Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Series vs. Standalones? ♥

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Feminist Reflections is a feature I created on my blog to share my personal thoughts.

Are series better or standalone novels?

Almost every other book is part of a series these days. I prefer standalone novels by a long run because :


1) I hate waiting for the next installment to come out. By the time it comes out, I might lose interest or never get around to it. It can be hard to remember the details as well. Cliffhangers usually hype me when I reach the ending, however, most of the time when the latest installment comes out - I might not feel as eager you know?

2) It's hard keeping up with series. I feel like it's just a marketing technique for most authors to make a lot of money. A lot of the times, I can't finish the series. I loved the first book in Divergent, but I lost interest after reading so many negative reviews on it for the next books from people I trust. The movie was cheesy too.

3) Sometimes continuing the series can kill it such as Nightshade and The Ghost and The Gosh or even The Hunger Games - I hated the endings. I don't like open endings in series at all, I waited for something great to happen in the end, and all I received was a STUPID ENDING. When the ending isn't usually good, it kind of ruins the whole series for me.. but there can be some exceptions. Another thing can be adding too many twists which destroyed Throne of Glass for me. Don't force feed twists just to keep the series going.

The top two reasons why I still like reading series.
1) Not saying goodbye to the characters for a while. This can be both a positive thing and negative. It depressed me when I had to say goodbye to Adrian from Bloodlines. There were two separate series with him, but it wasn't enough :( I WANT more, although, I know the author can't continue it anymore. I'm still glad I read tons of books on him and I could connect with his character. I liked Day from Legend as well.

2) It has a fantastic story that simply cannot be a stand alone novel such as Angelfall, and Vampire Academy. Usually in dystopian and paranormal settings, stand alone novels aren't usually it. Sometimes series work better, although most of the time for fantasy standalones work great. 

The series I have finished.

Series I want to read

 Still reading Series
(I only read the first 1-2 books)

 Lost interest in these series


 Do you prefer standalones or series? Have you read any of these before?


surveys



Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron 
femmmefatalee@gmail.com 

77 comments:

  1. I don't think there's a real answer to your question. I am so bad at finishing series sometimes because I don't have the patience and I tend to forget and sometimes dates get pushed back and that makes you lose interest. But sometimes you finish a standalone and you're just like GAHHHH I WANT MOREEEEE!!!!! So that is never enough either!

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    1. I agree, I'm terrible at finishing series too. If it's a trilogy, I can usually finish it but if it has more than 5 books, then probably no..

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  2. wow thanks for sharing these post. I'm actually looking for books to read. =)new post http://anotsosecretlife2011.blogspot.com/

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  3. It's very rare that I decide to pick up the sequels in a series. I just have higher expectations for books that are part of a series and honestly, I don't bother reading the sequel to a book I only found mediocre. Standalone novels it is!

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  4. All of your points make total sense, Benish! I totally get what you mean about suddenly being uninterested in sequels. I have a lot of series starters that I loved, but then it takes a while for the sequel to come out and I just don't have the energy to wait anymore. I am basically horrible at keeping up with series!

    But yeah, there are times when I can't let go of the characters and I would be fine with the series having 10000 books. Like with Percy Jackson or Krista and Becca Ritchie's books. And if the plot makes sense after the first book and the world can still be explored further--go for it! Although I believe most dystopians can stand alone. Fantasies on the other hand, can go on and on and I'd still probably love all of the books. ;)

    From your list, I'm telling you that you MUST read: Scarlet (I'm not a huge fan of the trilogy as a whole but the ending of the last book was really strong), The Iron Fey (loved this series to bits--then again I read it back in 2011), Stolen Songbird (I have book 2 but I have heard that it suffers from second book syndrome) and The Winner's Curse.

    You MUST continue: Across the Universe (again, I think I read this in 2012 or 2013) and Addicted to You (these books are GOLD). I'm not sure if you should continue the Night Huntress books. Book 4 was the best for me, but the last book was pretty much crap.

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Aimee! ♥ & same here, I don't really have the patience of waiting for the next installment to come out either, it bothers me even more if it totally sucks </3 LOL at your mention of second book syndrome. I'm hoping to continue Across The Universe & the Addicted series soon. I really liked the first books! The first book in Night Huntress is my favorite so far, well I didn't read the rest yet lol I shall check out Scarlet soon. Thank you for the recommends!

