Feral Friday - Novellas & Short Stories

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about what we think of novellas, short stories & extras:

Kristy’s say:

I was always in the “meh” camp when it came to novellas and short stories - with a few exceptions such as those from the Wicked Lovely series. However, this year I must admit that I have come across some novellas that I have absolutely loved. The novellas from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas proved to give some background information that I felt was missing from the first book, and some a nice little connections between Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I will however say, that I do not like it when you must read a novella to understand some of the storyline, or if it is necessary to connect books together.

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover is a perfect example of what I do like about novellas. It wasn’t necessary to read it to understand or complete the Hopeless storyline (as it was set after Hopeless and Losing Hope), and I especially liked the fact that novella was about secondary characters. This particular novella can be read as a standalone, and is a story in it’s own right, but knowing and loving the characters from Hopeless just made it that much better!

And then of course there is the upcoming novella Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor which is something that I am really looking forward to! But let’s be honest, I am biased, and I would love anything from Laini. But, once again, this is about secondary characters, and although this is set back in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it is not necessary to understand the storyline - it’s just a nice little extra for Zuzana fans (like myself).

One thing I do not like about novellas or short stories is if they come out too long after the book/series they are for. Whilst I find them good for bridging books together mid-series, if they come out after a series (or standalone), I find that sometimes they come too late and I cannot connect to them - as they are often too short to drag me back into the world completely (unless of course I love that world and are eager to jump back into it in any way possible).

I think at the end of the day, I like novellas that aren’t necessary, but add to your experience of a book or series.


Melissa’s say:

Generally speaking I can live without novellas and short stories… their intention is that the reader of the novels won’t miss any of the critical storyline if they don’t read the novella but it gives fans something a little extra to help bridge or tie the novels together. That being said, books that I am a big fan of like the Legend series by Marie Lu and the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi are good examples of series where I did read novellas released for this series and really enjoyed them!

I think for a lot of us, there’s usually that painful wait of around a year between releases, and I don’t know about you guys but I tend to have a pretty bad memory and so by the time the next releases come out, I am usually a little bit foggy about the details of what happened in the last book, or some of the side characters. In my experience, I have found reading some of those novellas before moving on to the next book to be quite a good experience. It means I don’t have to waste time re-reading the previous novel (I can’t re-read books anyways), and I find it gives me enough of a refresh that I am back in the zone by the time I start the next novel!

For series I like, but don’t love though, I’ll be honest - I can live without them! lol


Are you a fan of novellas? Do you read them? Let us know in your comments below!

What do you think?

  • Julie S. says:

    I don’t really go out of my way to read novellas, but like you said there are a few that really add to the story and mean a lot. I think my favorite novella is Reaper (from the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent.)

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Julie. I think when you really love a series, novellas can certainly add to your experience. I haven’t read the Soul Screamers series yet, but I it is on my list :)

  • […] YA talks about novellas and short stories. - Kristy and Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews also discuss novellas, short stories, and extras. - Sheri @ [YA] Escape From Reality asks if you like modern retellings of classic fairytales. - […]

  • LOL, I did a post on this exact topic the same day. I originally had it scheduled for Wednesday but moved it to Friday because I didn’t have anything to post that day.

    I’m not a fan of the extras, but I feel like I “have” to read them because they’re there. I haven’t read all of them for the series I follow yet, but they’re always there lurking in the back of my mind. Except for the ones I don’t know exist, which happens a lot too. In doing research for my post, I discovered so many that I didn’t know about and now I “have” to read those too. *sigh*

    I’m no

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Jenna! Great minds think alike it seems :) I think a lot of people feel they “have to” read extras and novellas - but to me, I think this is a personal choice. And you are right, a lot of the time you may not know they exist - so if I like a series enough to know about them, then I will read them - but I don’t go hunting for them.
      Kristy recently posted…Christmas BoxsetsMy Profile

  • I hadn’t heard that Laini Taylor was putting out a novella. That’s exciting. I blog about short stories and novellas on my side blog, and I published a novella earlier this year, so I’m always on the lookout for stuff related to the genre. I agree that they should add something to a series, but I dislike it when you can’t understand the series without having read them all. That feels like a money-grab on the publisher’s part.

  • Jackie Newman says:

    Though I am not a big fan of novellas, I do enjoy a good short story. My favourites being The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Monkey Paw by W. W. Jacobs

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