Thursday, January 16, 2014 15:19

Fairytale News | Pet Peeve: Title and series.


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

Today I want to share you a pet peeve I’ve had for a while now. I don’t think I’ve seen this one on any other blog yet, so I’m interested to see if you share my opinion. And if not, I’d love to see why you are on the other side!

This pet peeve of mine is:

The first book has the same title as the name of the series.

It bugs me that when there isn’t a different title for their first book. You know why it bothers me so much? If someone talks about, let’s say ‘The hunger games,’ I always wonder if they are talking about the first book or the complete series. It’s also hard to explain this to non-readers when you are talking about the movies, because they are often confused about the names. The first book is harder to identity as a book on itself.

It doesn’t have to be very spectacular. I mean, look at J.K Rowling. It’s ‘the Harry Potter series’ and the titles have the name of the series in it, but they still offer something else.

I just wish that those authors showed a little more.. imagination when they create names. I understand that it’s hard to come up with a good name that reflects the story, but having a separate title and series name has to be possible right? Take Maria Snyder’s ‘Study’ series with Poison study, magic study and fire study. There is no confusion possible and all she had to do was deleting X before study. Or Dan Wells with 'Partials sequence' and Partials, Fragments & Ruins.

Examples of authors who are doing it 'right':
-Marissa Meyer with her Lunar Chronicles, with Cinder, Scarlet, Cress & Winter.
-Leigh Bardugo with her Grisha series, with Shadow & Bone, Siege & Storm and Ruin & Rising.
-Gail Carriger with her Soul Protectorate series, with Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless & Timeless. Soulless would have been a good name for the series too, but I'm happy she didn't went there!

Example that annoys me:
-Sarah J. Maas with her Throne of glass series, with Throne of glass & Crown of midnight. Although I freaking love these books.
-Carrie Ryan with The forest of hands and teeth series, with The forest of hands and teeth, the dead-tossed waves and The dark and hollow places. One of my favorite zombie series, but ugh, I wish it had another series name.

Does this bother you too or is this something you haven’t thought about? Do you have any examples of authors who are doing it 'right' or 'wrong'? I know that they probably have a reason to keep the first title and the series name the same - and I definitely don't want to say I know what's best.
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

46 comments:

  1. YES and they (mostly non readers) call Catching Fire Hunger Games2... So yeah I definitely like it more when the series has its own name.

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  2. This bothers me too, first because it creates confusion and second because authors of all people shoould have more imaginaton than that! It always makes me feel disappointed.

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  3. Hahah it doesn't bother me but you must get very annoyed because this is EVERYWHERE - Divergent, Scarlet, Legend, Unearthly, Slated, Falling Kingdoms, Everneath, The Testing - I just pulled these looking at my recent reads. If it is not a standalone, I think it is far more common to have the series name be the same name as the first book.

    I assumed authors do this so that there is an obvious link to the first book for readers. Say if the sequel pops up on a blog, or Goodreads, or the internet and says Prodigy (Legend #2), readers will know it's the sequel to Legend. Whereas if it showed up as Prodigy (The Republic #2), maybe readers will miss the connection to Legend (The Republic #1)? Idk...

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    1. Haha, yes, there are SO many! Hmm, that does make sense!

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  4. It doesn't really bother me a lot, but I do like it when a series name is different than the title of the first book. It's just that so many series have the title of the first book as the series name, and that's so not unique anymore. Therefore I really like it when I discover that the series name is different. Like the Starbound series with These Broken Stars and the Internment Chronicles with Perfect Ruin. It just sounds more creative that the series have their own name and to me, it also wouldn't seem that hard to find a different name for a series. For me, it's annoying with Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass wasn't a favorite of mine, so when I say I merely like (not love) Throne of Glass maybe people are going to assume I mean the entire series. But that's not true! I LOVE LOVE Crown of Midnight. So that's when it's really annoying!

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    1. That's exactly my problem. Some people say they don't like 'Throne of glass', but I'm never sure if they talk about the first book or the complete series. It's just a little more confusing than having different titles.

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  5. I also like it when series has a different name than the title of the first book, especially if the title is long (the forest of hands and teeth)

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    1. A more catchy series title would be better yes :)

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  6. It doesn’t bother me as well. I think it is cooler though if they do think of an appropriate series title rather than naming it after the first book of the series. On the other hand, at least we wouldn’t be confused which one is book one. *winks, winks*

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  7. Yes, I am bothered by this. Part of me wonders if it's because they aren't sure they're going to get optioned for a series?
    But whatever. Rename the series then!

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    1. That could be an option.. It does happen that some books turn into series, but sometimes they sell like 3 books and I wish they came up with something else.

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  8. I actually prefer it when series are called by the name of the first book. Because then I know what to refer to them as! Like if I hadn't searched on Goodreads, I would have never know that Shadow & Bone was part of the Grisha series. I can definitely see how it can be frustrating when you don't know which the person is referring to but so far, I don't seem to have ran into this problem. Hmm.

