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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Friday 8 January 2010

The Importance of a Summary; US vs UK

I was "doing the rounds" in the blog sphere when I find this post in I Want To Read That. That post is a review on My Love Lies Bleeding AKA Hearts at Stake. What caught my attention here was the summary. Look:

Summary of My Love Lies Bleeding (UK):

"The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen.

Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer."

Now read this one, summary of Hearts at Stake (US):

"On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.

Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart."

Doesn't the first one sound like the book is going to be targeting more of the romance part of the novel? And the second one is like "There is going to be a lot of action! And some romance too, but more action!" A summary is made to captivate readers into, well, buying the book and in many cases it targets a specific kind of audience. In the first summary it targets the romantic that lies within us and in the second it just captures you because it shows like it has a little of everything. If I read the two summaries I'd buy the second one because it seems to have a more complicated plot that would keep me interested through the whole novel. Which it did.

It may just be me, but that was my first impression when reading the two summaries. So In this round US wins.

So now let's compare the covers and the titles.

The first cover it's kind of creepy. It has a nice picture of a girl who would be a vampire (super white skin, red lips, dark hair). It's kind of stereotypical but add that to the title and where everything is located and for a debut book it works. The second one is eye catching because of the "twilight" approach the cover has (white, red and black colors). Sure I like a "twilight" kind of cover from time to time, but in the case of this book it seems too romantic to fit with the story. The story does not evolve around a romantic base, it's action and plot driven, so it may give you the wrong idea. Ding ding ding US wins. Oh and same with the title, I much prefer Hearts at Stake than My Love Lies Bleeding.

Sorry UK, nothing personal but the US kicked butt on this round. Oh and I found the cover for the next book in the series along with the summary if any one is interested. Click Here.

Aaaand that's all folks!


  1. That's interesting. I don't get why they would have two different titles. Are U.S. teens really that different from U.K ones? I personally like the 2nd cover better since I don't like seeing faces on covers, but Hearts at Stake is a better title. The second book is very Twilight-ish.

  2. Intriguing comparison. The US one TOTALLY hooked me too! The UK one... I would never want to read that book. It's amazing what marketing can do.

  3. I guess it just depends on whats hot at the moment and how you want to go about putting your book out there you know. The book is the same story, so it would be good anyways, but with the first summary I would have just label it as just some other vampire chick book.

  4. Wow! Interesting post! I agree, the US book looks way more interesting! I would definitely pick that one, if I had to choose between the two.

  5. awesome! Can't believe how not-good the covers are. It's UK summary and US cover for me.

  6. You're right. The US summary is far superior. The writing is much more dynamic and exciting. The UK summary makes the book sound boring.

    Great post and lots of fun to compare!

  7. The US book reeled me in..the UK didnt do much for me. Crazy

  8. As an Anglo-American, I was fascinated by this post. I'd love to see some more comparisons.

  9. I agree! Hearts at Stake sounds way more kick-butt and action-packed. Great post! :D


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