Discussion: Finding 'The next Hunger Games!' and 'A romance like Twilight!'

'Watch out Katniss...there is a new kick-butt female on the block"
"This is the next Hunger Games!"
"Harry Potter has competition!"
"The Mortal Instruments is the new Twilight."
If you follow me on Twitter(@DayDreamsWorld), you may have noticed recent tweets where I have been discussing the way people feel the need to constantly compare books to a novel that has been successful. I know I'm not the only one who has seen stickers on books with 'This is the next Hunger Games!' pasted in a bold-font across it, or taken a look at the reviews to see, 'Watch out Katniss!' When there is a new love-triangle, it is immediately compared to The Twilight Saga and any book with even an element of fantasy or magic in it gets the Harry Potter or Mortal Instruments treatment. Writing-styles are also always called-upon, with comments on how the author creates worlds like Veronica Roth(author of the Divergent series).
This is the one thing about the marketing of books that I let out an exasperated sigh when I see. It's not just the marketing of books though, It's when a film-adaptation is announced and you only open a magazine to see it asking what it will replaced on the popularity-scale. I can't help but feel that there is no need to constantly compare things; especially since it happens so much in society anyway. When you compare a book, I want to see whether it will live up to it. Of course I do - since your gut-reaction is to see if this book is, in fact, better than a series you know is loved by generations. Although, I feel like these comparisons are being over-used. Now, it seems like people are looking to find the success of the books that never really tried at all; instead it just happened. That's the magic of a good book, though. That people fall in love with it because it is original, unique and can't be compared to anything else.

Wait - another comparison? OH MY.
As I said above, I see a comparison and sigh. I sometimes feel it can leave me a sense of not wanting to read it, if it can't stand on it's own. A few months ago, I read Natasha Ngan's 'The Elites' and on the back of my proof-copy it said that it had the 'action and adventure of the Hunger Games' when, I felt it instead stood alone. It had no resemblance to the action and adventure - but, instead, had it's own course. One of my other favourite novels is Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass, which had a big sticker on the front saying 'Hotter than The Hunger Games' - is anyone else noticing they use the recent best-seller to draw people in? I wanted to read this book as I thought it sounded amazing, not due to the fact I wanted another Hunger Games. I experienced that, now I want something different.
Truthfully, I can say that comparisons are a pet-peeve of mine, despite the times where I read to see if it lives up to the said novel. Why can't we accept things for being different? Why can't we read a book and think, 'Wow, this is like nothing I have ever read' - as we all seem to hunt down the similarities! Something I have also noticed is that once an idea is out there sometimes, it's best if that is left to being the only one. This year alone, Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments lost at the Box-office because they were said to be 'the next Twilight.' I have read both books and disagree with this - especially as they are all very different when it gets into the detail - but, this comparing could easily be the reason for why they didn't do so well. Think about it.
A final point: what if it doesn't live up to the 'Harry Potter' label? Isn't that going to be a disappointment? So, yes, you read it because you see it as a challenge but, most the time readers are looking for a completely fresh idea and premise. Being a book-blogger, this really is something I love to see!
What do you think? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Completely agree - comparisons are definitely one of the publishing industries worst ideas. I don't want to read the next Hunger Games or whatever else. The reason The Hunger Games was big is because it was original. Originality is what I want in a book. I don't want to read 'the next Hunger Games' because I've already read it.

    Great post!


  3. Oh yes, I totally agree with you! Why does everything has to be 'another X book' ? If you ask me, being original and unique is much better than being compared to HP. There is only one HP and no other books can live up to that..

  4. I agree with some of what you said but in my review of The Elites I compared it to The Hunger Games because I, personally, think they are similar. I think you should ignore comparisons if you don't find them helpful, and take note if you do. I don't think publishers will ever stop comparing books because it's such a massive part of marketing.

    Great post as always, Sophie - loving the GIF :D x

  5. Just had to comment when I saw the topic. I agree that on occasion 'readers' (those who are already deeply in love with reading) may be turned off by the prospect of reading “something like 'XYZ'”. However, I'm of the opinion that its because it gives us the impression of a cheap imitation rather than another stand out novel of its genre. It tells us that an author is writing in a similar style with a similar plot/characters, and every book lover knows that's not what makes a true best seller (which I consider to be the gems that travel by word of mouth rather than by extreme press, and one which I believe gives the author the most satisfaction). And yet when looking at this from the point of view of a younger teen you could also see that someone who is just getting into teen books, or perhaps reading itself, may see these comparisons as an easier way to delve into the genre.
    I know the publishing companies may be getting it wrong, but we also have to remember that they're going through some hard times as well. Just like everyone else they're experiencing recession aftermath, and having a mother who works in a book store, I know that teen sales aren't as good as they used to be. Even if we take all this into account, I have to wonder how we as the readers can change this? In what way are we able to influence the advertising, and perhaps even the publication of books? Maybe we don't even need to do that, maybe we just need to change the tagline (because I'd like to believe that books are being published on their own merit and not on that of their genre). I think that over the last few years we've been blinded by outstanding and heart grabbing work, and that perhaps (ironically) the publishing companies have forgotten how to word these compliments about their books and have replaced them with something they believe to be self explanitory... but its really not.

    Um... sorry, that was long. Really good post! It got me thinking!!


  6. I agree with this post 100%! I've heard of some ridiculous comparisons, and they almost always make my desire to read the book decrease the slightest bit simply because I'm scared it won't live up to the big title to which it is being compared. It's lazy marketing, and it never fails to make my eyes roll rather than widen. I don't mind when reviewers say a certain aspect of one book is like that of another because they are trying to be descriptive and probably mean what they are saying, but when comparisons are printed on a book's jacket…just no.


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Sophie Louise