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  5. I agree with a lot of points about series. When they end bad, it ruins the whole series for me. But I like series in general for the simple fact when they are good, I love getting more of the same characters.

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    1. Yes, that's true. Sometimes, I don't want to let go of the character either.

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  6. I can get bad at finishing series. I think it's because I get distracted by other books. One of my goals for this year is to finish series that I have started, and so far it has been going pretty well.
    Sometimes I feel like books are drawn out far too much. Personally I feel that The Selection could have just been one book. We all knew how it was going to end. However, sometimes I don't want to let go of the characters or the world, so I like when it's a series.
    If the series has a been ending, like what I have heard about Allegiant, than what was the point of the series if it ends so badly. Total let down.
    I guess I can't really make up my mind when it comes to this topic...

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    1. I agree, The Selection was just dragged out half of the time. Some series can be really good,but most can be let downs for me.

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  7. It's funny but I really don't have a preference. I love series because we get our beloved characters again and that is always so much fun but then again, sometimes I like finishing a book and knowing that is it, the story is over.

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    1. I love reading about my favorite characters again & again as well ♥

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  8. As much as I find a good standalone refreshing from time to time, I think I still prefer series in the end. Sure, the waiting for the next book is torture sometimes, but that's part of the fun of addictive series. I LOVE spending AGES with beloved characters in their world :D I agree with you though that some series go on for much too long and end up killing it in the end^^ ♥

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    1. Thank you sharing your thoughts Micheline ♥ Sometimes, series can be good. I just hope the hype is worth it for some of them.

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  9. It's a mixed feeling--I like certain series as long as they author progresses it in the right way. If it's written *just* to keep more books coming out, the story starts lacking and characters are doing stuff they wouldn't normally do to keep tension/conflict going. Some series are great in that way, they last exactly as long as they need to and they end perfectly. I've given up on plenty of series because there were too many books and the story wasn't captivating me anymore.

    The Hunger Games series was worth reading all the way through, but I wasn't a fan of the last book in either the Divergent or Delirium series. There are way too many I've yet to finish (I've been slacking in the YA department), but I'm conflicted as to whether I want to or not. I know I want to finish the Scarlet series--I've heard great things about it. Maybe soon!

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    1. I have heard mixed reviews about Divergent which is why I have been avoiding it. Although, I have a copy of Insurgent from the library so here's to hoping, I still like it! Thank you for your thoughts Jessica, I've heard great things about Scarlet. Hope you enjoy that series! ♥

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  10. Completely agree with your points. So many books are dragged out into series when actually they'd work much better as a standalone. Series really only work with strong writers and plot points - but oh, the waiting sucks!

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    1. Aaah, I'm glad you could agree! ♥

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  11. I like a mixture of both but when it comes to dystopian or fantasy, I've found that keeping the storyline contained to only one book tends to feel rushed and the world building is lacking. But when it comes to contemporaries, it has to be standalone. Even when books are thrown together in the one series, I like to pick up ones with certain characters without having to invest in the entire series. I loved how in YA, we seemed to be favouring the duologies. What happened to that? Two books is enough to avoid that middle book syndrome but it seems like we've got back to the long trilogies again sadly.

    But you MUST read Splintered and The Winner's Curse. Both are INCREDIBLE! Great topic Benish, really enjoyed it <3

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    1. Thank you Kelly ♥ I love the covers of The Winner's Curse, I have yet to check out the series. Here's to hoping I enjoy it! Duologies aren't that bad at all, I prefer them over trilogies or even five books. Good point!

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  12. I think I have a strong appreciation for both standalones and series, for various reasons. Some mentioned above. I love a good standalone when I don't want to invest much time but I love a good series when it allows me to visit with characters I've fallen in love with. Great post!

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    1. Thank you Jazmen ♥ & I know, some characters I wouldn't mind reading about them again and again.

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  13. I am a series kind of girl and I know it, because I find it hard to say goodbye to my characters. I mean, Gone by Michael Grant and Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman? Amazing series, and if they were standalones I wouldn't know what to do. At the same time I am becoming more appreciative of standalones because I like to get a story done with in one book. I can never binge read a series so I always need like one or two books in between the next one, which makes it harder for me to finish them. I usually don't read a series until all the books are published either, to eliminate the waiting game.

    As for series you've read and finished the only ones we have in common are Twilight which I loved and The Mediator! A lot of the ones you want to start I do too. I have read The Winner's Curse and found it to be okay and not that great... same goes for Obsidian too actually.

