As some of you who follow me on Twitter may know, I went on a social media hiatus for a few months. I wrote a blog post about my thoughts about my slump and what I experienced: Thoughts On: My Recent Book Slump. In that blog post, I mentioned that I noticed that I enjoyed reading standalones and series where the individual books function as standalones more, and I said I’d write a blog post about this. This is the promised blog post.
Most of the books that I’ve been reading have been books that are part of a series. And most of these books are YA books. I’ve realised that most YA books function as part of a series and each book seems to have an open ending except for the last one. More so within the fantasy genre, than within the contemporary genre, most of these books are not complete if one does not read the whole series. This is not the case with most middle grade books, where books in a series are complete in themselves, and a reader can stop reading the series at any book, and still feel that they have read a complete story.
For myself, this has proven to be rather irritating, as I do not have a satisfactory reading experience as most books in a series end with a cliffhanger or an open ending. I want to be able to read the next book to find out what happens, but as most of these books are new releases, I have to usually wait at least a year to read the next book. This results in me forgetting what happened in the book in the mean time, and by the time the sequel is out, I don’t remember much at all.
I’m not saying that every reader will be like me. I have found myself gravitating towards standalone and books that function as complete stories within a series. What I mean by the latter is books, where a reader can stop reading at the end of every book and they will still have read a story that is complete from the first book of the series to the book they stopped at.
Thus, I’ve found myself gravitating to more books that are either 1. targeted towards adults, as these are often standalones (e.g. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng or The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka), or 2. targeted to a middle grade audience, as these are often books that function as complete stories within a series (e.g. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan or Aru Shah and the End of Time by Rouhani Chokshi).