By: Melanie | December 13, 2013 | (28) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


Hola everyone! Christmas is creeping upon us! I’ve only just starting buying presents -.- On another note, I am currently in a faze where I hate reading series. There’s not much of an explanation for why, I’m just not feeling it. So today I decided to talk about stand-alone novels, and series.

What I love about stand-alones is that once you finish them, there’s no dreaded cliffhanger and sequel to wait for. You can actually get a proper disclosure and ending. I mean, waiting for the next Rick Riordan pretty much kills me every damn day. Like COME OUT ALREADY. Or, why didn’t you just write the books then publish them all at once?! It makes life easier for everyone. But I get it, publicity blahblah. Stand-alones also tend to have a way better pacing because the author doesn’t need to spread a story across multiple books. I emphasise tend, because some stand-alones can be so draggy and slow. Furthermore, stand-alones have less random crap. The author is aware that they must get to the point or their book will be a monster size (a.k.a Les Miserables size). Therefore, less drama, no love triangle! But then there’s the likelihood of insta-love because the author suddenly believes that the must get the romance over and done with.

Stand-alones I recommend: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Wildlife by Fiona Wood and Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.

Duologies. Trilogies. Chronicles. Books with (a) sequel(s). The best thing about series is when you love the first book, and you find out that there’s more! Your favourite characters, relationships, worlds all back soon(ish…). I think series suit books that require a lot of world building because if it was a stand-alone, the construction of the world would feel rather rushed in some case. But, what saddens me most in series is when they have second book syndome or terrible, terrible endings. It. Sucks. So. Bad. A waste of time and ruined the enjoyment we had for the first book.

Series I recommend: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand*.

* Okay…the last book was a bit of a flop.

Series and stand-alones both have their goods and bads, but I think I prefer stand-alones much more.

So that’s me, what about you? Do you prefer stand-alones or series more?

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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28 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (18): Stand-Alones vs Series

  1. Kezia says:

    I totally agree with you about waiting for Blood of Olympus, especially it’s the series conclusion. I NEED IT RIGHT NOW.

    Same as you, I guess I prefer reading stand-alone more because it’s nice to have a story wrapped up in a single book. No more waiting and no disappointment when the sequel(s) is/are horrible.

    As for series, I think I’m pretty horrible at finishing them and considering that series dominates YA market, I’ve only finished a few of them.
    Kezia recently posted…[Mini Reviews] The House of Hades & AllegiantMy Profile

  2. Melliane says:

    ah yes, a great choice. I don’t read a lot of stand alone book, not that there is a reason but I have some. It’s just some are really well done and some ends in a difficult way without all the answers we had. For the series it’s quite the same thing. Some times some are perfect, but your right ome cliffy are just terrible! Trilogy are often good because it’s not a lot of novels. I know I always want more books in a series, but you know sometimes it’s really too much. You know when a series have 35 books? I’m always impressed. But I read some series like that, like Stephanie Plum and even if I love the whole series I know the story doesn’t progress anymore. Or Anita Blake, the 12 first books were so perfect but after that it’s more difficult. So well, good or bad things.
    Melliane recently posted…The Sharpest Blade by Sandy WilliamsMy Profile

  3. For me it depends. I have read some fantastic stand-alones that really did well on their own. But where I still wouldn’t have minded to read more about the characters at a later point. The Scorpio Races is amazing, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should!

