Hi y’all! Today’s post is going to be different than my usual ones because this is just a good, old fashioned rant session.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a book that was being sold as “the next Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, etc”… Since you’re reading this post, that means you have (at least periodic) access to the internet, so I’m sure in your search for your latest book you’ve stumbled upon this description at least 500 times (give or take). I’m here to say, the madness must stop!
On a basic level, comparing a story to another ultimately gives away the plot of another. Take Gone Girl…flash back to the first time you read this book. It was thrilling, SHOCKING, and unlike anything else that you had read prior. Now, if a marketing company labels a book as “the next Gone Girl,” you know that there will be an unreliable narrator or unlikable female character – almost reducing that shock factor. This takes away some of the magic and mystery.
In addition to spoiling the story, sometimes the story is completely different than the popular comparison. Recently, I stumbled upon a list of books that you might enjoy if you like Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Big Little Lies, and it listed the book Anatomy of a Scandal. I read (and loved) this book prior to the list, and can safely say that it is nothing like this book. While it did feature a female character with a secret, it was so much more than that and should not be reduced to the “unreliable female narrator” trope.
In short, I completely understand why it’s so tempting to say a book is the next (insert super popular book here), but that’s not doing favors to the original or the new book. The author has worked their booty off to construct their story… don’t lend their success to another author #endrant.