For What It's Worth

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

tell me something tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Do you prefer series or stand alone books?

Answer: I used to read ALL THE SERIES until 2 things happened.

1) Bad conclusions to several of my favorite series

2) I started losing track of what was going on with them all

Series are a big time/emotional investment. After those two things happened on a regular basis, I decided to re-examine what series I was reading and cut some loose. After counting, I realized I was reading 40+ series! No wonder I was losing track!

So this was about 4-ish years ago and I ended up cutting most of them loose. And I rarely start new ones.

I do not count romance series - that have a different couple each book and where you could skip a book – no problem, or companion novel series – again – same world but different characters.

I'm talking about series that are trilogies - where you follow one story arc, one set of MC's and you can't skip any books.

One I stuck with was The Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and I loved it!

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I tend to read stand alone's now but that’s easier when you read romance, like I did most of last year. I’m dabbling back into YA now and that makes it harder. I’m carefully choosing what series I’ll start though. No cliffhangers for sure, no love triangles.

I’ve thought about why my feelings changed so much. If I was reading 40+ series, I must have enjoyed them. I LOVED disappearing into worlds and really getting to know characters in a way you can’t with stand alone's. And as usual the reason can be traced back to blogging. The killer of book joy lol

There can be so much hype around series and picking teams/predicting endings and it gets too stressful for me. The end can never beat the build up and after (usually) 3 years of investing in these characters it can be a huge letdown.  

I do think I’ll be reading more series in the future but I limit how much I invest in them. Once I’m done with one book – I’m good. I don’t hunt down spoilers or clues to what is going to happen next.

Cruel Prince is a book I enjoyed and I think I’ll read the next one, The Wicked King, but they’re already dropping quotes and spinning everyone up into a frenzy of WHAT HAPPENS??? and I’m completely avoiding it since the book doesn’t even come out until January of 2019.

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What about you? Series – yay or nay?

34 comments:

  1. I love series books, but I'm with you--so hard to keep track of them all. I have a spreadsheet where I list everything that's currently in progress (too many). I keep telling myself to stop starting new ones, but I'm a fantasy fan, so I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. :p

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    1. Yeah, it's hard to find stand alone fantasy. i just saw a new fantasy book coming soon on Twitter yesterday that will be a stand alone. Of course, I can't remember what it is! lol

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  2. More and more I find myself drawn to stand alone novels. Even a duology or trilogy is okay but those series that stretch out book after book... I eventually fall behind or lose track (or lose interest) and before I know it I have a bunch of lingering series on my TBR. As a side note, I’ve been meaning to read The Winner’s Curse trilogy for ages. I’ve heard it’s excellent!

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    1. It was so good! And now you can binge read instead of waiting 3 excruciating years like I had to lol

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  3. I'm with you. I have started so many series only to forget about them by the time the later ones come out and then it's too late to catch up because I'd have to start over fresh because my memory is crap :( I much prefer a good standalone.

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    1. I've read a few 1st books in a series this year but I approach them as stand alones. I'm cool with ending it there but if I hear the next one is good I might read it.

      I forget EVERYTHING these days. Minutes after I put down the book - never mind 1 whole year! lol

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  4. I am torn. I love a good series. I hate waiting.
    I love stand alones. I often want more.

    I love both, but also enough can be enough

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    1. That's funny and a good point. Sometimes stand alones leave you needing more for closure.

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  5. I used to be all about the series reads too Karen but feel exactly the same way. A series needs to be pretty epic to hold my interest over a three year period and most are a little bit meh to continue. I have a shelf on Goodreads for unread finales and in much the same way, I've been burnt by so many series finales that I just would rather not know how a series ends now.

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    1. I had a few series that I intended to stick with and even have the books on my shelf but I've completely lost interest. And forgot everything lol

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  6. I like to think that I prefer standalones, but most of my reads (and higher rated books) have been a series of some sort! I'm stupid excited for the Wicked King, that will be my priority at ALA! I AM THAT FRENZY.

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    1. You read a lot of series. But that's also probably because you read fantasy and there aren't many stand alone titles in that genre.

      Do you think TWK will be there??

