Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Discussion #1: Series vs. Stand Alone novels

When it comes to deciding which book to read next, whether it's a stand alone or in a series can affect your decision. So, what do you prefer: series or stand alone novels? Also, what is your favorite series and your favorite stand alone novel?

Hannah: This question is always tricky for me to answer. I want to say straight forward that I dislike series, but this isn't always the case. Although, I have noticed a new trend in series. Today it seems that all new book releases are either a book already a part of a series out or is the first book in a new series. The negatives to series is that once you start the first, there's no going back. Even if I don't like the book, I'll ultimately have to discover how the story ends. Some books I believe need to be involved in a series, particularly fantasy or dystopian novels. These two specific genres entail world building, so by having the first book to set up the premise and details of a society it will allow for a greater story line. In other cases, such as contemporary fiction, there is no need for a series. I personally don't mind trilogies, but more than 3 books irks me. My favorite series is a tie between The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, and my favorite stand alone novel is Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Emily: Oh man... the answer to this question is mighty complicated for me seeing as how what I think is completely opposite from the evidence on my Shelfari. I would much rather prefer a stand alone novel, but I do agreee with what Hannah said as to specific genres needing to be in a series, such as fantasy and dystopian. If the author is building a world or introducing a new and extremely complicated concept, a series is the best option so the author doesn't have to rush things in one book. Now, if I take a look as to what my favorite books are, I can honestly say that about 90% of them are in series. Those series are THAT good. I feel that books today are all becoming series because of the series that were so amazing and successful. This is sad to me. I would love to pick up a book knowing that the book will end. Let me go off on a tangent here... YES. Things HAVE to END at some point!!! Don't have a book series go on for more than 5 books. It gets old. (Unless you are Ms. Rowling. Then, by all means, write a hundred books!!!!) Also, it is nice to know the planned amount of books that will be in a series so that you know what you are signing up for by book one. For example: Although the Inheritance Cycle is one of my favorite books series, I was honestly angry at the end of Brisingr (Book 3). It was supposed to be the last one, and it clearly wasn't. And then we find out that we have to wait YEARS for the last one to be released! Sense my frustration? Anyways, in conclusion, if the series is epic, it is completely worth it, but I do like my novels here and there. Favorite Series: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (Duh) and The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind; Favorite Stand Alone: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Jessica: Whether the book is a stand alone or part of a series does not usually affect my initial decision to read a book. The problem that most people have with series is that if the first book is bad, they still feel the need to read the rest of the series, but in my case, this isn't true. I've always been able to pick up the first book in a series and not finish the series if I didn't like the first book. If the first book in the series is really good, then I prefer series because I don't want the story to end. Sometimes with stand alone novels I feel like the story got over with too quickly. Favorite Series: The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind; Favorite Stand Alone: Entwined by Heather Dixon

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