Oh how I have missed blogging properly! How are you all? I hope you're all well and thank you for sticking around, I've been quite busy lately with settling down with my university studies but we'll save that for another time. Today I really want to discuss my preferences with regards to standalone books and series, I love them both but I contradict myself when I say I love one of them more than the other. I doubt there will be a clear conclusion to this discussion but I feel this brings out a lot of opinions...
You know when you pick up a book and you love the sound of it, it's immediately caught you're attention and so you rush home and read it immediately and end up finishing it in one sitting but then when you get to the end it says "to be continued in..." and immediately your heart is aching and you're screaming inside because you can't believe there's another book to follow. You're needing to know what happens next so you go out and buy the second and possibly the third but when you get to them next you find that you're not enjoying it any more. The excitement has worn off because the story you love has simply been drawn out far too long that it seems ridiculous, I mean the author may as well have carried on for all you care they've ruined it anyway.
This is when I am put off by starting new series, when they simply go on for too long. Currently I feel like this with The Mortal Instruments series, baring in mind I haven't finished the series yet but having read the third book I felt that it didn't need to carry on. Don't get me wrong I loved them books a hell of a lot but it seemed that ll the loose ends seem to have tied together and then the tiniest hint of something new arising and I thought, you know what the author didn't need to do that. Alas, I am not one to judge yet, but it has made me a little apprehensive to finish the series. I know TMI's fans out there will kick me in the butt telling me to carry on and I can understand that and I know I will carry on because how can I not? I can't just give up on a series unless it really is awful! So I will keep in mind there's all to play for in the rest of the books in the series.
I then begin to think, you know what what's wrong with standalone novels? Why can't we just have everything happen in the one book? Why does there need to be even more books to buy to carry on one story? Is it to create suspense? Make more money for those involved? Or the story is so immense that it needs to be told across several books?
There are possibly tonnes of reasons as to why this is and series exist. I love them but I'm also wary of them, they can progress and develop like a child growing up into an adult. I feel that this can relate to books in so many ways, we're given characters who develop into new and hopefully improved beings that teach us new things and them being probably the difference of right and wrong, moral issues etc. I like what series can teach us and it's for that reason that I enjoy a lot of them, my main example obviously being Harry Potter. I think it's got to be difficult to beat that off my top rankings because it's so diverse and moves from strength to strength as you read each book but I mean that story couldn't possibly have been narrowed down to one book, I mean its simply not possible with that great amount of detail and progression. The characters change, the situations change, lessons are learnt and above all love is at the heart of it all!
Standalone books like series can be both brilliant and annoying at the same time, you can read some books and every detail and question in your mind can be answered and you're so in love with the book you need to tell everyone you know that they must read, like me with The Catcher in the Rye- I can't get enough of it it was beyond a perfect read for me! It's a book that would definitely not need a sequel to it, every loose end comes together and it's all set in its way and concludes well.
Then you can get books that seem to just leave you hanging...but there's no sequel or anything and you're stumped. You're either wanting to know the answers you have to further questions in your mind or you're in a situation where you feel like you've wasted time on a book that doesn't even have a proper ending and my gosh that is infuriating!
One standalone novel I absolutely adored and will praise it forever more is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- yes you must be sick of hearing about this book but it seems you either love it or hate it. For me it was brilliant, an extremely clever and well written book that kept me guessing. The ending however, did leave a bit of an open door but in a good way! It left me with questions that I didn't necessarily need answering, I could picture my own future outcomes of what could follow onto the story and I was satisfied with this because the characters were so well developed that I felt like I knew them personally. That's when a standalone is fantastic!
However, there are times when you pick up a standalone and you honestly can't remember what attracted you to the book in the first place. The plot doesn't follow through, random events happen that don't link or match up to anything and it simply doesn't make sense. Is it because the book was rushed? The author ran out of ideas? Who knows, or maybe you just didn't get it? Whatever the reason may be they're either good or they're not.
With series there sometimes seems to be a pattern, the first book being amazing, the second being a "filler" book that seems irrelevant and then normally a third and final book if it's a trilogy where everything seems to explode and you're flabbergasted by the whole thing. Whereas a standalone is a hit or miss, a series can change your opinion several times but a standalone doesn't give you that chance it is what it is!
So what do you think? Standalone novels or series? Tell me some of your favourite standalone's and series! Tell me in the comments below, I'd love to know what you think about it all! Do you have a definite preference? Or are you like me in liking and disliking both?