I've started to sub my new YA chapters to my fabbo critique group. As I'm giving them a synopsis, one of the gals says "Oh, have you read XX? It sounds similar."
Now, to a writer, there is almost nothing so stomach-dropping as that sentence. One of my favorite threads on a Verla Kay's board was called Someone Wrote My Book - And Won A Newbery. Even though everyone writes a different book, blah blah blah, the last thing you want is to spend an enormous amount of time on a book that's just like something that is already out there. "But I'm different," you say. "Unique. This story has never been told before." Uh huh.
So I spent an hour or so frantically researching this book, and (whew), it's actually quite different. There are a few elements that are similar, but the focus in my book is in a different place. The only thing is, School Library Journal gave it a pretty stinko review (BookList did like it though), and some of their comments could apply to my book.
The $1,000,000 question is: should I read the book? The last thing I want is to "unintentionally internalize" someone else's work, but I'd hate to repeat someone else's mistakes.
On this date: In 1991, hostage Terry Anderson is freed in Lebanon after 2,454 days in captivity.