Setting standards: Bestselling books are not the same

The movie ‘Divergent’ came out on Friday, Mar. 21 and like with a lot of bestselling books that are turned into movies, the excitement surrounding it was huge. Many bestselling books have turned into major motion pictures – “Harry Potter,” “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” – just to name three of the most well-known.

I loved the book “Divergent” and like many fans, I was eagerly anticipating the movie. Until Thursday morning, when I was scrolling through CNN’s news feed, and saw the title ‘Divergent: The New Hunger Games?’ In that moment, I was furious seeing these were popping up – again.

When the Twilight movie came out, it didn’t take long for people to start labeling it as the new Harry Potter. As an avid Harry Potter fan page follower, the backlash was immense. It was like an army of Harry Potter fans rose out of the depths of the internet. Numerous memes were created, depicting Twilight in a negative light and rants from Harry Potter fan page administers were posted about their hatred of Twilight. It’s been years, and there is still hatred directed towards the Twilight community from the Harry Potter fan base.

Just because a book is popular and is being turned into a movie does not make it exactly like the popular book before it. It isn’t fair to compare books that way. Every book should be treated individually. They are fragile things, and the worlds they create are magical. It’s like trying to force two worlds into one when we call one world, the new of another world. Every book has a centric message that the author hopes to instill in their readers and it isn’t fair to try and see one message in another. Just because Divergent is here and big now and The Hunger Games is in the past, doesn’t mean Divergent is all that better.

In the next ten years, dozens if not hundreds of new books will be written and become the “next big thing.” I’m the kind of person who writes creatively and as the world is now, I wouldn’t send anything of mine out into the world. In a short story I wrote, I changed every character’s name at least twice because I kept thinking of characters in other books with similar names.

As an author, I am an individual, and I don’t like the idea of something I write being propped up next to an older book calling it the ‘new’ version. As an author, every person is looking for the next big idea that’s different and new. It is an insult to compare them to something else – it’s like saying the author needed the first book to compare their book to.

Different authors write different stories with different plots.