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Divergent = Derivative

The claim of the title of this post is the most blatantly obvious observation you can make when it comes to YA fiction these days. Walk the shelves at Half-Price books and you’ll see a million vampire fiction series, a half million dystopian books, and a few original ideas. This doesn’t mean that some of the authors of these series are bad writers. It simply means they’re caught up in the wave of publishers trying to make a quick buck on knock-off franchises.

tumblr_static_the-hunger-games-catching-fire-logo-1600x1200But this isn’t a rant about books. I loved The Hunger Game series both times I read it, and I’m very encouraged/enjoying the direction the films are going. Dystopian fiction is nothing new, but the recent influx (especially in the YA genre) is due to Collin’s excellent series.

Which brings me to Divergent. My wife read the series recently and enjoyed it, and so I thought I’d give it a go before the movie came out. And then I saw the movie tie-in book cover: bleh!

divergentAt this point I don’t care much about the glut of dystopian fiction, but I will never stand for knock-off book cover design. I often buy books based upon their (beautifully designed) covers, and I am strongly considering not buying this book based upon its clear hack-job presentation. Sure, there’s nothing new under the sun design-wise, but this cover design is akin to churches having sermon series called “Lost: An Island of God’s Love” or “Heroes: How to Fly High with Jesus,” pasted on the TV series graphic, lazily copied from ABC and NBC dot com. Come on publishers.

Hopefully the book isn’t as much of a knock off as the cover design leads me to believe. I guess I’ll be searching for used copies online with the original cover design so I don’t have to support this nonsense.

  • http://jordangoings.squarespace.com Jordan

    Really interesting post: assessing book covers. Who knows how long it would’ve taken me to consider that art… if ever – and by art I’m not simply meaning “design”. But your testimony of its effects on you is very spurring, further reminding us of all the many ways we can appreciate (or in this case feel robbed of the opportunity to appreciate). And brilliant knock-off catch, by the way. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://chrisborah.com Chris

      Unfortunately, I notice these sorts of things too often, and my tendency to judge a book by it’s cover (app by it’s icon, movie by it’s trailer, etc etc) means I might be missing out on some good stuff.