Which Is Better? Series or Standalones? | Thursday Ramblings

thursday-ramblings-bannerseries-or-standalonesHello bookworms and welcome back to Josie’s Book Corner! Today is Thursday, and you know what that means. And if you don’t, well shame on you! (i’m just kidding, please love me.)
Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on series vs standalones. If you know me (and if you don’t know me then, *cries*) you will know that I am a huge series lover. Trilogies, or even longer series are all my type of books. I cherish my book series’ like they are my own children. But standalones? I can’t really say the same.
So let’s discuss this series vs. standalone business shall we?

Like I said, I cherish my book series’. They are my precious little treasures. Whenever I see or hear of a new book series, I get infinitely more excited than I would with a new standalone. Also, I tend to give much more love to my trilogies and book series’ than to the standalones that I have read. When people ask for book recommendations, I almost always tend to recommend a series, rather than a standalone novel (unless they ask for a contemporary suggestion). I was thinking to myself today, what’s the deal with me loving my book series rather than my standalone novels? Save for some amazing standalone novels, such as Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, generally, most standalones do not excite me as much as a trilogy or a 5/6 book series would. Why is that?

For me, there’s a strange appeal that comes with book series. If a book I’m interested in is labelled as being a trilogy or a series, I’m instantly more interested in it than I would be if it was a standalone. I have nothing against standalone novels, it’s just that I find so much more appeal to trilogies and series’. I suppose you’re all thinking: “Well go on Josie, tell us why you love series’ so much!” And so, in list form (the best way, as Cait would probably say), I will tell you the reasons I love series.

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You’re able to stay in the same world for longer

Could you imagine only having one Shadowhunter book? Or one Throne of Glass novel? These series’ and more simply would NOT be the same if there was only one book. I adore being able to stay in the world of one story for a long time. If I had it my way, I’d make sure the Throne of Glass series and the City of Bones series would keep on going and never end, because I love them too much. One of the series I wish had more books was the Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini. Sure there are already 4/5 books in that series, but how about 2 more? Or 3? Heck, give me 5 more books!

More connection to characters

Don’t tell me that after sticking with the same characters after three books that you do not feel fond of them or are connected to them in some way or form. Because you’d be lying, and I don’t like it when people lie to me (gives you all puppy-dog eyes). I am infinitely more connected to characters within a series or a trilogy. It’s as if you’re going on a journey with them. Just as you grow fond of friends you’ve been with for years on end, the same can be said for book characters. I find that it’s easier for me to forget about characters within standalone novels, unless an author has gripped me so hard that my heart aches for more of them. 

One book is NEVER enough

The amount of times I have cried over the fact that a novel is a standalone and not a series is incredible. One book is just NEVER enough. That feeling after you’ve read a standalone and you think to yourself: “I need to know what happens next,” and you proceed to scramble to Goodreads or Twitter to find the next book or the possible release date for the sequel, and then you find out, it’s not planned to be a series. *dies*

World-building galore! 

Especially with fantasy novels, I don’t think it’s possible to have a standalone. Fantasies must be either trilogies or longer (this is the Josie the Bookworm standard, mind you). Unless you’re a flipping master of world-building and can create the most vivid, detailed world within one book without being info-dumpy and without sacrificing beautiful writing, an immersive plot or developed characters, then YOU NEED A SERIES. You just need one okay? No questions. 

Lots of pretty covers?

Can you tell I’m starting to run out of things to say about series? So in my attempt to sway you all to prefer series over standalone novels, I am bribing you with the prospect of beautiful covers. We all love beautiful covers, and don’t lie to be because you know in your heart of hearts that the cover of a book can be a make or break in most situations (unless you’re a great person and do not judge things for their outside beauty – hats off to you).


What in the world else can I say to persuade you? If you’re smart, you’d be nodding with me when I say series are better than standalone novels. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a standalone. I feel as though they’re great for contemporaries. Just… not for fantasies or sci-fi novels (I suppose I’ll draw the line there!). 

Which do you prefer? Series or Standalone novels?

