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.