A New Appreciation for Romance Novellas

Novellas are a funny thing. They are more popular than ever these days, since ebooks have become so popular. But they are tricky to pull off. I know some readers who refuse to read them, and that’s understandable. Rarely are novellas total home runs; it’s hard for that emotional connection with well-developed characters to happen in such a low page count.

While I’ve never hated novellas, and have often read them, they have almost never been AMAZING for me. But then I fell into an epic reading funk. Right now it is so difficult for me to concentrate on a full-length novel. I want to read, but I’m struggling. Which is why I’m developing a new appreciation for the novella.

Novellas are just so working for me right now. For one, since they are so short, the story starts right away. There are almost never any slow starts, which is exactly what I need right now.

Another reason that novellas are working for me right now is that I KNOW they are short! Since I’m having such a difficult time focusing on reading a full-length novel, knowing that a novella is usually around 100 pages, makes it easier for me to actually commit to it.

This whole experience with this pain-in-the-ass reading funk has really changed how I feel about novellas. I’m actually looking for new ones to read. A recent hit was Good Earl Hunting by Suzanne Enoch. I read this last week, and it was adorable and charming, and just made me feel good because I actually read something!

How do you feel about novellas? Has there ever been a time in your reading life where they were just what you needed? What romance novellas do you love? Please leave recommendations in the comments below. I need new ones!


19 Responses to “A New Appreciation for Romance Novellas”

  1. Nick

    That’s awesome that novellas are working for you atm, Quinn. I usually don’t love them, but I’ll read them for a favorite author. I love Brighton Walsh’s one especially, so I highly recommend those.

  2. Stefanie

    I’m glad you found something that works for you. I don’t read them b/c of your mentioned reasons. However your way of coping with your reading funk is kind of what we knitters do sometimes, make a baby hat for example when we have no mojo to work on a sweater project.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Novellas can be frustrating, that’s for sure. But they are really working for me right now. I’ve never tried knitting. I should look into it. Although I would probably be horrible at it.

  3. Lover Of Romance

    These are some good thoughts on novellas. I will admit that I have a love/hate relationship with novellas. Sometimes I like them and there are certain authors that write them well like Nalini Singh. But sometimes I want more from a novella than I am given. For example I just read a couple of royal books from Alexa Riley and I so wanted them to be longer because they had so much potential to be more so they fell a bit flat. But I do think novellas can help you get out of a reading funk because they are shorter and don’t take as long to read.

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I think I had the same issues with novellas that you had before, so it’s interesting to know that they are working for you now! So understandable, and it’s making me think I should seek them out more right now, since I’ve slowed down on my reading significantly. I was thinking to read a book of short stories to help me get started again too! I’m glad you are still reading and blogging! 🙂

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      It’s the worst, when you want to read, but nothing is grabbing you! Novellas are definitely working for me. And although they aren’t all AMAZING, they get my reading, and that’s what counts right now. For me, anyway.

  5. Sophia Rose

    Now that is a great argument for them. 🙂 I love them for giving me a chance at some of my favorite secondary characters getting their stories.

  6. Joy // joyousreads

    I don’t know if I’d be able to enjoy short romance novels, though. I feel like it’s not going to be enough for me. I mean, this new thing where authors releases them in serial forms is already driving me nuts! I want to read them in one go, so I tend to wait till they’re all available.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      That is definitely understandable. I have always enjoyed novellas, even if they almost never blow me away with awesomeness. Although I wouldn’t like serialized novels, though. No way!

      • Amanda Shofner

        One Love: Brewing in the Cities Shorts. It’s three short stories with the same couple and explores the evolution of their relationship. File it under contemporary romance. 😀

        On the reader side, I’m definitely a fan of well-done novellas, but it’s not easy to write a complete (and believable) story in a small word count. Courtney Milan has a few good novellas, if I recall correctly. I liked Tessa Dare’s novellas, too—but I think you’ve read those already?

  7. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I can definitely see where a novella would work in a reading slump! I like a romance novella because it’s a pretty good way to tell if the author is going to work for me but I tend to not find them particularly memorable. I did read one my Eloisa James that I thought was so good but I can’t remember what it was called and I seem to have not written it down. This was years ago though so it’s one of her older ones. I need to try the Enoch one. She used to be one of my favorite authors but it’s been awhile since I’ve read anything by her.

  8. anna @ herding cats & burning soup

    I use novellas a lot during my busy times of year where my reading time is really limited but I still want to actually finish a book or two a week. They’re perfect for that 🙂 I wish it was easier to find really fantastic ones. I do find them but most are just middle of the road. Not horrible but not totally memorable.

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