Thursday, May 22, 2014
Trending Thursday: Novella Non Grata?
Welcome to Trending Thursday, a (sometimes) weekly feature in which I pick out a YA trend and we can discuss. Hot or not? Love it or hate it? I'll give you my take, but dissenting opinions are welcome.
Recently I saw (and joined in) some grumbling on Twitter about ... novellas. You know, those longer-than-a-short-story but shorter-than-a-novel kind of things?
I must confess that I've always been somewhat of a skeptic about novellas. To me, they are awkward in length and often lack an obvious purpose. If a novella were a skirt, it would be tea length.
These days, novellas seem to be everywhere in YA. And that's happened since I started blogging nearly three years ago. I did some completely unscientific research on Goodreads, and found that YA novellas started to show up in force around 2010 and 2011, may have peaked in 2012 and 2013 and are still as ubiquitous as selfies and hashtags today. (Those links lead to Goodreads lists of YA novellas published in each of those years.)
I'm thinking that the YA novella may be reaching a saturation point, and is heading toward backlash, as trends can do:
My opinion on individual novellas depends somewhat upon how invested I am in a series. I also think that they should be at least 50 pages and add something new -- but not essential -- to the overall series story arc.
What are your feelings about novellas? Do you think that they are great way to bide the time between installments of a series, or are they undersized and overpriced?