's good.

message 13: by Carina (new)

Carina  | 1629 comments You know, i love Richelle Mead because she knows when to end her series, even if we keep wanting more. I thought this was also true for KMM, but now that she's adding 2 more books to the Fever series what do you guys think?

message 14: by Hillary (new)

Hillary (eledri) | 759 comments Personally, more JZB isn't a bad thing. I liked how Fever ended but I wont be against revisiting JZB and Mac as the leads after the spin-off has ended, which i believe is her plan.

I think I fall slightly more to the series side. I love a good standalone, I do. I just get more of a connection to characters out of a series. I like others tend to get moody with some series, that just need to for the love of all that is good STOP AND STOP SOON! (that right...I'm looking at you Cast, Harris, and I am sure others that I've started your series') Then there are the stand alone books that have "companions" that well...I still get a taste of those first characters so all is right in the world. *ahem* Etienne *ahem*

Mmm Barrons...just sayin'.

Okay back to my book shopping...even though I know I shouldn't. PEOPLE ARE KILLING ME WITH SALES! I just got all the Tairen Soul books in paperback(meh) for $3.99 each. I couldn't stop myself. O_O

message 15: by Wendy F (new)

Wendy F (blessedwannab) | 2731 comments I think she left the Fever books open enough that there's still a story to tell. I'm not so worried about these. it's not like Plum where you can tell she's just going because she thinks people want it, not because the story is actually going somewhere.

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 302 comments Wow, more fever books!!

I agree Richelle Mead is amazing in knowing when to end things.

Lyzzibug ~Still Breathing~ (lyzzibug) | 197 comments I'm a series kind of girl. As long as the story grabs you the right way and you fall for all the characters you can't help but want more. I especially like the Women of the Otherworld books along with the shorts.

I'm not worried about KMM. I think their is potential for more without it being too much. She has created such an intreaging world.

message 18: by Stacie (last edited Mar 02, 2012 09:37AM) (new)

Stacie  (stack-i-e) I'm more of a series person, but do read standalones as well. It's nice to know that in a standalone, there is usually an end and not a cliffhanger. You can make a clean break from it. I do like series that create worlds and have different main characters through out them. I loved that about the Dragonriders of Pern series (the first series I read after Harry Potter) and I do have the Black Dagger Brotherhood in my to be read pile. I think it keeps things fresh, switching characters and already knowing the world they live in pretty well.

I am nervous about having too many series going on at the same time, especially ones that are similar. I'm finishing up the Study series but also read Graceling inbetween. The characters were a bit similar to me so I had to step back and remind myself which book I was in. And also, because I'm impatient, I like my series to be finished, lol. Then I don't have to wait, like the Fever Series, I blew through it in one week, the last 3 books in one weekend. I can't wait for Iced!

message 19: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Culver | 7 comments I am dying for a series but I haven't really been in love with one since The Hunger Games. I did like the first two of the Maze Runner, and I have tried to get into Harry Potter (unsuccessfully), I am reading Angelology right now and heard there is going to be a second book. I can't tell you how many series I have begun, got through the first book and then stopped! I would love an incredible series so I don't even have to bother about what I am reading next...at least for a few weeks! Any suggestions?

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 302 comments Isle of Night (The Watchers, #1) by Veronica Wolff

Try this one out, I'm completely inthralled by it right now.

Also try out Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books or maybe even Kelley Armstrong's YA books.

message 21: by Stacia (the 2010 club), groupaholic (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) | 5139 comments Sydney wrote: "I am dying for a series but I haven't really been in love with one since The Hunger Games. I did like the first two of the Maze Runner, and I have tried to get into Harry Potter (unsuccessfully), I..."

