The Rise of the Knock Off Book.

The Rise of the Knock Off is relatively new to me, at least I haven’t noticed it reading older books as much as I notice it now. The Knock Off Books is quite literally when someone else takes most of the details of the plot, character archetype and how the plot develops and rehashes it with minor differences. It’s almost like Fan Fiction in the sense that you love the “characters” and don’t want to make too many changes to them but you want your own story, the ending that you like better or worse for them. 

The book series that’s spawned the most knock offs that came across my notice was 50 Shades of Grey. Fifty Shades of Grey started to take the world by storm a few years ago. By the end of 2011 going into 2012 it was all that was talked about from hushed whispers at work to those who would turn the pages quickly with embarrassment and a red tinge on their cheeks in public. It was everywhere and for those who hadn’t really explored the realm of erotic books, this was a huge discovery. 

50 Shades of Grey was a poor attempt at watering down BDSM for the masses, the damaged Characters, the intense sex scenes and the over all obsessive nature of the book appealed to the demographic it was trying to reach and beyond. E.L. James, a British Author struggled through writing a book in America and America ate it up. 

In the search for good BDSM themed writing I’ve stumbled on a few authors who have pretty much re-written the same exact book, except this is the way they would have done it. 

Sylvia Day’s CrossFire Series, Maya Bank’s Breathless Trilogy and you can view a list of similar books via this Good Reads list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/21208.Like_50_Shades_of_Grey which isn’t the only 50 Shades of Grey inspired listing on the site. 

I guess, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about knock off books. As a reader, it feels like I’m getting robbed somehow. I’m reading the same stories over and over again, with sinister plot twists and what people think is kinky sex. It’s terrifying for me. 

This ties in to how easy it is to write, to self publish and to call yourself an author these days. I’m not sure what would make someone write a book so blatantly like someone else’s. I also get upset when an author re-uses the same name over and over again in their work. Why would you do that? There are millions of name options, please, I want to read something different, I want to be able to say ” This is different, it’s unlike anything else”. 

I know that in this time of technology, where everyone has the ability to share their thoughts; it seems that all of the same ideas have been done. I get that. It’s hard to write an original plot, it’s difficult to weave a story that allows anyone that reads it to take something important away from it. I get that but don’t become a clone. 

I also see the remake of movies, t.v. shows and programs from across the world in America. I dislike it. I want to see the original, read the original, view the original. I want to experience something new. I don’t want to reread what you think 50 Shades of Grey should have been. I don’t want to see the American Version of anything. Why not give people the credit they deserve. Is it also so difficult that we know that we, as Americans aren’t the best at everything? Show us the names, faces, dates and times of those who did something great.

Do you read knock off books? Do you like them better? Why? What was the first knock off book you read?

Worth the Read: The Silver Linings Play Book

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This candid look at life and relationships examines what how a person moves on and reclaims their life when everything goes wrong.

A refreshing piece of writing that spawned an amazing movie starring Jennifer Lawrence (who won an Oscar, Best Actress for her performance) and Bradley Cooper (nominated for Best Actor)

The movie is a great watch but the book is still worth the read. Definitely give it a try, Matthew Quick does a good job of creating unforgettable, real characters and weave a story that any one of us could have lived.

Books I’m looking forward to in 2013

2012 was a good year for books and hopefully the trend of great writers making it and already established writers giving us a good title continues.

I’m looking forward to the following books:

  1. The Ocean at the End – Neil Gaiman
  2. The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa
  3. The Absolute Diary of a part time Indian – Sherman Alexie
  4. And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
  5. Joyland – Stephen King

What title are you looking forward to reading this year?