    You should do another post where there is more focus on the standalones! Which ones you have read, didn't like and intend to read, etc.

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    1. That's what I do as well, I avoid most popular books when the first book comes out. I usually binge read them afterwards lol I loved the Mediator series! I read in junior high school I believe, and it was pretty awesome. I hope to check out The Winner's Curse, I'm not that hyped about it but those covers are swoon worthy.

      & yes, I'm hoping another day I could make a post on standalones now :) Thank you for the idea!

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    2. The Mediator I also read when I was a bit younger <3 And I agree, the covers are gorgeous.
      I tagged you in the bookish identity tag: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/05/bookish-identity-tag.html

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  14. I do like both, but sometimes I wish their was a lot more standalones when there are so many forced series
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I agree, more standalones is what I would want as well ♥

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  15. I don't know..I love series and standalone. I am never really happy..I want more from a standalone and sometimes a trilogy or series doesn't hit the mark either.

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    1. I would put you in the mixed feeling department lol :) & yes, that is true time to time.

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  16. Hmm, this is an interesting topic. I would say standalone, because I hate how behind I tend to get on series...but if I really love a book I'll always want it to become a series because I can't get enough of the characters! Trilogy series are the best for me personally because they're short and still really addicting and satisfying. I guess it depends on the book for me in the end. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Gabs ♥ That is true, it does depend on mainly the series. Sometimes a series starts out amazing and ends up as crap for me which is depressing </3

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  17. Well I am just going to pretend I never saw that you hated the ending of The Hunger Games ;) But I am a series girl all the way. In fact, I am MUCH more likely to buy a book if it is in a series. BUT- here's the irony- a lot of my all time favorites are standalones. Like, half of them, at least, which is disproportionate, since I read far more series. Maybe I should rethink my stance!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. LOL xD I love The Hunger Games series, but the open ending puts me off & I agree, most of my favorite books are standalones as well ♥

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  18. I always find it really difficult to pick if I like standalones or series more, because like you pointed out: there are pros and cons to each of them.

    I think, overall, I prefer series better (I THINK). Because I like watching the characters grow, and I like spending so much time with them, and reading a really fleshed out storyline. With a standalone, you just don't get that in-depth look into everything. So I do prefer the information and the insights given to me by series.

    But I also like standalones, because it's done and dusted when I turn the last page. Everything is tied up in a neat bow (unless it's an open ending, grrr), and I don't have to worry about book amnesia or remembering that it IS in fact the first in a series. So I guess the lazy part of me prefers standalones for these reasons, haha XD

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    1. I can understand what you mean, sometimes I would still want to read about a favorite character again & again. I don't mind series that much unless they're done right you know? I loved Vampire Academy, I feel most series should be like that.. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Chiara ♥

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  19. It really depends on the story... sometimes you need that first book in the series to get a feel for the whole storyline to continue or not. Some books are just great as standalones... but I always like more. If I pick up a series and read the 4th book, I feel like I'm missing out... so it needs to be done right.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. That is true, it should be done right to continue to it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Naomi ♥

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  20. This is a great post Benish! I normally mix it up when I'm reading standalone or books in a series, it of course depends on my mood. sometimes I just want to binge read the heck out of a series, especially if I'm enjoying it and at other times I don't mind if a book is a standalone. But most likely, I do like my books to continue past one book, as long as they don't drag the series out!

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    1. Aha I agree with you, I usually binge read series as well - I did that with Legend and Angelfall. Thank you for your thoughts Jasprit ♥

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  21. I'm a bit between the two. If I get attached to characters, I'd want to read more about them, you know what I mean? But at the same time, cliffhangers suck, and wait time between two installments can take as much as a year. That's why I really prefer series that are "episodic", as in a book can stand on its own without having to rely heavily on a previous installment :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. That's true, I can relate to you. It can get very hard to let go off characters, I'm still sad I said goodbye to Ren, Adrian, and Raffee from Nighshade, Bloodlines, and the Angelfall series :( I prefer standalone books in series as well ♥

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  22. I enjoy series and standalones equally. But im always more invested into the story when reading series. I guess, the more time I spend with characters the more I feel like I truly know them :-)

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    1. That's an interesting approach, it's so hard for me to enjoy series nowadays. I miss a good standalone novel.