Are you wanting another dystopia, a paranormal, realistic, etc? Or does it not matter as long as it's good?

message 22: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Culver | 7 comments Doesn't matter to me as long as it's good :)

Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I like interspersing my series with standalones. I will read two or three in the set, then break it up with a novel by itself before returning to where I left off in the series.

message 24: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 6 comments Sydney wrote: "Doesn't matter to me as long as it's good :)"


message 25: by Mugzy (new)

Mugzy (mugzys) | 22 comments I love series. The bigger and more involved the universe is the more I'll love it! I finished a series written by Tamora Pierce and I loved it because she wrote a few story lines within that same universe

message 26: by Gremlin (new)

Gremlin | 966 comments I think I might be one of the few folks here that says that I prefer stand alone books! There's something satisfying about closing a book and knowing you've reached the end. Too many times, I think I'm reading a stand alone only to discover (at the end) that it's a set-up for a series. GAH!

Not that I can't enjoy a good series. I love the anticipation of waiting on the next book in a series that I'm loving. (In the past, Harry Potter or the Hunger Games comes to mind. Currently, I'm desperately waiting for The Raven King and Lair of Dreams!).

However, not every book that I read is a great book. And not every beginning to a series is great (stands to reason). But if I read the first book only to discover that I'm not super invested in moving on with the rest of the series, then I feel sort of cheated only get part of the story. I like a good sense of completion!

message 27: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments I HATE waiting for the next book in a series. For me I loose something in the wait and usually am less invested in the next if I had to wait. I do like series but prefer to read them either back to back or in close concession. If the book is good I am happy to go on to the next book but if it is just OK I am glad to not have to finish if I choose not to. Rarely will not finish a stand alone book even if I am not really getting into it. To me the trend seems to be trilogies and that is fine but I hate when it seems forced and the 2nd or 3rd book really doesn't do the story justice. When that happens it feels like the author or the publisher is just there for the $ not the story.

message 28: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments i was just talking to my local librarian about this today and how she is noticing that the trend in YA books is moving away from the series and more into the stand-alone and we were both thankfully - don't get me wrong, i love series at times, but at other times, i just want a simple book that i can sit and read, without having to worry about picking up a previous book in the series, or wondering what is going to happen next

Lyzzibug ~Still Breathing~ (lyzzibug) | 197 comments I love a good series with good clifhangers, as long as I have the next one ready to go ;) The waiting is not my favorite thing. On occation though I'll want standalone for that finished feeling.

message 30: by Cinnamon (new)

Cinnamon I used to really like multiple books in a series, but lately I find myself searching out stand alone books. I think I'm burnt out on the whole series thing - I just want to read a book and have it be done. Like Diane a few posts up, I lose something when I wait for the next book in a series and then, if I do go ahead and pick up the newest, I've often forgotten what happened in the previous books.

I very much prefer standalone books now, but I do enjoy trilogies. Anything longer than three books generally turns me off.

message 31: by Gremlin (new)

Gremlin | 966 comments Cinnamon wrote: "Like Diane a few posts up, I lose something when I wait for the next book in a series and then, if I do go ahead and pick up the newest, I've often forgotten what happened in the previous books. "

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! All this time I thought I just had a really bad memory for books :P

message 32: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1234 comments No I think some people are just like that. Especially if you real many books in between things can get muddled. A reread of a good book is nice but my TBR list has gotten so long I can't bare to do a reread because there are so many new discoveries waiting for me. I try to do books that have been out awhile but sometimes the people on here get me so interested in something they are excited about I cannot resist.

message 33: by Laura (new)

Laura Noble Preferably, I like to have a nice mixture of both. The stories that appeal to me are well-written ones, regardless if they have continual arcs across books in the series or finish up in one book. However, what I cannot abide is when a standalone book becomes a series that does not hold up to what the original has to offer. Most authors, in my opinion, cannot manage to make a story that has a completed arc in one book into 2 or 3 more books. This seems like a play by publishing companies to try to both please their reading audience and make a few bucks. There are exceptions to the rule, but in the end they mostly prove the rule to be true. So, I enjoy both stand-alones as well as series for their abilities to provide great storytelling.

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