Saturday, 25 August 2012

Discussion Post: Stand Alones Vs Series

Stand Alones Vs Series

First ever discussion style post!
New kind of post today and it has been a while in the making! I couldn't decide on a layout so I'm laying out Rory Gilmore style with what I see as the pros and cons of each!

Why- Is it me or are the majority of books now part of a series?
Out of the last 20 books I've read, only three were stand alones- admittedly other three were just sequels. But that is still an overwhelming majority of series books.

Stand Alones
  • With stand alones you get the whole story in one shot, no waiting or rushing around for the next one. The story usually has a clear decisive ending which ties up all loose ends and leaves  you satisfied.
  • Stand alones can give you a nice introduction to an author and their writing style, for example with Lauren Kate I decided to read The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove prior to the Fallen Series to see if I liked her style before getting sucked into a series!
  • They are obviously quicker to read than a series and my personal favourite is when an author ties all their stand alones together so you get a glimpse of the previous characters but a brand new story!
  • Certain genres such as fantasy and dystopia it can be hard to world build and set up sufficient background in just one book. Since starting to read the dystopia genre I haven't actually read or even come across a single stand alone!
  • Once it's over it's over it's unlikely you'll read another book centred on the exact same characters and viewpoint that you've just fallen for again!


  • With a series you really get  to follow the characters and plot to their full extent and explore a lot more of the world which in turn makes them more memorable.
  • Series create more hype! I think it's easier to capitalise on a great series as they have a publishing schedule which allows suspension and an eager fanbase to build. I'm sure there are stand alones I love as much as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games but I never queued at up for their midnight release or drove in to town solely to pick up the next one as once I was finished that was it!
  • Aesthetically they look beautifully put together all lined up unless the publisher does that annoying thing where their change the cover design mid series- who does that?
  • Series are much more time consuming than stand alones- I put off the Hunger Games during University as I knew I didn't have time to sit and read three books in quick succession.
  • They can be expensive. If I had paid full price for the Hunger Games series it would have cost me £23 in less than week whereas as one standalone would cost a maximum of £7!
  • It can take years for the plot line to be tied up. For example it was clear decade from the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow. I started the series as a primary school girl and ended it as a seventeen old A level student, usually to different audiences.
  • Sometimes series can be unnecessary or far too long. Some series can seem drag on even when the primary plot line is wrapped up.

Obviously everyone loves both but are you frustrated with the amount of series around at the moment? Or is it just the books I'm picking?
Do you love series' and enjoy the anticipation or do you enjoy the quick satisfying resolution of a stand alone?
Also do you like this style of post?

Much Love


  1. I love this post. I've definitely notice so many more books are part of a series lately. I love a good stand alone. It's so much nicer on my tbr list.

    1. It's not just me then! So true andwhen you finish it I cna be neatly crossed off whereas series just add more to your TBR!

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. I was just thinking about this a few days ago, and yes I'm in the same boat as you! Every book I pick up is a series. Usually during the summer months I pick up singles, because they are just easier and faster. And during the winter months I pick up series...this year I seem to be doing the opposite.

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    1. I'm glad it's not just me!
      I've found that- I think it's because I usually pick up contemporaries in the summer and they used to be singles now they all seem to be series too!
      Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. I see series much more often than I used to, but I've also shifted in genre from what I read once upon a time. I believe genre is part of the frequency. Well, lets put it this way. If I'm reading a cozy mystery, I'm hoping for a series. If I'm reading a romance, I'd prefer a stand alone (unless the next book is a different couple... I consider stand alones tied together to be series).

    For a dystopian stand alone... try 1984. It's old school and not YA, but it plays on your mind, and it IS stand alone.

    1. I think it is to do with genre! Although a lot more romances are becoming series too now- I do like it when it's different couple so more of companion books!

      Ooo I will check out 1984- I dismissed it before I liked dystopia so I'd probably enjoy it!
      Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Oh wow, very informative post!
    Personally, I like reading stand alones because I do not like being left hanging by the end of the story. If I were to read series, it should have been completed already. :D

    1. Thank you!
      I always think that then I find myself picking up a random book and bam it's the just released first in a trilogy! :P
      Thanks so much for commenting!


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