I'm a person that when I'm writing a book in a particular genre, I want to read a ton of books that are similar, to make sure I'm bringing something new to the table. Okay, not a ton of them, but at least a few.
Other people I know are opposite - not reading books they want to because they feel it's too close to their own idea, and not wanting anything to taint their vision.
Also, as a reader, I sometimes jump in and read every paranormal that's been on my list for the past year. And then I'll jump in and read four books in a row that break my heart (this is not recommended, BTW)
I knew I wanted to write Ronnie's story of being in an abusive relationship in Knee Deep, but first I wanted to make sure it wasn't too close to a few other books that dealt with the same topic... So I read a bunch of them. (Also - reading a bunch of books about abusive relationships in a row is also not recommended - making me wonder why I continue to read like this...)
Instead of telling you which ones I read, because I honestly HATED half of them, and LOVED the other half, I've compiled a list with the help of Facebook and Twitter...
Don't try to figure out which ones I hated, because I'm all about sharing the love, and not EVERYONE hated those books. Although they should have ;-O
Knee Deep by Jolene Perry ;-)
Delicate by Steph Campbell
Rage by Julie Anne Peters
Hushed by Kelley York
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Things Change by Patrick Jones
Stay by Deb Caletti
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Albatross by Josie Bloss
But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupola
I find it amazing how so many books can deal with a very similar topic and do it in such different ways.
For ME - the most important thing I wanted to convey was WHY Ronnie stuck with Shawn. I wanted to show how easy it is to fall into that trap, and how when we're on the outside it's so easy to say - WALK AWAY! But when we're on the inside, it can be very different...
I know other authors had a different goal in mind when they wrote their books, and I think I probably judged those books more harshly because of what I felt was the most important thing to get across - which is why I write very short reviews and have stopped starring anything, but that's a different post.
I think that part of us worries, as we're writing, that someone else is writing the same book and doing it better...
EVEN if someone gave me and another author a set of loose circumstances and a general theme, our books would be very different. (I've honestly always wanted to try this...) You write the best book that YOU can.
Reading other books that are similar helps me, it cripples others.
So. Do you avoid reading books that are too similar to what you're writing?
And if you're a reader, do you find yourself getting hooked on a particular kind of book and then reading a ton as close to that same genre as possible?
Want to add any other books to this list??