Hello, friends and foe! I’m back with another fun recommendations/blog post! I’ve occasionally done “if you liked this book, you might like this book” posts, and I’ve done a couple similar posts with a twist. And we’re back today with another twist: if you liked this book, you might not like this book.
Essentially, I’m going to talk about some books that are compared fairly frequently or that sound similar, and talk about why you might not like one of them if you liked the other. I also did a couple of genre ones, where you might not like certain books if you’re expecting a particular genre. Hopefully that made sense! If not, I’m sure you’re smart enough to pick it up.
So, let’s get into the post!
If you liked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, you might not like Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Caraval is often touted as the YA Night Circus, but I would say the writing is of a significantly lower caliber. If you enjoyed the wonderful, magical atmosphere of the Night Circus, you will probably be annoyed with the purple prose of Caraval. I was expecting similar themes or vibes, but unfortunately did not get anything similar.
Instead, you might like The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neil. Both it and the Night Circus have magical, whimsical settings and writing and contain a circus/performance aspect. They felt very similar to me, and I think the Lonely Hearts Hotel should be more hyped than it is.
If you liked The Seven Husbands Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, you might not like The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
At a glance, these two books look like perfect companions: they are both about a younger woman just starting her career who is invited to tell the biography of a famous woman who has always been mysterious about her life. However, the writing style is very different. The Thirteenth Tale feels very classically gothic, whereas Evelyn Hugo is more contemporary. I also found the characters more interesting and compelling in Evelyn Hugo.
If you like Evelyn Hugo for the writing and interesting characters, you might not like The Thirteenth Tale. That being said, if you enjoyed the story of Evelyn Hugo and want a book with a similar premise and love gothic books, The Thirteenth Tale would likely be perfect for you.
If you liked The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, you might not like This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis
Both of these books are written by Mindy McGinnis (obviously), but they’re wildly different. The Female of the Species explores rape culture, and This Darkness Mine really doesn’t do anything. It’s just a weird book that I didn’t particularly understand or enjoy, and reading the Goodreads reviews, I’m not alone. It really doesn’t try to say anything, which isn’t required of every book but is vastly different from The Female of the Species.
So if The Female of the Species was your introduction to Mindy McGinnis (like me), This Darkness Mine shouldn’t be the next book of hers that you read. Instead, you might like Sadie by Courtney Summers: it also explores themes of rape culture and has protagonists who don’t fit in with their peers.
If you like mystery/thrillers, you might not like Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Everything I Never Told You has been perceived by some as a mystery/thriller because the opening line is “Lydia is dead” and is about how and why Lydia died. However, it is 100% a character study. It follows and examines Lydia’s and her family’s lives up to and after she dies. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely not a mystery/thriller, and I think that expecation disappointed some people.
If you like dystopians, you might not like Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven is technically part dystopian in that one of the perspectives takes place in our world but in the future. However, it is definitely more of a character study and literary fiction-style novel than a dystopian-style novel. It largely follows two characters, one pre-world destruction and one post-world destruction, and discusses them and their lives and how they are influenced by their circumstances. Again, it is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and I love it so much, but it doesn’t have a typical dystopian feel.
So, there are some books I don’t think you would enjoy if you enjoyed the other book! Or you might enjoy them, just not for the reason you’re expecting!
But anyway, have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Do you have any similar recommendations? Let me know!