Saturday, 22 June 2013

Coincidental Commonalities

Have you ever come across two novels whose stories are original in their own right and yet they bear a resemblance to one another?  Books that contain what I call 'coincidental commonalities'. Here are some of the novels that I have drawn parallels with.  I wonder if I am alone in my assessment?

Two books with similar protagonists:

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard and Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James (both published within months of each other in 2011)

Both female protagonists, Julia Mitchell (in GI) and Anastasia Steele (in FSoG), are sweet and innocent - with a heavy emphasis on innocent - college students with just enough money to get by.  They both fall in love with a slightly older and therefore more experienced (sexually aware) man.  In the former novel's, case it is distinguished and wealthy university professor, Gabriel Emerson, and in the latter it is the rich and highly successful entrepreneur, Christian Grey.  Both men are flawed characters haunted by a dark past.  They are both manipulative and the relationships are both dominant vs submissive. They are both adult romance but Fifty Shades contains a lot of steamy sex scenes while GI does not.

Two books with a common theme:

Wool by Hugh Howie (First pub: 2011) and The Moon Dwellers by David Estes (First pub: 2012)

Both set in futurist post-apocalyptic societies with inhabitants living below the earth's service under an unequal class system and ruled by dictatorship.  I would say the former is aimed at adult readers and the latter at young-adult readers.  I have reviewed them both on Sooz Books Reviews in the past.  If you want to check out my reviews go to A-Z archive.

Two books with a similar set-up:

Slammed by Colleen Hoover  and In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen (both published within months of each other in 2012).

The set up is that Leykan Cohan (of Slammed) and Willow Flynn (of ITMoN) have both tragically lost their fathers.  They both have younger brothers of around the same age.  They are both required to move from the family home to somewhere else.  They both meet boys who are poets and use poetry to woo them.  They are both angst-ridden teenagers (but who can blame them as they genuinely have a lot of sh*t to deal with).  I have reviewed them both in the past on my review blog (as mentioned above).

Two books with a similar romance

Butterfly porcupine (by what's her name again?) published 2011 and The Journals of Kara and Jason by Charlie Wood published 2013.

Both novels are about first love with all the joy and pain that go with it.  In both novels there is a friends vs lovers tug-of-war going on in the relationships.  The female protagonists (Tasha in BP and Kara in TJK&J) are in denial about their ever growing affection for the male protagonists and focus on the friendship, while both male protagonists (Kai in BP and Jason in TJK&J) aren't as confused about their feelings and would like to take the relationship to the next level.  Both stories are told from the POV of each character with alternating chapters.  BP is a contemporary romance while TJK&J is a contemporary romance with a sci-fi element.  My review of The Journals of Kara and Jason is coming soon on my review blog.  You can find lots about Butterfly porcupine right here on this blog.

If anyone else has comments about the above I would be interested to read them.  Also, if there are other books with coincidental commonalities that you are aware of I'd be interested to know about those too.

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