This book is like Oranges and Mandarins, but the Feng Shuei is wrong.

I just received a Publishers Weekly advertising for a book tagged as “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter”.  Apart from evoking strange if not upsetting images (last thing I want to see is a narrative of anorexic wizards, thank you very much), I hate this tagging. I think it’s diminishing. I don’t believe it accomplishes what is supposed to do (according to publishing dictates): clearly box-in the new book in the right shelf, alongside his similar-genre/topic/theme cousin books.

I don’t know what The Hunger Games is. A book? An Olimpic sport? Latest fad? Survival film?

I know what Harry Potter is. I have my issues with it, I really like some of it (oh, the dragons and the world-building and Sirius Black and the Deatheaters and all that), dislike some of it (Yes, Harry let yourself be physically punished and abused in school and decide NOT to tell anyone, passing on this advice to another pupil as well…grrr).

But do I want to approach a new book with this half ignorance/half bias mix in me? Not really. I’d rather know what this book is about, not what is perhaps a bit like, or, and little bit like that, too. As it is, I’m thinking anorexic child-wizard. No thank you.



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5 responses to “This book is like Oranges and Mandarins, but the Feng Shuei is wrong.

  1. What a terrible tag…any book worth its salt should be able to stand up in its own right..they definetly got this promo wrong…however I am now curious so maybe it did work….ELiza Keating


    • Apparently it’s a ‘middle-grade fantasy debut from New York Times Bestselling author Lisa McMann’, title: The Unwanteds (sic). I just think that such labelling creates false expectations and assumptions and doesn’t let the book stand on its own.


  2. The Hunger Games – of which a movie is coming out – has the surprisingly violent premise of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where children from different districts are chosen every year to fight and kill each other in an arena for the entertainment of millions living in a fattened, ruling city.

    It’s a trilogy, and the first book – which I have! – was named “one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year in 2008 and The New York Times ‘Notable Children’s Book of 2008’. It’s also one of School Library Journal’s ‘Best Books 2008’ and a ‘Booklist Editors’ Choice’ in 2008.”


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