This week’s topic is based on reading series versus reading standalones. While Tori loves series, Lindsay loves standalones.
(For you grammar people (such as Tori), just know that we can't decide how to use 'series' as a plural. Research has shown to not be fruitful whatsoever. The same goes for the word 'standalone.' We've seen it both ways, and we prefer it as one word, therefore that's how it's going to be.)
Tori:I love reading series because they’re full of information (usually), and most of the time they’re way more complex than standalones. With series, authors have more time to build the world that they want. When standalones need complex world building, authors have less pages while series have multiple books.
Lindsay:I think you just basically summed up exactly why I don’t read series very often before I even had time to realize it. Standalones aren’t necessarily easy reads, but I find myself more invested in their characters and plots. As a writer, I find myself enjoying writing standalones as well. I think something about it just seems like I can relax and read or write instead of worrying about plots making sense or putting things together.
Tori:I think that—just like the plots for series—authors have more books and pages to create characters with more complexity and that seem more realistic. As for your stories, Lindsay, I think you create realistic characters, because you put yourself into each and every one. Some standalone authors don’t do this, and that’s when I almost give up on standalones altogether. It’s harder for me to connect to a character on a personal level with just 300 pages.
Lindsay:I also think series are usually using another aspect such as paranormal or fantasy, from what I’ve seen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than a few series that have just plain teen fiction or something along those lines. For example, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is based around fantasy, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick is about paranormal, and Asylum by Madeleine Roux is based on horror. Honestly, I think I’m just a simple, contemporary or romance girl while, though you like it, I tend to see you lean much more towards fantasy as of late.
Tori:Yeah, I just feel more comfortable with series, because the author can be more free. And I've found that I'm less harsh when reviewing fantasy novels for some reason. But as for contemporaries, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is contemporary and a series, but each book is about a different girl, and the author has to start all over with characterization (I have no read this book. It shall happen eventually). I think for me characters are just a big deal when I read a book, and that’s why I’d prefer to spend more than one book with a character to really get used to them. To be fair, Divergent and Angelfall are two books where I’ve honestly really enjoyed the main character right off the bat.
Lindsay:Speaking of Angelfall, I think the character situation is exactly why I love the series so much, rather than just reading the first book and dreading the second. Also, the love interest was a good character, inside and out, and I think that I really have to connect with the characters in order to love a series.
Tori:Exactly! Me too, but I just find that it takes me longer to really connect with a character. I really enjoy the Shatter Me trilogy because of Warner and Juliette together. But by reading just the first book, I wouldn’t have ever imagined those two together. It really took the second book to change my opinion. This is why I like series. I can learn to love the characters as the series progresses, which I love doing! And I love it when the author manages to change my opinion on a specific character, showing me that it's possible for people to change.