Standalones, Duets, Trilogies, Oh My.

Standalones. Duets. Trilogies…. Terms that are common in the literature world. These words tell a reader exactly what they´re getting themselves into before they purchase their next read.

But before we start, why not give everyone a quick reminder of what the true definition these words carry.

Standalone – A standalone is either a single book or a book from a series written by an author that doesn´t require a reader to have read the rest of the series in order to understand the plot. The book can stand on it´s own.

Duet – A 2 book story. Duo = Duet.

Trilogy – 1 connected / ongoing story available in a set of 3 books

Tetralogy – 4 books

Pentalogy – A set of 5 books

Hexalogy – 6 books

Series – A sequence of books

Novella – A long short story ( either connected to a story or a standalone )

And the list goes on and on and on….

 

There´s a wonderful large pallet of book sets ready for a reader to enjoy. But… are duets, trilogies and tetralogies really all that enjoyable? Or are author´s pushing their luck with their 5+ book series?

Here´s a little fun fact: Most book people ( bloggers and readers alike ) don´t even use certain terms when referring to a set / sequence of books. Any author that has published a connected story with 4 + books is called a series. Just as 3 books are a trilogy. No one goes out of their way to say they´ve read an awesome pentalogy.

Our book lingo is more simple. It´s either a standalone, a duet, a trilogy or a series.

Although, I have to admit that it does excite and amuse me when I see someone use ancient greek terms.

 

 

Since I lack the time to go out on the streets to do a proper book survey on the topic I´m just going to go ahead and grace you with my own personal observations regarding books, book sets and authors who beat the living daylights out of a story by stretching them into a 10 book series ( Oops, apologies for the passion I unleashed in that last sentence ).

For a reader, books and their series sizes are clearly a matter of preference. Some readers love when a story, written by their favorite author, never seems to find an end and some readers are delighted when a story stops after 3 books. It´s a split audience where no one wins or loses. There is no better or worse, right? Hmm…maybe.

For me… I´m not a fan of anything that´s blown out of proportion. I´m the type that´s totally fine with a story that finds an ending… and it stays that way.

For example: When I see a book I like and also see that it´s a standalone… I´ll not hesitate and buy it. But when I see it´s a book #1 then I feel a wave of disappointment wash over me.

  1. because it´ll usually take a year´s wait until a book #2 releases ( unless we´re talking Game of Thrones. I´ve lost all hope for the next GoT to ever be published in this century )
  2. because I have to invest more time in a story than intended.

Don´t get me started when I see a book #5. That makes me wanna cry on the spot.

Mind you, duets and trilogies aren´t off putting for me… I actually love a good ongoing story- As long as it´s well balanced and doesn´t give me the feeling of wanting to curse it to hell for not being in a single book instead of 3.

What would you think if I told you that standalones and series only work for certain genres? Okay, not really shocking news but it´s true. I´m a contemp. romance reader. Standalones are more common in the romance genre. Once in a while a trilogy trend will fly through and then us romance readers will be presented with the good ´ol standalones again.  Fantasy / Paranormal stories work differently.

A fantasy author faces world and character creations on a deeper level. It would be nearly impossible to stuff a well crafted idea into one single book and call it a day.

This is when book trilogies are born. Fantasy stories need space. They need to unfold and help a reader understand certain events. Most fantasy novels have a minimum of 3 books.

If a contemporary romance author publishes a romance trilogy then it´s usually a story that can be edited into a standalone or a duet. Because there´s no world creation. There´s only repetitive events until a climax is reached and the story ends. A contemp. romance author has to come up with one hell of a brilliant story to make it into a trilogy or else it´s just a waste of paper. What many contemp. romance author´s love to do is attach novellas to their stories ( to a standalone or series ). Something like a book # 1.5 and # 3.5. These are usually additional story info that´s not mandatory for the story itself. May this be for the dedicated fans that have been asking for MORE or the author wasn´t able to let go and move on…. some authors feel their characters need a Christmas special, an Easter hunt edition, or whatever, when there´s actually no need to continue a well ended story.

I might be shot for using this example but I´m going to risk it anyways.

For instance  – The Twilight Saga by author Stephanie Meyer.

Fantasy/Paranormal / Romance. 4 main books. ( not including exclusive fan material )

For fans of the series the author has graciously published a hardcover novella, dedicated to one of the sub characters, called `The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner` book #3.5. Then, a little over a decade later the author presents the book world with `Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined` book # 1.75.

Were the added stories necessary? Probably not. For some die-hard Twilight fans, maybe. But to publish an almost identical story to the one that was published a decade earlier… That´s just kicking a dead horse. Looking for the payoff of a joke that´s long vanished around  the corner. Milking the cow  But hey…. as long as there´s a book # 1.75 and a book # 3.5 then all is good.

 

 

Then there are authors who don´t know when to call it quits with their stories. Let´s take a closer look at J. R. Ward´s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. A very popular 16 ( and growing ) book series that´s left it´s safe haven after book #10. Maybe even earlier.

