Book series, why can’t I love you?

Series

I know that sounded like blasphemy. Everyone I know and their mother is in love with one book series or the other. Be it the infamous Fifty Shades series or the awesome Game of thrones. Especially the YA bloggers read and rave about books that are in so many parts that I have clearly no clue any more.

Do not get me wrong. I am not against the format as a principle. But somehow the books that are part of trilogy or series do not work for me. I have had my share of books that comes as a series and have even loved a few of them. Over the past few years I physically cringe when I see the ‘##’ near the name of the book, because it is one more book that I might never pick it up sadly.

Why do I get so turned off when comes to book series?

So I am going to use this post as a space to think out aloud why I can’t fangirl over series like everyone else in the world.

1) Damn you, cliffhangers

I really hate cliffhangers. I have put my time and effort (even if I had loved doing that) in a book and then it ends abruptly only to be continued in the next. Really? I just can’t stand not knowing what happens to them and I usually have to wait for another year or two.

That brings us to the next problem.

2) Would I be alive when your next book turns up?

I am totally impatient. I want everything and I want them now. So forget me waiting to know whom Elena chooses in the Vampire Diaries series. If I can’t have it now, I am not having any. So what do I do?

Series

Solution: When I do read a series I tend to get them all together in go.

3) Would the part two be as good as one?

How many books do you have already on your shelf but haven’t read for years? I am super ashamed about it too. Then why would I want to add another bunch of books that I may or may not read. I can hear you say, try the first book and then get the other ones, right? Read the previous point.

4) I would be far far behind the world

Series

Waiting for the series to end naturally means I would never read the books with the rest of the world. You wouldn’t believe how much later I picked up the Pretty Little Liar series, only because I wanted it to end before I even got the first book. Sorry folks I am still trying to figure out who is A when you are busy celebrating ‘her’ arrest.

5) Don’t keep toying with my feelings, people.

Pretty Little Liars also taught me another lesson on why I should hate book series that the character arcs suck. (Actually they don’t, they are fabulous.) But it is sheer torture that I can’t make up my mind whether to hate or love someone. Is he gonna be the killer? Or is it just another misdirection?

Series

This definitely would not happen with a standalone because everything ends when you hit the epilogue. Except you staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what you wanna do with the rest of your life!

Series

It is me, not you.

I know I am missing out a lot.

Series

Still I prefer to have my choice books as standalones.

And the only way I can read a series is only when the books can work alone and can be read in any order. I can understand that a group of friends having their own story in a romance novel series like the Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley or Macgregor brides by Nora Roberts.

Do you prefer standalones to series? Why or why not? If you read a lot of series, can you suggest me books that would fit my criteria? Let’s chat.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I do enjoy reading series but I know what you mean about later instalments letting you down. Trilogies, I find are the worse culprits for this because the middle book almost always sucks a little. I do like to read series in one big binge, even if I have to wait, there are only certain series (anything Rick Riordan for example) that I can pre-order and read as they come out.

    Character development over many books can be a pain but I find I like series the most that have fairly definitive endings at each book so you could cut off and leave at any point if that’s what you want to do.

    Hope you find a series you love in its entirety someday (when Scott Lynch finally releases all his Gentleman Bastard Sequence, I recommend you go buy them all, but you’ll be waiting a while)

  2. I’ve read some totally amazing series, and also a few where I think the author should of stuck with just the one book. I tend to wait until a few of the books are out before picking up a series though as I too hate cliff hangers.

    There are two series that I read about 3/4 years ago where I read the first three books in each series and they have ended on cliff hangers. The next books still haven’t been released. This is my bug bear. If authors write a series they need to keep on top of the books, it’s not fair to the reader if they don’t.

  3. hahaha, I love this post. Me personally I have love/hate relationship with them. The hate is all for the same reason you listed but I somehow manage to find my way back to them. Sucked into the world that take 3, 4,7 one time 10 books to get to the end.

  4. I totally feel you on that cliffhanger stuff – no thank you!! I just read Crazy Rich Asians books 1 & 2 – no cliffhangers just new drama and new characters- it is so fun! But, usually I don’t do a series unless its more like a standalone and whole new characters to focus on, with a bit from the old (if that makes sense).

  5. I totally get it. AND I can’t describe how much I dislike cliffhangers. I’m dying to read the rest but by the time the next book is published I loose interest.

  6. I have to say that I really love a good long series. I don’t particularly love cliffhangers but not all series have them. I do really enjoy standalone’s, but find that if I really like a character then saying goodbye after only one book is so hard!

  7. I am right there with you. I have a love/hate things about them. I despise cliffhangers but don’t mind stand-alone books in a continuing series if I can read them sequentially, but I forget too much in between if reading them as new releases.

  8. I absolutely love series. I get so invested in characters that I love going along with them for the ride. I do, however, hate cliffhangers just like you. I am impatient also when waiting for the next book to come out more often than not.

  9. I feel with you really. i try with some series but non of them i liked. the only example of a good books i can gave you is be before you and after you by jojo moyes. i tried with trilogy Fifth wave but nothing. i even liked the movie more.

