Let’s talk about anything bookish!
A couple of days ago, one of my bookish friends and I were talking about binge reading. Well, this conversation led to talking about novellas and how she reads them as genre cleansers.
This got me thinking because I personally am not a fan of novellas. At. All. I have my reasons but first, let us explore the reasons why they are awesome (cue: Everything is Awesome).
I think the first novellas I read were anthologies written by a group of authors writing in the same genre. I distinctly remember purchasing Where’s My Hero years ago which featured Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kinley MacGregor. But I admit to having not read the anthology at all. Back then, this was a way to read a sample of an author’s writing before buying the book at full price.
With ebooks gaining more popularity, some of these novellas can be bought by itself, and not as an anthology. Some are even available for free! Which is super awesome! And again, gives the reader a way to try the author first before buying a full novel.
A Full Story
A novella is longer than a short story but is shorter than a full novel. This is a great way to get the full flavor of an author’s writing without actually buying a full novel. Novellas are shorter, yes, but they also are full stories, unlike the 5-page samples that we get from the Kindle or Nook. In Historical and Contemporary Romance, the main characters always end up with an HEA. In most cases, the plots are more complicated and extensive as compared to short stories.
Character Backstories/Origin Stories
In recent years, the character backstories novellas have become really popular – especially in the Young Adult genre. We see a lot of novellas features one of the main characters’ backstories or even minor characters. As in The Assassin’s Blade, by Sarah J. Maas.
After Happily Ever After
The epologue of epilogues! This explores what happens after the last chapter or epilogue of the final full novel of the series. This provides fans a peek into what happens after the main characters get their HEA.
Another popular novella type is the other character POV. This is usually common in YA where the other main character tells his/her own POV of a scene or scenes in the main novel.
Why I’m not a fan of novellas
I’m not really sure why novellas don’t intrigue me as much. In fact, I’ve probably only read a few novellas in my life. For some reason, I almost always rate them 3 stars or less. I’m not really sure why, but here are my reasons:
Because it is a novella, it’s obviously short. But that’s the rub, I don’t like that that it IS TOO SHORT. Some of the novellas feel too rushed for me – especially those that involve an HEA.
Less character development
Although there are a few novellas that have awesome character development, some don’t. And it really sucks because I have read a few that don’t. It’s really obvious when it’s the romance genre. I mean, I honestly want my main characters to have as much conflict and romantic development.
Doesn’t catch my attention
I know novellas can be read in one sitting, but for the life of me, I usually don’t. Mostly because I easily get distracted. Again, with the shortness of the story, the plot moves really fast that sometimes I feel that there are shortcuts. Because of that, I usually can’t immerse myself in the story and get distracted.
All the backstories
I’m honestly not a fan of backstories made into novellas. I mean, I am fine with everything left to the imagination. For example, I’m not interested in finding out how Four came to be named Four or how he went to Dauntless. Heck, I’m not that interested in what Day and June did before the real story started. But that’s just me.
Do you like reading novellas? What are your thoughts about them?