Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Confession: Find Another Book!!

I am about to confess to something I am sure will fall into the "unpopular opinion" category, but after seeing a reference in THREE consecutive books, I can't help but shout:

FIND ANOTHER BOOK!

I must admit, I am not a fandom kind of person. I appreciate some books, music, and movies, but I never dressed the part, wore pins, hung up posters, went to midnight showings, or anything like that. In fact, I am such a terrible fangirl, that I have been at musical festivals and other events and stood right next to someone famous without ever realizing it.

And, don't think that I don't appreciate the stories, because I have seen and enjoyed all the films of this series, but why do so many authors feel the need to make some sort of reference to Harry Potter? One week, I read a YA, an adult, and a middle grades book, which all had Harry Potter embedded in their story. Be it the shirt they were wearing, a quote, or naming their chicken J.K. Rowling, the effect was the same for me.


Sometimes, I fear, that my retina will detach from how hard I roll my eyes after reading yet another HP reference. I understand that it's a VERY popular fandom, and many, MANY people have read the books and/or seen the movies. That means there's a good chance the reader will recognize and maybe even be happy to see a nod to boy wizard, but it always makes me think: aren't there any other fandoms or books that could earn a mention?

Like I said, I am a terrible fangirl and not into all that, but do you think there are any other fandoms you think deserve a mention?



What other fandoms or books 
would you like to see get a mention?
Let us know in the comments!

57 comments:

  1. I get your point, but I always get such a thrill of fandom being mentioned in books bc it always gets such a bad rep in real life — and the good parts of fandom are never quite as popular as the ‘odd’ and ‘quirky’ of it. But yes, there are tons of other fandoms that could be used instead of HP ❤️

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    1. I think society, as a whole, likes to vent more than they like to praise. So, it probably IS true, that we hear more of the negative things about fandoms than the positive. I know that is why I always like books written around fandoms, which show both sides of them.

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  2. Yes! Thank you! And to be honest I don't know if it's an age thing or a marketing thing or a laziness thing. 1) I think people of a certain age (i.e. 20 years younger than me LOL) probably have a much greater appreciation of HP. It's nostalgic. It's embedded in their memories of childhood. So maybe they love the constant HP fandom references. 2) Maybe some author play into that and consciously use HP fandom references to "connect" with readers? And 3) maybe it's just laziness on the part of some authors. Instead of thinking outside the box and coming up with something clever, with something that *isn't* a worldwide phenomenon, they just go easy easy route. "I need some pop culture/fandom references. Eh, everyone knows HP, I'll just use that." Frankly, I'd love to see something different now and then because like you said, HP is *everywhere.*

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    1. We really are kindred spirits. I do see it more with authors in their 20s, so it probably is a big nostalgia thing. I think it's probably because between the books, movies, merch, and theme parks, a lot of people are familiar with the franchise as well. I just see it so much in YA contemporaries, along with Star Wars, as some sort of geeky badge for the characters to wear.

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  3. I'm not bothered one way or the other whether books mention my favourite things. I guess if it is done well like the retro vibe in Ready Player One it's fine but I'm not a fan of a book where the characters talk endlessly about American pop culture as I don't know most of it!

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    1. It does seem a teeny bit exclusionary if they are dropping only American pop culture references, but I will say, I think HP is well known around the world and wouldn't fall into that category.

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  4. I actually like seeing Harry Potter references in books, it's the one fandom that I will actually get references to! But yeah, I can see how EVERYONE using it gets really old. I agree with Tanya, I think it's because it's just so popular and so many people will get it.

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    1. It was THREE books in a row. Maybe that's one of the drawbacks of reading so many contemporaries - being bombarded by HP and Star Wars references.

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  5. Harry Potter references are the only references I understand! I don’t usually read popular books, and I definitely don’t pay attention to popular movies/TV. I’ve never gotten into the fandom thing. I love HP, but I don’t own any merchandise, have never dressed up, never went to a midnight party, etc. It’s probably hard for authors to find a fandom that most people know. That’s why they keep recycling HP.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I am well learned in pop culture, and usually get all the references, but when a lot of books come out at the same time giving a nod to the fandom, it gets old for me. There was the super hero period and the Star Wars period, and think there was even a time when I was seeing a bunch of Twilight references -- there seems to be seasons for certain BIG fandoms, but there have been books that seem obsessed with it. Not just one or two references, but quite a few, to where I wonder if the author is writing a love letter to Rowling.

