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Thursday, September 30, 2010

YA = Books Based On TV Shows?

I had a discussion with one of my friends not too long ago, and during the discussion I brought up how much I love YA books and pretty much everything about them. My friend is very academic, and she does not view YA the way I do, and a comment she made about YA made me question some things. She said, "YA seems to be where all of those books based off of TV shows end up."

I didn't know what to say to this, because I know that books like Vampire Diaries, were in fact books before they were TV shows... but apparently not everyone knows this. So this left me thinking about those covers and the possibility that maybe the covers are turning people off. Granted, I think that the TV show is probably turning a good many people on to reading the series, but what about those people who don't care about things like that and the only cover they see is one promoting the show?

Maybe they would think it was a product of the show rather than the show being a product of the book.

What really bothered me about it was because of these covers my friend was, whether she meant to or not, dismissing all of YA based on what she said. I can't help but wonder how everyone else who isn't as into the YA scene as me perceives these things. Do they primarily lump all of YA together and call it like Twilight, or do they actually recognize it for how different it is?

I don't know where I stand on TV and movie based covers for books. I'm very undecided.This just got me thinking about whether they help, or turn people off.

How do you feel on the cover remakes we see in YA so often?

Do they ultimately help people read YA, or do they make people shrug it off?


danya said...

Hmmm...good question. Often when I see a book with a cover from the TV show/movie I'll think it's a book based on the show, so that will turn me off (because by and large, in my experience books written after the TV show/movie are not very good quality, whereas books that sparked the TV show have a greater likelihood of actually being well-written). However, in getting reluctant readers to read, it might help if they recognize their favorite movie star or whatever on the like you I'm kind of divided! I think it really depends on what audience you're marketing the book towards.

Jen said...

This is a really great topic that I am glad you brought up. I hate, HATE cover remakes in both middle-grade literature and YA lit. I just saw the new Beezus and Ramona cover with Selena Gomez on it. Terrible. I think that putting a movie or television cover on a book really "dumbs down" the book even though it is the same content.

Sure, the t.v shows or movies might bring in additional readers, but I think that putting the cover on it does a real disservice to literature.

I do think that people who are not familiar with the YA genre do lump it together as "Twilight." (in my opinion, a terrible series to represent a wonderful genre)

YA literature has the most dynamic characters in all of literature and a lot of the books have phenomenal depth and heart. Sadly, the t.v/movie covers just don't relate this.

Thank you, again, for this awesome post.

brandileigh2003 said...

I think that it can go both ways-- if there is space in the store-- have both displayed :)

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Laina said...

So... what, Trueblood isn't based on books? Or Bones, Dexter, The Unit, Women's Murder Club... (Okay, I cheated and googled :P )

Christina said...

Laina: Yes, those are as well! So really, it can go for all areas of fiction. I myself read the first Dexter book and loved it, and am a bit of a Dexter addict myself. :)

Steph said...

I don't like it much when they take a nice cover and replace it with the TV show or movie logo, actor, actress, etc. It doesn't stop me from reading it and I suppose they are just capitalizing on marketing both ways. I am an old follower with a contest - hope you will come by Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
twitter: @fangswandsfairy

Discovery Channel Live Streaming said...

Hi Christina the title of your post is really nice and i hope the show will also rock and i am surely going to watch it.


I think for non readers, it makes them think "Well I already know what the book is all about so I don't need to read it." as far as the shows that are on t.v. that includes Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. Now, I haven't read much of PLL and none of Gossip Girls but Vampire Diaries didn't follow the books at all. That's why they put the t.v. books out. If any of these people read a Harry Potter book, they'd know the movies didn't follow the books. Hopefully they are smart enough to put two and two together and realize the books and shows are different. But that dismisses so many YA novels that aren't on t.v. or a movie. So many really good ones. Your academic friend will probably find herself reading YA one day and wonder why she dismissed it so readily. I was her when I got out of college. I read only the classics and NYT best sellers. I still have a 700 page biography on Samuel Beckett that I haven't read because my Shakespeare teacher loved him so much. Never got past the first chapter. But some people don't read so they're trying to entice people to buy the books. Look at true blood and the Sookie Stackhouse series, I don't think they changed her books, but they're still selling. But I guess that isn't YA. So as I've rambled I don't think I've answered the question at all except that your friend is a snob and remind her of her comments when you catch her with a copy of Twilight in a few years.


Christina said...

@Buried in Books/Heather: She's really not a snob at all! YA just isn't really her thing, though I don't think she's read it much, she did love Twilight! I don't think she meant what she said to sound negative at all and I'm sorry if I made it seem like she was calling YA awful, because I think she was just generally stating what she saw in YA. What she said does put across a judgment, but I don't think she meant for that judgment to be there.

They haven't changed the Sookie Stackhouse novels (I really don't like the covers and almost wish they did lol) but they still definitely sell, so maybe there's some hope after all!

Laura Ashlee said...

I tend to assume the other way around. If there's a book and a show, the book probably came first. The thing that kills me about the Vampire Diaries is the fact that the book and the show are almost NOTHING alike. I really enjoyed the show. Then I read the first four books and they didn't do much for me. I guess I just expected them to be like the show and it didn't work out that way. It's weird because it's usually the other way around.

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