You know the drill! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is “Books I’d Give Different Titles To (and tell us what title you’d pick!)” Given that last week was on “Extraordinary Book Titles,” this was extra fun.
Here we go!
1. Crier’s War
It’s just a misleading title. There is no war, unless you count her internal struggle with her newfound feelings as a “war.” The realization that an actual war is needed comes very, very late in the book (even though it is mentioned in the blurb…?). I absolutely adored this book (review here), but it could have done with a better name. Maybe Crier’s Choice or something like that? Or Heart of Stone, in reference to the heartstone that Automae must consume to survive, and also Ayla’s internal numbing of her feelings in the name of revenge.
2. We Hunt the Flame
This title comes from one weirdly dramatic, too-poetic-to-be-natural-speech-or-in-character line in the book. The name of the series is Sands of Arawiya, and I actually think that would have been a better name, given the plot. Plus, the fact that this and We Set the Dark On Fire came out very close to each other is a little confusing. (Also, my lukewarm review of this one is here.)
3. The Final Empire
I am obsessed with Brandon Sanderson’s work, and the Mistborn trilogy was my first step into the amazing world that is the Cosmere. But…I almost didn’t. The title of this book sounded, to me, like a sequel, or a conclusion of a series, and I was afraid I would be missing something if I tried it. It took a lot of double-checking on Goodreads and Facebook groups before I decided it was worth a shot. (From what I hear, it is now sometimes sold as just Mistborn, which is a far better title in my opinion.)
4. I Wish You All the Best
Again, phenomenal book, but I know quite a few people who find the title confusing. It’s from a line that Nathaniel says to Ben once or twice (and at least one is in the epilogue). I don’t feel like it captured the emotional tone of the book, either. But…I’m not sure what I would call it instead. Something to do with Ben’s painting, perhaps, or something including the word Sunshine, which Nathaniel is described as being many times.
5. Again, But Better
This would be better titled as A Pathetic Waste of an Awesome Concept. Or, Boring Awkward Straight White Girl Can’t Get Over College Crush. I was not a fan, AT ALL, and the only reason I gave it two stars was because I really did like the concept and there were a few moments I thought, “Oh shit, that’s basically me.” (I will migrate my
rant review to this blog soon and link it when it’s posted. Tbh I was pretty proud of it.)
6. Any Way the Wind Blows
Yeah, this one hasn’t even come out yet, but come on! The first two books in the series are Carry On and Wayward Son. I guess if you’re going to switch to another set of song lyrics, at least it’s Queen, and at least it is still a song that includes “carry on” in its lyrics, but I would have preferred they stick with lyrics from the Kansas classic. I can’t speak to which ones would make the best alternate title because obviously nobody has read it yet, but maybe something like Soaring Ever Higher (get it? because Simon has wings?).
7. Every Heart a Doorway
The first thing this title called to mind for me was something like a story about a teacher touching students’ lives, or a faith-based “spiritual healing” book, or something similarly cheesy and not at all my speed. It doesn’t give off the dark-yet-magical vibe that suits the actual story, like every other book in the series (Down Among the Sticks and Bones? Amazing title. In an Absent Dream? Also amazing.). I don’t know what I would substitute for it. Keep the word “doorway,” for sure.
8. Two Dark Reigns/Five Dark Fates
Look, if this series only had two books in it, Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne are totally acceptable titles. But when it became a quartet, it was just plain irresponsible to put the numbers in an entirely illogical order, confusing newcomers to the series about what the heck the reading order is supposed to be. And why is there nothing with the number four?? The whole series should be retitled. Three Dark Crowns, Three Dark Hearts, Three Dark Wars (referring to Katharine’s internal battle, the fight between factions for the throne, and the fight for Jules), and…I haven’t read the last one, so I can’t appropriately name that one.
9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
I actually love this title, but let’s be real: Love, Simon is much cleaner and catchier, and I think it captures the book’s adorable spirit a bit better. Kudos to the movie for sparking that change.
10. My Brother Sam Is Dead
Read this in middle school, and oh my god. I was so mad, even then. Sam dies in literally the last sentence of this book. Why would you spoil the ending in the title, especially when not for ironic or humorous value? This is a historical fiction book about two brothers on opposite sides in a war. It isn’t funny. Pretty much any title would be better than this one.
What say you? Do you like my proposed new titles? Did you actually enjoy any of the ones I objected to? I would love to hear your thoughts!
All the best (see what I did there?),