Series + Standalone = Companion Novels {Discuss #4}


I think series are wonderful, but has its ups and downs. If the first book left you hanging at the edge of your seat, of course you’d want the book to have a sequel because of that mean cliff hanger. There’s nothing wrong with series, but I’m just tired of reading them. That’s what I’ve been feeling about series lately. There’s seriously a LOT of series out there and I kinda just want to read A book. Just 1 book with the beginning and an end in 1 book. Just 1. If I’d have to choose between series & standalones, I’d choose standalones. Series are sometimes the reason why I refuse to read THAT book. Ok JUST FOR EXAMPLE, I wanted to read Marked by P.C. Cast..BUT I found out there’s 16 more books in the series.


I love love love standalone books. Most of my favorite books are standalone. I love how everything is just in 1 book. The beginning and the ending are right there in front of you. You don’t have to wait for the next book and when the sequel is finally out, you probably already forgot what happened during the first book. The down part of standalone is when it’s SO GOOD you want a sequel on it BUT there’s no sequel ๐Ÿ˜ฆ nada! But that can also be a positive side because you can invent your own ending or continuation.

Series + Standalone = Companion Novels
Ermagerd companion novels are just oh so perfect for me. We’re like a perfect match! It’s a series YETย  standalone. Enough said. I just think it’s perfect. You don’t have to read the 1st book in order to read the 2nd and you can write your reviews without stressing over on how you’re going to avoid putting in spoilers.

Talk to me! What do you think? What are your opinions, feelings, rants, etc. on series, standalones and companion novels? Which one do you prefer?

This is part of the Letโ€™s Discuss meme hosted by Oh, Chrys! & Fiction Conniption.

26 Responses to “Series + Standalone = Companion Novels {Discuss #4}”

  1. 1 Francoise September 12, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    I agree! If there are so many books in a series then I won’t touch it. I think Harry Potter and Percy Jackson were my only exceptions because they were amazing! I definitely prefer standalones because then I don’t have to worry about any cliff hangers. It’s finished, I don’t have to wait long periods of time. If I had to read a series I would prefer a trilogy. I won’t go beyond 4 books unless the series is amazing. Great discussion I totally agree!

  2. 3 Francoise October 10, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    I totally agree! Series are just becoming too tiresome and then you get the risk of the story going downhill. I find this can happen quite easily and the books later on in the series may not be as good as the first one. But sometimes the series gets better. At the moment I’m really enjoying trilogies and standalones. Trilogies are the right amount of books that I can tolerate at the moment.

  3. 5 Hazel @ staybookish October 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    ‘The beginning and the ending are right in front of you’ – that’s a huge reason why I love standalones too!!! And I like that there’s no pressure to have to read what’s next because there isn’t one. Don’t get me wrong, I wish some of the standalones I loved never ended because they’re perf but I think I’d rather it was longer than have a sequel. I used to be a huge fan of series before but now not so much. I’m just going to keep up with the ones I’ve started before. I agree- companion novels are awesome!! Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks are companion novels to each other right? And also Stephanie Perkin’s books, somehow? I love having an all-together new story but seeing old characters!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 7 becca October 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I really love companion novels too. I tend to gravitate toward series, but I have a really hard time finishing series when the books don’t come out for a year later. I think duologies are more appealing to me now than triologies. By the time I get to the third one, I forget everything that’s happened. I read less Standalones. I don’t know why that is, but I do love them as well.

  5. 9 Asti (A Bookish Heart) October 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I agree with you for the most part. I feel like series are everywhere and they’re starting to drive me crazy. And I love standalones because it’s nice to just close the cover and be done. Or maybe they’ll eventually turn into series, but that’s okay because you know you can still just read the first one as a full story because that was how the book was originally meant to be anyways.

    I like companion novels okay, but I feel like they aren’t always so easy. I read one a while ago thinking I didn’t have to read the book it went with, but I was totally lost! I feel like they still sort of require being read in a sequence, which makes them a series, which is sort of meh to me.

    Really, why does reading have to be so complicated?! lol

  6. 11 Cee October 10, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Reading series = extremely intimidating. I get anxious knowing that there’s another book that I have to read. I hate finishing the first book because I have to wait a year for the next one. WHY CAN’T I HAVE IT NOW? It’s important for my health! (LET ME THROW A SHOE AT THAT SERIES. ;D) Or like you said, if I start a series and find out there are six more books, this is my actual face DDDD: Authors, why are you doing this to me? And then series make me think of all the ones I’ve started but unintentionally abandoned. Gahhh. (There is A LOT of them.)

    Standalones are our friend. It doesn’t hurt us by stringing us, making us wait for the next book. ;D Though, I do dislike the ones that end on a note that is extremely ambiguous when I want to know more. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER EVERYTHING SETTLES? WHERE DO I PUT MY ~FEELS~?

  7. 12 Jeann @ Happy Indulgence October 11, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    YES! I totally agree with you about the series fatigue. It seems like every new book released these days is a series, and it’s rare to find a standalone. When I do find one however, it seems to be rare, and I LOVE how everything is tied up in the novel!

  8. 13 Midnight Reader October 11, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    omg, glad that I stopped reading Marked series. 16 books is way too much plus the story doesn’t look good anyway. I like series but not to that extent. I think the longest series that I have read is Harry Potter.

    Series or standalone? It depends on the book and the story. If the story needs to be cut down to series, then that’s fine but if the story is too lame and can be squeezed to just one book, then I think the publisher/author are just writing for the sake of money.

    Right now, I love finding series that are already completed. In that way, I don’t have to wait for months or years for the next book.