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  6. If I really love it, I am quite the fangirl. I have a lot of general books merch, so just like, loving to be a reader and such. I also really love Doctor Who and Raven Cycle merch. I'm not a Harry Potter fan so it's funny to me because I actually have some merch which was sent to me to promote :P

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    1. I am sort of weird about merch. I think it's because I don't like clutter, so if it isn't something useful and practical, I won't buy it. I love Sanrio, and I have pocketbooks, Dr. Martens, and bedding with those characters, but I won't have any trinkets that just sit around and collect dust. Though, Doctor Who does have some great items.

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    2. Oh my goodness, Sam, I haven't thought about Sanrio in years. You just gave me such a blast of nostalgia. I used to have a thing for Hello Kitty and Pochacco. :)

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    3. My daughter and I aspire to go to the HK cafe someday. We had an HK shower curtain, towels, bath mat, comforter, sheets, microwave, rice cooker, even her dorm fridge was HK. We like that stuff. Though, Bad Batz Maru is my favorite. We share a common demeanor.

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  7. I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. I LOVE when authors reference anything to do with pop culture. It totally gives me a connection, even when it isn't something that I am part of the fandom. Like, Olivia mentioned Doctor Who, which I am not someone who watches it, but having it referenced in a book gives me a connection to that person, I kind of get a picture of them, according to what I know of people who are fans. Also, I do love Harry Potter. Although, it does make me sad when people bash Twilight in stories, but in another way, I get it, and it again gives me a picture of those people. I can see how it might annoy someone who isn't a fangirl. I just know that my pop culture loving heart squees whenever I see a reference like that. Great post!

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    1. I get sad, when a character in a book attacks another fandom. It's kind of rude and unnecessary, because the author could make up a fandom to attack if they really needed that to be part of their plot. It's not that I don't have an appreciation for products from the fandoms. I grew up watching the Star Wars films and playing with the action figures, but when authors keep going to that as a way to show a female character as so geek chic and whatnot, I cringe, because ti seems like all the authors use the same fandoms over and over, when in reality, they can just make something up. I think I appreciate the references, when they are relevant, but they usually are gratuitous, and seem like pandering.

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  8. Harry Potter was everywhere for such a long time, I can why it it is frequently referenced. My son grew up with HP and it brings back fun memories when I come across a mention in a book. I think what I'm not so fond of is comparing other books to it in a blurb. For example, If you loved HP you'll love... Kind of sets your expectations too high.

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    1. I never like when blurbs name drop, because they are usually never good comparisons. The flip side to a reference triggering some nostalgia in a reader is it alienating another reader, because they are not familiar with it. I think it could work both ways. The more comments I read and respond to, the more I am starting to see why Tanya called it a little lazy. Using pop culture references let's the author avoid creating that culture in the book's world, which is sort of what I feel like they should do more often than not.

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    1. It's not that I don't sort of understand the motivation, but I just feel like certain fandoms are everywhere. Remember, I read contemporaries almost exclusively, therefore, it pops up a lot more often for me, than for people, who mix more or read more SFF books and whatnot.

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  10. I'm a big fangirl of a lot of things and when it comes to recognizing celebrities and such they have a way of passing right over me without me even knowing they were there. I agree with you but with a different reason behind it. I think mentioning specific bands, fandoms, movies, etc. dates the book faster. I prefer it when authors make up a band or fandom (etc. etc.) so even if I read the book a decade later it'll still feel fresh, if that makes sense.

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    1. True story: I was standing next to Taylor Momsen, who was on Gossip Girl at a music festival her band was performing at. I commented on her outfit, and my daughter had to tell me she was someone famous, from a TV show, which I watched. I just am not a good fangirl. It's funny that you bring up the point of it dating the book, because you are so right. Pop culture references and slang will definitely make a book seem old in a shorter time period, then if the author limited or stayed away from employing such things.

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  11. I agree with Mikky above that specifics can make something dated. I'd even say that while there are definitely younger people who are huge HP fans, the HP generation is over 30 now, and the actual target market for YA and MG might actually have other fandoms that are more meaningful to them.

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    1. Another fantastic point. When I consider the ages of the authors, who wrote these books, most are mid 20s - mid 30s, and I agree, HP was probably a big part of their childhood. It isn't that the franchise isn't relevant. There are still movies coming out, plays, theme parks, etc, but I feel like for every reader, who connects, there will be readers, who won't. One mention, ok, but this one book, just kept talking about it, as if the character were the boy wizard himself.