    In other cases, I love reading series. I’ve been lucky to come quite late to some of the series I love, I read the first 11 The Hollows books, plus the anthology this summer! Now, I’m impatiently waiting for the 12th book, though 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fantastic Friday, Melanie! Enjoy your weekend, and happy reading.
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  4. Desnica Kumar says:

    Like you, lately I’ve been really into stand alones and am avoiding starting any series….but I don’t think I have an overall preference I mean like you said there are goods and bads to both…

  5. Renu says:

    I 100% agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here. The good thing about series’ and trilogies is that you get more of the world and characters, so it’s awful when the sequel has a case of ‘middle book syndrome’. ;( Standalones are awesome as well because like you said it’s good to have some closure and not be left on a cliff-hanger. It can be frustrating waiting for the next book to come out, too!
    Renu recently posted…Cruel Beuty by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  6. Celine says:

    Great discussion honey, I agree with you on both sides! The charm of a standalone is definitely that it’s a whole book in and on itself, but series are awesome because you get to see teh characters again 😀
    Celine recently posted…Have I Lost My Shipping Abilities?My Profile

  7. Charlotte says:

    I agree with all the points that you’ve raised re: series and standalones. While I enjoy standalone books, I think I still prefer reading a series. Yes, the wait might be very agonizing but let’s just say that I am the type who doesn’t move on easily. I am very clingy when it comes to books so once I’m sold with the story, I just don’t want it to end. It’s like I’m having a bad case of some crazy love that I just want to keep on looking forward that another book would come out.

    Like you, I am obsessed with Rick Riordan’s The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series. And I think I would really feel bad if Rick decided to make Percy’s story a standalone. Though I am annoyed with the long wait for The Blood of Olympus to come out, I am still happy to know that next year, I will be in the company of my favorite characters again. And I know that I would be really sad after TBOO is released. I am not yet ready to say goodbye.

    So yeah, while standalones are good, I must say that SERIES are still the best. They are hard to forget and the bond that you have forged with them are stronger than standalones because you have the chance to know them for a long period of time. It’s like friendship.
    Charlotte recently posted…Feature Follow Bloghop {15}My Profile

  8. I hear ya. I cannot tell you how many series I have started since the blog and have not continued because of cliffhangers or middle book syndrome or just that they failed to impress. Series can be so frustrating. I have a love hate relationship with them. Stand alones are harder to come by and we I discover and outstanding Stand Alone, I am all over it. I really enjoyed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell a few months ago. I am also a big fan these days of Companion novels.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Friday Forecast December 15th-21stMy Profile

  9. Dangerous Girls is definitely a great stand-alone. I prefer stand-alones much more than series because I don’t have the time to get through all the books in a series – if they are all out. If I have to wait for the next installment, then I tend to forget things and I don’t have time to re-read books beforehand. At any rate, I just like that stand-alones are full, complete stories even if you DO wish there was more.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Ask a Question During IntermissionMy Profile

  10. I love both, although I read far more series. Both have their positive and negative points. I get attached to characters, places etc so series appeal, on the other hand I love the wham, bam, thank you and good-bye aspect of standalone. There are many series where I only read one or two books and others where I am on book 21..LOL
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Skeleton’s Key by Stacy GreenMy Profile

  11. Yes, I love both series and stand-alones for their own reasons. No cliff-hangers and knowing that it’s all going to end after one book can be such a relief. But I also love being able to connect with characters and to spend more time in their world 🙂
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Life of a blogger: Career.My Profile

  12. Tara N says:

    I think there are pros and cons to both.

    Stand alones are great to read and have complete, but if I really love it I would love at least one more book to find out what the characters are up to and see where their life is headed.

    Series can be good if the author has a clear direction from the start and there is an interesting story within each book. Sometimes a series can be let down with only one book, and sometimes authors leave it too long between books and I forget previous story and in a few cases forget the series (maybe these are the not so good ones).

    I think in general I like stand alones, but with some I’d like a little more.

  13. I totally agree with you Mel, Standalones are preferred especially when so many series end up to be disappointing and a waste of time, with no conclusion or cliffhanger endings with huge waits. Lovely post!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Giveaway & Blog Tour: Crystal Fire by Jordan DaneMy Profile

  14. I have things against standalones because the good ones make me wish the characters could come back for a second installment. I hate it wen books drag on forever. I mean, like get on with it. A lot of books don’t need like 10 books in its series so there’s also that! (I’m probably going to do a rant on that, thanks for inspiring)

    Great post, Melanie!