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  7. I'm with you. Back when I started blogging I used to jump on the bandwagon of ALL the series but now I'm way more selective. I've also felt burned by bad series outcomes (*cough Divergent! Shatter Me! *cough) and there were just SO many that I started getting series amnesia....
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. My soul crushing finale was Mockingjay, followed by Allegient. I just don't care anymore lol

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  8. I love series and have been reading some for a long time. But I can read a standalone just as well.

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    1. I find myself dipping my toes back in but mostly if they're all out so I can binge read. I only follow long running ones now if they are different couples or companion novels.

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  9. I prefer stand alone books, but I have enjoyed several series as well. I just like to read one book and be done with it, on to something different. If it's a good series I get a little too attached to the characters and don't want to let go at the end.

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    1. My problem is that I get too invested and my brain works overtime trying to figure out what happens next and it's never as big as how I had it built up in my head lol

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  10. I like a good series, but I tend to read more stand-alones than anything. A big part of that is I didn't tend to get review books for those big series that come out and people are excited about so I just never got around to reading them. lol I have gone back and read some of these series, or I'm in the midst of finishing them, but in general, I really like when a book is finished within one book and I don't have to worry about remembering things or getting to the next book AS SOON as it comes out, etc.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Memory lapses became a big thing for me. And with dystopians in particular, I felt I was reading the same thing over and over.

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  11. Quote: "After counting, I realized I was reading 40+ series! No wonder I was losing track!"
    LOL, indeed.
    You know how I roll - I only choose books I'm pretty sure will work for me - so I don't have a problem with reading series...I miss(ed) all the most popular ones (except a handful like Jenna Fox or Wayward Children) because I didn't/don't feel like they would be my jam. But if one loves fantasy, there are so many series out there to tempt them. And from what I read, a number of them end up being similar, which is a let-down and adds to the confusion. Ah, at least you have your romance and I have my afterlife and sci-fi...so much easier to find a standalone LOL.

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    1. I think genre burnout can be a problem too. Out of those 40+ series - most were dystopian or paranormal. They got pretty repetitive (cough *love triangles* cough) and I was blurring them all together or getting too irritated.

      I'm much better at picking what I like now and mixing it up more.

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  12. I used to stay away from series actually. But when I accidentally read a book in a series and ended up loving it, I binge read all the other books in the series, haha. Depends on a series, I think I will always prefer a standalone :)

    xx
    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

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    1. I think being able to binge read is different. You get to avoid all the stress of waiting or forgetting lol

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  13. I love series on paranormals and UF but am not a huge fan in contemporary unless - like you said - it's different but connected couples each book.
    I don't think I've had big disappointments yet with the endings of a long-read series... They tend to end in a way that's acceptable, if not desired, for me. I even loved how the Sookie Stackhouse series ended, lol, and didn't understand the fury that radiated around the book world when it released!

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    1. Sookie is one of the ones I quit lol

      I think the problem with those really popular series is that the build up and conversation/hype surrounding them ruins things for me.

      If I didn't blog - I would just read as they come but with blogging, you're surrounded by *teams* and theories and it ruins some of the joy for me.

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  14. Oh yea, the bad series ender. Ugh. So many. Still, I think that makes me not want it to end more if I'm loving the series. LOL I've gotten to love the standalone more because of the horrible cliffies.

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  15. it depends on the author for me. I over series books too and enjoy stand alones too, but the characters make the difference. But I haven't been reading much in fun books lately.

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    1. In the past year or so I haven't enjoyed what I call stressful reading lol I just want happy books with happy endings and some series stress me out with all the twists and turns.

      I am dipping my toes back in though.

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  16. I just can’t keep up with them all. I read the first two books in Winner’s Curse and then I dindt’ finish it, I don’t even know why. I need to rectify that. I get tired of forgetting things and long waits and cliffhangers etc.

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  17. I love reading romantic series. Sometimes, stand-alones leave me wanting more. :/

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  18. Series are my jam. I'm definitely in the middle of at least 40 lol. But I love them. It's exactly what you said about being able to get to know the characters and get immersed in a way you can't with standalones. Standalones are great sometimes, but most of my absolute faves are series.

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  19. I do loveeeee series, but sometimes I get burned out by them *nods*

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