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  12. I've had books or TV series' that I've loved but I'd never name my kid after one of the characters because of it, lol! Can you believe I've never read Harry Potter? *runs and hides*. I've seen a few of the movies, but I was never wild about them, so I don't get the craze over it. I loved Twilight, but I wouldn't have banners or anything like that, and I wouldn't be moved by a mention of the series in a book. I do get excited when anyone mentions their love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I loved that TV series. Great discussion post, Sam! :)

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    1. I also have never read the books, nor will I, for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I saw the movies, and am confident, that the biggest plot points from the books were included. I am also a Buffy fan (I cannot believe the series is like 20 years old - holy cow!), and I have read books that name drop that series, but not to the extent of HP or Star Wars or any super hero.

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  13. I guess I don't get too many books that reference Harry Potter or other fandoms! My fix tends to come from Jennifer L. Armentrout with the fandom references! Lately I've been on a fantasy reading run with review books so I haven't had any references there! Lol. I know I just read a JLA book previously and there was a Supernatural reference which I was all over!

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    1. I have seen a few books that reference Supernatural, but it's usually just once in the book, not over and over, and they are few and far between compared to HP. It was THREE books in a row, and I know it's bound to happen when reading contemporary fiction, but it's a little overdone.

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  14. I definitely see what you mean here! I am kind of into fandoms, but when I'm reading I'm not really a fan of coming across references to other fandoms... I feel like it kind of pulls me out of the story too much and it makes me wonder how well those books will age because fandoms change soooo much!

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    1. I think it's great that people can find a group of other of other people, who share their love and passion for something. But, I agree with you about some fandoms perhaps dating a book. Though, you look at something like DC Comics, Star Wars, or P&P - these all tend to get many mentions in books I read, and have withstood the test of time.

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  15. Oh wow, I bet you do run into this frequently since you read so many YA contemporaries. I don't come across the HP references too often so they usually make me smile when I see them. Those and Star Wars references, just because I've been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid. I'm sure if I saw them in book after book after book though, it would start to drive me crazy.

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    1. It's not just YA contemporaries. The references pop up in adult contemporaries and even some MGs, though not as often. Star Wars is probably a close second to HP for popping up in books. A one off reference would just sort of slide off my back, but there are books I read, which make multiple references, and I guess the author is trying to paint a picture of who the character is, but for me, it's overkill and unnecessary.

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  16. Yes, this story sounds interesting!

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  17. Haha 😂 I was laughing at your references and great choice of topic. I do agree woth you. Even the last book I finished had full HP references 😂 I think it is more like the authors who themselves are HP fans want to show their love for that series in their kwn stories? I am not sure, I may be wrong. But yes, there are so many other fandoms too which deserve a chance as well.
    Some days ago, I read an article where someone was cringing about the number of retellings and adaptations of Pride & Prejudice we have 😂 So I guess, there is always gonna be some famous book or series which gets adapted into different versions or stories 😊

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    1. No doubt it is tied to the authors love of the franchise. They are bound to put parts of themselves in every story. Funny you mentioned P&P, because I did a whole post on that too. I get that people love things and want to give a nod, but do they ever sit back and wonder if maybe this is an overused reference?

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  18. Ha! We'll love you anyway, Sam. I don't mind HP references because I'm a fan, so at least I get those. And I do think that HP appeals to such a wide veriety of people that it ends up being used a lot (I still know some kids who are obsessed with the series even today). But I totally get why you're sick of it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. HP is so well known, that I think most people will recognize the refs. They are never obscure, but I guess I feel the series is over used, and I wonder why they feel the need to drop the references so often. I guess part of it is a love and adoration of the series, but do they worry that people will forget HP, if it's not mentioned ALL THE TIME.

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  19. Oh no! I love SO MANY books, but I will always and forever be a HP fangirl and will always love the references! Haha! I feel like I can understand though because that's how I feel about Shadowhunters. I've been over it for awhile!

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    1. I have never seen a Shadowhunters reference in a book, but I did just pass on requesting a fluffy contemporary on NG, because there was an HP name drop in the synopsis.

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  20. Now I want to know what famous people you've stood next to! Haha! I love Harry Potter, but I don't like how often it's used in other books. Like you, my eyes hurt from all the rolling. Don't get me wrong, I love a good nod to popular stuff from the past, but I prefer when books make up their own fandoms. I want authors to create something that's popular for that specific book, instead of referencing something we already know about. I want a fictional fandom for a fictional book!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ��

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    1. Exactly! Why would an author, who is supposed to be curating a fictional world for their characters, have to drop a reference to one of the biggest fandoms around? I think someone used the term "lazy" and I may have nodded my head a little.

