Throwdown Thursdays: Book Series VS Standalones


Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!

Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:

Book Series vs Standalones

Why not end the year off with a big bang? I’m sure it is fairly obvious which of the two book types I will pick (SPOILER ALERT: it is in my web URL!) but even I enjoy the occasional standalone. I actually think I read more standalone novels than ever this past year and I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed them!

Like I did for my eReading vs Physical Books Throwdown, I’m going to forgo my usual format of rounds and list my pros and cons for each type. I’m not going to assign scores so I would LOVE to get your thoughts about your preferred format!

Contestant 1: Book Series

What I Love About Book Series:
  • lots of characters to love
  • multiple plot lines (I like lots of things happening at once)
  • great world-building
  • complex stories (ie multiple layers)
  • get to watch characters develop over a larger time-span
What I Dislike About Book Series:
  • waiting for the sequel 🙁
    • I can never remember what happened
  • Plot lines that get stretched out
    • just because you can make a sequel doesn’t mean you have to!
  • too many character names
    • again, I have a crappy memory!

Contestant 2: Standalone

WHAT I Love ABOUT Standalones:
  • no dragged out plot lines over multiple books
    • I get a quick resolution (vs waiting a year for the next book)
  • more character focused/driven stories
  • can have complex plot lines
  • rarely are there cliffhangers
  • sometimes I just want more from their stories!
    • basically, I want a sequel

Ultimate Winner:


What type of books do you prefer to read?

Leave a comment below!

Next Time: Science Fiction vs Dystopian

NOTE: In the new year (2016) I will be making this a seasonal feature instead of a monthly one in order to accommodate more book reviews. So you can expect to see the next Throwdown sometime before the end of Winter.

Comments 8

  • Great post! I don’t know if I prefer Book series or Standalones. I’ve been reading lots of standalones lately, and I’ve been enjoying it, but you’re so right about sequels: it leaves more place for world-building and character development, and I love that about it! 😀

  • Awesome post, Lauren! Everything is just so relatable. I think I’m more of a series reader because though I hate those cliffhangers sometimes I can’t help but like them too if that makes sense. There’s also some security knowing the story and world doesn’t end until a certain book, haha.

    • I love to hate cliffhangers! I almost get disappointed if there aren’t cliffhangers in the series. Those cliffhangers are what make the book memorable for me. Though I hate when the finale books have cliffhangers–I do like my endings to be wrapped up nicely 😉

  • This is such a difficult question. I spend a lot of time bitching about book series because there are so many that totally fail to engage me. But on the other hand, when one actually does I’m basically consumed by it.

    Because of this generally I read more standalones. If I’m going to read a series it’s often by a writer I already know and love, or in rare cases if every single blogger I know is in love with it. That’s how I came to read The Lunar Chronicles, and I’m so so glad I did. Those books are awesome.

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