In this post the author intends to not only interpret what they think these books will be about based only on the synopsis (except for one they fully read) and give their thoughts about synopses in general.
Part of Your World by Liz Baswell
What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? Five years after the (twisted) events of the film, Ariel is now the queen of Atlantica, and Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land. But when the sea witch threatens Atlantica once more, Ariel finds herself returning to a world (and a prince) she thought she’d left behind forever.
Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land (ugh)- I don’t like this because it sounds like it is going to be boring and if Ariel never defeated Ursula she would be dead. Why is Ursula not running the underwater kingdom? I want Ursula to be the ruler. Okay, so this is going through the viewpoint of if Ursula married Prince Eric. I support that.
Ariel being queen might be interesting.
Caveat- Ursula is probably my favorite villain so I want her to be in the forefront and I feel this will not allow that. I want to see what Ursula ruling the merkingdom would be like but this is not that story.
Home and Away by Candice Montgomery
Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She’s a senior, she’s got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school’s team.
But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.
The entire first paragraph I support since there are not enough rich black main characters in young adult. I think there could be a conversation about respectability and privilege. Is there going to be (black) feminist conversation in result of her being the only girl on football team? She goes to a private school so race is probably going to be a thing.
Bet the mysterious box is her being adopted. bet. “Her answers don’t come without a fee” sounds ominous. Do you think there is a very real reason she was put up for adoption?
The valley so the main character is from Beverly Hills? (researched it nope) Of course she is into a poorer guy. This is another source for story to talk about privilege. Also, he is bisexual authors do not usually allow men (or anyone for that matter) to be bisexual since most of the time they act like they don’t exist. What is she fighting if she already knows she is black? Is she finding about another racial identity? She is biracial- white and black obviously because the only biracial that exists in media is between white and black. What if her mom or dad cheated and that is the fee she pays?
I don’t like this beyond the color of her skin phrasing it feels very my race doesn’t define me. It gives off a “transcend” blackness vibe blagh.
The Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz
Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?
Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.
But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.
Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.
Princess Marie-Victoria will serve because she is the heir to the throne.
My impression is that her mom is going to be mean (possibly the villain) because her daughter does not live up to her ambitions. Also, she maintains a stronghold on the only magic in the world so she is fierce, for a lack of better word.
Extended lifespan (aided obviously/assuming by magic)
Love triangle (ugh) Prince Leopold VII +Marie+ Gill
Gill is of course a soldier and the guy she does not want is royalty (even though this is probably based upon historical events so yeah but still ugh)
The Face Swap- I support it. It sounds like it might be interesting.
(Post-read) More Accurate Synopsis
Magic is power, and power is magic…
Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.
Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.
As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d’Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth.
But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family’s position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.
Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn’t even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.
When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.
The first synopsis does not give a picture to what this book is truly really about thus setting people up for disappointment.
How this is better…
1) Takes away “the event” so it can be a surprise
2) Emphasizes the multi-point of view
3) Deemphasizes the magic
4) Shows the complex connections of the characters
Thoughts on Synopsis
~Assumptions- what I assume the story is about vs what the story actually is about
Just doing this commenting on synopsis shows me what assumptions I bring into these novels. What unspoken expectations are put on novels that novels are expected to fulfill? The example that comes to mind is The Belles because I came into it with assumptions
- Because the author is a black woman she has to talk about black beauty
- Because the story is about beauty it has to be an indictment of beauty standards in our society
The reason I put this squarely on my assumptions is because I don’t think the marketing ever said she is going to talk about black beauty or challenge beauty standards. A bit to my defense I think when you mention a book is about beauty there is this connotation that the book is going to talk about beauty standards.I could say a lot but I’ll just say not addressing black beauty standards feels like a wasted opportunity. But also I feel bad for putting that expectation on her when there is a larger issue of not addressing the beauty standards that are put on black girls.
Also, what I noticed with the synopses is me filling in the blanks of what I would want or think will happen. Most of those fill ins are based on my knowledge of y.a. genre tropes. Going into a book without knowing a lot about it is a solution a lot of people use to try to navigate these expectations/assumptions. Well is there a way to really go into a book without connotations since there is still the cover, color of the inside of the book, the title, typography of the title, the author, the publishers, the genre, the category, and not to mention the outside influence of other readers.
~ One of my biggest issues is the way publishing portrays books
They push what they think will sell versus selling it for what it is thus getting that audience disappointed. There are books like The Hate U Give that people/publishing pushed solely as the black lives matter book. Part of me feels that publishing pushed T.H.U.G that way because they felt black lives matter/police brutality is hot right now so people will buy it up. Having read THUG it is not necessarily that focused on the black lives matter (from my recollection), its focused more on Starrs life. People were disappointed because they wanted it to be an in-depth conversation on black lives matter/police brutality and it’s not.
On the other hand I think in y.a. people like certain things such as epic fantasy. In the case of The Ring & The Crown it does not fit in that box of typical epic fantasy but the synopsis (on my book) sells it that way. Where do books that do not fit into an easy market box go? Will people buy x book if it is not sold a certain type of way?
~I guess in the end can you ever fully encompass what a book is anyway?
Also, there are so many memes about how hard it is to write synopses.
(from loebrick where they talk about difficulties of writing a synopsis)