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  23. I am HORRIBLE at committing to a series enough to actually finish it, but I am trying to get better t it. I will say I rarely accept series for review unless its book one (trying to get better at this too) because it's just so much easier to review stand alones. I am also rather impatient and only try to start a series if more than one book in the series is published or near to release date.

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

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    1. Aha I'm the same case as you, sometimes I don't finish series at all - I find standalones more easier to keep up ♥ & I agree, I usually binge read as well!

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  24. I prefer standalones because I am crap at finishing series.Even when I really love the first book,it's rare for me to continue the series.It's something that I am working on,and I hope I'll soon change the habit.
    And Adrian! Woah,I love that guy.He's a special character to me,as I've read 11 books with him in it!And Sydney and Adrian are practically my OTP and I really want to read more of them:(

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    1. Aaaah, yes Adrian is my all time favorite male lead in books, I've read the same amount of books on him as well. I still wish he was around though ♥ Glad you could relate Mishma!

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  25. I prefer standalones or series with companion novels (like the Hundred Oaks series). For series, I also tend to forgot a lot about the previous book(s) if it's been a while since I read the first one. I don't mind binge-reading series though :)

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    1. Yes, series with companion novels are pretty great as well ♥

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  26. You've made so many great points for why reading a series is kind of complex and overrated. I feel like even thought series can be quite a hassle, I enjoy them anyways and love reading them. Just take Throne of Glass as an example. It's definitely one of the better series that I prefer and I couldn't imagine if it was a stand alone novel. Lovely post gurll!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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    1. Thank you Alex! ♥ For the most part, I dislike series although I have had some exceptions where a series was fantastic.Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  27. First of all, you’re probably right not continuing in Divergent BTW, especially if you didn’t like the first one; because the first one is the best of the series and the next two books get worse and worse. :| And I didn’t feel the hype about Red Rising either; so it’s nice to find someone who feels the same way.

    Second, OMG WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? Stolen Songbird, Life as We Knew It and The Winner's Curse are all amazing - you need to get your hands on them ASAP. ;)

    And to answer your question, I'm definitely a standalone gal. Especially in YA, there are definitely stories that don't need to be stretched out into more than one book, because they end up feeling so much like filter and it gives the feel that the author is writing it for the money and not for the story itself, you know? Thanks for sharing, and great discussion!

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    1. I found the first book in the Divergent series to be the best one, I borrowed a copy of Insurgent from the library so let's see how it goes.. I feel I might not like it either but I still want to finish the series :/ & LOOL, yep I'm quite behind on popular books, I have yet to read them. I am pretty intrigued for Life as We Knew It though. The covers of The Winner's Curse are all gorgeous. I'm glad you could agree Zoe! I appreciate your thoughts ♥

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  28. It depends on the author and series. I hate those contemporary series that just go on and on and on and veryone and there mother has their own book. But I do love some series so much.

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    1. Loool your comment made me laugh, & sometimes it can be become too much to read.

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  29. I always say there should be more standalones, and then I complain when I read a good standalone that isn't a series. :D I do like that you can get so involved with series, but sometimes I just want to read a good book and leave it at that, so I checked that I like both in the survey! I feel like I'm more likely to read a standalone when it's contemporary for some reason. With fantasy and similar genres I like series because then the author can really take the time to build the world properly. I agree that it sucks to wait for the next installment!

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    1. Lool sometimes I'm pretty happy with a way a standalone ends, but sometimes when it has a horrible ending. I demand a sequel then. I find dualogy to be more better, at least for me.

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  30. I love series as they often allow for a longer and more complex story. And like you said you get to spend more time with those characters and the world. I like knowing there will be mroe. Althoguh I think standalones also can be ncie as you know the story ends in that book and the story get's wrapped up and there's no wait for the next book. I also lose interest in series sometimes, like Divergent and Delirium. And some days it feels like there are so many series I am reading as so many books are part of a series.

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    1. I'm glad you could relate about losing interest in Divergent.. There are some very good series out there that I love though, I just feel standalones are barely around nowadays.

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  31. I think the only reason I don't like series is that I keep on starting new ones and NOT continuing the old ones, hahah. And I don't like standalones because sometimes I NEED MORE. Therefore I love ALL BOOKS, is what I've concluded hahaha.

