This new fabulous meme is brought to us by Melissa at i swim for oceans.
Question: Do you prefer series or stand-alone novels and why?
Okay, awesome question, because I've been thinking about this for a while now, what with all the hubbub over paranormal romance/fantasy series. Thankfully I haven't run into many because I'm all for contemps, but still.
I will always prefer a stand-alone novel to a series. Always. For me, series rarely live up to their expectations (save for, you know, Harry Potter, which I adore). But the Harry Potter series is so developed, so thought-out, that a series was necessary; Melissa explains it best over in her answer!
I used to be the type that, when starting a series, felt the need to finish it, to read all of the later installments. Even if I disliked the first, or any in the middle. Case and point: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares. It was one of the first series I really, really got into. But by the end of the second book, and a little into the third, I realized the story and storytelling was falling flat. But I plowed through the rest anyway, and just like I knew I would be, I was disappointed in the ending.
I fell into several similar series ruts after that. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty, the Joe Pitt series by Charlie Huston, the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, and even the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. Granted, I finished both the Jessica Darling and Joe Pitt series. But I have no interest anymore in finishing Julie Kagawa's series or Melissa Marr's series. Does that mean I'll never read them? No, because I probably will. But not right away. The point is series are no longer even able to maintain my interest and loyalty.
I know people have a beef with stand-alone novels trying to wrap everything together in a neat, tight little presentable package by the end. But not all stand-alone novels come together, and they don't always have precious, happy endings. And I'm okay with that, because I don't need stories to drag on. Of course, sometimes I wish they would, but in the end I feel like the characters had their time in their moment and in their place. There's no need to ruin that or switch it up - to do that, all I have to do is go find another book with another story with its own characters in their own moments and places. To me, this offers more, because I get a new story every time, and if I become frustrated with it, I can just move on to the next, which will have nothing to do with that frustration. Basically, I obtain a clean reading slate.
With a series, you don't get that clean reading slate. You're bothered by the same characters with the same problems, waiting for them to wrap it all up after however many installments. Sometimes they go over well, but more often than not they leave me hanging. Then when I'm finished I realize how many other stories I've been missing out on. I hate that feeling.
So for me, stand-alones all the way.