Het is me daar weer een incestueus boeltje, bij Goodreads en hun awards. Nog meer dan andere jaren, heb ik de indruk dat er in sommige categorieën enorm veel enorm hard op mekaar trekkende boeken zijn. Neem de categorie “horror”. Deze drie boeken stonden letterlijk na elkaar genomineerd:

  • Bloodline, Jess Lourey
    Perfect town. Perfect homes. Perfect families. It’s enough to drive some women mad… In a tale inspired by real events, pregnant journalist Joan Harken is cautiously excited to follow her fiancé back to his Minnesota hometown. After spending a childhood on the move and chasing the screams and swirls of news-rich city life, she’s eager to settle down. Lilydale’s motto, “Come Home Forever,” couldn’t be more inviting. And yet, something is off in the picture-perfect village. The friendliness borders on intrusive. Joan can’t shake the feeling that every move she makes is being tracked. An archaic organization still seems to hold the town in thrall. So does the sinister secret of a little boy who vanished decades ago. And unless Joan is imagining things, a frighteningly familiar figure from her past is on watch in the shadows. Her fiancé tells her she’s being paranoid. He might be right. Then again, she might have moved to the deadliest small town on earth.
  • Cackle, Rachel Harrison
    All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation. Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?
  • Comfort Me With Apples, Catherynne M. Valente
    Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect. It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect. But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze… But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?


Er zitten er wel een aantal tussen die ik wil lezen: All’s Well van Mona Awad, S.T. Gibson’s A Dowry of Blood, Chasing the Boogeyman van Richard Chizmar; Come With Me van Ronald Malfi. Ik denk dat ik ze op de lijst zet voor december.

Idem voor de categorie Science Fiction, waar het gelukkig niet zó erg is, maar waar er toch enorm veel op elkaar lijkende plots zijn:

  • Appleseed, Matt Bell: “explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity’s unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple”
  • Firebreak, Nicole Kornher-Stace: “Mallory is an orphan of the corporate war. As a child, she lost her parents, her home, and her entire building in an airstrike. As an adult, she lives in a cramped hotel room with eight other people, all of them working multiple jobs to try to afford water and make ends meet.”
  • The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird: “Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all. The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. […] What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives.”
  • Girl One, Sara Flannery Murphy: “in this twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead.”

Jaja, boeken zijn altijd kinderen van hun tijd. Maar toch.

Waar het ook enorm opvalt hoe trendgevoelig de dingen zijn, is bij de covers van de misschien wel meest trendgevoelige van genres: Romance. Dit zijn covers van de genomineerden voor 2021:

Bijna allemaal illustraties met whimsical “handgeschreven” fonts en pastelkleuren. Vergelijk 2020, waar die trends ook al aan het opkomen waren, maar hoegenaamd niet voor elk boek, en waar de kleuren veel diverser waren:

En dan 2019, waar het bijna een andere wereld lijkt, die nog wat diverser is:

En dan terugkerend naar tien jaar geleden, in 2011, lijkt het wel een totaal andere wereld, met diametraal het tegenovergestelde van wat we nu hebben: geen enkele illustratie, geen vlakken pastelkleuren, allemaal foto’s:

Hier heeft ongetwijfeld iemand ergens een wetenschappelijke studie over gedaan.

Laat een reactie achter

Zeg uw gedacht

Deze site gebruikt Akismet om spam te verminderen. Bekijk hoe je reactie-gegevens worden verwerkt.