Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Dual: Books with similar concepts are inspired or imitating?♥

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Feminist Reflections is a feature I created on my blog to share my personal thoughts and to provoke a discussion among readers.

Are books with similar concepts imitating each other, inspired or unique in their own ways?
Personally, I feel when you take inspiration from someone's work, you should also give credit to them. Fifty Shades of Grey's author has stated Twilight inspired them. I CAN respect that, giving people the credit they deserve. Otherwise if you don't give credit, then you're really just imitating someone's hard work. I understand someone can have the same ideas and concepts, but it's CLEAR who plagiarized when the story lines, characters, etc are the same. It really bothers me when authors don't give no credit to the original work and do not mention them at all. Onto the book dual's now.. Not all of these books are imitating each other though, some are unique with their work. Disclaimer: I could be wrong about these observations, but these are just my opinions from experience.

This is all over the place, it actually really bothers me how almost one has said anything about The Hunger Games being the exact replica of the book Battle Royale. Didn't people throw abuse words at the author who J.K Rowling claimed copied her? 

 The Hunger Games and Battle Royale both have the same concept, the same ending, a love triangle, a tracker device in the games, forbidden zones in the games, similar villain, and the same causes of death of the tributes in the games. The author Suzanne Collins has claimed she hadn't read Battle Royale.. Right, I'm sorry but I don't believe that at all. She seems like a lovely lady, but there are way too many similarities for it to be a coincidence. I believe, the only differences are The Hunger Games was more personal, and Battle Royale is more gory and gruesome. I loved The Hunger Games, but Battle Royale is my all time favorite, it's the REAL Hunger Games for me.


The red is obvious enough.. Red Rising was published first, the stories are somewhat different but the concepts are the same. In a dystopian or fantasy world, people with red blood are poor and oppressed, people with silver blood are rich and elites. A rebellion happens of course.. Red Queen wasn't a total copy though since it had a heroine instead of a hero plus it had a love triangle. Maybe, the author had a similar idea on their own without the influence of the other book, but there are some parts strangely similar so it's fishy... I wasn't the biggest fan of neither one of these books, although I did prefer Red Rising a lot more. It was more of an emotional and character driven book. 

These books have two different plots so there's no way one of them copied each other. The assassins concept started a while back anyway. They're both unique reads in their own ways. TOG was a decent read, although the main heroine Caleana had a huge hubris, she's shallow, but badass. She's portrayed as gorgeous even when sweating. The book was quite slow and the love triangle was annoying. Ismae in Grave Mercy was humble, kind yet badass. She was ordinary looking.. They're both assassins, I prefer His Fair Assassin more than TOG. Ismae was an assassin yet she never tried to portray herself anything more than that, Caleana gave her sob story of how she never wanted to be an assassin which I didn't care for. The dialogues in both books were beautiful, but His Fair Assassin is one of my favorite books.

 Both of these books are inspired from the fairytale retelling Beauty & The Beast. I did like both of these books, although ACOTAR reminded me more of Cinderella and some of the concepts didn't make any sense to me. Cruel Beauty was my favorite retelling because it's accurate on the Beauty & the Beast retelling but it also creates flawed characters with a twisted story. I adore both of these covers though.

Something sounds fishy here.. There's not many books about heroines whose touch can kill. The original heroine whose touch can kill is The Marvel series with Rogue from X-men. Similarly, the heroine in Shatter Me, her touch absorbs energy when it comes in contact with something or someone just like Rogue's.. I think it might be an imitation because who hasn't heard of Rogue honestly?

 The actual plots and stories are quite different though in Shatter Me & The Sin Eater's Daughter, although the heroine's power is wanted by almost everyone in both books. There is a love triangle in both books, but that's almost in every YA novel. I liked The Sin Eater's Daughter much better, it's more high fantasy. The covers for both books are soo gorgeous though!

