Do Standalone Books Get Enough Credit? + My Favorites

Sometimes I feel like all I talk about are series.

It’s true that series deserve recognition. The ability to keep up interest from the community of readers for years on end, to continuously develop the characters and plot- they’re awesome.

But then I think about standalone books.

And I realize that sometimes I’m unfair to them. I don’t mention them as much, or give them as much credit as I should. Today I’m going to be exploring the topic, do standalone books get enough credit?

standalone

At first, I definitely thinkย yes. I’m positive that I write many blog posts about standalone books. I’m absolutely certain that I never let them get overshadowed. But is that really true?

Taking a look at some of my favorite books, I can see that they’re mostly part of a series. Harry Potter. Anne of Green Gables. The Mysterious Benedict Society. Percy Jackson. The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Land of Stories, etc. etc. etc.

I’m sensing a slight trend in the above photos. Just a little one.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

But WHY? Why the love for series? Why don’t I give standalone books they credit they really deserve? And how can I change that?

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Why Do I Love Series So Much?

I think it’s pretty obvious why we love series. We get invested with the characters, the setting, etc. etc. etc. ETC. (Apparently I love etceteras today.) When the books are prolonged, weย get invested.

We’re exposed to so much more of the world the author has created. We feel as if we belong there. We know it like the back of our hands.

The characters become our friends as we watch them grow up. We sometimes experience their childhood, teenage years, and even early adulthood. We are there for them throughย everything– relationships, happy points, low points.

Honestly, I don’t really know what my life would be like if I hadn’t grown up going to Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood and countless adventures with Anne Shirley. Probably a lot less exciting- and I’m glad I don’t have to find out.

I love series and I always will.

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Why Don’t I Talk As Much About Standalones?

Now for the real topic of this post- reasons that I don’t rant as much over standalones. Reasons why they sometimes get pushed to the side on my blog.

I don’t read enough standalone books. Often, when I’m looking for a comforting reread, I turn to series. Especially ones I’ve read billions of times, like Harry Potter or Main Street.

I also have had many of my favorite standalones get turned into series over the years. As the days go by, authors write more and more sequels. At this time last year, I would have consideredย Absolutely Truly, by Heather Vogel Frederick, a favorite non-series. But earlier this year its sequel,ย Yours Truly, came out (my review here).

Honestly, it may be that I get caught up in reading the ‘popular’ books. Nothing against the “popular” books- they’re usually amazing. But has anyone else noticed that they’re almost all series?

I don’t branch out enough. To add onto the above reason, I don’t often go to the library and roam the shelves with no book in mind. These days I haven’t been discovering as many books as I used to. (And this makes me really sad.)

I don’t always want to leave MG fiction. Lately I’ve been reading more and more YA. And guess what? I love it. But it has still been hard for me to move on from MG fiction- which is where many of my favorite series are.

Sometimes I want more.ย I always want more. More stories, more of the characters, more of the setting. Often I will pick a series over a standalone because I know it will offer me more.

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Finally, A Few of My Favorite Standalones

At the end of the day, I do enjoy many standalones. I could actually rattle off a long list of them that I’d recommend to everyone! I’ll be sharing a few below. ๐Ÿ™‚

**(All pictures are linked to their Goodreads summary if you are interested in reading any of them!)

ย  ย ย ย  ย ย ย  ย ย ย  ย  ย  ย ย ย  ย ย 

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I hope you enjoyed this post! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was interesting to write, and I hope we can continue the discussion in the comments.

What do you think? Do you prefer standalones or series, and why? Have you read any of the books I recommended? See you in the comments!

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P.S. It’s the first post of February! How has your month been going so far?

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29 thoughts on “Do Standalone Books Get Enough Credit? + My Favorites

  1. I love series because the characters and settings I know and love get to stick around for new adventures for longer amounts of time in my life that way. I enjoy reading about the adventure the first time the most (though I still love it the second) and so the longer I have to read about them the first time, the better.

    If any of that made sense. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great post, Olivia!! I think I prefer series for the most part, but there are definitely quite a few amazing standalone books out there that deserve more attention. A few of my favorite standalone books include “The Book Theif”, “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch”, “The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict”, “Counting by Sevens”, “Challenger Deep”, and both of Roald Dahl’s autobiographies. ๐Ÿ˜€

    -Clara โค

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i love standalones, they are so easy to read and doesn’t require commitment like series does. however, they can feel rushed and not as expanding as series would, and sometimes author would add another books, and then another and another xD i love second chance summer, that book broke me! another book i love is all the bright places and vicious, except that the latter is getting a sequel ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I didn’t even think about the commitment aspect of it! That’s a really good point. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also agree that there are sometimes rushed and that can make it a less wonderful reading experience.
      Ahhh, Second Chance Summer was amazing. I’ll have to look up the other ones you mentioned. Thanks for commenting, Tasya!

