Confession Time: This discussion post only happened because I saw these cute medical icons Designed by Freepik and was determined to use them somehow 😛 But I hope this is still a valid bookish topic haha.
What is this strange disease and do you have it? Read on to find out, my friend!
Book Trend Burnout: When a reader encounters a specific storyline, trope or characters so many times during their reading experience that they decide to quit that genre forever.
Sound extreme? I’ve certainly contemplated doing so more than once. If Goodreads or my twitter feed is any indication, I am not alone in this predicament. There really can be too much of a good thing, once 1984 and Brave New World were my favourite classics – making me mad for the dystopia genre. Now that it’s become a buzz word, I think twice before purchasing a book featuring it on the blurb.
I would love to judge a book purely on its own merits, but it’s so easy to get jaded when it feels like the plot line has been done a hundred times before.
Known symptoms of the conditions are as follow:
- Eye rolling when you read taglines promising this book to be “Twilight Meets The Hunger Games”.
- Onset of headache every time you try to differentiate this new book release with another twenty books with similar premises, released all in the same year.
- Yawning as you read the latest buzz book because, haven’t you seen this all before?
- Inability to be surprised by most ‘plot twists’ as everything’s become expected.
- The sense of deja vu when you start a new book, as it uncannily resemble something else you recently read.
- Scoffing when you find another love triangle midway through your latest read.
- Blurred vision and confusion as you browse the YA section of your book store: unable to find the books you want in the sea of Twilight/Hush.Hush/The Selection cover lookalikes.
- Infrequency in your reward of the coveted five stars review.
- You start writing dispassioned blog posts regarding the over proliferation of love triangles, bad boys, Mary Sues, and book trends (hee) to find the similarly ailed.
- The Bloodsucking Days when Twilight, Vampire Academy, Sookie Stackhouse, Evernight, Morganville Vampires, House of Night, etc… all took over your book store. Every second book I picked up were black/white with colour accent.
- The Year of the Fallen Angels where nephilims and stolen wings were running rampant: see Hush,Hush, Fallen, Angelfall, Unearthly, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and the ever popular Mortal Instrument Series.
- When The Hunger Games spawned countless other dystopia, some with believable settings, some just plain absurd. As Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Selection, Matched, The Chemical Gardens, Legend, all started rolling out – I got so cynical I actually stopped reading YA for a while.
- I then came back to YA just as the manic pixie dream girl and terminal illnesses starts making its rounds everywhere. I have largely avoided these books, so I don’t have much of an opinion on them.
- Current outbreak seems to be fairy tale retellings, I still love them to be quite honest and I hope to remain optimistic on this front.
- Read a trendy book with great reviews: Despite the tone of this post, I actually have some love for book trends. For one, the books that are released are usually solid, I actually love some of the dystopia The Hunger Games has paved the way for e.g. Red Rising is my favourite read this year. Without these trends, some of our most beloved books may not be published,
- Ignore the blurb/cover and give the book a chance anyway: Blurbs and covers are marketing tools, they’re meant to entice readers looking for something similar to the latest hype. However, the content is usually quite different, writers all create their own world. E.g. Though it was marketed as TFIOS x Eleanor and Park, I freaking adored All The Bright Places – it feels sufficiently different from both to me.
- Go read what you want: This is the easiest thing to do, your time is precious and there are so many books to be read – go and explore a different genre and come back when you feel compelled to join the hype train once more.
Do you guys identify with any of the above? What are your own treatments for a book trend burnout?