Not To Be Confused: Book Title Edition

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Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

Book titles are really important. Not just because they are needed to get a potential reader’s attention, but also because they’re what readers need to remember in order to buy or borrow a book. Certainly you’ve seen, and most likely participated, in the game of “it has a blue cover” when trying to remember what book you’re looking for while at a bookstore or library. As a person with a terrible memory, I manage to forget, mix-up, and straight up invent titles all the time. If you’re wondering how I do my job when I forget titles all the time, I keep many lists. Many. Lists. I also play the game “What’s the title of the space book…?” until someone (or my brain) or Google shouts the answer at me.

Now imagine when more than one book has the same title or super similar titles! Yup, my brain melts. Just kidding. But seriously, copyrighting book titles does not exist. And it shouldn’t because that would be absurd and we would certainly run out of titles and then start ending up with super long titles like usernames: The Missing Girls_875924. Plus, how would different publishing houses even know what is being worked on at the same time at another publisher? And that’s how we’ve arrived at this fun game of Not To Be Confused.

Battle Of The Royals: One of These is Not Like the Others!

battle royal cover

Battle Royal (Palace Insiders #1) by Lucy Parker

This is one of my all time favorite romance novels — which is fantastic as an audiobook — that is a grumpy sunshine pairing, partially set in a baking competition, and has a hilarious unicorn cake scene. It’s everything you want in a romance if you read contemporary romance, m/f, grumpy sunshine pairings. It is also nothing like the next book which is what many people thought I was talking about when I said this title!

Cover of Battle Royale Remastered by Koushun Tamaki

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki (Translator)

Just one “e” makes a huge difference because we are no longer in HEA land. We are in *movie announcer voice* horror land! That’s right, there are no unicorn cakes here, there are only high school students on a deserted island told to kill one another until there is only one left. You can see how you wouldn’t want to mistake those two titles, even if you read both types of books.

Batter Royale cover

Batter Royale by Leisl Adams

And finally we have one more entry: keep the “e” but tweak “battle” to “batter” and we’re back in the fluffy land arena. This time with a graphic novel, teens, and back to a baking reality show.

Kiss The Chef–err, Which Chef?!

Chef's Kiss Comic Cover

Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine, Hank Jones, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

I recently read this fun and adorable graphic novel about a young man trying to find a job in publishing who ends up working for an overbearing chef with a hot coworker he quickly starts crushing on — and hopes crushes on him back. But when I looked up the title to mark it as “read” I found myself staring at a long list of “chef’s” and “kisses.”

Cover of Chef's Kiss by TJ Alexander.

Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander

Like this romance — not graphic novel — which also has an unexpected career transition (!) but rather than being m/m like the above Chef’s Kiss, it’s a female and nonbinary person with a grump and sunshine pairing! Both covers are blue, illustrated, and the same title — ha, have fun playing the “do you know the book?” between these two.

cover image for A Chef's Kiss

A Chef’s Kiss by Nina Crespo

Add an “a” and we have another one! This time we get a m/f second chance romance between a small-town chef and a celebrity cook forced back together. Spoiler: it’s a romance, so we get another HEA!

Which Final Girl Is The For Real Final Girl?!

Final Girls cover image

Final Girls by Riley Sager

There are a lot of final girls. Some are just final (like in this case) and as we move farther down the list, you’ll see some of these final girls have opinions or are in groups or are really, really, FINAL. In this case, we go full into the final girl trope — the last woman/women to survive a killer — as final girls try to make sense of the emotional toll while also having to figure out why another final girl has NOW been found dead…

Final Girls by Mira Grant book cover

Final Girls by Mira Grant

You can see how it would be easy to confuse this book with the previous one. This time, the final girls are written under Seanan McGuire’s (Every Heart a Doorway) pseudonym and we’re in the sci-fi/horror world with an interesting premise. A Doctor has created virtual technology to help people through trauma by simulating scenarios from horror movies and nightmares — that sounds like a nightmare in itself!

cover image for Final Girl poetry collection

Final Girl by Lauren Milici

Not to be confused with the Final GirlS this is just one. Single. Final Girl. And we’re also now in the poetry genre! “These scathing poems build upon the tenants of confessional and synthesize them with modern horror metaphor, inventing a new feminist paradigm for our time.”

The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones book cover

The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones

In case you thought any of the other women were the final girls, this one is certainly THE LAST one. And we’re back in the horror genre by the horror author who you might know (should know if you don’t!) for his other works: The Only Good Indians; My Heart Is a Chainsaw; Night of the Mannequins; Mongrels.

I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C Holland Cover Horror Poetry

I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland

Last but certainly not least — at least based on the title — we have the final girl that isn’t your final girl. So how could we possibly confuse her with all the other final girls?! And we finish off with another poetry collection — gotta say I had not thought I’d be confusing horror titles with a poetry collection, let alone two, but life is always filled with fun surprises.

Not sure if I helped clarify some book titles or just made you confused by all the similar titles you weren’t aware of, but either way, hopefully romance, horror, and poetry readers can find a next read without the confusion.