T5W: book trends I’m tired of (8 February)

Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes ! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! This week’s topic is:

February 8th: Book Trends You’re Tired Of
What are some things you are tired of seeing that are trends in publishing? Maybe something that pops up on a lot of covers these days, or the popularity of certain tropes in a particular genre? Let it out!

Sorry I didn’t post anything for Top 5 Wednesday last week! The topic was current favourites that aren’t books, but since my blog is dedicated to reading, I didn’t think it was necessary to post anything. Furthermore, I’m not sure whether I will do the rest of the February topics. Normally, when I don’t like a topic, I do another one instead, but maybe it’s okay to skip a couple of weeks when I don’t feel like posting.

Anyway, there certainly are book trends I am tired of seeing. There are also some things I am tired of seeing in the book community which I would like to talk about, but I’ll try to stay on topic. Not all of these are trends though, but rather things I’ve noticed about publishing lately. As usual, these are in no particular order.


Romance and heteronormativity

Even when you don’t read romance novels, it is nearly impossible to avoid romance in books. I’m talking about heterosexual relationships here. Even in fantasies, there are love triangles, insta-love, overused tropes, etc. and I am sick of it. Thankfully, I am reading more diverse books this year, so it won’t be as bad anymore. Still, I find it very annoying that almost every author feels the need to add unnecessary romances and angst to their novels. I’m not a fan of romance, so I find it very annoying that it is nearly impossible to find a book without it.


Trilogies

I was so excited when I heard about The Diabolic: finally a fantasy standalone! In the meantime, however, the author has changed her mind and decided to write a trilogy instead. I’m instantly less excited to pick up this book. I understand the (financial) success of trilogies, but especially within the fantasy genre, standalones are actually refreshing. Don’t get me wrong: I love reading series. But almost every book you pick up lately is a part of a series and I can’t keep up anymore.


Marketing and merchandise

Many books which are published by huge publishers, come with pre-order merch, signed copies, special editions, etc. But because I live in Europe, I don’t ever get to enjoy those promotions. They’re always limited to the USA and/or UK, or the shipping costs are insanely high. 

As someone who is also active on Bookstagram, buying books isn’t enough anymore. You have to buy tons of merchandise in order to ‘fit in’ with the rest of the community. Furthermore, it takes away from the actual content of the book. As long as the packaging is pretty, people are going to hype it up. Who cares about the content of the book, right?


Where’s the diversity?

Obviously, there is a lack of diversity in novels. But even if a novel is diverse, it is often-times not advertised well enough. I’ve read multiple books I didn’t know e.g. included LGBTQ representation, because the blurb didn’t tell me, nor other reviewers. Do you have any idea how much more likely I am to read a book if I know it includes representation? I don’t understand why everyone is so mysterious about it.

However, I am absolutely not talk about headcanons here. As great as those can be, headcanons are not the same as representation on the page. Sometimes, people will say things like “read this book because character X is bisexual”, but when that representation isn’t explicitly included in the novel, you are misleading people. They might buy it because they think they are represented, when in fact it is only a headcanon.

Furthermore, I don’t think there is anything wrong with telling readers whether or not a book is own voices or not. In my opinion, you sometimes have to do a lot of research in order to find out something about the author. No, I absolutely do not think authors have to out themselves in order for their book to receive recognision, but when they are openly a part of the LGBTQ community, I think it’s okay to add that to a blurb when necessary.


Character tropes

My ‘favourite characters’ list rarely grows. So many characters I read are carbon copies of each other. The love interest is a mysterious, sarcastic bad boy, who at first is the villain of the story. As the book or series goes on, however, he and the main character, who were enemies at first, fall in love and it turns out he wasn’t bad at all. The female main character is “not like other girls”: she has boring brown long hair, big lips, is thin, but still has the necessary curves… Obviously (*sarcasm*), she is unattractive and bland. All I’m trying to say is that these characters are hard to distinguish from; they all seem the same.


Actually, it was very hard to limit this to merely five trends I am tired of seeing! I’m looking forward to reading other bloggers’ post, so feel free to leave a link to yours in the comments! (scheduled on 29 January 2017)

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13 thoughts on “T5W: book trends I’m tired of (8 February)

  1. Swetlana says:

    I’ve been struggling coming up with things for this months topics to be honest. I did last week’s because I love so many different things and getting to talk about them is always fun! As for the rest of this month? I have no idea what to write, so I’ll probably just skip and concentrate on other posts I do have idea for.

    Surprisingly, I am not tired of trilogies (or series) yet, especially because I haven’t been reading too many new ones lately so my list of sequels to look out for (and buy at some point) is rather small. It was much worse when I was in the middle of my dystopian phase – EVERYTHING was a trilogy!

    We’re completely on the same page about merchandise though! I live in Europe too, so I can’t really participate in any of the fun pre-order exclusives and even when big authors do giveaways featuring merch, it’s limited to the US most of the time. Think of your international fans, please!

    I feel like so many authors these days do the whole special editions thing to get more money from the fans. So many of us would probably love to have that exclusive edition of book XYZ, but it just get ridiculous when there are all these different ones out there! You can’t collect them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      Same, I don’t really like this month’s topics either.

      I thought I loved series, but I’ve noticed recently that I don’t finish a lot of the series I start. I’ll still read them though, but I wish there were more stand-alones as well.

      Exactly! Sometimes, they say it’s international, but the shipping costs are ridiculously high (more expensive than the book itself!) and I can’t bring myself to spend my money on that.

      Totally agree with your last point as well. I love the Harry Potter series, so when they keep releasing new editions, I want to own them all! But I already own each book at least three times (soon four, when all the illustrated editions are released) and the only thing that’s different is the cover (except for the latter). Knowing myself though, I know I won’t be able to resist buying new editions of the series!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Swetlana says:

        Harry Potter has SO MANY different editions though! Whenever I watch people’s bookshelf tours there are often at least 3 different editions and people are still collecting more!

        So far the only book I own more than once is Clockwork Angel because I wanted my The Infernal Devices triogy to match my TMI series with the image across the spines – unfortunately the spine of Clockwork Angel is slightly different, so it doesn’t match after all. But the cover is pretty to look at!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      Well, I care very much about diversity, so when I’m looking for information on books, it’s sometimes very hard to know whether they include any representation, except for when it is clearly marketed as diverse. I don’t like it when people write “it has an LGBTQ character” in their reviews. LGBTQ stands for tons of different identities though, so I wish people were more specific.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cornreviewsbooks says:

    I don’t like romance much either it doesn’t help that it’s in nearly every ya book, I also want to see more standalone fantasy’s I get burned out after reading so many trilogy’s. Standalone are refreshing and you don’t have to wait on the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ashley says:

    I don’t read the romance genre at all! There are times when I don’t have a problem when there is romance in a book, just as long as it add’s something to the story, and doesn’t take up the whole book. I also don’t mind when romantic relationships develop out friendships first. It really is nice to read a book that doesn’t have any romance in it all. I read a book today that had zero romance, focused on friendship and had diverse characters, it was really refreshing for a change!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      I don’t read romance either, except for when it’s diverse (such as a F/F romance). Still, it’s nearly impossible to find a book that doesn’t shove a M/F romance down my throat. I wish I could be like “oh, I don’t like the romance, but the rest of the book is great”, but most of the time, those romance tropes will bother me too much and prevent me from enjoying the book as much as I would’ve if the romance hadn’t been included.

      Oh, which book are you talking about? 🙂

      Like

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