    Also I am very glad you finished the Mediator series :D :D <3

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    1. Yes, I'm always hesitant to start new series as well, I feel I might never finish them. Unless I feel very strongly about the first book, then I would most likely finish the rest of them. Thank you for your thoughts Val :)

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  32. Wonderful post! I'm a bit of a mix girl. Some days, I want standalones that I can gobble up and other times I want a series. It's really for what I'm in the mood for. What I do hate is when I'm into a series, but then lose interest in it. :/ I do like waiting for a series to be finish too. Then sometimes I'll binge read it!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts Magen & yep, I'm with you. I would binge read as well ♥

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  33. I have very MIXED FEELINGS! I don't even know. Sometimes I'm in the mood for series, but other times I'm in the mood for standalones so I guess I'm in it for both. I agree with everything you said. Sometimes, when I wait for the next installment in a series, I could tend to lose interest while waiting. I even end up forgetting what happens, and it sucks :( Lovely post Benish!

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    1. Aaah, yes most people who have commented have mixed feelings on it as well, you're not alone :) Thank you Jillian.

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  34. I would always prefer standalones. I guess that's why I love contemporary books so much. But there are occasionally some series books that I love too. Mostly fantasy. I agree with you that it's hard to keep up with series books, especially if there are a lot of installments. And the worst part is definitely getting a very disappointing ending after sticking with it for a long time. I have started reading a lot of series, but nevr finished them. :P

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    1. Yes to standalones! & I agree, there are some great series out there that I do love. Aha, you're on the same boat as me. I have a tough time finishing most series.

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  35. It's so hard to choose, since I do like standalones (because come on, sometimes some series' are really unnecessary) but then I also want some standalone to become a series because I loved it and the characters so much. LOVE VA (Haven't started the Bloodlines series yet, but doing a buddy binge read soon) I read the first two (or three, can't remember) of Evermore, liked it then, probably wouldn't now. Whatever you do, DO NOT start The Winner's Trilogy until The Winner's Kiss is out, horrible cliffhangers. ;)

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    1. Bloodlines is awesome! I really loved that series, although the last book wasn't as great but it was still satisfying :) I actually finished The Winner's Curse last night *hides* lol I thought it was a good book.. but the second half sorta annoyed me. I probably won't pick up the second book until the summer maybe.

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  36. I see quite a few series I want to read or am reading up there. I love series to an extent. My biggest problem is I either binge read them or let years collect between books and forget what happened in previous installments. There are quite a few series out there I think only continue for the money factor because each new book is the same plot with different characters thrown in to spice it up. Those, need to be laid to rest.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

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    1. Yes, I agree. I usually end up binge reading them as well lol thank you for sharing your thoughts ♥

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  37. I completely agree, I absolutely hate waiting for the next installment and it's hard to remember everything from book to book. I enjoy series, but I feel like that it's taken over the majority and there's not enough stand-a-lones any more. Awesome post! :)

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    1. Yay<3 I'm glad you could agree Katie. Standalones are more of my thing ♥

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  38. Very insightful post, Benish! I greatly enjoyed reading it!! My vote in your poll was that I like both series and standalones, but do have mixed feelings about the issue. There are standalones that obviously don't need to be continued simply because the novel's central conflict has been satisfactorily resolved, so no sequels are necessary. An example that comes to mind is "Jane Eyre", by Charlotte Bronte. Another is "Sunshine and Shadow", by Tom & Sharon Curtis. (This one was published in the 80s, but I STRONGLY recommend it!!)

    In the case of other novels, the central conflict, for some reason, cannot be resolved within one book, so there has to be a sequel or sequels.

    I do have a slight preference for series, because, if I fall in love with the characters, I want to see them again in sequels. You mentioned this in your post, and I fully agree with you! Also, when an author creates a totally compelling world that the reader can live in, it's just wonderful to encounter that world throughout several books! A case in point: The Harry Potter series. Rowling's world is SO wonderful, so magical, so altogether appealing, that the reader actually wants to MOVE there! (I know this reader does!!)

    So I guess I would have to say that BOTH series and standalones have a place in the literary world, if they're expertly written. Still, perhaps series are a little bit ahead in the race, for me. Yes, I DO have mixed feelings.....

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!! : )

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Maria! ♥ I agree that it can be extremely hard to chose between standalones and series. I prefer standalones though, but I still like reading series as well. Sometimes, you just want more though especially if you love the book so much you know? I love the Angelfall series & I agree about Harry Potter as well.

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