Friday, May 2, 2014

Discussion Question: Do You Like Comparisons to Other Books/Authors?

We've all read them.

"For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…"

"Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal."

"...perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu."

"Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast"

"The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report"

"Ender's Game meets The Hunger Games"

"this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti."

Do these comparisons help you or are they inevitably disappointing? I think they're helpful, in the sense that you get an idea of the specific genre it is or style of the book. However, I don't set my expectations by them because otherwise I'm sure I would be disappointed.

I think they're more helpful when reviews include them, because then it's not a marketing thing, it's that reviewer's opinion, and especially if it's a reviewer who I trust, then the comparison can help me decide whether I want to read the book or not.

What are your thoughts?  Comparisons…helpful or not?

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I don't care for book/author comparisons, so I skim/skip over them when I see one pop on a review blog.

  2. They seem pretty meaningless when they come on the cover of the book. A lot of the time, I've read a book and completely disagreed that it was similar to The Hunger Games, or whichever one they're comparing it to. I feel like a lot of the time they're definitely stretching what the book is like to compare it to the books that are currently getting the most publicity. I'm much more likely to appreciate an author/book comparison when it comes from a review.

  3. I agree with you 100% actually. I don't mind seeing them but at the same time I don't give them a lot of merit because 1) they are inaccurate as often as they are accurate and 2) they often compare to the best out there in that genre and that would set my expectations unreasonably high. I prefer to see comparisons in reviews too. Those I can usually rely on!

  4. I think they're helpful when you're categorizing books and looking for similar titles in searches. Other times I feel like they put an unfair comparison on a novel and they don't allow them to stand alone. I think like you said it should be up to the reviewer to compare.

  5. I think they can be helpful when it helps me see what kind of genre it's going to be. But, a lot of the time at least, the comparisons aren't even very accurate. I also hate the ones that say 'Better than' or 'Hotter than' or something along those lines, where they proclaim to be superior to another book. But for the most part I do think they can be helpful when I am trying to get a sense of what kind of book it's going to be.

  6. I like comparisons if they're actually accurate. I don't like them when they say it's like some amazing book/genre and then the book is really off the mark. I try not to set expectations on them, but when a book doesn't really compare, I feel like it just hurts the book, if that makes sense. Great topic! :)

  7. I don't hate them, but I don't really like them, either. I might take a little interest in what the book has been compared to, especially if I have liked those comparisons but it would never influence my decision to buy or read a book. A lot of the time, they're not even accurate anyway!
    I do quite like it when reviewers include comparisons because then I might fins similar books and fall in love with them :D