Let’s Talk Bookish: Series vs Standalone

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is Series vs Standalone.

Do you prefer standalones or series?

It depends largely on the type of book and genre, but also on my reading mood. Standalones have the major advantage of being one story and not having to wait for the next installment year after year. On the other hand, the best part about a series is learning about the world in depth and following characters that you get to know so well.

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

Generally, when I read a standalone, I pick it up with the thought in mind that this story is going to wrap up in this book, so it’s very rare that I wish for more. It’s actually kind of relieving to read a standalone because I know I’m not going to be left on a cliffhanger for a year.

Are series sometimes too long?

Yes. A prime example of this is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. While I adore this series, and the spin offs are turning out to be so much better than expected, they are still unnecessary, because the main story ended with book 3 and it was a satisfying enough conclusion that would have left readers perfectly content. This extends to most series which are dragged out with spin offs and novellas.

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

I’ve always felt that fantasy novels are always best done in a series, whereas genres like contemporary, mystery and historical fiction work better as standalones in my opinion.

What are some standalones you wish had continued? Are there any series you think should have stopped at the first book?

This is a hard one, since series by definition are written in such a way as to leave many questions hanging for the sequel to address. There are of course, several books that started out as standalones but later have spin off novels that just end up becoming a series and it’s very rare that I enjoy any like this.

Standalones that would have been wonderful as a series: Cemetery Boys, Sing Me Forgotten (still have my fingers crossed for this one), Lore, Angel Mage, The Candle and the Flame

Books that should have remained as standalones:
I read a few books this year that were the start of new series that I have a feeling are going to fall into this category, but I’m hesitant to judge since the sequels aren’t out for several more months. This is really a personal preference and I know it’s probably an unpopular opinion, but the Shatter Me series didn’t work for me at all. I struggled through the first two books and just stopped. The same goes for Air Awakens by Elise Kova.

Do you prefer series or standalones? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Series vs Standalone

  1. itsKoo October 1, 2021 / 12:28 am

    I agree with you. There are definite advantages to both. Sometimes it’s nice to know that I don’t have to wait so long for the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) October 16, 2021 / 10:00 pm

      Yes, standalones are much better from that perspective. It’s so hard to wait a year or more for a sequel, especially when they end on cliffhangers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hasini @ Bibliosini October 1, 2021 / 12:46 am

    Like you, for me it depends on the genre of the books I read! I prefer my fantasy to be series and my romance and thrillers to be standalone!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anika October 1, 2021 / 8:10 am

    It definitely depends on the genre! But I quite like when a series has books that could work as standalone too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue Berk Koch October 1, 2021 / 8:34 am

    I love reading a single title! If a book is part of a series, I always begin with the first one. If I like it, I’ll try the second. I’m flexible!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marta the Monogamist Reader October 1, 2021 / 9:00 am

    It’s so interesting to read your thoughts about this topic. I realised that I am actually so glad that Shatter Me was a series, the build-up for the third book is unforgettable haha. I also think Sarah J Maas always planned a 6 books thing with ACOTAR, so I knew when I started it was going to be a long-term commitment. What bothers me it’s that they decided to change covers in the middle… that wasn’t cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) October 11, 2021 / 9:26 am

      Maybe I’ll go back and try reading Shatter Me again someday! I totally agree, changing cover art midway through the series was definitely not cool, especially because I really wanted to buy ACOSF and now I can’t because it’ll look too odd next to the other covers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Genie in a Novel October 1, 2021 / 10:26 am

    It’s hard to answer because I love being able to keep reading when I love the characters, but at the same time, when the story’s done, it’s done. Leave it at that. So I’d have to say standalones are what I prefer. Also because long series give me anxiety (usually manga though, they never end)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) October 16, 2021 / 10:04 pm

      I completely agree with you about long series causing anxiety, especially when a book ends on a cliffhanger and the sequel keeps getting delayed! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jaya Avendel October 1, 2021 / 4:19 pm

    Series Vs. Standalones is definitely something for me to ponder. I feel like I like finality and knowing that something will end and not drag on, so I am more of a standalone kind of person. If a series is out and the last book is released, I will read it though as I feel like the series still has that finale that I like to come to.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) October 16, 2021 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks for reading! I agree, I’ve lost count of the number of series I’ve started and the next book is nowhere to be seen. Standalones definitely have the advantage there!

      Liked by 1 person

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