Comparisons in YA I’d Actually Want to See

A lot of blurbs these days are comparisons.  I’ve seen everything from Hunger Games meets Twilight to The Selection meets Orange is the New Black.

Okay, probably not those exact variants.  But I thought today, I’d discuss some actual mash ups I’d like to see more of and if there are any books that could possibly meet this criteria.

1) Indiana Jones:

I would love an Indiana Jones inspired YA novel.  With a female character playing the Indiana Jones role.  There have been YA adventure stories, but so far none of them have reached the threshold where they are worthy of this comparison.  Bonus points, if the story is a period piece.

  • The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: Close but no cigar.  While the jet setting and ancient mystery factor is there, Avery is no Indy.
  • The Tiger Curse Saga by Collen Houck: I hate putting it on here, but this series is going for an Indy feel even though it fails big time.  The sad thing is, if the editing for this story would’ve been halfway there I would’ve probably been one of its biggest advocates.

2) Ballet/Opera:

Any work that is based off of a classical music pieces is awesome.  The stories behind some of these works are just so fascinating.  Plus, I like sort of the blur of genres.

  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand: Not my favorite, but I’m glad it tried to retell the famous ballet.
  • The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdeih:  I know Scheherazade is an actual story, but I played the piece back in high school so the music is going to be with me when I read the book and that’s pretty cool.

3) Once Upon a Time:

I like fairytale retellings, especially when they are twisty like on this show.  Although, I’ve grown rather annoyed with this show as of late.  It’s still a great thing to put in a blurb.

  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: Definitely twisted fairytale, though it’s really nothing like the TV show.  There’s a lot more sci-fi thrown in and consistent world building.
  • Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross: Cursed fairytale town.  Sounds like Once Upon a Time to me.

4) Downton Abbey:

I love period pieces.  Fancy dresses, stuffy customs, marriage becomes a political task….

  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White: Definitely a period piece with stuffy customs set in a fantasy world.  There is an upstairs downstairs feel about it, but there are no scheming butlers sadly.
  • Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore:  This one tries so hard to be like Downton Abbey that it even has a Lady Mary wannabe on said cover.

5) Smallville:

Superheroes in high school is always a fun idea.  Unfortunately, finding a super hero novel that works is easier said than done.

  • Lois Lane Fallout by Gwenda Bond: Because Lois Lane obviously equals superhero.  Though I do wonder if Superman’s role of catching her when she falls out a window is going to be that necessary since high school’s generally aren’t that high despite the name.
  • The Rise of Renegade X by Chelesa M Campbell: Because it’s probably one of the better superhero YA novels I’ve read as of yet.

6) Charmed:

Witches, girl power, hot guys, and a demon a week makes this the perfect series to watch (at least till Cole leaves and Phoebe gets with one weirdo after another).  Still, it’s the perfect go to for a YA blurb.

  • Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs: Very similar Charmed except instead of being witches the girl’s powers are through Greek mythology.  Bonus points for the character’s not killing their hot demon boyfriend-oh, wait, no hot demon boyfriend.

7) Dr. Who:

Who doesn’t want to go on an adventure with the doctor?  What I like about the show is that it’s wacky and anything can really happen.  I’d like to see YA projects try to take a nod from this cinematic genius.  Alas, very little YA books feature bow-ties.

  •  Jackaby  by William Ritter: I’m mentioning this twice on my list, mainly because it claims to be a combination of Wholock (Dr. Who and Sherlock).  Alas, it does not live up to its premises and the only thing remotely Who-ish about the book is the human turned duck.
  • A Darker Side of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Alternative worlds, lady pirates, sounds crazy enough to be Who-vian enough to me.

8)Meg Cabot:

I love a good Meg Cabot novel because they’re so fluffy and OTT, yet they’re surprisingly real. Meg Cabot books have always been feel good books to me.   So, anytime I hear a Cabot comparison it’s give me now.

  • Geek Girl by Holly Smale:  This really is a lot like The Princess Diaries series, but with a lot of The Big Bang Theory thrown in.  Imagine Sheldon as Mia, if you can you’ll get this book.
  • Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith ZeitlanThis one is actually compared to being like a Meg Cabot book meets a Stephanie Perkins book.  That sounds too good to be true.


9) Disney:

Because everyone loves a good Disney movie with a happily ever after.  Plus, since most people don’t read they are their main source of important life material.  Though, it’s sort of sad that most people tell me that The Little Mermaid ends with a happy ending when in reality Ariel’s tongue is chopped off, her sister’s hair is chopped off, and she ends up sacrificing herself as sea foam because she didn’t use the importance of body language.

  • The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot (especially Forever Princess): Well, it was made into a Disney movie.  And let’s face it people only find out that they’re long lost royals in Disney movies.
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: Princess, a prince in disguise, an assassin.  Okay, one of those things isn’t very Disney-ish, but two of them are. So.. on the list it goes.


10) Sherlock:

Because who doesn’t love a good mystery with a sociopath as the starring detective.  To be fair, any form of Holmes is good.  But the BBC show has gave new life to this classic.  And Cumberbatch gifs can be used at ridiculous rates when you call it a Sherlock comparison.

  • Every Breath by Ellie Marney: Where Johnlock works because Sherlock is not completely himself and neither is John.
  • Jackaby  by William Ritter: Maybe a bit too literal in its Sherlock comparison.  If you do like that Johnlock vibe (without the romance that Every Breath provides) you might want to give this one a try.

Just for fun here’s a few comparisons that equal insta death for me:

1) The Selection:

Seriously, this series is like fetch to me.  It just ain’t happening.  And if you compare your series to it, it will have me rethink reading it.

2) The Amazing Race:

I’ve just have had real problems with anything that uses this as a comparison.  Maybe it will work in one of these books, but I think it’s very difficult to show a race in a book.

3) Any Show Starring Gordon Ramsay:

Ha!  As much as I love these shows, I don’t want to read a book about how this risotto looks like cat piss.  Especially since books lack accents.

4)Romeo and Juliet

I hate how this couple is always coined as being oh so romantic.  They’re not.  To be honest, the characters are idiots.  And they deserved what they got.  The good news is that when this is on a book jacket I can usually avoid.

5) American Idol:

Books can’t sing.  They are also not competitive reality shows.  Enough said.


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