      Like

  4. What a great thought! My initial reaction was that I like stand alones better, but the more I thought about it, series usually come to mind first (other than Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite book). I think part of the issue is that with multiple books it catches your attention for longer, so you are more likely to remember it? While a stand-alone might be super amazing, their flames flare brightly but die quickly?

    I HATE not being able to read a whole story through (i.e. I HATE waiting for the next book in a series to be released) So if the whole series is not already out then I tend to favor stand-alones. But I also get really bad book hangovers from single books and crave more. So sometimes its better if there is a whole series I can lose myself into. And now I have entered a never ending circle of indecision haha.

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    • Thank you so so much! โค๏ธYes, I was having the same issues as I realized almost all the books I love are in a part of the series. AND AHH you make such a good point!! I really can’t remember much from most standalones I’ve read.

      ME too! I’m usually patient, but not when it comes to books haha. Your circle of indecision sounds difficult to escape…maybe if you just read standalones in quick succession that would help. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh good points!! I LOVE all of Morgan Matson’s books so much…I think Second Chance Summer has to be my favorite though ๐Ÿ™‚
    Most of the books that I love are part of a series, which got me thinking…what books aren’t parts of a series? The only one I can think of right now is The Book Thief which I love… (and I honestly couldn’t imagine a sequel.)
    I also really want to read The Help!
    (ahh sorry for the rambling comment…this was a great post!!)
    xx
    Em

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Em! ๐Ÿ™‚ ME TOO! I think I’ve read them all now. Second Chance Summer was my favorite, too! I didn’t think any of her others could top Since You’ve Been Gone, but it did.
      I know, right? I had to really look at my bookshelf to find books not in a series. I should have included The Book Thief, I love that one too. You should read The Help, IT IS AMAZING.
      Thanks again!๐Ÿ’žI love rambling comments, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you’re spot on for the reasons why series tend to get more love. I think, though, that there’s also much to be said for standalone’s being turned into series. With few exceptions, I plan my own books to be standalone novels, with a series planned out should they be successful enough. It just makes too much sense for authors to go back and add to the story, if they know that it has already has a good following of eager readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. aghhh starfish was so good. and kids like us!!i loved the ASD rep in there. i feel for series there is more fandom-related stuff where as with standalone u can’t possibly become that invested?? so like yeah. i do think standalones SHOULD get more appreciation though!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right?! It was so hyped, I didn’t expect it to be so wonderful, but IT WAS.๐Ÿ˜ Same for Kids Like Us! And ahh, I didn’t even think of fandoms, but that’s so true. I feel like there’s usually more ships and tangled relationships too, which leads to a stronger fandom! I’m with you, though, standalones deserve more appreciation.

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  8. Ahh, that’s a tough questions! I think I’ll have to go with standalones because all my favorites are. The Help is SO GOOD. I haven’t read the others, but I have read The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and I have to say, I didn’t really like it. Noo, don’t leave middlegrade! Some of the best books I’ve read are from that genre. That’s true, so many popular books are series! Which I think makes sense. Roaming library shelves (or bookshelves in general) is one of the best things ever. I’m so sorry that you don’t get to do that anymore! My guess is it’s because that’s been one of the downsides of growing up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is! Standalones is a good choice. ๐Ÿ˜‰ YES I absolutely love The Help! I didn’t love The Unexpected Everything…but all of Morgan Matson’s other books are, in my opinion, 1000x better. You should give them a try if you haven’t already, I bet you would like them!
      Middle grade will never leave me, don’t worry. I may branch out a lot more, but where would I be without my childhood favorites?! They’ve given so much to me, I couldn’t leave them now haha.
      AHH roaming the shelves is wonderful.โค๏ธI think as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to plan ahead what books I’m going to read, and taken out the part where I explore the books at the library.
      Thank you for reading and your comment, Annie!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh what a great post, Olivia, I loved reading it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m more of a standalone kind of reader, I think, but that’s mostly because I am a contemporary reader as well, and these often come in… well, standalones ahah ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been getting more and more into fantasy lately, though, and I love getting immersed into a world and the characters’ stories for more than just one book, too. It’s hard to pick haha. Ultimately, I think I always prefer standalones, I have commitment issues too hahaha and so many unfinished series.
    I LOVE Morgan Matson’s books so, SO much, so happy to see them here โค I really want to read Starfish, it sounds amazing! x

    Liked by 1 person

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