    – Nova
    Nova Lee @ Musings of a Blogder recently posted…Book Review: From Bad to Cursed – Katie AlenderMy Profile

  15. Nara says:

    haha I see Dangerous Girls is in your recommended stand-alones 😛 Dat ending.

    To be honest, I don’t think I prefer one over the other overall. But in certain genres, I definitely prefer one over the other. In contemporary romances/historical romances/thrillers I like stand alones because I don’t like having the story drawn out ridiculously. I mean, for example, with contemp romances the only viable way to extend one story into a series would be to bring up drama, complications, exes, whatever. Which I personally really dislike.

    But with fantasies, sci-fi etc I prefer series- as you said, there’s more time to build up the characters and the world without it feeling really rushed. Also, if there’s some sort of adventure or big “goal” that they’re aiming for then it makes sense that it would span a couple of books rather than be really easily solved in one 🙂
    Nara recently posted…Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Promise of Amazing by Robin ConstantineMy Profile

  16. Lately I’m preferring stand alones too. It just seems like I have way too many series to keep track of…and there is totally way more random crap in series! Don’t get me wrong, I love tons of series (hello, Percy Jackson?!) but enough is enough and sometimes you just need a really good stand alone to break things up.

    Ok I want to recommend a stand alone to you Mel, idk if you read The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.
    Also, The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni (reviewed both on my blog if you’re curious) but those are two of my favs from this year. the Caged Graves was historical with mystery elements in it.

    Great discussion! Let me know if you find any more wonderful stand-alone in your new quest 😛 😉
    Diamond Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayMy Profile

  17. Yes I totally agree! Stand alones require absolutely no commitment but with a series sometimes I forget to continue the series or it gets lost in the shuffle. Also, I feel like some authors are trying to milk the success of their book and instead of getting a new idea they decide to continue the series and it turns out to be to really bad in comparison to the first.
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  18. Alise says:

    Ah, this is so tough! I pretty much agree though. I can’t help myself, if I read a good standalone, I always find myself wanting more 🙂 Series can run on too long though, I tend to lose interest after the fourth or so book, you know?
    Alise recently posted…December Book Haul Part OneMy Profile

  19. Andrea says:

    I agree, stand alone books are better, I hate waiting for the newest book in the series and in the process you manage to forget what happened in the last book, so then when you do start reading the next in the series (when it comes out) you either have to re-read the last book or spend the first half of the book going “who is this character again” Stand alones make life MUCH easier

  20. Like you, I love both, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to pick up a book and read it and it’s got the whole story. No waiting for more. I’m also one of those crazies who lives for great cliffhangers though so series are fun for me when they are like that. It makes me so much more excited for the next book. Good when the next book rocks, not so much when I have been anticipating it like crazy and it’s a let down though. Great post hon!!
    Amy @ Book Loving Mom recently posted…Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (79)My Profile

  21. Rashika says:

    Honestly, I prefer stand alones at the moment. With almost every book I read getting turned into a series, I am kind of getting fed up. Once upon a time I did not like stand alones, they weren’t enough, I wanted more time with my beloved characters, but when contemporaries turn into series’ with focus on new characters… well let’s just say that.. NO.
    I am the kind of person who gets really attached to characters so reading the next book in a ‘series’ that doesn’t have the characters I adored from the first book as main characters, I’ll probably end up becoming all judgy and I won’t be able to love those characters as much.

    Plus the pressure for waiting for the sequel kind of just kills me and sometimes by the time the sequel does release, I become a chicken because what if I don’t love it? (Yes I am incredibly paranoid).

    Anways awesome post Melanie!

  22. Hannah says:

    I like series to a certain extent… Under seven books, please. Like the Pretty Little Liars series? I haven’t even considered reading that series because of its length. I love a good stand alone, duology, or trilogy, and four-to-five book series. When it gets to six, it gets to be a bit much. If I really love the series, I will keep reading, but if it goes past seven, typically I stop.

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