I don't think the newer novel Hello, I Love You plagiarized, it could be inspired though. The boarding school aspect in a foreign country is similar and the cover, but that's mainly it. Anna and The French Kiss is the most cliche novel I have ever read in Young Adult, I'm not sure what people like in this novel. It is so over hyped honestly.. Anna complains about moving to a boarding school in PARIS, damn girl your life must be hard. Grace in Hello, I Love You chose to move to Korea. Anna's book had a love triangle, and it was all about the romance. Grace's story is more intense, it's also about family conflict and self-discovery. There's no real sense of a love triangle there. The heroines in both novels acted immaturely sometimes, although Grace reached character growth - Anna never did. It's obvious enough. Hello, I Love You has more depth to it.



I feel the other two books are inspired from My Fault In Our Stars. The topic on suicide and two depressed teens finding love trend became quite popular after the hype of My Fault In Our Stars. I personally do not like any of these books, although it's cute how The Fault in Our Stars is a trendsetter.

What do you guys think? Am I just being paranoid or do these generic stories do exist in literature? Do you still like them?

Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron 

39 comments:

  1. When books are too similar it can bother me somewhat. But usually I don't really mind it. I have had friends mention how Battle Royale is very similar to Hunger Games, and I do think it is fishy how close these novels can be. Another obvious one would have to be Red Queen and Red Rising... a lot of people seem to feelt hat way too. As well as Velvet and Twilight although I have yet to read Velvet myself - I am basing on what I have heard. As for the cancer/suicide books, even though they are some sensitive topics novels about that have been trending quite a bit lately.

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    1. Yes, I feel a lot of people say many books ripped The Hunger Games, but THG isn't original either which makes me laugh lol. I think the most original book about teens competing against each other in a die or live scenario is Battle Royale, unless there has been a book published before with the similar concept.

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  2. Great post!
    Have a nice evening!
    Angela Donava
    http://www.lookbooks.fr/

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  3. Definitely something to ponder on. I think though that lots of time it is coincidence because a lot the of the books were probably written and going through editing and polish when another was released like in Red Queen and Red Rising. I can though say that I have read books that read to similar to something else I have read and that felt like a ripoff. Sigh...

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    1. Yes, it could be a coincidence, but it is something to ponder upon when the elements in the book sound exactly the same.

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  4. I think this is an interesting post for sure but I agree with Heidi, I think sometimes it really is a coincidence and other times it can be a complete rip off. I think what matters most os that even if there are similarities that the author still makes it feel original and for it to be able to stand on it's own.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥ & I agree, it's better when the author can still make the novel appear more unique in its own way.

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  5. Nice post! Definitely makes you ponder the books with similarities. But sometimes it just happens. I try not to draw too many comparisons when I do encounter similar books, but sometimes it gets hard not too. I do try to find the uniqueness in each of them though. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥

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  6. I hate when it feels like a book is copying another! I've come across a few, and it made me angry. If the story is inspired by another book, but the details and plot are different than I don't mind. Great post Benish!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
    http://www.abookishescape.com

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    1. I agree, it does upset me as well when some authors think it's okay to steal other people's ideas. It's one thing when it's inspiration, but if you're just copying, then that's pretty sad.

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  7. I found TFIOS to be quite similar to All The Bright Places, but I loved them both :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥

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  8. I think it's a mix of both on some of them out there. It's hard to know if the author was copying or not, but sometimes you get that weird feeling that it's too similar. I read a couple books recently that had similar plots and elements, made me question if it was a copycat. The problem is that there was enough of it that was different that I pushed the thought aside. I didn't know about some of these! Then again, I'm a bit behind on newer YA books. LOL.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥

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  9. I think in some cases it's hard to say if it's inspiration, immitation or a coincidence. I know that Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Jennifer L Amrentrout her Convenant series have similarities, VA was released earlier, but Armentrout her never read VA, so even though there are some similarities that seems to be a coincidence. I do agree with you though that it's nice if authors would actually mention who inspired them, on the other hand every author has read so many different books and heard of even more, it can be hard to define who inspired their writing or story I guess.

    Also the touch can kill idea has been around for a long while, when I mentioned the concept of Shatter me to my boyfriend he mentioned X Men had a character who could do that and I think I once read a post about that the touch can kill concept has been used a lot of times.
    And in history there are quite some inventions like the tv I think which was invented about the same time by two very different people that lived in different countries and had never heard of the other. I think there are more examples like, but can't remember them at the moment, and even some theories that where thought of around the same moment, while the people never met or heard of each other. So even though it seems unlikely coincidences like that can and do happen.

