Welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!
Today’s post should have been about my favorite novellas or short stories. But truthfully, I don’t like novellas. I will hardly ever pick them up. Not even (or perhaps especially not) when they are a novella set in my favorite fictional world or featuring my favorite fictional characters. I just don’t. Why is that?
Honestly, I’m just not interested in a short story. Even though they can be great and exquisitely written and can greatly enrich the world already built upon. I just never feel like they will satisy my craving for a story, for an emotional punch, for answers to my questions. I feel like they will even do harm to a story I already know and love if the novella does not live up to my expectations or will be as great as the original story.
And how could they when they are so short? I usually need several chapters to even get really emotionally invested into a story, but by then the novella is already over. So I always think I’m just setting myself up for disappointment by reading a novella. And the solution is to just stay away.
As such, I have not read the novellas or short stories set into some of the worlds I love. I have for example not read, nor do I intend to read J.K. Rowlings Tales of Beedle The Bard even though I consider myself a Potterhead. I have not read Stars Above or Fairest set in the Lunar Chronicles world, which I adore. I have not read any of the Shatter Me novellas, even though I love that series. I do not intend to read Through The Dark, set in the Darkest Minds world.
And when I did read a novella, I was only proven right in my dislike or disinterest. I did read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner when I was in my Twilight phase and hated it. I also read and did not care for Roar and Liv, though I adored these characters in Under The Never Sky.
There are however a few exceptions to this rule. A few times where I caved and read a novella or short story set in a favorite world and actually liked it. Though they are few, here they are:
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Maybe because they were 5 novellas bundled together in chronological order so it kind of felt like a book. Maybe because I read them at the height of my Throne of Glass obsession. Maybe because they packed quite the emotional punch. Maybe because we did learn so much through these prequel novellas and got to know characters we actually saw again later in the series so it felt like an actual part of the series, not just an add-on. For whatever reason, I adored these novellas and they are actually my favorite to this day.
The Steel & Stone Companion Collection by Annette Marie
This is another bundle of companion novellas that I honestly would have normally scoffed at. Why? Because they are basically just a retelling of important scenes from the Steel and Stone series, but told from the POV of either Lyre or Ash, two main characters who didn’t have their own POV in the series. Now normally, I would not be interested in reading this, let alone spend money on reading scenes I’ve already read but from another POV. BUT in this case I did. And I was happy I did. Maybe because I am a big Annette Marie fan and I would read her grocery list with pleasure. But mostly because I did feel like these novellas taught me something new about these two characters that were previously still kind of mysterious and hard to read. As such, they really enriched the world and I was happy to have read them.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Even though I ADORE the Grisha world, I probably would not have picked up this collection of fairy tales from the Grisha world myself. But I got it in a Fairyloot box, so I thought ‘why not?’ and gave them a try. AND BOY AM I HAPPY I READ THIS! This was amazing. These stories are each so whimsical and magical, but with a dark twist and a hidden message and I loved it so much.
The Summer Palace by C.S. Pacat
The Captive Prince series is one of my favorite series of all time. Even though the series itself is pretty tough to read as it is extremely violent, the enemies-to-lovers story of Damen and Laurent owned my heart. And even though I have not read any of the other short stories set in this world, I knew from the moment it was announced that I would make an exception for The Summer Palace, which is basically a long and super fluffy and happy epilogue of Damen and Lauren and their HEA. I needed Damen and Laurent fluff. So I got Damen and Laurent fluff. And I was happy 🙂
How do you feel about novellas or short stories?