They all look the same!
Maybe I read too much - if there is such a thing.
In the last 12 months, I have read a lot of Young Adult fiction, most of which has had supernatural or mythic characters. What happens when they all start to sound the same?
Each of the first books that I read which took on a mythic character - vampire, werewolf, fallen angel or immortal - got my rave reviews. The subsequent reads got a lower rating, but only because I couldn't help but compare it to the first and questioning its uniqueness. But, really, was the second, or even the third, book I read about a love affair with a fallen angel any better or worse than the first? It's all formulaic, maybe that's my problem.
Here's the formula:
- Generally plain girl meets mysterious new boy (unless she transferred to a new school).
- We don't know who or what the boy is, and whether we can trust him.
- Girl and boy fall in love.
- Enter mythic object or event which sets off girl's curiosity.
- Girl does super Google Search and discovers what he is (enter mythic creature here).
- We get a full rundown on the legend behind mythic creature. (with or without past lives' experience)
- Then girl finds out why boy and girl can not be together.
- The last 100 pages is reserved for a battle of some kind, usually leaving us with a cliffhanger for the next in the series to solve.
I feel like there was a writers' workshop and everyone was given the same assignment, told to follow the formula and see what each author could come up with. A few months later, bang! We have a dozen books that are all the same.
If you like them, super! Go forth and read!
I went forth and read. Here's my dilemma. How am I supposed to review these books?? Not just as a book blogger, but as a reader! I see genuine talent in the authors, and I'm still captivated by said formula, but it's actually starting to make me angry. Predictability is not something I look for in a novel.
Bring me something new!
Hello. My name is Alison, and I read Young Adult novels - point me to the support group! I am not a Young Adult, so I am not the target audience, I get that. I am an avid reader who enjoys Young Adult fiction. Is that so wrong? Maybe these books are simply not meant for me, and I should shut up. Then again, maybe the YA readers - both the Y and not-so Y - deserve more than "the formula" in a novel.
I don't want to take out my frustration on any one author - which I was about to do since I read both Hush, Hush and Fallen this week. And before their books I read Alyson Noel, Lisa Mangum, Rachel Hawkins and Stephenie Meyer. It's not their fault. They are all talented authors who happen to publish their books in a genre that is far too saturated.
Maybe this is why I jumped out of my chair when I read The Body Finder, Shiver, Marked and Once a Witch. Of course, I must give proper respect to the woman who opened this door back up to me - Stephenie Meyer. (Five years ago, I used to hide my Twilight behind InStyle magazine.) These authors entered into this YA supernatural genre and put their own stamp on it.
Am I alone here?
Can someone give me suggestions for a fresh take on such a popular genre?
Please tell me Beautiful Creatures isn't more of the same!! I'm looking forward to reading it, and I would be crushed if I had to add it to my pity party.