OMG, this story is so fun! Smart Bitches Trashy Books (who helped me get my first-ever "Bluff the Listener" answer right on "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" last week) summarizes the kerfuffle that's been going on over this blog post on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Jane Henderson called "Laurell K. Hamilton knock-off for teens?" SBTB summarizes everything better than I can, but essentially, Henderson got a galley of Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange (I'm so jealous!!!) and decided from the cover and summary of the book that it is a "knock off" of Hamilton's Merry Gentry series. I love this stuff because it combines my interest in YA and romance novels. Let's be honest, there are some common elements that occur in certain subgenres of both, as I commented on just the other day. However, I am just so at a loss as to why and how Henderson came to these conclusions to intimate "copyright infringement" and a "knock-off." SBTB and the link they reference to Urban Fantasy Land do a good job of refuting most of the problems with Henderson's post. But let me stress some of my biggest problems:
1. Holly Black commented and pointed out that, hello?, these are not the only two people writing about faeries! And no one has a monopoly on writing about them either, just like no one has a monopoly on writing about vampires or vampire hunters or souls who inhabit living humans' bodies.
2. Having said that, I guess if you are not a connoisseur of any of these genres, then you might think they are all "pretty much the same." I don't think that, but I can see how people would. (Hot vampire who is centuries old attracts a young human female who wants to turn vampire to be with him, the love of her life.)
3. I totally do not get the cover art comparison at all. Only in the broadest, most utterly general sense would I say the covers look anything alike. And I know Marr's art was designed specifically based upon events in the book and that her own tattoo artist designed the tattoo (which appears in the book). For examples of how similar book covers can look, just take a look at a couple of the examples on Jacket Whys (or anywhere else, really). Seriously, I think Henderson is really stretching on this one, and/or really didn't think too long about it before posting.
4. I haven't read Ink Exchange yet (but I'd love an ARC!), but although Wicked Lovely did have a little romance, it was far from erotic. Let me direct Henderson to Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and others if she wants some hot YA action.