Elite vampires fighting against evil, all while having beautiful raunchy sex in between shower and nap time breaks. I flipping loved those books until…. they went off course.

And here´s the problem: I ( incl. many other fans of the series ) love the original BDB. But with each new book more sub characters were introduced and the author felt those characters needed their own books as well. Before readers knew it, the story drifted away and focused on the new instead of sticking with the old.

For me- This is a clear sign for the author to move on. Create a new series. Say bye-bye to the BDB. But the author keeps going and going and going. The magic is gone and I´m not interested anymore. Especially not when a series has 16 + books.

And while we´re doing book mentions here… let´s throw Outlander in the mix, shall we?

A time – travel romance set in 1945 and 1743, by author Diana Gabaldon. This epic story will pull the socks right off of any readers feet with it´s historical accuracy and amazing characters. That is…. until the story becomes exhausting. That happens around book 5 or 6. Too many added characters, too much history, too much of everything and that makes this difficult to enjoy the books. A series with 8 books and I lost patience after book #5. Now I´m just waiting for the story to end.

 

Of course, I understand that authors have ideas and stories they need to tell. Some of those stories need lots of attention. Some of those ideas need to be put down on paper. I get that and would never prevent an author from doing their thing.

It´s just that often ( if not always ) overly large series are unnecessary. Trilogies are unnecessary. Book #2.5,  # 3.75, and even book # 0.75 is totally unnecessary.

(These are just my humble thoughts on the subject. I´d love to meet someone who thinks otherwise, just to show me the beauty of the flip side.)

Adding books to a perfectly completed standalone, duet, trilogy does not make a story greater than it already is. Unless you´re a die – hard fan and can´t get enough of said story…. then I´m more than happy you´re happy.

So, if anyone´s interested…. I´m this type of reader:

Love standalones. Enjoy duets. Like trilogies. Dislike anything that has more than 4+ book in a series. Hate added novellas.

 

 

What are your thoughts on Standalones, duets and Co.? Do you enjoy reading large series or do you ignore them? Let´s chat. ❤


Banner name

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Surface Breaks – Louise O´Neill

synopsis singleDeep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.



Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Feminism



 

My Thoughts 2

One look at the cover I was sold. One look at the synopsis and I was in mermaid heaven. A Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid retelling? Yes, please!

For those who aren´t familiar with the original The Little Mermaid version…

The original tale is nothing like hippy dippy, all sunshine and rainbows Disney Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen wrote a brilliant tale that´s carries a more tragic theme than a happy one. Something I appreciate in classic fairy tales. It´s raw and emotional. So, you can guess the level of excitement I felt when I saw this gem?

`The Surface Breaks` by Louise O´Neill is a decent modern retelling that had me The Surface Breaksfeeling all kinds of feels. I mean, anything between confusion and anger. I think it´s safe to say that I was  confused about certain scenes and a tad bit disappointed by other scenes.

I believe it would be highly unnecessary to give you a quick run down on the story because everyone knows ( in a nutshell ) what happens. So, I´ll just give you a quick list of likes and dislikes about the book.

 

What I liked….

  • The Writing! Good golly. Great writing.
  • The sea witch. She had the most depth from all the characters.
  • The fact that it´s a retelling.

Retellings aren´t easy because authors who attempt to retell a successful classic are going to be confronted with an already large and strong rooted fan base. Retellings are judged and criticized more. In my opinion, the author did a decent job with her retelling. If only….

What I disliked...

  • The pace is slow
  • The negativity
  • The in – your – face – feminism
  • The man – hate – parade
  • That this was a retelling gone wild

 

Although I think the author did fairly okay, that doesn´t mean I liked what I read.

While I´m totally for feminism being included in modern literature, I´m not a fan of the in – your – face – feminism. We get the picture. Move on. This is a story about a mermaid. A fairy tale. Stick to the original moral of the story and get the hell on with it. This actually killed it for me.

I truly dislike when authors lose focus and include their beliefs like the author did in this book- Just for the sake of including something interesting.

This book made me feel the same way I felt at my last U2 concert. It´s the music that´s important. Stop being political before every song, for Christ´s sake. I didn´t pay almost 100 euros to listen to politics. Watching the news on TV would´ve been cheaper. And I didn´t pay good money to read about man hating. I could have had that for free watching SJW on Youtube.

Meeh. Let´s just say that I´ve read better retellings before. This one isn´t one of the better retellings.


 

Would I recommend this book? That depends. The book itself looks fabulous on a bookshelf. If you´re a book collector then YES! If you´re one of those blinded by hatred feminists out to destroy the male race.. then yes. If you´re like me and expect to read a retelling with a modern touch then no, I would not recommend this read.

Would I reread this book? No.