  10. Thank God, I’m not alone. I prefer standalone novels but HP is an exception. I read one HP book and felt so much was missing in the books. And also, to add to your point, the filmmakers completely rip a series off for example Princess Diaries. The book was better.

  11. I’m a little weird because I actually love cliffhangers. I like anticipating the next book. That being the case I hate waiting for the next book to come out so sometimes I’ll wait until a couple of books have come out before I start indulging the book. I don’t really want to put my time in a series when the author is taking forever like the Game of Thrones author.

  12. Fascinating Discussion Gayathri! I have to say that I don’t disagree with you on many of these points! The cliffhangers and the waiting… because I forget, yo. (hahaha) Many times its pretty clear the story is one book that has been divided into 3… Develop more and I would want to read past book #1! Lately though I hear many series that get better with book #2 rather then worse… ❤️
    Dani @ Perspective of a Writer recently posted…I hereby invite you to join my new… I Heart Characters! MemeMy Profile

  13. Hahaha that’s so real for me
    Atleast now I have a single person on planet Earth who looks normal to me. Hahaha, there where a few things that I thought over and said OMG! That is my thought. Like, when you said Would I be alive till your next book 😂😂. Also, would part two be as good as part one??? And my thoughts are if I can survive the wait till author writes next book.

    • At last there is one more like me. While everyone in the world is running behind series we are the sad ones who can’t get the fad right?

  14. You are not alone – I am not big on series either, although I do follow and read some of them, but I simple prefer stand-alones. There are great series out there, or you could try series that function well as stand-alone too and that way you escape the cliffhanger part.

    I might also be more into standalone because I do not read that much YA and either there aren’t that many adult series or I just don’t seem to find them – although I did read ASOIAF and I cannot wait for the next book (the waiting part is hard).
    Andreea recently posted…Otaku Sunday #12: Still Behind…My Profile

  15. I tend towards long series, just because if I like a world I tend to want to stick inside it. Right now I’m reading a series that’s 11 books long (and the author is preparing a sin-off, hear me roar with happiness). I sometimes enjoy standalones, and the sadness of finishing a book is smaller than with series (I tend to avoid reading the very last book of a series because I’m never ready for the big “the end”). I also tend towards series because I’m usually a super curious individual and I want to know what happens after a story ends.
    Ruby @ Ruby’s Books recently posted…Wednesday Chatter #21: Trusting The Author – Take 2My Profile

  16. I guess you could mainly read series that are already fully out? 🙂 I don’t particularly care whether it’s series or not – I can put down a book for a half a year in the middle of it and then come back to it (well, for most books)… So it’s similar with series. I don’t know why it works like that for me. But… I think I still prefer standalones, if at least a little bit. Series don’t bother me, but they do tend to get a little bit dragged out, and sometimes a series is made where it isn’t necessary – purely for profit, I guess. I can understand that the writer needs it financially, but it’s also a little bit sad.

    It’s also sad that you are missing out on some awesome stories that way though! Although I definitely agree about Book Two Syndrome 😀 I can count series that didn’t have this happen to them on one hand, basically. It’s hard to write a good second sequel!!
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted…[Story collection review] Yet Another Slightly Odd Collection of Short StoriesMy Profile

    • Damn, don’t make me feel worse about this. I know I am missing out on a lot of books already but I have finally given up on series at all.

  17. I love my book series but they can be a real struggle too. I get attached to characters, and world building which makes me perfect for loving series. But I really struggle with horrible cliffhangers, remembering what happens in previous books [if they aren’t all already out] or just forgetting to buy the sequel. That’s why I tend to buy box sets or wait until the whole series is released.
    Olivia-Savannah recently posted…Shatter Me [Book Review]My Profile

  18. I understand the feeling. I want to read Game of Thrones but he is taking forever to publish books and I just don’t want to go through not knowing what happens. I know the show will tell me but I’d like to read it. I’ve been so into a series before and then get to book three and be disappointed because I went through all that for it to end that way…..like Divergent.
    Cricket recently posted…The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackMy Profile

    • I wait for all the books to be out in a series before I would venture into it, cuz I can’t wait to know more. I don’t want to be left in the darkness.

  19. I tend to prefer series books over standalones only because I love seeing more of characters. In a standalone, it’s a one-time thing with characters and I want more of them. I do like reading standalones though, but I usually end up finding series books being a personal favorite of mine.
    Jenn @ Bound to Writing recently posted…Bookish M.A.S.H TagMy Profile

  20. I think at their best, I prefer a series to a standalone just because it’s more room to develop characters and tell a story! But I’ve been let down by so many series over the years that I’m much more cautious about starting one, particularly if the author hasn’t finished writing all the books just yet. ASOIAF is a big example: the TV series will spoil most of the big deaths and plot points, but GRRM has (at least) two books to go. Now I don’t know if I’ll ever read them, when or if he writes them 😐
    JJ @ This Dark Material recently posted…down the tbr hole #9My Profile

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