Book Sins: The third deadly sin, bandwagon jumpers

book sins             the inferno

Midway on the journey of its life, Sarcasm & Lemons found itself within a bookshelf dark, for the literary path had been lost... 

Therefore, I think and judge it for thy best thou follow me, C.J., and I will be thy guide and lead thee hence through the underworld where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations, shalt see the ancient pages disconsolate, who cry out each one for second printing.  

I take you now through the circles of the underworld to observe the greatest sins committed against books and book-kind.  Today, we arrive at the third circle, wherein lie the scoundrels who have perpetrated the deadly sin of... 

bandwagon jumpers

Today, we look at the books that have reached beyond mere trend-pandering and seem to be duplicates of the same story in the same year or two span.  I blame the publishers on this one.  Do they see a popular idea coming out and just push through their own version as quick as they can?  Either way, I'm seeing a lot of book-a-likes--sometimes so many that I forget which is which!  

the aladdin paradox

when you retell the same fairy tale in almost the same way with almost the same cover published at about the same time, and your readers' heads explode 

A Whole New World gets points for the unique cover (and it's by Disney, so they kinda own it), but are you seriously looking at the first two?!  I just found out about Forbidden Wish last week and even though it seems amazing, what's the deal with three weirdly similar Aladdin retellings all being pushed out at once!? 

the never-never do this

the aladdin paradox in peter pan attire, especially sinful because it's hopping on a movie bandwagon too 


Props to Amber at YA Indulgences for drawing my attention to this one.  Remember Never Never from around BEA time?  Well, apparently just one wasn't enough.  Is anyone else seeing double?  Then there's Never Ever which is less Hook but still capitalizes on the Pan-demonium.  (See what I did there?  I crack myself up...)  What's next?  Never Ever Ever?  Never again!

the odds are still not in your favor

remember the hunger games?  remember how people are still trying to redo the hunger games? 

Some of these are good books.  Some feel super derivative.  Either way, eventually readers are going to get sick of weird to-the-death contests between teenagers because Suzanne Collins already nailed it.  So give us something freaking brilliant or maybe find a new plot?  

my dystopia is worse than your dystopia

the never-ending dystopian city of doom 

Again, it's not like you can't ever do dystopia again.  But when everything feels like "There's this City that's all that's left after the War and now the City is divided into These People and Those People and These People are Specialer than Those People and now there is going to be a Resistance" I start to hit snooze.  Dystopia has so many possibilities!  Give me something new!  

What are other bandwagon trends you remember from over the years?  The good?  The bad?  The horrifying?  

Past Sins  

The first sin, Copycats and Doubles  
The second sin, Love triangle cop-outs 


  1. The lonely high schooler bandwagon in contemporary fiction never stops. The Peter Pan one was hilarious though. I think dystopian city will always be around because there are so many ways to do it. It was overdone long before Hunger Games came around. Plus I love dystopian.

    Would doing a Peter Pan story with the kids getting assaulted by the pirates then running off into our world be stereotypical?

    1. Ah, yes. I think that one will stick around cause it's true for a lot of people, but I wish there was a variation beyond "gets quirky group of new friends and has all sorts of crazy adventures." See, there ARE so many ways to do dystopian city, I just don't think most people are actually DOING them.

      That actually sounds really awesome! Exactly my point. Retellings can totally be done differently!

  2. I loooove fairy tale retellings and I looove Peter Pan, so I've been all about these books. But I haven't picked up any of those you mentioned, or the Aladdin books, because everything is beginning to sound identical! It's so frustrating, because I don't want to get burnt out on them by reading something with no unique quality to it!

    1. Yes, exactly! I adore a good retelling like Cruel Beauty or something like that, but I can't even tell the difference between some of these anymore.