 

The Cover – 5+ stars  ( What a beauty. )

The Story – 2-3 stars ( Yeah, no. It´s a retelling gone batshit unbelievable. The aggressive feminism ruined it for me. )

The Characters – 2 stars ( All except for the sea witch were a big fat NOPE for me. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Bummed.

2 stars


 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

 

Book Box Feature on Instagram

 


Banner name

Mug Monday & Happy Bookish October

Mug – Hearts

Bookish Topic – Happy Bookish October

 

Heya! Welcome back to Mug Monday. Today is extra special because it´s the first day of a new month… on a Monday, the first day of the week. ( Jeez, I hope I got that one right. )

Anyway- It´s pumpkin season, Halloween month, the start of the brutal birthday party season ( because I somehow know too many October people ), and all that shibaz. Personally, I´m just happy it´s cold outside. The rest is just a nice and fun bonus on the side.

What´s more important, though, is….

October the perfect month for long reading sessions. 

This excites me the most- Reading and watching the sun set early, feeling the cool crisp air from outside and listening to the husbutt complain about the heaters needing to be aired out… again, and dreaming of an endless supply of hot drinks and cheesecake while bundled in a comforter. For me, rainy lazy reading days don´t come near the magic of October reading sessions. To show you my point feel free to examine my from 1 – 10 scale.

scale done
My life in a nutshell.

That is why October is awesome. I can get away with “Honey! Can you bring me another blanket?” without having to move. Because life under a blankie is a life worth enjoying.

 

As for the bookish part of this post….

I´ve found a new challenge for myself. Yes, that´s right, dear Padawans… My “tackle the TBR list ” challenge isn´t working out as planned so I found another way to reach my goals.

A new approach that makes working down the TBR list more exciting.

New Goal:

Finish all series I once started.

That´s it. The idea came to me while I was outside, reading.

If I can´t manage to start and finish the standalones on my dreaded list I might as well pay the unfinished book series a little more respect and at least finish those, right?

It´s a solid plan and I have high hopes for that plan.

 

Something is telling me I´ll fail but it´s still worth a shot. I´m not going to give up on that damned list yet.

So, with that being said… I think it´s time to show you why reading in October is pretty.

mug

That´s why. ❤ I bought this beauty not too long ago and my daughter claimed it for herself the minute she set her eyes on it. ❤

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Monday and a beautiful October!

Many hugs and air kisses,

Banner name

 

 

 

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge, Day 3

Alas, Day 3 of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge has arrived. I´m just going to go ahead and thank TheWebWeavers again ( because I´m not sure if once was enough or if I should be doing this for three days in a row….).

I think I´m going to leave this challenge with a bomb of a quote because every exit needs to be a flashy one, right?

But before we end this challenging challenge I´m gonna leave you with a useless fun fact: I was never the type of girl/woman who wrote down quotes or made sticky notes of brilliant words / phrases / quotes because I was never impressed or emotionally touched so deeply that I felt the need to do so. I´m still not that type of person. BUT…. on the flip side…. when I see a quote that does touch me in some way I´ll remember it. I only have a hand full of quotes that inspire me, push me forward, or quotes that are so darn meaningful that they simply cannot be ignored.

Fun fact over.



RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day

 

“Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

_ Oscar Wilde

 

Taken from one of my favorite classic reads, `The Picture Of Dorian Gray`. This book might be the only classic I love, as it´s powerful and deep. And the quote… well, I use it at family parties. A nice way to clear the way that leads to the kitchen. 🙂

 

Tagging:

I tag no one in particular. If you see this and would like to be apart of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge then feel free to join in on the fun. Make sure to tag me so I can see all your lovely quotes!


Banner name

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge, Day 2

Huhuu! It´s me again. Welcome to the second day of my 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge.

And as yesterday, I´d like to give my hugging thanks to The Web Weavers for tagging me to take part in this little bundle of fun.


 

RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day

 

Nothing´s changed. I still feel awkward doing this but here I am…. willing to give it my best shot. Let´s do this  * cracking knuckles *


 

`Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.` 

_ Friedrich Nietzsche

The reason I picked this quote is because it suits me. Plus, I have it tattooed below my shoulder-blade. It´s meaningful for me.

Figuratively it means that people don´t understand a person´s motivations, their actions or their choices. They judge a person for their behavior and think of them to be irrational ( among many other things ). And what happens when people don´t understand? They often reject the things they can´t comprehend.

Not that I´ve been rejected. But I have been told that my behavior is abrasive, that I can´t see beyond my own point of view. I´ve been called arrogant and many other questionable things online and offline by people who refused to have a listen to the music I danced to. But that´s fine. I don´t expect understanding. My confidence is mistaken for arrogance. My abrasive side is just me being straight forward. Take it or leave it, you know? I´m misunderstood on a daily basis but that´s fine. I´m alive. I´ll continue to live. Just as all the people will survive even  though they can´t hear the awesome stuff I´m listening to.


I´m tagging….

 

Until tomorrow, my dear bookish Padawans ❤ Mucho love.


 

Banner name