From extraordinary book titles to terrible ones! The full topic this week is to include the alternate title you'd give the book, but even though I absolutely love coming up with titles when it comes to writing fanfic, I'm drawing a blank on most of these, so I'm being snarky instead.
1. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
This title feels like it wants me to say "cowabunga dude!!" or something in agreement. I feel like it was supposed to piggyback off something that was in vogue in YA at the time -- maybe Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist? -- but it's just so cringey. You can keep either "Amy & Roger" or "Detour" in the new title, but that "epic" has GOT to go.
2. Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me - Kristen Chandler
Please something that doesn't make it sound like it's about werewolves, which almost caused me to not pull this awesome book off the shelf. Or maybe something that reflects the maturity of its writing level a little better and doesn't it make it sound like a dorky, shallow book about the wacky perils of high school dating.
(s/o to my fiance for reminding me about this one when he cracked up over it while helping me sort books)
3. The Red Pony - John Steinbeck
Please call it LITERALLY ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT SOUND LIKE A HORSE BOOK SUITABLE FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS. #bitterforever
4. Animal Farm - George Orwell
See above. (I am rather less sorry I read this one, but I didn't understand that it was an allegory at the time and just thought it was trash-talking pigs. And now that I know the sad way it goes, I don't want to reread it.)
5. A Day No Pigs Would Die - Robert Newton Peck
I'd call it Death Comes For All Pigs but that's just me. And my hatred.
6. Lost - Jacqueline Davies
My only qualm here is that it's such a good book but such a generic title that I am forever having to look up exactly what it involves beyond the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and a mystery of some kind.
7. Helter-Skelter - Patricia Moyes
A security leak at a naval research station and a missing dead man are part of the mystery plot which pits a young girl against a murderer.
Charles Manson ruined this phrase and people assume wrong things about it when I mention it, so I would like this 1968 teen book to come back into print under a new title. IDK what, since I don't remember the story described above, only that it involved sailing and I liked it.
8. Scream - Laurel Bradley
The Scream. It should have THE in the title. Yes, it's kind of a dual meaning since people do scream in this book, but you have chosen to call your fictional disease "The Scream," and as silly as it sounds for such a lethal virus, if you're gonna do that then COMMIT TO IT ALL THE WAY, because that's the whole plot. Make people curious as to why this specific scream is important. (to be clear, I do really enjoy it -- I love its wacky disease-naming and its surprisingly serious plot)
9. Mandrake Root - Janet Diebold
What are the notable qualities of mandrake and/or its roots? Because for the life of me, I still cannot figure out what this title has to do with the story. Which I also have trouble succintly summarizing. Check my review and see if you can come up with one (a summary or a title), since I know nobody's ever heard of this book. Or maybe the Kirkus review, which I think is completely spoilery and focuses on totally different aspects from my review (and which I barely recognized as describing the same book, even right after I'd read it), but really, I doubt anyone was ever going to read this...
10. Know Not Why - Hannah Johnson
OK I don't actually want to change it because it's really cool and more evocative this way, but secretly...it was born Krafty Times and KRAFTY TIMES I SHALL FOREVER KNOW IT TO BE. Also this is my shameless plug for a friend's self-published novel. I haven't read it because sometimes love for our friends does not override knowing when a story is Not Right for you, but Tumblr seems to think it is pretty cool and has even made some fanart.
P.S. Special shoutout to the first book I've seen to have TWO title changes so far, the book originally known as The Chinese Puzzle of Shag Island, which totally doesn't sound dirty or anything. It also goes by Mystery Isle and The Secret in the Old House.
Your turn: maybe you can come up with the alternate titles! Eh?? I KNOW people have heard of some of these books, for once!
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