Expect this to get slightly controversial, but remember these are just opinions. No two people will always see eye-to-eye, but that’s all right. With that in mind, here are the book trends I’m tired of seeing. Rants ahoy!
5. Disney Tie-in Novels. I wouldn’t roll my eyes at these if it weren’t for the fact that they seem to follow a pattern. They all have really beautiful covers and dust jackets. They all produce a lot of hype, because everyone gets excited to see tie-in novels for Star Wars and Marvel and Disney’s fairy tales. But from what I can tell they all fall short of the mark. I mostly see incredible levels of preemptive squee followed by the most ridiculous plummet into Kermit faces when the mediocrity is revealed. I’ve come so close to buying so many of these only to read reviews and feel like I dodged a bullet. Come on, Disney. Up your game.
4. Soft Horror. Horror was dying a slow and terrible death, to the point that horror novels weren’t even getting written much less any level of attention. But they’re coming back, slowly but surely, like the shambling zombies they often contain. The genre still has life in it, which I’m relieved to see. I think horror is a tough genre to sell, because people can be timid, and they are getting more timid as time passes. Less willing to face the monster and more apt to not want to think about it all. There’s a side effect of this that has resulted in some authors softening their scares to get more readers. I’m noticing it. They want to be accessible, so their scary novel is barely even suspenseful. If you’re going to go horror, I’d rather see an author go all the way. Catering to the middle really ends up appealing to no one.
3. Tall Mass Market Paperbacks. This is a weird one. I’ve been a reader and a collector of books for some time now. When I was in my teens, my shelves were lines with mass market paperbacks. I know some people hate them, but I loved them and still do. They hold a kind of nostalgia for me for when I first got heavily into reading, and I’m sad to see that they’re not the norm anymore. Even weirder is they’ve changed the format of the mass market paperback itself. They’re tall now. I remember the first time I saw that and how awkward it looked to me. It still doesn’t look right in my eyes, and I don’t know who thought that was an improvement.
2. This Week’s Gone Girl. I love thrillers. A well-written thriller can be just the thing the doctor ordered. They’re engaging and page-turning, and if they have good character development, they can easily become my favorite books ever. But I’m tired of every book being the new Gone Girl. According to book publicists, that’s all they are and all we should care about. “Here, take this Gone Girl clone and shut up.” No. I won’t. Especially when they basically never are as good as Gone Girl. How many more times can I type Gone Girl? …Gone Girl.
1. A Girl’s Destiny is a Boy. I know I’m not alone here. For some reason, regardless of genre, YA and romance go hand-in-hand. Inevitably every, single summary on every, single jacket flap will include some version of the phrase “she meets a boy.” She always meets a boy. It always matters whether they fall in love. Even if he’s a canoe stuffed to capacity with douche, it matters whether she loves him. Even if the world is literally about to end unless she puts the McGuffin in the whatsit, we have to care whether she kisses this boy. I don’t even give those books a second thought now. I don’t care about that story. Please, YA authors, find something else for girls to do besides fall in love.
So that was opinionated, huh? I hope no one is full-on mad after that little burst of ranting. Thank you for reading, and as always, happy geeking!
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