    So basically I think in many of these cases it's hard to determine what it is, although it can be annoying to see similar concepts especialy if the books are very similar, they might just be coincidences in some cases. I have enjoyed a few books less because they reminded me too much of another book and that can bother me. Although I usually like to see what's different as well. Like how you point out how Anna and hello have a similar concept but you liked Hello more because of the character development. Interesting topic!

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  10. I think that authors can get inspired, but I feel like these can all stand on their own two feet, especially because they aren't exact replicas. I think that there is not a book in this century that cannot be compared to something else
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  11. I feel like similar concepts are inevitable. Sometimes they bother me and sometimes they don't Some authors can get away with it and I don't even know why.

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  12. It's definitely something to think about isn't it; I tend to notice similarities in books of the same genre especially Dystopian. I'm not sure if similar story-lines are intentional or coincidence but it's definitely something to ponder.

    A great post! Sharon – Obsession with Books

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  13. Can’t say much for most of these books (I seriously do need to pick up some of them) but it definitely does sound like quite a bunch of these are based off of the other book in the pairing. Battle Royale looks really cool though and I have heard things about how THG is exactly like it, so I’ll have to give it a try and see! Great post :D

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  14. I had no idea most of these books were similar to each other! But I get your point. I've read books that resemble other books, and I understand it if the original writer gives credit for some ideas in the disclaimer or acknowledgments part of the book. I write stories, too, that are inspired by other books, but I tweak them a little to make it mine. But still, since I don't even publish any of what I write, I always make sure I give credit for some ideas I get from reading.

    Maybe it's just a coincidence? I know that it's incredibly rare for someone to write nearly EVERYTHING that another book has, but you never know -- great minds can think alike :P I'm not at all bothered by this too much. Great post!

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  15. I think when books are similar but not really the same, I think they're inspired. But, if one is exactly like the other then, and only then do I think they are just imitating the other. I'm not really sure but it's something to think about. Great post!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥

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  16. It's really hard to simply say, "Ah, this person imitated this! This is obviously inspired from that!" because, let's be honest, originality is hard to come by these days, and ideas can't really be plagiarized. I may be thinking of something now, a book idea, and another person from another part of the world could also be thinking of the same thing. I will only have gripes with a book if it plagiarizes word by word another person's work, but if the idea is the same, I try to be more open-minded about it because coincidences happen. Not sure about ACOTAR being a Beauty and the Beast retelling because it does feel more East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Norwegian fairy tale) and other people have said it's more of the latter than the former.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  17. Personally, I found Red Rising quite similar to Hunger Games - people divided into districts/colours according to abilities ( although this is a common element in so many dystopias). From my review: "And they are kept docile by propaganda spewed by the Capital/Gold rulers. Food and other goods are used as prizes for an individual mining group meeting their quota/the winners of the hunger games and provided with food and other goods, there are public lashings, a sacrificial lamb, and a sneaky rebel broadcast of a televised message to try gall the masses. SOUND FAMILIAR?"

    I haven't read Battle Royale, but by all accounts, THG is a direct inspiration/copy.

    Also, The Fault in Our Stars inspired a plethora of sick kid lit. SO MANY.

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    1. I do see what you mean, although, I haven't through about Red Rising in that way - people divided into districts was common to THG, although THG wasn't original either. The author has said she hasn't read Royale Battle, okay maybe she hasn't read the book, but maybe somewhere she has read the wiki or blurb on it? It's really really heard to believe the idea is original when it's a rip off.

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  18. I think the most glaring one for me has been the Jennifer Armentrount series and Vampire Academy. I read the Covenant series first and didn't realise until I picked up Vampire Academy how similar the two were. I haven't actually read Battle Royale, but looking forward to grabbing a copy to spot the similarities for myself now. With a few of these though, I liked the book that was inspired by the original far more. Like Red Queen I loved, Red Rising I didn't. So there are still enough similarities for me between them.

