Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When Recommendations Go Wrong!

So, I've been bitten by the Twilight bug. Yes, it's true. I finally read it and loved it just as much as my little sisters said that I would. I'm not the last person in the world to have read it - just one of them : )

Anyway, this morning I came across a post regarding someone else who had read the book and a recommendation that a heavy reader (but not necessarily someone who's read Twilight) made to her as to what she should read next. Apparently this person was never a very heavy reader (I am assuming) because the biggest thing was that she enjoyed them so much that she read books 1, 2, and 3 all in one week. No small feat, but I can tell you not a major one for a big reader. For someone who's not a big reader, though, this is a grand accomplishment to be congratulated for!

Anyway, a person overhearing the comment said to her Oh, if you loved the Twilight Saga, you should try... Since I really don't want to get too negative about a book that I've never managed to finish, I won't say exactly what it was. However, I have seen this same rec made before, to my little sister no less. A middle school teacher who learned that my sister (the eldest JJ) was a voracious reader of everything vampires recommended these same books to her.

Now, you've probably got an idea what it is. Know this, I tried valiantly to read these books. I gave them multiple chances, it just wasn't going to happen. Maybe as an adult I would have different results but I have been leery to try again. My best friend was turned off of vamps forever because of these books and the strange part of the public that began to come out of the woodwork claiming that they were "real." Hm...

It's kind of like when people learn that Mike and I are from Louisiana, they're always so quick to recommend the local "Cajun" restaurants. It's never the same. For one, people's spice meter here is significantly off. Even if the chef is from Louisiana, he's had to adapt his food to meet local tastes. Just because we're from Louisiana, does not mean that we're going to love every single Cajun restaurant in the nation. It doesn't mean that we won't try them, but there's definitely an assumption that we'll love it.

It's the same with this particular series, people figure that just because you've read Twilight, and because Twilight is about vamps, that you'll automatically love this other series. Not so! Again, I have to wonder if any of these people making the rec have even read Twilight. My thoughts are this: said other series, nowhere near the same style or tone as Meyer's books. My own sister would probably be shocked to read those books due to their content.

My point is this, you have to tailor your recommendations according to what people are reading. You can't say oh, because you like this vamp story, you'll like all vamp stories. You have to pay attention to the specifics of the particular books. I would never tell someone, oh, you like Alexander McCall Smith, well you should read Ritual by Mo Hayder. Sure, the Hayder book has elements that have to do with Africa and while Smith is more cozy mystery, Hayder's thrillers of course have mystery to them. NO! Hayder is shockingly violent, something that doesn't bother me but would certainly have a less than positive effect on someone expecting another 1st Ladies Detective Agency.

Do you see my point? I would say, for adults who like Twilight looking for something else along those lines, start looking into urban fantasy and adult paranormal romances. There's plenty of stuff out there without attempting to go over to the dark side - I don't think you'll like it.


Unknown said...

Very well put. However, I think I need to check out this Mo Hayder person. "Shockingly violent" you say?

Cheryl said...

Hey sorry I haven't been around much but my main computer died on my and the one I am currently using is slow and does not have all my favorite links on it. LOL