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!


Enough is Enough!

why i can't wait (4)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about book series, and how tedious it has become to follow them when books are released a year after the other. Because of this case, I have become emotionally invested in many series and characters, but have failed to complete the books because over time I started to not be interested in the books anymore as the story was so long and drawn-out. This thought brought me right to one series, or group of series, should I say: The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (with authors Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan).

I used to be a hard-core fan of the books, and I can still say that I enjoy some of the books very much. The first three books in her first series, The Mortal Instruments, were awesome. And her, The Infernal Devices trilogy is absolutely wonderful (I still have yet to read the last book). But, my problem began when more and more spin-offs and novellas were announced. I said to myself, “Really? This is a lot for one world, one author.” Thinking about how many books there are going to be set in this world, I could really just spend months alone reading only Cassandra Clare’s books.

Now, here’s where I begin to have a problem. The first three books in her TMI series were great, like I previously said. TID trilogy is amazing. But I started to have a problem with the ending of TMI series. She originally planned to make the books a trilogy, but for some reason chose to expand the series to 6 books. Okay, that’s fine…but the writing and creativity of the stories went seriously downhill. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still GOOD. I still really enjoy her writing and books, but the increase in bad writing plus the announcement of the upcoming spin-offs and novellas made me reevaluate my commitment to these books.

I began to wonder, “Why is she doing so much for the Shadowhunters?” My best guess is because publishers know that it has a solid fan base, and will make money. BUT, this is where I differ with the thoughts of the publishers, media, whoever thinks that this series will continue to be popular – I bet there are more people out there like me that are getting impatient and bored with these books. I would love to see what else Clare has in her to write a new (maybe even standalone) book that is outside of the world of the Shadowhunters. She’s a wonderful author, but I feel like she’s now being restricted by outsiders to stick with The Shadowhunter Chronicles, and creating lesser content because of that.

Another thing that bugs me is that since all of the books are connected, to get the most out of the story it is recommended that the reader reads EVERY book in order of publication date, in order for the stories to make the most sense and in order to keep a book from spoiling the other! (Again, I think this is a ploy for money, and not at all Cassandra Clare’s fault.)

The most recent announcement that actually pushed me to write this post (that I am nervous about posting), is that the rest of The Mortal Instruments book will be turned into a TV show by the same people that made the unsuccessful film. Now, I enjoyed the film, but I know that it didn’t meet my expectations, or the expectations of a lot of readers. Do I think this TV show will be a good idea? No. Will I watch it? Most likely, although whether I’ll stick with it unlike her books, I can’t say.

I really don’t want this post to come off as me bashing Cassandra Clare and her books, etc., because I really love them! But I think there is a point when an author (or their publisher or whoever decides that a book should be written) needs to know when to stop. When enough is enough, and that too much of a good thing can end badly.

So, will I ever continue on with these books? Yes, I plan to finish up the last two TMI and the final TID books and call it quits.

If you’re interested in seeing all of the books that Cassandra Clare has written you can visit her Goodreads page. And to keep up to date on everything Shadowhunter and Cassandra Clare, TMI Source does a great job posting when the first news is announced!

Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and I do not mean to offend anyone by sharing them with you. I am in no way trying to hurt the author mentioned, her books, or to offend her in any way. You do not have to feel the same way as I do, and I encourage friendly discussion over the topic that this post covers in the comments.

Do you agree? When is enough, enough?


Top Ten Series That I’ve Been Wanting to Start (and Finish)

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Series That I’ve Been Wanting to Start (and Finish)

To Start


1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Because EVERYONE has been recommending and raving about these books!

2. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
I’ve already started reading Anna Godbersen’s other series set in the 1920s, so obviously I must read these too.

3. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
With all of the buzz surrounding the TV show I figure this is a no-brainer. Plus, I hear the love interest is swoony.

4. The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon
I got this one for Christmas LAST year and hear it’s absolutely wonderful…

5. The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory
I actually already watched the TV series and OH. MY. GOD. Addictive much? Watched the whole series in about 2 weeks.

To Finish


6. The Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
I STILL haven’t finished this trilogy. I’ve been telling myself that I’ve been going to for about 2 years now…

7. The Gone series by Michael Grant
I love these books to death (haha) but I hit a bump in my progress and really, really want to finish the last two books soon.

8. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (that have been released)
I read Scarlet and IT BLEW MY MIND. Okay, so much better than Cinder and I NEED to read Cress now, and then Fairest, and so on, and so on.

9. The A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (that have been released)
My friend (who started the series right after I finished reading book three) is now almost done with book four. I take that as a sign I need to read this series faster.

10. The His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers
I have book 2 in my possession I just need to find time to read it so I can be on the same page with everyone when they all fangirl about Mortal Heart which is coming out SOON!

What series have you been meaning to start or finish?