That awkward moment when you're reading a new book, and you realize you've already read it before, only it was written by someone else.
I got an interesting email, via my snarkycake blog, from a Concerned Reader.
While reading Trust Me by Kristin Mayer Concerned Reader got that same awkward sense of déjà vu. After going back through their recent reads they realized that there were some striking similarities between Mayer's book and Shawnté Borris' With Love.
I'm just going to paste in the bullet point list Concerned Reader sent with their email.
- Both books were edited by Jovana Shirley from Unforeseen Editing. With Love by Shawnte Borris was published on January 4, 2013 and Trust Me by Kristen Mayer was published on October 3, 2013. I am unaware if the editor was aware of the similarities between both books. I am also unaware of any friendship between the authors other than being Facebook friends.
- Main character for both books is Allison or Ally for short. She is a photographer in both novels.
- Sam is a character that Allison is close with. In Shawnte’s book, he is her dead husband. In Kristin’s book, Sam is her female best friend.
- Sam dies in a car accident in Shawnte’s book and Allison’s parents die in a car accident in Kristin’s book. Both Allisons are dealing with the loss by going on vacation to deal with their lack of living life.
- In both books, Allison is leaving an airport and heading to a hotel for a vacation of sorts. In Shawnte’s book, the hotel is described as having rich gold and red accents. In Kristin’s book, the hotel is accented in shades of gold and blue.
- Allison is staying in Florida in both books.
- Allison in both books meet a man with blue eyes. The names are different in each book but the description is the same.
Now, it is reasonable to have some similarities between books in the same genre, but these are far from thematic similarities. This is just weird and worrisome. Not to mention the weirdness of the same editor working on both books.
Concerned Reader wondered if this qualified as plagiarism, it does not, but it is still extremely questionable.
It's enough to put me off reading any of Mayer's work.
Originality...what's that?! Authors don't want to come up with their own ideas anymore, do they? Need a sure fire cure for writer's block. Why not just piggyback someone else's ideas and go with that.