Musing About Things: On Novellas

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Hi guys, welcome to Book Munchies’ Musing about Things: A Discussion (Post). Inspired by memes such as Should Be Reading‘s Musing Monday & Caffeinated Book Reviewer‘s Caffeinated Confessions (etc.), this is a Book Munchies discussion post, where I’ll be rambling about (mostly) book-related things and hopefully you guys will join in on the fun too (:

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Breathing in deeply, you close the last page of the first book in the trilogy. Now you’re sitting back, twiddling your thumbs, and waiting for the next book to arrive next year. Too bad we can’t steal a TARDIS and fast forward to one year later. But, then again sometimes the Doctor’s TARDIS isn’t too reliable.

Remember that episode with Rose missing for 12 months? Yeah just because you never have to wait for breakfast it doesn’t mean we’ll get to the right time. But, wait,  you check out the author’s Twitter page and find out there’s…more!? Your hands are getting clammy as you scroll down and see that it’s a novella. Yes! FTW!! WHOOT! So long TARDIS. Hello 2 months-ish later. You can wait for more Warner or more Darkling time. You eagerly wait for the novella and when it does come you find that…what’s this…

*cue the groan*

Novellas are usually a hit and miss. Kim loves them and thinks that they’re extras for fans. Like the bonus feature you get on DVDs – the sometimes useless bonus features…or maybe that’s just me. I do like watching the deleted scenes though. On the other hand, for me novellas are evil, evil, vile things that just end up disappointing you. They’re more evil than Voldemort’s seven horocruxes.

Anyhow, the reason why I dislike novellas is because they are usually irrelevant to the original story. They don’t add content to the original story that we don’t already know about. I DO like how they are told from a different character’s POV, but sometimes the timeline of which the novella takes place can be confusing. Neverfall by Brodi Ashton comes to mind, trying to place where Cole’s POV that took place was harder than knowing what timeline River Song is in when she meets the Doctor with her cryptic messages.

Novellas can help us understand a character more or make us change our minds about them. I’m noticing that when we read from the “villains” POV in these novellas, we often sympathize with them if we didn’t find them swoony in the first place; I don’t know about you, but after reading the Unite Me novella by Tahereh Mafi I had doubts about Warner’s intentions and I’ll have to admit I was sitting on the Team Warner side of the bleachers after she made Adam such a jerkwad (If only Juliette knew how to mind read, she’ll find out how he’s not so swoon-worthy after all). I don’t think novellas are worth it though. 95% of the time it serves no benefits that will give us hints for the future series. 95% of the times it’s just a quick little synopsis of the first book, but from a different character’s POV (a sort of cliffhanger if you will). I don’t think it’s necessary to read the novella to understand what the next book is going to have, in the sense it’s mostly to understand a certain character’s actions.

While novellas seems to be becoming a thing and a way to keep us, fans,  anticipated for the next book in the series fresh in our heads, it makes you wonder if Dickens wrote novellas in between installments to keep his fans happy.

What is your take on novellas? Has reading a novella affected you from turning a character you hated to a character you end up liking?

Author: Jackie

0 Replies to “Musing About Things: On Novellas”

  1. I’m not really a novella person, either. I only read them if I’m a huge, huge fan of the series. Usually, it even annoys me that an author would publish some random-ish filler. Especially if they feature a character I’m not even interested in *cough Warner cough*. I don’t like looking into the minds of these sorts of villains-turned-love interests because for me, no matter what their intentions are or if they’re “really nice deep inside,” there’s no redemption for whatever horrible things they did, haha! Gee, I’m so sentimental. That aside, if they’re, say, novellas that act as epilogues (Vampire Academy has one), then I’m fine with those. =)

    1. I understand where you’re coming from. It’s annoying because even though you really want to hate those villains, you can’t help but feel something for them when they do try and redeem themselves because they’re interested in our MC despite all the horrible things they did before they met our MC. Sometimes I like to think that authors like to write novellas just to trick us into a liking a character we hate before the novella. I don’t think I ever read novellas that act as epilogues. They do sound a lot better than the filler ones.

  2. I can’t recall, off the top of my head, reading a novella I didn’t enjoy. But then I usually like the extras on a DVD, too. Who watched the umpteen hours of extras on the extended Lord of the Rings DVDs? *raises hand* I did. lol

    1. Luckily novellas are pretty quick reads and there are some really interesting ones that I’ve enjoyed. lol I don’t usually watch the bonus features, but I did borrow the Once Upon a Time DVD just to watch all those deleted scenes. Sounds like the extras on the Lord of the Rings DVD was worth watching. 🙂 Definitely have to finish watching 2 & 3 one of these days.

  3. I feel like novellas are an attempt to make more money. I don’t usually read novellas but I did read them for the Shatter Me series because everyone believed it was necessary. I guess they were really. But still I’m not a fan.

    1. Agree with you. I usually read novellas out of curiosity. I didn’t think the Shatter Me series novellas were necessary to read. For me, they made me changed my mind about the love interest.

  4. Some novellas are great (like Finding Cinderella) and others are average (like the Queen’s Army). Overall I’m not too fussed on novellas, but if they are for my absolute favourite series, then I tend to read them anyways.

  5. I’m with you about novellas being useless. And here is the thing, authors purposely make them that way so people don’t actually have to buy them to understand the rest of the series. Which in my opinion just makes them even more useless. I’m not saying they are all bad, because obviously I did enjoy Destroy Me, but more often than not I’ll skip them and the ones I do read, as you said 95% of the time are useless.

  6. There’s also the part how they can help promote a new book. Something to raise awareness and interest in a new release. Like, with Sarah J. Maas and the four prequel novellas. Those were great. 😀

  7. Novellas are definitely hit-or-miss, but in general I usually like them 🙂 Especially if it’s a series that I LOVE and can’t get enough of…more is always better. I also think that, in some circumstances, they’re kind of crucial. Like in the Shatter Me series case that you mentioned. I’m not sure if I would’ve liked Warner/disliked Adam as much if I hadn’t read the novellas. They definitely gave a way more intimate glimpse into the different characters.

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