Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone books I don't want a sequel for because they were perfect, but I still want to spend more time in the world

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the fabulous Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl. You can join in with future topics here!

Well that title is a bit of a mouthful... And also is a little off-piste to what the topic actually is this week, which is standalone novels that I want a sequel for. But the problem is that a lot of the standalone novels that I love, I love because they are complete and whole entities on their own. I don't want more, but at the same time I wish I could go back and spend more time in the world... Dilemma.

Here are ten dilemmaful books that I both love and don't want more of at the same time. 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Oh "the sky, and the sand, and the sea, and Corr." I would happily sell my soul for a chance to go back to Thisby, but equally I love this strange and perfect novel so much that it might break my heart to get more of this story. As it is now, it stands as this pinnacle of wonder and magic that I adore in so many ways, and return to often.
You can read my original review here, and see how my feelings changed on my re-read.

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
I just read this one a couple of weeks ago and I cannot get it out of my head. It was beautiful, startling, and utterly gripping. I can't shake the world from my head - the layered approach to the story, the characters that evolve over the course of the novel, the tightly compacted sprawling mess of world that is unknotted through these handful of interconnected characters. I love it.
You can read my full review here.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning... From the first, I was completely captivated by this lyrical, beautiful tale. There is nothing else quite like it. I could have spent so much longer exploring the circus tents alone, never mind spending more time with the characters. However as with everything on this list, it's another one that is perfect in its singular whole, and I wouldn't want to mess with that and risk being disappointed by a sequel.
You can read my full review here.

Fire by Kristin Cashore
After Graceling I never thought I could love another set of characters by Cashore in the same way as I did Katsa and Po. Then I met Fire and Brigan and I was utterly lost. This novel is gorgeous. A wonderful world, with complex and layered characters and such a stunningly beautiful story that weaves everything together. Yes we get a brief cameo for Fire in Bitterblue, but I want to just spend more time with Fire and Brigan in their day to day lives.
You can read my full review here.
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
It's been well over a decade since I've read this one, so I don't remember details, more a vague blurry feeling from when I read it. I loved it. It broke my heart, I sobbed over this book in a way I rarely do. It was perfect and strange and wonderful and I wanted more, but at the same time not, because I loved it as it was. I think it might be time for a re-read.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
My first foray into Novik's writing, this one made a definite mark. It was such a twisty tale, one that refused to be pigeonholed. Every time I thought I had a grasp of the kind of story being told, she'd flip everything on its head and leave me scrambling. It was a really exciting and vivid world, with some really wonderful character development, and I'd love to spend some more time delving into spin offs without touching on the main story thread.
You can read my full review here.

Speak Easy, Speak Love by George McKelle
Much Ado About Nothing, set in 1920s America. I didn't think this could possibly work, but work it did, and swiftly turned into one of my favourites.
It's a wonderful retelling, full of favourite moments from the original, as well as fresh twists and new perspectives. I loved these characters so much, and was sad when I reached the end of the tale. Sure, that was the end of the play, but part of me really wanted to spend more time with these people, after the final act.
You can read my full review here.

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
I adore all of Sarah's books - they're sassy, filled with brilliant characters and wonderful twisty plots. "In Other Lands", her most recent novel, is a standalone that combines all of the above, with a brilliant Harry Potter esq vibe magic school. Don't worry, nothing that similar, but that gives you a feel for the scope and design behind the book. Years of schooling crammed into one book, the story doesn't feel rushed, giving you a wonderful view in on Elliot's life and world. Plus amazing romance, glorious characters, and an all round amazing story. I adore this book and I want more.

The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Oh this book. It's such a beautiful story, and one that haunts me to this day. I adored Flora and Henry, watching them come together and find themselves, each other, and their places in the world. The concept is stunning and Martha writes with a deft poetical magic that left me captivated and spellbound.
You can read my full review here.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Quiet, haunting, this was such an unexpected delight when I found this one. Eowyn's debut was absolutely spot on, filled with desolation and loneliness, but suffused with a perfect, impossible to capture, magic. Even though it's been years since I've read this one, it's a story that hit some nerve within me and stayed embedded in my heart long after I finished it. One day I'll go back and recapture that.
You can read my full review here.

There you have ten of my favourite standalone novels that I both want more of and really want them to be left solitary and perfect. It's a confusing state! Tell me some of yours in the comments below!


  1. I loved the Snow Child! Station Eleven has been in my hands several times and I've put it back. Maybe I'll request it again (I never actually started reading it--just book browsing)

  2. Of these I've read The Scorpio Races, I wouldn't mind a sequel to it, though I don't think it needs one. I also read The Time Traveller's Wife and I don't quite see how a sequel to that would work, although maybe a book following Alba would be good. The Night Circus is pretty perfect by itself but there's definitely scope for more stories in that world. I still need to read both Uprooted and A Game of Love and Death.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/top-ten-tuesday-202/

  3. Oh, Station Eleven is a good choice. Agreed.

    My Top Ten Tuesday post.