Tea and Biscuits Book Discussion: The Good & The Bad About Novellas

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Novella’s have become quite popular over the past few years, and I do have quite a few issues with reading these short stories. I have a more love/hate relationship with these type of stories. Now when I first started reading romance—-NOVELLAS were practically unheard of…they hardly ever happened. The only author I can remember doing it was Julie Garwood and they were printed back in the day anyway. When I am reading, I like a full in depth romance and most authors really have a challenge making a novella to have depth. Whenever I pick up most novellas, I also feel like there is lack of depth in plot and characters more specifically. Now there are certain authors out there that can make novella’s work. However most of the time I really struggle with them, because even though they are short, most of the time they are lacking substance. Its why I don’t read them too often and why I prefer novels. Another reason I tend to have issues with Novella’s, is because the majority of the time the relationship is turned into a “insta love” trope, and its my least favorite trope to read. Mostly because its unbelivable and unrealistic most of the time, but since novellas tend to be so short, its what mostly happens. I like seeing some balance, growth and development in a love story, and novella’s just don’t cut it for me and I am hardly ever satisfied in the end, mostly I am left feeling like when your eating pie and you only get the crust and not the filling. Your content, but not truly satisfied.

Nalini Singh is a author that writes quite a few of these and I am so glad that she does. In her Psy Changeling series, she has quite a few of these and I love how she handles them. Because even though they are short, most of what she has written has been fantastic. Its a great way for us to see other side characters have their own stories. I love these small snippets into this world that I just love. Some of my favorite books from this author have been her novella’s—which is quite rare for me since I normally don’t like them that much. But Singh has a talent for writing compelling PNR romances and her short snippets are no different. Sometimes they offer us a bit more fun in her changeling packs or the Psy that we have come to love and adore. Other times it offers more history and background to favorite characters. Or even where the author explores other relationships that aren’t found in her main novels.

Jennifer Ashley writes a few of these, and these novella’s that Ashley writes are just as engaging, full and romantic as her full novels can be. And they aren’t normally as short as most novellas are all of the time. I never feel after reading one of her novella’s that there is a huge aspect of the story missing. She has a few historical ones that are cute, but my favorites of hers are her PNR ones. There is something more. From what I have seen from this author, its a way to show more depth to those side characters that we fall in love with throughout the series.

Novellas can most of the time leave me unsatisfied unless its from a author that I trust and know can handle writing them well. So I am curious to hear what you all think about reading novellas!!

Questions For My Readers:

Do you read Novellas?

What do you LOVE  about Novella’s? What do you HATE about Novella’s?

18 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussion: The Good & The Bad About Novellas

  1. To be frank, I only read novellas if they’re tied to a favourite series of mine. Otherwise, I don’t go out of my way to read them. Sometimes, I think it’s great to read novellas if you only want to check out an author’s work to see if theirs is something you could enjoy. Also, if you want to check out a genre – like Sci-Fi, perhaps.

    1. Oh I agree. I do see the appeal of wanting to see if you like an authors writing. Normally, I will just read an excerpt instead because some authors do a lot better with full length books than novellas. Its rare to find authors that can handle novellas well. It does make sense if you are checking out a new genre.

  2. I agree with Joyousreads. I mainly read them if they’re part of a series I’m reading already or as a prequel to a series, aside from anthologies. I’m so glad you mentioned Nalini Singh! She’s such an awesome writer anyway but I love the way her novellas are like snippets of time and shows different sides to her characters. She doesn’t usually do insta-love, thankfully. 🙂

    1. Oh I just adore Nalini Singh, she does a great job with novellas. Isn’t it great she doesn’t normally do insta love—especially with her shifter series. You gotta admire that. 🙂

  3. I completely understand your feelings on novellas. I never hate them, but I rarely love them. I do like to read them, though, especially when I’m in a reading slump, or when I want to try a new-to-me author. I really like Lori Foster’s novellas. Not all, of course, but a number of them. They were first released in a book with a number of novellas by different authors. I’m a big fan of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I like that one a lot.I think novellas work best when the hero and heroine knew each other before the story began.

  4. It’s incredibly rare to find an author who does novellas well without the instalove. Ashley is one I do love for her novellas as well. She does a nice job of them. Two others I really like are Roni Loren and Jaci Burton for their novellas. They always seem very full and fleshed out.

    One of my favorite things an author can do with a novella is have it focus on two people who have known each other already just not romantically. That way you can kinda bypass the insta-love feel of it since they already have some history and it feels more natural.

    1. oh I do like Jaci Burton but have yet to read her novellas yet. I do admire an author that can create full novellas. I love it when an author can do away with the insta love trope

  5. I do read them, but those are freebies, to buy like 100 pages for a few dollars is a lot, I just can not. And often they are just so…you know, there should be more

    1. oh I know…its why if I buy a novella it has to be less than 2 dollars or I won’t do it unless its a author I know will deliver a great story. But they sometimes overcharge them. I have bought books where I didn’t look at the number of pages, and its like 5 or 6 dollars for 80 pages which is RIDICULOUS!!!

  6. I enjoy novella’s but I agree sometimes they don’t work. Christmas time I love them. Easier to read when you’re busy. I love book Singh and Ashley’s novella’s. Lori Foster does a good job with them too.

  7. Like you, I can go either way with novellas and pretty much for the same reasons. I need a developed story and characters and a believable romance if it’s present. For the most part, I’m wary of them, but there are a few occasions when the exception proves the rule and I rush out to get them. I think the way I like novellas best is when they are the tweeny stories in an established series- the characters are already known as is the worldbuilding. Under this circumstance, the author can put that shorter page count to the best use by skipping the intro to the worldbuilding and the characters and getting right to the story. Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Cecy Robson, Eileen Wilks are all authors that I distinctly recall enjoying their novellas.

    1. I am like you Sophia…a story needs to be developed for me to enjoy it, and you never know with novellas. I haven’t read Illona Andrews novellas yet, but I want to especially Curran’s POV ones.

  8. I don’t read romance very often, but I have read a lot of novellas. Like anything, they can be hit or miss. If an author tries to cram a really complex story into a novella, it’s going to feel underdeveloped. I think novellas work well for stories that are simpler and don’t require a ton of backstory or worldbuilding.

  9. I do read novellas especially from my favorite authors that I know they can pull it off like you Nalini Singh. If I am all caught up in a series novellas are great for me to get my fix until the next full book comes out. I agree most to tend to leads toward the insta love trope.

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