I'm a series person. I love when there are multiple books in the same world with beloved characters that I get to follow around for a good while. It's just my thing. But, I do appreciate a good standalone in today's world overflowing with series potential.
I know that we're all busy people trying to make a living while also trying to bring joy into our lives, so standalone novels are a good way to go when you don't have the time for a seven book series. Or, maybe you just can't make that commitment. What if you read one, hate it, but then feel obligated to see how the story pans out?
I've been there.
So, I have compiled a list for all of you out there who appreciate a good standalone novel! Everything from YA to the Classics. Here is my list of standalone novels for the busy reader:
1. Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
All Carter is usually a writer of series' and I am a fan of each and every one of them. She's an excellent YA author who writes about spies, heists, and teenagers like she's been there, done that. Not If I Save You First is a standalone that embraces the crazy worlds she invents with the teenage flare I love, condensed into a one-time deal. This particular book is set in the Alaskan wilderness where an ex-secret service agent's daughter and the President's son are being hunted down. Needless to say, it'll get you hooked. And fast.
2. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is the only book I've read of Rainbow Rowell's and I hate myself for it! ANYWAY, this book will get you all in the teenage feels. It follows two outsider teens in the 80s, navigating abuse, bullying, and becoming comfortable in your skin. It's a big issue love story that everyone should try and read at some point. A bond made through 80s music and comic books is one that cannot be forgotten.
3. Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre, Villette)
I love me some classics, and Charlotte Bronte will forever hold a place in my heart thanks to my Single Author Study class in college. These novels urge you to find your voice, follow your heart, and give us characters to hold on to. The stories talk about class and gender structures, sexuality, religion, and feminism. If you're a lover British Literature, then these are for you!
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Pretty much the opposite of her sister Charlotte when it comes to a "love" story, Wuthering Heights deals with the darker side of Victorian England, love, and morality. With some beautiful sentences that give me my all-time favorite literary quote, Wuthering Heights is the Gothic love story of your dreams...or nightmares, I'm not entirely sure. I've read it multiple times and, while it is a hit or miss kind of story, I definitely think you should give it a try!
5. Sarah Dessen
All Sarah Dessen novels are standalone, which is great but also sad because I love her characters. These are contemporary YA novels that will make your heart melt, tears fall, and ultimately remind you what it's like to be a teenager. I have so many favorites, but I suggest This Lullaby, Along for the Ride, Saint Anything, and Once and For All. You can't go wrong with a good Sarah Dessen book. Especially during the summer. It will become your new tradition to read about young women navigating through life, falling in and out of love, and friendships that last throughout the years.
6. John Green (Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns)
I'm a sucker for a good John Green book. That being said, I need to read Turtles All the Way Down. Don't shame me, I know I'm behind. But, he has some other great reads that you fans of standalone novels need to check out. No, I don't mean watch the movie versions. Read the actual books, they're better. Looking for Alaska may be my favorite of his, but decide for yourself. Prepare for sadness, finding yourself, heartache, and good old teenage-y feelings you forgot about.
There are many more authors and books to add, but this list should get you started.
You may also want to try out Jane Austen if you like British Literature, The Siren by Kiera Cass is you like YA, and Nicholas Sparks if you like romantic contemporary!
What's your favorite standalone novel?