Reading Stand Alone Novels

A few weeks ago when planning for a giveaway hop I ran into a bit of trouble. The hop was for a giveaway featuring book by debut authors. I wanted to pick a book I had read last year and loved, so I went through my 2013 reads, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I thought I'd have loads to choose from, but was very surprised. I could only find a few books by debut authors I really enjoyed! 

Most of the books I read, I realised, were a part of a series. Most of the series I read last year were not debuts, or if it was a debut series, I had read middle books last year. I realised I would probably have to choose a stand-alone book.

There were very few stand-alone books I had read to include in my consideration. I decided to look into my 2013 reads further. I had only 17 stand-alone books read in 2013 out of 94! I never realised before how few stand-alones I read. I'm constantly in the middle of one series or starting another. 

I suppose I just enjoy series more, in general. I love having that extra few books to get to know the characters, and for the story to develop. There are very few stand-alones that do this adequately in my opinion. Two that come to mind are Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. These both had marvellous stories with characters that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Perhaps the reason I love to read series so much is the connection I feel to characters. It can be very hard, at the end of a book, to let go of favourite characters. With series there is no need to do this right away, not until the very last book.

However after reading both Fangirl and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown in the past few months, books I enjoyed immensely (even more than a few of my favourite series), I want to read more great stand-alones. Entering and leaving the world in one book sounds fantastic at the moment, no waiting a year or more to find out what happens, knowing that what you've read it it, there's not more to know.

So this is where you all come in. I'd love to read more stand-alones but don't have any idea where to start. What are your favourite stand-alone books? Let me know in the comments below.

Do you read mainly series or stand-alones? In general which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. So I have just counted all my stand alone books and it appears I read 16/151 in 2013. I'm just like you actually I thought I had read a lot of stand alone novels but looking back I was reading a lot of NA novels last year and the majority now have sequels so most of the books were a first in a series.

    It's probably a good idea that I'm doing the 2014 stand alone reading challenge :). In fact here is my goodreads list of the books I plan to read this year, I hope it helps. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7575525-georgie?shelf=2014-standalone-reading-challenge

    Georgie @ What She Reads

    P.s Thank you for the card, I got in yesterday :D

  2. I read more series. Maybe it's just me, but they seem to be more common these days than 10+ years ago. I read regency romance books and I noticed that while many of them are stand-alone books, they're part of a series too. So I don't know if I should count those as series or stand-alone. I certainly don't need to read the second book to see what happens to the leads in the first book, but I'll need to do it if I want to see what happens to secondary characters. As for YA, I definitely read more series.

  3. Entwined by Heather Dixon is a wonderful standalone. Dark Companion by Marta Acosta. Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough. Chime by Franny Billingsley. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey. Rosemary Clement Moore's Texas Gothic, Spirit and Dust and The Splendor Falls! Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley! Sarah Beth Durst's Vessel, Drink Slay Love and Enchanted Ivy. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols. The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke...

    I hope you don't mind such a long list. These are all standalone's that I really enjoyed. Quite a few of them I loved. I really enjoy standalone's, and I say all the time there should be more, but I always wish there was another book after I finish reading one! Series are definitely what I read the most. I always have one or several that I am in the middle of. Sometimes it is just nice to read and finish a story without having to wait forever. Anyway, the ones that I listed above are a good variety of genres. I hope I gave you some new suggestions, and that you love them like I do!

  4. I'm finding an issue with standalone books lately is that they are published as such and then all of a sudden it's announced they are a series which makes me really weary since I'm stuck in the middle of soo many already. It's always a joy to come across one that truly is a standalone but I think that's a phenomenon more successfully found in Adult fiction than YA tbh!

  5. Ooooh this is a good question. I'm the same way. I don't read many stand-alones. I don't think I particularly choose not to read them. I just always end up picking up books that are in a series! I would like to know some other stand-alones that I should pick up! I really enjoyed Fangirl. I wish there was more of it to come though. Like you said, series give you time to prepare to say goodbye, but with a stand-alone, you only have 300 or so pages and THAT'S IT! It makes me sad. I want to connect more with the characters, and feel like they are one of my best friends, not just a friend I talk to every once in awhile. I like this discussion. I can't wait to read everyone else's opinion on this!

    xo, Becca @Pivot Book Reviews

  6. Nikki @ The Paper Sea24 January 2014 at 21:11

    I think I tend to read standalones and series equally. Series maybe pip it to the post because I tend to read a whole series through, or at least all the instalments released so far, once I've picked a series up. I'm really surprised by your results, actually! 17 books out of nearly 100 is really low!

    I see what you mean, though, about series meaning you have more time with the characters you love. If I love a series, I feel the same way. But I tend to prefer standalones, mostly because a lot of series I've read feel like they've been so stretched out just to make a series where there doesn't need to be one. They tend to feel a lot more bloated, and don't have the satisfying resolutions that standalones have.

    Now, recommendations! Let's see. There's The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is so full of emotion and great, human characters; This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, also emotional and very realistic; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, because it's The Fault in Our Stars and I don't need to explain this one; and A Monster Calls, and More Than This, by Patrick Ness, my faaaaavourite author. I think that's enough to get you started, haha. I hope you decide to pick some of them up that you'll love them as much as I did. These ones were all 5 star reads for me. :)

  7. I think I love them both, but think it takes an amazing author to get a full, well rounded book in a standalone

  8. My favorite standalones are : in too deep by Amanda grace , new girl by Paige harbinson , pieces of us by Margie gelbwasser , when you were mine by Rebecca serle , the catcher in the rye by j.d. Salinger, never eighteen by megan bostic , virtuosity by Jessica Martinez , life of pie by yann Martel , welcome caller this is cloe by shelley coriell , something like us by tish doller , drink slay love by Sarah Beth durst and vessel by Sarah Beth durst , gone gone gone by Hannah moskowitz , waiting by carol lynch Williams , auracle by Gina rosati , 1984 by George Orwell , hushed by Kelly York , the perks of being a wallflower , the kite runner by Khalid hosseini . That's all. That are my favorites of the past 3 yrs . I hope you love them as I did