  9. 14 Meggy (Adrift on Vulcan) October 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I like to think that I don’t have a preference when it comes to whether I prefer series or standalones, but that would be lying, because I totally get what you mean! Like you said, waiting for the next book in a series can be horrifyingly painful — especially for Julie Kagawa’s books, because if there’s one thing she knows how to do, it’s ending them all with a cliffhanger.

    Goshdarn cliffhangers.

    But I manage to cope with the wait because I’ve got horrible book amnesia. The average time it takes for me to forget a book I’d just read is… around one to two weeks. Or if the book’s memorable, then a couple of months. I know! Horrible, right? I guess I really do read too much. >.< So many books have become trilogies these days that I'm wondering if it's starting to become a trend… you know, after THG.

    As for standalones, THIS: "The down part of standalone is when itโ€™s SO GOOD you want a sequel on it BUT thereโ€™s no sequel” — This just sums up what I think, really. I like standalones (I think the best standalones are for contemporaries, most of the time), but if there’s one that’s really good, and has no sequel, then I seriously mourn for it.

    The worst thing is that I tend to not become dedicated to a series. Like, I’ll read the first book, maybe even the second, but I’ll delay getting the rest and move on to other books to read. I’m not sure why. Maybe that’s just a sign that I prefer standalones? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Great post, Leigh!

  10. 15 Alice in Readerland October 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I love companion novels too! ๐Ÿ˜€ I do love stand alones, as so many of my favorite series felt like they just became dragged-out or repetitive, but I’m really, really loving the companion novel trend! Great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  11. 16 Arial at In Italics October 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Series are getting quite tiresome, especially the dread trilogy. I feel that in series, trilogies especially, it is a bit easier to see where the story is going and it doesn’t leave as much room for surprise. I still love a good series because sometimes I’m just not ready to say goodbye to the characters. I can completely understand how you would choose stand-alones over series. The House of Night series seems to be dragging and dragging on. I don’t even remember which book I stopped reading at. You aren’t missing much, so don’t worry!

    With stand-alones I never know what is going to happen next and I have no expectations, which is what I love most about them. Sometimes, as you said, it’s hard because you want the story to keep going. In the end though, I think that I end up liking stand-alones more than most series.

    The companion novel is my favorite too! It’s perfect for when you don’t want to give up the characters, but don’t want the same story either. I love when there are books in a “series” but they are really just companion novels.

  12. 17 Charlotte October 11, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Ahm… I love both of them, Leigh. If the book falls under the Fantasy or Dystopia or Sci-Fi genres, I prefer them to be in a series because one book just wouldn’t be enough without resorting to horrible info dumps and rushed events. And of course, world building is a very important element for these genres so when you factor that in for standalones, I think the story would be horrible because there’d be no more space what with the plot and character development that should also be included.

    However, if we’re talking about contemporaries, standalones would be perfect. I usually hate when authors make contemporaries into series.

    So my answer to your question is, it depends.

    • 18 Leigh (LittleBookStar) October 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      That’s so true! When it’s a fantasy or dystopian, it’s usually a series and when it’s contemporary, it’s usually companions or standalones. Kinda weird and interesting! and yes, it totally depends. If the story’s being dragged on, then that’s where I ‘pass’.

  13. 19 Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA October 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I’ve always liked series books. A long series doesn’t deter me. I like to get to know characters, and it’s nice going back to revisit the familiar. Not every book needs a series though. Some are perfect as standalones.

    The trend that annoys me is the novellas. I don’t know why, I just don’t like them. I read them because if I’m reading a series I don’t want to miss out on anything, but I resent that I “have to” read them, that they even exist.

  14. 20 Mel@thedailyprophecy October 13, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I always try to pick one of them, but they both have great aspects. I love series, because I’m able to spend a lot of time in that world and the characters become friends. It’s great when a story gets so much time to unravel. Example: HP, it would never been enough to have one HP book!

    On the other hand, if it’s a very long series or one that isn’t completely published, it can be so frustrating. I hate waiting for some series, especially when they end with a dreaded cliff-hanger ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s sometimes comforting to read a book and know that it’s all going to end – and the story is less likely to become boring. I sometimes feel authors are milking a story in series (yes Cassandra Clare, I’m looking at you).

    So, for me it’s a tie. It really depends on the quality of the series, but spending a lot of time with characters in that world is great – and sometimes I like to have the story wrapped-up in one book. It also saves money, haha and the frustration of waiting.

    • 21 Leigh (LittleBookStar) October 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      I love your points! I’m just not in the mood for a series right now (well, starting new series) because I have sooo many series I still need to finish reading. Oh my gosh yesss, Cassandra Clare is dragging the story on and it makes me want to not read her books b/c I still have not read any of the City of Bones books. I read the first book of the Infernal Devices though.

  15. 22 notacatalyst October 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I agree, I love stand alone novels. The best is when the plot is actually wrapped up, and you get closure. When it doesn’t happen, I want to scream and demand a sequel. But series are also fun getting into, and sometimes I just am DYING to read more about certain characters…so I guess I’m at a tie *sigh* Sometimes though, I feel like authors write series just because their publishers demand it of them, not because the story arc needs it.

  16. 24 Lesley Marie October 14, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    I actually haven’t read any companion novels. I just haven’t picked any up >_< I like stand alones better than series, most of the time. I hate waiting three years for a trilogy to finish, especially when a trilogy or any other number of books could have probably been shortened into one chunky book. It's a little sad since stand alones are becoming rare creatures in the YA genre. Stand alone recommendation: How to Lead a Life of Crime (It's an all-time favorite for me.)

    I do like series, though. Hanging out with characters you love for more than one book isn't that bad, is it?

    And don't feel disappointed about not reading Marked. I tried to read it but couldn't take Zoey's hypocrisy and annoying voice… It was so unbearable. One day I want to read the whole thing, though… Just so I can rant about it on my blog ๐Ÿ˜›

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