This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.
#5. The Series Plague
I don’t know about you guys, but lately I’m quite overwhelmed by all the series in YA. The more I browse through Goodreads, the more I think, “Do stand alones even exist anymore?” Well, I know they do, and 2013 is packed with stand alones I’m excited for, like Poison, Transparent, September Girls, This Is What Happy Looks Like, Invisibility… *cough*
It’s obvious why series exist.Fans always want more. Enough is never enough, especially when you get emotionally attached to the characters. You just want to know that they end up okay and have awesome lives. And if there’s a romance, you want to know there’s a real happily ever after for them. And writers and publishers, I mean, it must be nice to have a longer term project. If successful, it will guarantee a nice stream of revenues over the course of the series. There’s movie adaptation potential – I mean, you know they’re all jumping on the series bandwagon as well. So yeah: higher revenue streams, more loyal and invested fans, I get it.
But committing to a series is hard.I mean, you’re not adding one book to your TBR list. No, you’re adding at least three (in case of the trilogy bug) or more. It seemed for a while there every YA book had to belong to a series. I mean, why not milk it for all it’s worth? But with 32,857,382,395 YA series out there… it’s quite exhausting. And what’s annoying me the most is that some of the series starters just don’t cut it anymore. You feel that they’re hopping on the series bandwagon and the actual quality of the story decreases.
We’ve just barely scratched the surface.
This doesn’t count for every series starter, but in some of them, you really feel them jumping on the bandwagon. They’re trying to get you hooked but clearly hold back on the substance, which they want to develop in the sequels. (That means you, MILA 2.0.)
They’re a given with the series plague, but never fully satisfying. In fact, a lot of the time they’re downright frustrating. Often the book just feels unfinished. And this leads into the next point…
The wait between installments in a series is just deadly. I’m not a patient person, and I absolutely hate having an unfinished story. So definitely in the case of cliffhanger endings… I have to wait a year for the resolution to that?
My memory is really bad.
It’s hard for me, especially when I’m reading a lot, to remember the events of books in series if I have to wait a year for the next one. And sadly, more often than not, authors don’t do a great job of jogging my memory of previous installments. And as a book blogger, who has time to reread? (But PSST: as of today, The Recaptains can help you with this problem.)
Filler material across the series.
While I’m reading some series, I do sometimes get the feeling that this is filler material. Basically, it’s just plain boring in some parts, and you feel them try to stretch it to fill three books while maybe it could have been done in two, or even one. I’m looking at you, Insurgent.
|*hides from the Divergent fangirls*|
Stand alone books get bonus points.
The series plague is making me more actively seek out stand alone novels. When I’m browsing catalogues or Goodreads, if I see it’s a stand alone, I’m much more likely to put it on my list.
I am more and more unimpressed by series starters.
Look, if you’re holding back, you’re not going to impress me. You need to pull out all the stops. You don’t want me to leave the book thinking…
I am a lot more selective about which series I will continue with after reading the first installment.
Thinking about the ratings I give, the logical conclusion would be that any series starters that get less than 3 oranges from me, will be dropped. But lately even 3 oranges doesn’t really cut it. I really have to be convinced of the series’ potential in order to carry on.
I may wait until the whole series is out until I start to read it.
Like I said, my memory’s not that great, so it may be better for me to hold back until the release of the last book is approaching and then do a series binge. But aside from the memory problem, I also kind of prefer this way because then I haven’t been pulled out of the series. I mean, if it’s been a year since I read the previous installment, my love for the series and its characters may have waned… and I’ll enjoy it less because of that.
What about you guys? Are you getting tired of the trilogies/series trend in the publishing world at the moment? How do you decide whether you will continue with a series or drop it? Do you have a minimum rating? Let me know in the comments!
Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part. Claude Debussy
** This discussion post was brought to you by Doctor Who. Because Debby is a huge nerd.