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52 thoughts on “Which Is Better? Series or Standalones? | Thursday Ramblings

  1. I think I love series more but I seem to read more stand alones. My problem is that I can’t read the series’ books back to back and end up forgetting what happened in the past novels, but that is more of a personal problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do agree with all your points! But sometimes a series could go on for too long that it starts to feel draggy! I do love series, but maybe a trilogy or a 5 book series. As for standalones, I love horror/contemporary. They wouldn’t feel too slow paced and always make me craving for more! Amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never experienced the feeling of a book series getting draggy! It must be my unrelenting love for series.
      But you’ve got a great perspective. I’m terrified of horror novels!
      Thank you so much. 😀

      Like

  3. Definitely agreed on the points you made for sure! ❤ Series just have so much more opportunities than stand-alones… and give *us* opportunities to have more pretty covers on our shelves for sure!! Although I suppose stand-alones are better for our wallets.. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I definitely agree with you and all the points you stated! I prefer standalones when it’s a contemporary novel but if it’s a fantasy, series is surely the best. I always had a fascination for series and recently it’s increasing at an alarming rate but nonetheless I love it! Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. THE LAST ONE IS SO IMPORTANT THOUGH ‘CAUSE IT’S SO PLEASING TO LOOK AT YOUR SHELVES AND SEE ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL SERIES TOGETHER *grabs heart at the beauty of it all* If non-bookworms read this they would probably think this is a bit hard hahaha. Though I do have some favourite standalones, I prefer series for the same reasons you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally agree with you! Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine and I always prefer to have them in either trilogies or series because they always bring something new and I always love the journey while exploring the whole new world created by the author. In the case of Contemporary genre I prefer standalones the most. Great Post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. I think with contemporaries, the plot lines tend to not be as complicated, because there is no world building and adventures/issues tend to be smaller simply because they are more realistic and therefore the story can’t sustain itself for long enough to be made into a series.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally agree with you!! Some standalones I have read are super good and I wish that they can go on forever. The Harry Potter series would be a bummer if it was a standalone. You wouldn’t really get to know the characters more and you wouldn’t go on anymore adventures with them. I love reading you posts and I am really looking forward to reading more from your blog. Thanks Josie!!!:-D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I can’t imagine if the Harry Potter series didn’t exist. Although I have never read it, I know this world would be a little sadder without it!
      You make me feel so happy with your sweet comments! Thank you for always enjoying my posts! *hugs* 😀

      Like

  9. I agree about how you can get really invested on the characters of series, but I loooove stand alones because it just impresses me how a single book can captivate me so much and make me fall in love. So I actually prefer stand alones more than series! 😀

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    • I get what you’re saying! That’s an interesting point, and I definitely agree. I am impressed with standalone novels that get me really invested and that can make me feel really strong emotions! The only problem is once it’s done I most likely will want a sequel! hehe.
      Glad to see a different perspective! Stand out from the crowd! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, you’re so right! How could I forget that point? It’s amazing to see an author’s writing improve and change as a series develops, I feel like I have seen that a lot with Sarah J Maas.
      Thank yo for stopping by! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally see your point, and I love your enthusiasm. Lately, I’m much more interested in standalones, simply because of the time commitment. I have so many books I want to read, and investing my time in a series doesn’t appeal to me. But that’s just right now. My moods and phases change every few months. I went through a period of time when I only wanted to read series books, and I’m sure it’ll happen again in the future. 😉 VERY good topic to discuss! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you’re right. Standalones are much less time consuming and you can get through a lot.
      That is so interesting because for me, I’ve always felt like reading series rather than standalones, and it’s never cahged!
      I hope you find more of a motivation to read series books in the NEAR future! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think it just depends on the book itself : ) I’ve read some amazing Standalones that completely blew my mind, and I loved that they were Standalones because it meant that the story was finished and in no danger of upheaval in another book. But, I love series! There is so much more room for growth and development in a book series compared to a single book! I could never choose, I love them both ❤ it just depends on the writing

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right there. I think I can also list a few standalones that made my heart implode with it’s awesomeness. I love the sureness of standalone novels too, you know you have nothing to fear of a second book ruining the amazingness of the first!
      I’m glad you discussed this with me! Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have to say I do get very excited about a good series probably sparked by my love of Virginia Andrews as a teen. That said though most of the books I read are stand alone’s ✨

