You might remember about three weeks ago that I wrote a post about all my favorite series. Now, though, it’s time for the best standalones to shine!
Seriously, a series is all well and good, but sometimes, it’s just so much more fun to pick up a book and set it down. No needing to remember what happened last time when you go to get the next one, because there is no next one. No over-complicated plots that take book after book to spool out in full, because there’s not enough space for that in a single book.
I’ll admit, I probably don’t have the full breadth of stand-alones under my belt. In fantasy, my favorite genre, it’s more series than singles, while contemporary (as I understand it) is loaded with stand-alones. That said, there are still some, and I recommend all of the books here!
The House in Poplar Wood by KE Ormsbee
This book was a PERFECT autumn read and an amazing MG tale. It’s short and sweet, but full of heart and that good, good autumn aesthetic. The Vickery twins have so much on their shoulders, but with the help of their enemy-turned-friend Gretchen, they can honestly do anything, even stare down Death. That’s a lot for some middle school kids to tackle, and it translates to a fantastic, heartfelt book.
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Another eerie book that’s good for the chilly fall season, A Skinful of Shadows left me struggling to find the words to articulate how unusual and well written it is. It blends historical fiction with a distinct paranormal element, all told in unusual and haunting prose. A hard read to really explain, but well worth the read!
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This was my first five star read this year, and it’s INCREDIBLE. Ernshaw somehow makes the height of summer take on this haunting air that’s usually reserved for fall, unraveling this witchy, atmospheric story set in the spooky reaches of the Pacific Northwest. Normally, I dislike romance as a focus in book (I prefer it to stay in the subplots, thanks), but somehow, I fell in love with this book all the same, and I totally recommend it!
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
This book was SUPER BIZARRE and admittedly may not be for everyone, but I mostly enjoyed it. It has some of the flavor of a choose your own adventure book, and embraces some absolutely absurd outcomes with total sincerity, which you wouldn’t guess from the relatively mundane beginning, would you? If you’re looking for a story that’s going to go in unexpected directions and has no shame in doing so, this is absolutely one for you.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett
Look, I heard about Good Omens WAAAAAAY later than most people I know did, and you know what? That’s okay, because whenever you read this, it’s bound to be a good time. It’s funny, but in a sharp, almost dry way, a clever way, plus it’s founded mostly on just a very big mix-up which happens to affect the world on a divine scale. Why go small when you can go really, really big, you know? And honestly, why haven’t I reread this recently? I think it’s due for a reread…
And those are some of my personal favorite stand-alones! Have you read any of these? What did you think? If you’re a stand-alone fan, what are your favorites? I’d love to hear it!