Well, this is going to be a rant about series books. Leslie and I often talk about series books versus standalone books and we both agree that there needs to be more standalones. We know that there's a series books overload in other genres (adult books included) but we're going to focus on the YA genre--in particular the paranormal sub-genre in this rant. There seem to be a lot more standalone books in the YA contemporary, historical and fantasy/fairy tale retelling.
There's just too many series books in paranormal YA coming out these days! It's like every single book (okay, not every single book... but you know what we mean) that comes out these days are part of a series or a start of a series in paranormal YA.
Don't get us wrong, we like series books and many of my favorite books are series books. And of course when you're reading a series, as a reader, you can get to know the characters better, learn more about their world as new stuff are introduced and the story lines are developed through a longer period of time and often go off in interesting directions like in the Mortal Instruments series (Leslie's favorite) and the Hex Hall series (my favorite).
But we miss standalone books. We miss reading just one book--everything the author want you to know about the plot, the characters and the setting will be concluded in that one book. There's no frustration with crazy cliffhangers, no waiting for the next one and no pressure to keep up or finish a series...
You're probably like, dude, you guys don't have to keep going if you didn't like the first book. But you do. At least we do because we're a bit OCD when it comes to reading and we want that ending, that conclusion especially if book one ends in those damn cliffhangers. It's like watching a police procedural show half-way and stopping without finding who the killer is and if the good guys will put him in the slammer. Then, if you come into the series late you have to invest money and time in multiple books and read all these books to catch up (especially those with more than three books in the series)--and suddenly you're not reading for enjoyment anymore, taking the time to enjoy and reflect on the story and the characters but just reading to catch up with everyone else.
We know we're not alone in wanting more standalone books. But are we alone in feeling the pressure to keep up with paranormal series books--especially since that's pretty much all there is in the market today? Or feel the pressure in reading book two even though book one may have been just an "okay" read if the book ended in a crazy cliffhanger? Sometimes it also feels like they trick you into reading the next book in the series with some of those cliffhangers.
And don't let us get started on those books that become series books when one book should have been enough or those that have more than four or five books in the series that seem to drag on for no reason...
We just wish there are more standalone novels, especially in the YA genre. Have you guys notice that standalone books (not companion books--though we are very happy that more and more companion novels are coming out these days) that come out don't seem to be as publicized as series novels? Can you think of a paranormal YA title that is a standalone novel at the top of your head?