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  21. I am an unapologetic fangirl, BUT I don't love copious fandom references in books either. Now, I can get on board with one or two small ones just to say, show a character is a real ride-or-die for whatever fandom. Like, if you read a book about my life, you're going to see a LOT of references for THG and The 100. Incidentally, someone please shout those out in books too! 😂 Fun post!!

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    1. Your name and The 100 are synonymous in my mind. I don't think I hate mentions, but there are a few (HP, Star Wars, some superheroes) that just seem to be EVERYwhere. THG gets mentioned here and there, but not to the extent of those three. It bothers me when authors are always trying to use Star Wars to prove their female character's nerd cred.

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  22. I have to say SAM I can't STAND all the references to fandoms. I roll my eyes also. I haven't read HP or Game of Thorns etc. I don't care if they have a wand, t-shirt or book of JK or anyone else for that matter. But, I am also not a big fandom girl. It must be my age. I am to old for that crap. =)

    Mary

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    1. PS this post will be on my roundup this Sunday! ;)

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    2. Thanks for sharing my post, Mary!

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    3. It's funny, because some for the fandoms that are still huge today (Star Trek and Star Wars) was huge when I was a kid, but I am just not into putting that much time into things like that. I don't like to have too much stuff either, unless it's useful stuff. I am cheap and hate clutter.

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  23. Naming their chicken, oh my gosh I laughed so loud at that! So huge confession, I've never read or watched the movies for Harry Potter. It never called to me. Once my kiddos are a little bit older, we'll be reading them. You know what I love? When an author mentions a character reading another book....but not one that has a huge fandom. JLA has done that a few times with shout outs to Wendy Higgins or Jay Crownover and it always makes me smile.
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. I thought I was an outsider, because I never read the books, but I have seen the films (my daughter made me. She made me watch the Twilight movies too). I do like reading protagonists and it's fun if I know the book or have read it, but the endless references just tire me out. JLA shouted out to Jay Crowover? That's kind of awesome.

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    2. Well at least you're ahead of me. ;) And yes, she gave a shout out to the Marked Men books by Jay Crownover but now I'm spacing on which book.....I think it was one of her characters reading Jay's book in the Wait for You Series.

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  24. I get you. I appreciate a good reference as much as the next girl, but I do get fed up of it. Like, if someone is a geek they are always into Harry Potter or Doctor Who. It's boring, I like it better when a fandom is invented, like in Fangirl or Geekerella. You get the same kind of passion but you don't date your book with a fandom which might burn out soon enough.

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    1. I think that is a big part of it. That the same things are always used to prove some kind of cred. I agree, that I would prefer a fictional fandom. I will admit that HP and Star Wars, two of the MOST overused, have been around for quite a while and are still growing strong, but I still think they can date a book.

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  25. Quote: "or naming their chicken J.K. Rowling".
    😂 This needs to be a thing! (...Wait, you DID made this one up, right? It wasn't in the book for real?).

    I'm one of the very few people who haven't read the HP books or seen the movies (even if my beloved David Tennant has a small role in one of them). I just was never interested - fantasy is not a genre I particularly like. Then again, even "I" know a good deal about HP just via word of mouth (so to speak). So...I suppose it's one of those things you can always land safely on when you write a book, what with its being not only well-renowned, but also trans-generational. Then again, I hear you - it's a bit annoying in the end. I always like a Doctor Who nod, but I suppose that, if half the books I read mentioned it, I would find it a tad annoying as well...and lazy. I suppose it's hard for an author to find a substitute, but still...

    I remember a few years ago when half the YA books being published were mentioning Kurt Cobain one way or another. I suppose it was more a case of the authors being teens in the '90s than anything else, because I honestly can't see all those fictional centennials being obsessed with/fans of Kurt...

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  26. Nope. The chicken in To Night Owl From Dogfish was named in the author's honor by the character.

    HP is definitely a household name at this point, worldwide, and I do think many authors pepper their books with references to things they currently love or had loved in their youth, but multiple references just seem like overkill. One, ok. I read a book today that mentioned HP once, and then moved on, but some just keep talking about it as if there is nothing else to talk about. *eye roll*

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    1. Quote: "I read a book today that mentioned HP once, and then moved on, but some just keep talking about it as if there is nothing else to talk about. *eye roll*".
      That sounds like fanfiction LOL.

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    2. The book I finished yesterday had at least 20 HP references. They're EVERY WHERE!

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