    Also if I am reading a series I don’t read them back to back anymore, I tend to take a break between them. Hope you are keeping well Josie 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh my, your thoughts were so on point! *world building galore!* ahahaha. I laughed at that. World building and character building in trilogies are indeed tremendous and very satisfying. My only issue with trilogies and series is when some authors used that opportunity as a part of a marketing strategy instead of making the story more meaningful. There were some books though that I personally think should stay as a standalone. Don’t get me wrong, I love series and I also love standalones. 🙂

    After I finish all my pending ARCs, I swear, I’m going to slay those series. Great post Josie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I’m glad that gave you a little laugh! Hehe! 😀
      Yeah, that’s definitely the problem with series. When it becomes a sneaky marketing strategy rather than a genuinely thought out series.
      I don’t think I have come across any books so far that I wished were standalones, but then again, I almost always demand a sequel to any book I read (almost).
      Yes! SLAY THOSE SERIES GIRL! Thank you for stopping by Giselle! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so with you, series for the win. I also think there’s a lot more character development in series, and I like to see the characters grow as I grow to love them more and more. I also think that you’re right, it’s a requisite especially for fantasy and sci-fi, though there are some contemporaries that I would love if they were series *cof-FANGIRL-cof*

    Great post Josie 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice list!
    I totally agree with your points, especially regarding world-building and connection to characters. However, I felt that there are some series that would be better if left as standalone. These are usually books that were originally intended as standalones, but then converted into series because they were highly successful. This some times lead to sequels that aren’t as strong as the first book. It’s almost like forcing a sequel to a movie that’s already finished. Of course, it’s not always true. In most cases, I love series more than standalones, especially fantasy books for the reasons you already mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I think some standalones are like that. They are first intended only as a standalone but so many people want a sequel and then it becomes a series. (honestly, I’m one of the people who would be demanding a sequel, hehe).
      But you’re right, I absolutely hate when the sequel isn’t as great, especially when it wasn’t initially planned to have a sequel. Second book syndrome is the worst!
      Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s so weird, just two days ago I planned an article where I talk about the struggle of book series… seems like we share the same mind, haha 🙂
    I agree with you 100% about everything you said! I really love the fact that book series allow us to stay in the same world for a longer time, to know the characters very deeply, and to grow fond of a whole universe. That’s the power of books, after all, getting to live another life, and with book series, that feeling is extended to such an amazing level! I really understand when you say series are better for sci-fi or fantasy novels : since the worlds are sometimes more complex, it’s better to develop them in a few books! 🙂 I still love my standalone novels, though, and I gotta say, some series are too damn long for me (the pretty little liars series was too damn long, I gave up, because it wasn’t worth it). Great topic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH MY GOSH, I love when that happens! Great minds think alike!
      Yes, series give us the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves into a world where we can completely escape our own world! I love it.
      Of course, we still love our standalones, there are some amazing ones out there! Oh, I don’t think I will ever read Pretty Little Liars, that definitely sounds tedious! (Plus the first book freaked me out for some reason, but this was years ago).
      Thank you so much! I hope I get to see that article that you said you prepared! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I am totally with you! I mean there are a couple of standalones that I absolutely adore, but in general I am always leaning towards series. Why would you want to leave a world that you enjoy after just one book?
    That’s probably also why I like Cassandra Clare’s books so much. They are all connected and in the same universe with references to other books all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woo hoo! I’m glad you agree with me too.
      There are definitely some standalones that I love with all my heart too, but series are always better in my opinion. So basically, we feel the same way!
      I feel like people complain about the length of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, but I LOVE it. I felt like it was the perfect amount.
      I LOVE when they connect too! It’s the coolest thing because you feel so engaged when you can make the connections!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I totally agree!!! Unless a standalone is like THE-BEST-THING-EVER a series is always better! Cause us readers read so many books I find that I forget about standalones way faster then a series, because in a series we get to keep coming back to the awesome world while a standalone once done that’s it no more!

    I always find that I ship my series ships SO MUCH HARDER then standalone ships. I hate when I get to the end of a really good standalone and all you want is to know that the world/characters/couple is coming back in the next book but then it’s not and you sob.

    All good books should be series. Decision made!

    Liked by 2 people

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