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    1. Fun, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I can see why it can be useful if you point it out like that :)

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  9. YES! Like Shatter Me! I can never get if they are talking about the series or just the book.. an author doing it right is Michelle Hodkin.. the trilogy is called the Mara Dyer trilogy but each title is different. Great post! I never really realized it is a pet peeve until you pointed it out.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  10. So much so!! I also find it confusing when books in a series have similar names; it makes it too easy to mix them up!

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  11. It's so weird, but I've never really thought that much about this before! However, now that you mention it, I can't help but agree with you. It does annoy me when authors (or publishers, because we can't always blame the author) call the series the same as the first book because, like you said, there's no distinction. And it boils my blood when Hollywood then changes the titles of the movies, like they did with Catching Fire. It is not "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" -- it is simply "Catching Fire." Haha, now you've got me thinking about all my other books that fall into this category! Way to taint them! Haha, great post :)

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    1. Yes, you are right, it can be because of the publishers too. Yes, it's The Hunger Games part 2, but THE name is Catching Fire.

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  12. It doesn't really bother me... though I hadn't thought about it till this post and now I'll probably be looking out for it. Reminds me of how music artists used to name their first album with only their name and then after that it had a title. Now that I think about it... even when the second book has a different title I would probably call it "Throne of Glass book 2". I have been trying to get better at calling them by name. The worst is graphic novels. Justice League Volume 3 is what I would call it but it does have a title "Throne of Atlantis".

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    1. I don't read graphic books, but I can see how that is confusing too!

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  13. oh my God I TOTALLY feel you!!! I remember once when I was talking about The Vampire Academy, and because I didn't want the people to get confused and think I was talking about the first book, I would say the word series after it. Haha this is definitely a pet peeve for me as well! Great post!
    - Farah

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    1. Haha, yes! I always talk about 'the series X' or 'X series' because it's so easy to confuse.

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  14. It hasn't bothered me that much to be honest but I do get confused whenever people say "omg I love Divergent" I don't know if they love the first book OR the entire trilogy -_- I totally agreed about Grisha -- that's a good series name (well, you know my recent obsession with the series ><) and I think Rick Riordan also did it right with The Heroes of Olympus :)

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    1. Haha, everyone is obsessed with Grisha - and for a good reason :D

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  15. To be honest, I don't really mind it that much, because it doesn't take THAT much longer to type out "series" haha. But I actually dislike it when the name of the series is really long, like "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" or "A Series of Unfortunate Events" because I'm lazy :P

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    1. That's true, but in conversations with non-readers it's sometimes hard to explain to them that they are saying it wrong when they talk about the movies.

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  16. Amazing post Mel. <3 And I do agree with you about this, now that you mention it ;p

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  17. This has been bugging me, too! I feel like making the name of your series the same name as the title of the first book is just lazy, haha. I want a cool name! Like Chaos Walking or Caster Chronicles or The Chemical Garden. It just sounds better. And you made a good point, too, about how it can get kind of confusing when you have two things with the same name.

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  18. I haven't though about this but now when I think about it you're totally right. I never know do they refer to the first book or whole series either. I think that we should make a difference between the two. Great post :)

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  19. I do like it when there's a special name for the series, although sometimes it can be harder to remember. But it just seems so generic when they name the whole series after the first book!

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  20. I haven't even thought of this before but now that I think about it, it does slightly bother me. I totally agree with you about the whole Hunger Games thing. I can never tell what book (or movie) someone is talking about! I suppose it's not something that majorly bothers me, but it is kind of annoying so I do agree with you.

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    1. It's not something I think about all day, but it's just a little annoying sometimes.

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  21. I also agree with you. I am reading Vampire Academy and I was thrown off a bit that each of the books have an original title except for the first one, which has the series title.

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  22. Ooo - I had never really thought about this before! But yeah, naming the series the same as the first book can be a bit disconcerting and confusing. I think at least adding 'the' and 'series' before and after would make it easier :D

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  23. It doesn't bother me much. Although you have a point, it would be better to have a different name for the whole series or trilogy rather than using the first name of the first book as the name of the series. It would get rid of confusion!

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  24. I do get what you mean and what your point is... though it doesn't really bother me much. I actually haven't really thought about it that much, but I guess it makes sense if the name of the first book and the name of the series would differ from each other, less confusing for sure!

    Great discussion post Mel! And a great feature :) I look forward to reading more!
    x

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  25. This annoys me too! It can get confusing when you're recommending or being recommended books.
    I love the names in The Lunar Chronicles. :)

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  26. I hadn't really thought about a first book in a series having the same title as the series being annyoing. But now that you talk about it... it IS annoying. You named very good examples, especially the Lunar Chronicles. Book series should best be named after the universe or world they are set in I think:)

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  27. YES THAT BUGS ME TOO!! So much! It makes it more difficult to distinguish between the book and the series and it's just annoying. Like you couldn't have been more creative and came up with a more encompassing name for your series? Well you wrote a whole book so you should be able to! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

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