Novellas: An Added Bonus or Unneeded Addition?


I have really mixed feelings when it comes to novellas. A part of me is like, “YES! More words from this awesome author, and this awesome series!” but another part of me is like, “Ugh, now I have to read this before I can just get the next book. And it costs $2.99.” I don’t read a lot of short stories, so novellas can be tedious for me to pick up. But my biggest pet peeve is when they are needed in order to understand the next full book *cough* Cassandra Clare’s many series *cough*. I touched on that a little bit in that ranty post a while ago. On the other hand, if I’m completely invested in a series and I adore the author will all my heart, I consider reading the novellas. For example, I’ve purchase Sarah J. Maas’ The Assassin’s Blade, a bind-up of prequel novellas to the Throne of Glass series, for those that aren’t farmiliar.

Since I have both positive and negative feelings, I’m going to argue for both sides here. This should be fun!

Novellas ROCK! Totally an Added Bonus!

As I mentioned above, there are some series that I’m so invested in, I will purchase and read the novellas. If the author does it right*, reading the novellas will be a wonderful experience that will ultimately enhance my reading and love of said author and series. *When I say right, I mean in my opinion. And that opinion is writing short stories that fit well with the main storyline, and aren’t a total waste to read. They aren’t necessary to continue reading the following books. My personal favorites are novellas that provide insight to time periods that aren’t covered in the main books (ex. prequel, epilogue, and “x” number of years in the future–where are they now novellas). I also quite like alternate perspective novellas, where we see the same thing that happened in the original book, but from a different character’s perspective.

All of those kinds of novellas feel like extras, which is what I want a novella to be. If they weren’t meant to be extras, why not publish them together in a full book?

Eh, I Don’t Like Novellas. They’re Kind of a Waste.

Before I started blogging, was just getting into reading YA like it was my job, and was more focused on reading certain series completely through before starting another, novellas were great. They extended the amount of time I got to love my current series obsession! How could I not love them? But when I started blogging, I became not only a more frequent reader, but a reader who has trouble binge-reading series. Now I read lots of first books in series, and with review copies, and release dates, I don’t always finish series. The time between when I read a first book and a sequel is often a year. I don’t remember the storylines as well as I’d like to. And here’s the kicker: I get impatient. I don’t want to wait to read the final book in the series until after I read a novella. I just want the story. And even for series that don’t require a novella to be read prior to another book, I often feel the premise for the novella is unneeded. Unless you’re a mega fan, of course. If there were Harry Potter novellas, you bet I’d be on those yesterday. But there are so many series that I read and have read, I don’t care about them all as much as I do, let’s say again, the Throne of Glass series. I don’t want extra storyline all the time. Sometimes the just the main plotline is enough.

So, how do you feel about novellas? Do you enjoy them, or think they’re not worth it. What series do you read ALL the novellas for? Let me know!


20 thoughts on “Novellas: An Added Bonus or Unneeded Addition?

  1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. There are so many novellas nowadays, like every series has at least 2 novellas. I usually enjoy novellas if I really enjoy the series. I’d love to know more about the characters and the world (I still want hp books from draco’s pov or about the marauders). I love the alternating points novellas, or novellas like in the Grisha series that gives more depth about culture in Ravka. But sometimes novellas could lessened the feels the book left me. I was a mess after I read TID, because it means my time with the characters are over. But after I know Cassandra Clare is going to release TLH, a series set in Will Herondale’s son timeline, I was like “well then. I still could see my babies in other series” And sometimes novellas are just unecessary. Personally, if the novella is too short or don’t have much plot than the author doesn’t need to release them! They could just post it as short stories in their blog. Amazing post Emily! 🙂

  2. Same with you. I love novellas if they are *free* or they really are from my auto-buy author. But sometimes, it annoys me too when some novellas needs to be read in order to understand the next book and when I don’t like the the “special” character who is the lead of the short story 🙂

  3. I’ve actually never read a novella and I’m not interested in them really HOWEVER one of my favorite series (Skulduggery Pleasant) has released a book of novellas so I’m definitely going to be reading that! 😀

  4. I haven’t read a novella yet…though I have some on my TBR list. I really agree with you on this post – some series I’m like OMG YAS I NEED MORE TO READ, but then the other half of me is like UGH WHY WASN’T IT JUST IN THE BOOK NOW I NEED TO BUY AND READ THE NOVELLAS OR I WON’T FEEL LIKE MY SERIES SET IS COMPLETE! Also, I’m very much a binge-reader when it comes to series. And so, it really annoys me too when I have to wait so long to read a sequal 😦

  5. I have mixed feeling about novellas as well. For one, most novellas are only available through e-book, and I don’t have any sort of platform to read those so I can’t read them, but the ones that I have read are pretty good. Some don’t really do anything for the story other than to talk about characters in more detail that they didn’t have time for in the novel (those ones are kinda boring). I hate the ones that you have to read to understand the overall story because those are always the ones I haven’t read, and then it feels like a whole book is missing! It’s quite frustrating!

    1. I totally agree! I’ve noticed more and more the novellas that were originally released as eBooks are now starting the be released in paperback bind-ups, and I don’t really know how to feel about that. On one hand, I’m glad those that don’t have access to eBooks will get the chance to read them if they want, but on the other, THEY’RE JUST NOVELLAS.

      1. Really? I still come across many novellas that are still ebooks- I would love to read the Mortal Instruments novellas, but they are all ebook format. Haha I agree some novellas aren’t really worth it, and at the end of the day if it’s not read it’s not a big deal!

  6. I personally don’t have anything against novellas, but I don’t read them all that much. I think the only one I own is for the Shatter Me series. I just feel like a lot of the time they are a recap of what has already happened, just from another POV and that frankly bores me a little. However, some authors can do magic with them and you learn so much new and valuable information on the characters and the setting that it feels like it was necessary to have this be part of the story. I guess it just depends like always 😀

  7. I like them if they actually add to the story when they describe an event that was barely mentioned in a novel, or maybe talk about a backstory for some of the characters. I like the ones that add to the world and aren’t just a pointless “oooh let’s make a story set in the same world, but with different characters, events etc just to make some more money”.

  8. I agree with you! Sometimes I don’t mind, but other times I do. For example, I have no problem with the novellas that expand on the Red Queen series. However, I feel like Cassandra Clare’s beating a dead horse.

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