We have arrived at the first discussion post of the inaugural Blog Olympics. Blog Olympics is hosted by Books, Tea and A Onesie and Always Opinionated Girl.
Disclaimer: I am not a “real” sports fan. I’m just a teenager who eats popcorn while screaming at high school basketball games. The only sport I play is badminton. And I’m one who is a little adverse to the Hunky Dory Adonis on the front cover. That being said, these are just opinions and observations, with no actual basis on any sports novels. (Because it’s a joke to call them that, lol.) No offense to the readers of these types of novels; this is just my interpretation of what marketers must be thinking.
Come on, the first thing you see picking up a “sports” novel is a picture of a guy with photoshopped abs. Marketers were clearly thinking that it would get mouths drooling and wallets opening. I’ve yet to see an actual YA with legitimate training that’s labeled as a “sports” novel.
There are books like Rites of Passage with intense training; but that’s not a sports novel. There are books like None of The Above where the primary focus isn’t sports; but yet has more accurate portrayals of a training athlete than I’ve seen mentioned.
I suppose I understand. No one really
wants to read about Johnny hard core training and learning to get his shooting angle right in Prospect Park till midnight. No one wants to read about all the work it takes to maintain a good body with conditioning; unless it’s going to pertain to development of the actual relationship between the athlete and their partner. (Because we all know that’s the main focus here.)
But if you’re not going to be realistic, why call it a sports novel? That’s incredibly aggravating to those who are actually looking for an accurate portrayal of their “struggle”. Something they’re interested in; and can actually relate to.
So, when someone is talking about a book being in the genre of sports nowadays…I see yet another pair of photoshopped abs. I think heavy, choking romance. I see a story about a guy (or girl, I’m not discriminating here) that’s supposedly involved in hockey basketball, soccer or any other sport–but really is just focused on the girl he’s only known for two days. And, I think that’s an embarrassment. A shame to portray people as depending too much on another’s validation rather than their own desire to reach their goal.
If you’re going to label it sports, why not…I don’t know…actually include the struggles of training, conditioning, and the process? Make it worthy to be fitted that label?
What are your thoughts? Disagree or agree? Why?
Here’s Books, Tea and A Onesie’s post for Blog Olympics DAY 1!
Wesaun is a teen book lion. She’s also an art enthusiast: poetry, theater, and fan art, as well as paintings/drawings. She loves to be overenthusiastic over books and authors.
You can find her at her Twitter: @epicbooklover.
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