Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday Thoughts || Series vs. Standalones

Thursday Thoughts is here again! Welcome to this interactive, original, weekly feature that takes place each week here on my blog. Everyone who has an opinion is invited to make their own post, link up and join the conversation! This week is going to be a good one, guys! I first want to thank Emily from Oh, Magic Hour for this week's topic. She's a good book blogger friend of mine and basically the number one Thursday Thoughts cheerleader. If you've not yet checked out her blog, totally go and do that once you're done reading this post because she's great and I just know you'll love her.

This week's topic is Series vs. Standalones! I think this is a really great topic idea because it's something that I feel like book bloggers and bookish people might not think about all that often, but probably will find they have a lot of opinions on. I love pushing people to realize things about opinions they didn't even know they had. That's part of the idea behind Thursday Thoughts! So, what do I think about Series vs. Standalones? Well, you are about to find out! Does anyone else automatically think of Fantasmic when they hear people say "you are about to find out," because I do. #disneycastmemberprobs

I'm going to start out by quickly defining "series" and "standalones" for the purposes of this post and to kind of clear things up a little bit. A standalone is any book that is independent. The Fault in our Stars or Fangirl would be standalones. To make things simpler, I'm considering companion novels to be standalones since they're still independent from one another even thought they take place within the same sort of world. An example of companion novels would be Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. Finally, series are obviously books that all connect to one another and take place in the same world. If you can't read a book without reading another book first in order to understand it, it's part of a series. Obviously, some series are The Hunger Games, The Lunar Chronicles, or The Chaos Walking Trilogy. Series can have anywhere from two or three (duology, trilogy) to ten+ books. The amount of books in a series, in theory, could be infinite.

The Lunar Chronicles series is definitely my favorite book series right now.
Personally, I would say I like series and standalones equally. I can't really just pick one over the other and I think that's probably a common opinion among readers in general. I don't become deterred from reading a book just because it is or is not a standalone. That being said, I have a lot of opinions and reasons why I like them each in different ways and at different times. Sometimes I read so many series that it becomes stressful to know I keep adding looming books to my TBR (Then again, I do that anyway.) I feel like standalones were much more common and widely popular a while back and recently series have become the "in" thing. It's almost rare to find quality standalones that are also popular and hyped up anymore and that's something that I feel like needs to change.

Obviously series were already a thing before the following books became popular, but I think the rise of series popularity can be majorly attributed to series like Harry Potter and Twilight. Now, that's not to say those series aren't good! I, as everyone does, LOVE the Harry Potter series. I actually really don't like Twilight, but that's another story. However, I think that since then series have been on a rise. In addition, I feel like another big thing for series was when Dystopians blew up. The Hunger Games went crazy and now the Divergent series is a big phenomenon. I can't help but think that maybe authors feel pressured to write books as series rather than standalones because of these big name series becoming so popular. And, that's a bad thing! If authors are writing books that should or could be standalones as series, we as readers are probably going to be able to tell. If a series feels forced, stretched or has irrelevant plot points, that's going to hurt the author in the long run.

Now, I know I'm only focusing on series in this little rant. It's true that there are millions of fantastic, popular standalones in the YA and general reading world. But, that's not to say that this whole series thing isn't still a problem. I love series and I love standalones, but I think a writer should write what they want/feel is appropriate. If you're an author reading this (I don't know why you would be reading this..) take my advice and consider all that I've said in this post before letting a publisher convince you to try and stretch your idea into a three part series. Do what feels right for you and the reader will be able to tell. If you write your book the way it wants to be written, that will totally shine through. Whether you're made to write a standalone or a series, make sure it keeps your integrity and dream of what it's meant to be. If you do that, everything will be fine.


  1. That's so interesting that you consider a companion novel to be a standalone. I can definitely see that argument, but I also feel like since they are set in the same world and we do see glimpses of the old characters, I consider them series. I actually listed a companion series in my list of favorite series!!

    Thanks for picking my topic! This was definitely so much fun!

  2. I definitely LOVE The Lunar Chronicles! One of my favorite series as well. And I agree, I enjoy reading both series and standalones for different reasons. I didn't even think about companion novels. I am not even sure I have really read any...but I think I would link them to the series, since they go along with the series. But I do see what you mean about considering them to be a standalone book.
    I really enjoyed writing my thoughts on this topic! Thanks! :D


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