Let’s Talk Bookish: Series vs. Standalones

Hello and happy Saturday! This week’s LTB post is a day late, but since I like doing wrap ups on the 1st of the month if possible, I decided to push this week’s post a bit back.

This week’s topic is one that I’m actually really excited about: series vs. standalones (suggested by M.T. Wilson @ Last book on the left) I don’t really know if there is one that I prefer, but I’m excited to see what thoughts I have on this topic.

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion post created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and is hosted by Rukky and Dani @ A Literary Lion! For this week’s topic, I’m going to talk about my thoughts on standalone books and series, and what I prefer!!

Do you prefer standalones or series?

I don’t know.

I read a pretty good mixture of both, to be honest, and I’ve never really thought about which one I prefer more. I think that it really depends on what kind of book I’m reading. Both can very enjoyable.

I looked through all the books I’ve rated five stars over the last few months, and there is a really good mixture of standalones and series in there. So I don’t think that there is one that I prefer over the other, just that it depends on the genre and what the book is about.

When you read a standalone, do you wish there was more, or are you content that the story has finished?

Definitely! There are a lot of times where I read a book and just love the characters so much that I want to go back to them. Books like The Henna Wars, by Adiba Jaigirdar, Far From the Tree, by Robin Benway, and The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon. In all three of these cases however, I wasn’t unhappy with how the ending wrapped things up. All three of these books are really incredible, and I was happy with how they finished. There was just still a part of me that wanted to book to keep going, for the story and characters to stick around for a little while longer.

Are series sometimes too long?

It’s can definitely happen.

My personal experience with this is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han. The first two books were AMAZING, but the third felt kind of unnecessary. I did like reading it, but it just wasn’t as good. Especially after Lara Jean made the wrong choice on the love triangle (I won’t spoil anything, but I was not too happy with how that turned out.)

I’ve definitely heard criticism about the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, that the first books were amazing but that it’s going on for too long. I’ve only read the first book, so I can’t really speak on that though. Hopefully at some point I’ll get to at least a few more books in the series.

I think that if a book series were to be really stretched out, and more plot just being added on for the purpose of making more books, then a series could feel too long. Hopefully I won’t encounter too many more series like that, because it can really feel disappointing.

Do you feel like some genres work better in series while others work better in standalones? 

I definitely do! There are also some genres that are more typically found in series or standalones than others.

Contemporary books are usually standalones, which I really don’t have a problem with. I think that most of the time, contemporary books can be wrapped up really well in one book, because you don’t have the complexity of the world and of the worldbuilding that you have in really any fantasy book.

Fantasy, on the other hand, works very well in series. Examples of this would be Six of Crows, and really all of the Grishaverse books, or The Gilded Wolves. When you have a more complex fantasy world, then you’re going to get much more attached and want to stay in it for longer (at least that’s what it is for me!) I love fantasy series because it gives you more than just one book to really experience a fictional fantasy world.

What are some standalones you wish had continued?

I guess I mentioned a few above, but that was more for what standalones I wanted to read more of in terms of characters. As for actual plot reasons, here are a few: The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon, How We Fall Apart, by Katie Zhao, The Weight of the Stars, by K. Ancrum.

I desperately need a sequel to How We Fall Apart: Katie Zhao did an incredible job spinning this terrifying and thrilling story, and I loved reading about all of the characters so much. I really hope that there is a sequel sometime in the future!!

The ending of The Weight of the Stars was just so tragic, and I need to see how the amazing characters are doing. I don’t think that there ever will be a sequel, but if there was one I would read it in a heartbeat.

I also left The Priory of the Orange Tree here, because a sequel would be amazing. The author, Samantha Shannon is actually working on a sequel right now, with different characters but set in the same world. While I am of course so excited for that one, it would be incredible to revisit the amazing cast of characters from The Priory.

Are there any series you think should have stopped at the first book?

I don’t think so. There at least isn’t one that I can think of. I think that series can be so good, and in my experience the sequel is usually pretty good!!

Wrapping this up…

I really enjoyed writing this post, and I had a lot more to say than I expected. I hope you liked reading it, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic: if you want to, leave a comment!

Do you like standalones? What about series? Is there one that you prefer? Chat with me in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Series vs. Standalones

  1. I agree that fantasy works well in a series and so does sci-fi! There is even space for spin-off series in these genres! I have seen super long crime and mystery series too, though I hardly read them. I usually like my contemporary romances to be standalone but there’s something so satisfying about a standalone series too in that genre! Great discussion, Aria!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There definitely can be so much room for spin-off series in these genres, like with The Grishaverse or Percy Jackson!!
      I’ve never really read a long crime or mystery series, but I see how they could be really good!!
      Contemporary series can be so good, although I definitely also prefer contemporary romances as standalones!!
      Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed the discussion!!

      Liked by 1 person

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