I read a couple of books this past week, and while I didn’t find them terrible, I didn’t find them aligning with my expectations either. Expectations set because of the marketing blurbs.
Now, I understand the need of using snippets of early “professional reviews” and author blurbs. But some of them are just so.. overused these days that I wish they would just .. disappear.
Note: I am talking only about the bylines used to publicize the book before its release. It is different than readers forming their own opinions later (which can be them agreeing to whatever the book was pitched as before release).
- The Next Gone Girl. This is at the top of my list because literally every psych thriller is pitched as the Next Gone Girl these days. Or the “Next Gone Girl and The Next Girl on the Train” (The GotT was probably pitched as the The Next Gone Girl in the first place). Not every thriller featuring a lonely woman in a dysfunctional marriage has to be similar to the next GG. What made GG stand out was a twisted marital relationship set against the backdrop of a “typical” case of a missing person. Amy and Nick were interesting to read about because it was a constant battle of wits between them . They fought nasty. Didn’t matter that the outcome was always one-sided. But the bottomline is – they were never passive characters. I expected The Widow to be something along those lines (and I don’t mean a similar story)… While the book itself was quite engrossing, Jean and Glen just made for a dull couple to read about.
- <Book 1> meets <Book 2> or <Classic 1> meets <Classic 2> Comparing a book with two books – that by itself is enough pressure to live upto. But, what if you are calling your book as a blend of two well known classics from different genres? For example, Song of Blood and Stone is described as “Romeo and Juliet meets Return of the King” . WHYYY??? I enjoyed the book but it is neither an epic romance nor does it have a world as fleshed out as one would expect from a high fantasy. I would love it if this kind of marketing – calling it a cross between two well-known popular books – has more thought put into it. It is great if the book actually fits the description, but otherwise pretty disappointing for the readers.
- “….world reminiscent of Harry Potter” – Or a “Middle Grade Harry Potter” Or a “<insert country name> Harry Potter” – I love Harry Potter and I do get the temptation of labeling every book featuring a 11 or 12 year old discovering magic as the Next Harry Potter. But I feel, it kind of holds the book to a very, “recognizable standard” of what the general fantasy world should contain? I mean, what if it is a much different book despite some similar elements. And, maybe, a better book in its own right? As such, I find it very difficult NOT to compare fantasy books with HP. This just makes it even harder to “move on”.
- “Fans of John Green” or “Fans of TFIOS” for every “Cancer Story” . I loved TFIOS despite its flaws. I am not a fan of some of the similar stories (pitched for “fans of TFIOS”) that followed though. Showing a couple in love and romanticizing cancer isn’t the sum total of TFIOS.
- One Word Blurbs – Stupendous! Fabulous! Fantastic! Fantabulous! Stupendofabulous!!!
Is there any kind of book blurb you are fed up of? Or have you always had positive reading experiences after picking a book based on the blurb? Do let me know in the comments!!!