    Great discussion Benish, really interesting to read about what others think <3

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  19. Wonderful discussion Benish, it's amazing how similar some books tend to be - but let's be honest, there are only so many times stories can be original these days. I always feel like going into a new book that it is bound to be similar to something else. As long as you enjoy it though, I would say I don't really care. Also as long as the author puts their own twist in and don't outright plagiarise...

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥ & yes, that's true. If the story isn't original and the plots are somewhat different than it can be unique in it's own ways although a lot of the details in these books sound fishy.

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  20. This is such a great discussion post! Originality is very difficult to achieve these days but for something like Battle Royale which was published way before The Hunger Games, even I felt like things were fishy. Although THG diverges after the first book, I think Battle Royale presented the horror of a battle to the death between youngsters in a more realistic depressing way...

    And yeah, I was floating when you noticed Celaena's hubris! I know a lot of people can bear with it but her shallowness was too annoying for me haha and also small things that makes it hard for me to believe she's The World's Greatest Assassin like eating mysterious candy when there's a killer in the castle lol

    Ah, I haven't wanted to read Hello, I Love You because I read some quotes and a sample of how Grace sees Korean culture and it really disgusted me. She showed zero interest in the culture and constantly kept having a white-superior tone so I decided to not read it since I can't deal with that kind of stuff :/

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  21. I tend to get really mad when authors rip off other authors and don't give credit...especially when people end up liking the copy just as much or even more than the primary and superior work. Cassandra Clare is one of THE worst culprits here in my opinion and I can NOT get passed the issues I had with The Mortal Instruments. Even 50 Shades bugs me but that's probably much more than just the Twilight stuff. I don't mind SOME similarities but I feel that when books start off as fanfic, they should stay that way. Lovely post Benish^^ ♥

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  22. Oh, that Nora Ephron quote is utterly gorgeous. One of my favourites!
    I can get really annoyed by similar themes in novels, but it's okay if it retains originality and the characters or the world is similar. If the characters are exactly the same, the plot is the same or they face the same trails then I tend not to be able to finish the book, because I've already read it, most of the time. As long as there is originality, that is the main focus, I'm okay with it.
    In a lot of these cases I either have read only one of the books or none of them! I am planning on reading Grave Mercy sometime this year, though. I don't imagine I'll like it more than Throne of Glass, which is a series I adore (especially as it progresses), but I hope I'll enjoy it without comparing the two! It sounds really wonderful.
    x

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  23. It's hard to say; writing a book is a long, long process, so for a book to come out close to another would mean it was already in progress. I'd say a year at the very least for writing, editing, and publishing a book, but even that's ambitious. I'll bet authors with similar concepts to newly published books get really annoyed/worried when books like theirs comes out before theirs does. The only thing that ever bugged me in this case was the Flurry of vampire books that came out after Twilight, but I think that's more grubbing for popularity than stealing an idea. Or maybe people just wanted to write vampire books anyways, and they would have come out with or without Twilight, but because of Twi's popularity, they became more popular too.

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  24. honestly, i really don't mind when i read books but when it's beyond obvious for me, then it's time i compare it or whatever it is that's i can relate to the previous book i read. :)

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  25. Great post. I haven't read most of these so I cannot comment on how close they are but I think nowadays it feels like we get more and more books that are the same. Either I'm getting harsher with my judging or less and less books I come across have that unique spark. I do not mind books with similar themes/topics if the books feels like it is a new thing.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ♥ & I agree, the book should be unique it's own way if the concept's are similar.

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  26. Aha! Thanks for doing this, I had a similar idea a few months back and drafted a post but never got around to finishing it (because of time and reviews etc, haha). I think this is a tough one to decide, especially lately with all the fads and the new "it" genre, but you're not being paranoid. but I think it's more of the fact that they're all going by the same formula, especially when it's in the same genre, so they do seem generic- especially when they don't make it their own-like, look at Cruel Beauty, totally original with a story that's familiar. It's all about making it your own.
    But then again, there are ones that seem a little too similar...

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    1. I agree, it's about making a book your own even if the concept isn't original and it has been used before. I do wish the stories weren't generic though, like I loved The Hunger Games, but I feel it's completely unoriginal.

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