First I'm going to point to this review on GoodReads. And yes, I do know about the drama and the hoopla surrounding the review and the author. I do have the book, got it before the drama, and am I tempted to the read the book even now? Yes because the review is hilarious and no because I'm not a huge fan of the author.
Now that you read the review, let me ask you this question. Has the last PNR book you've read or saw reminded you of another PNR book? Because it happens to me all the time. All the freaking time.
A few days ago, some friends and I went to Barnes and Noble because we were near the general area and they know about my love for books. A friend wanted to know my opinion about this book so I asked for more details since she couldn't remember the title:
"What was it about?"And because I love book covers (hence the name of my blog), I ALWAYS judge a book by its cover. It's what initially draws me to the book. I know my YA book covers (at least the ones published after 2009) so I thought if my friend could tell me about the cover, I'd get it immediately. Nowadays, 90%** of the PNR covers are the same. Pretty girl in really pretty dress***:
"Something to do with the paranormal."
"What did the cover look like?" (because I'm addicted to covers.)
"It had a girl on it. She was wearing a dress."
"I know it's by a female author and the book is a series*. Trilogy maybe?"
"That about narrows it down to every paranormal teen book I can think of."
What do they have to do with the actual book? 95%** of the time, NOTHING. Out of the 9 books, I read 3: After Obsession, Fury, and Always a Witch. The cover for Fury relates to the actual novel. But After Obsession and Always a Witch? If you squint really hard and tilt your head a bit and skim through the book, you might find a connection.
In Everneath, does the girl wear a frilly red dress while walking on smoke? In Endlessly, does she wear a purple dress and is in a scene where she overlooks a sea of purple flowers? In A Beautiful Dark...I don't even know what she's doing. Sacrificing herself? Chances are the answers to the questions are no. Are they gorgeous covers? Definitely, but they're irreverent to the story so why is it even there.
Without reading the synopsis I would have no clue what the book is about. Before the onslaught of pretty girls in pretty dress covers, I would have stopped and picked the book up. Now, I don't have the urge.
Sometimes it's not even the author's fault that their book becomes not THEIR book, but as part of a mass of books within a genre. They hardly have any say in the cover. Sometimes it's the way their book is pitched:
- collectively with a bunch of other PNR books such as Breathless Reads or Dark Days campaign
- compared to other popular PNR books coughTwilightcough
- at a really bad time when I'm overloaded with other PNR books
What I hoped to read in PNR books is like Emma Watson: differences that are easily detectable. What I find is Kristin Stewart: the same thing over and over again.
I used to believe the hype and FALL HARD for the covers. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time, fuck it. I'm abandoning my PNR books for contemporary books until the reviews start coming in then maybe I have a better understanding if it's as good as the pitches say they are.
*I'll do a rant post on series later.
**These statistics are completely made up. It's probably highly exaggerated.
***I initiated raided HarperTeens's catalog then I realize my post got too long.
loved that has a pretty girl cover, is compared to a big series, with tons of hype backing it up. I fall in love with the paranormal genre all over again.
Then I dig around and devour paranormal books left and right trying to find another one of the amazing, spectacular, jaw-dropping, I-am-in-love, books.
But I can't and I get disappointed again. Then I curse myself for falling prey to the hype and the pretty covers.
Lather, rinse, and repeat.
- Eyes Like Stars: more fantasy than actual PNR I really did enjoy this book with its pretty cover, which is incorporates many of the elements of the books. Love this artist's work.
- Unearthly: though short of jaw-dropping, spectacular, I-am-in-love book, I liked Unearthly. Enough to give it 4 stars :) Also pretty girl with a pretty dress on the cover (which, by the way, is kind of irreverent to the story so aside from the purple, I'm eh on the cover).
P.S. I have a couple more rant post scheduled every Friday heh