'Life After Life' & 9 Pairs Of Wildly Different Books With The Same Title
At some point or another, every book nerd has done it. You look up that new novel you've been hearing so much about, but you find...something different. You wonder: Can two books have the exact same title? Yes, Virginia, they can, and I've got 10 pairs of wildly different books with the exact same title for you below, so you can check out this phenomenon for yourself.
The short answer to your question is, yes, books can have the exact same title, sometimes even in the same genre. There's a difference, of course, when you're talking about well-known books connected to franchises, so good luck publishing Harry Potter and the Uneventful Summer or A Sequence of Misfortunate Events. In general, however, it's not expected that every book published will have a different title from its predecessors.
Still, sometimes it can get a little bit hairy when two books have the same title. Back in the spring of 2013, two different publishers released novels titled Life After Life, one week apart. In 2014, The Blondes author Emily Schultz started a Tumblr blog called "Spending the Stephen King Money," after people began buying the eBook version of her first novel, Joyland, mistaking it for King's print-only book of the same name, and "leaving negative and confused Amazon reviews." All four of those books made it onto the list below.
Check out the 10 pairs of books with the exact same title that I've selected for you below:
'Joyland' by Emily Schultz and 'Joyland' by Stephen King
Emily Schultz's debut novel follows 14-year-old Chris over the summer of 1984, the last summer his town's video game arcade — the titular Joyland — will be open.
Also a work of historical fiction, Stephen King's Joyland takes place over the course of one summer in 1973, when college undergrad Devin goes to work at a haunted amusement park in a small, North Carolina town.
'Life After Life' by Jill McCorkle and 'Life After Life' by Kate Atkinson
Jill McCorkle's Life After Life examines the intertwined lives of a North Carolina nursing home's residents, their friends, families, and neighbors.
Kate Atkinson's novel of the same name follows Ursula Todd, a woman destined to live, die, and be born again throughout the 20th century.
'You' by Caroline Kepnes and 'You' by Austin Grossman
In Caroline Kepnes' You, a man named Joe becomes obsessed with a young writer, and begins to control her life from behind the scenes, maneuvering himself into her path as the perfect boyfriend.
Hitting on totally different notes, Austin Grossman's You follows Russell, a game designer who joins a company founded by his former best friends, one of whom has since died under mysterious circumstances.
'Wonder' by Rachel Vail and 'Wonder' by R.J. Palaccio
In her 1991 YA novel Wonder, Rachel Vail explores the experiences of a pre-teen girl who finds herself ostracized by her former friends upon their entry into junior high.
More famous is R.J. Palaccio's Wonder, in which a young boy with a craniofacial malformation begins attending school with other children for the first time.
'I See You' by Clare Mackintosh and 'I See You' by Gregg Hurwitz
Clare Mackintosh's 2016 thriller centers on Zoe, an unsuspecting woman who becomes one of the many targets of a stalker's aggressive campaign.
Another thriller, this one from 2017, Gregg Hurwitz's I See You begins with novelist Andrew waking up in a hospital room with no memory of his recent past, and a dead ex to account for.
'Possession' by A.S. Byatt and 'Possession' by Ann Rule
A double love story, A.S. Byatt's Possession traces the romance of two poets in the Victorian era, and the relationship between the modern-day academics who have elected to study them.
Ann Rule's Possession is far from lovey dovey, however. This true-crime story traces the events of a camping trip gone wrong, in which a woman falls in love with her savior and kidnapper after her husband's tragic death.
'Twilight' by Elie Weisel and 'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer
In Elie Wiesel's Twilight, a Holocaust survivor longs for news of the man who rescued him and was subsequently imprisoned in one of Stalin's gulags.
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight centers on Bella Swan, a teenage girl who falls in love with a centuries-old vampire, only to find herself caught up in a conflict between supernatural beings.
'Yesterday' by Felicia Yap and 'Yesterday' by Fern Michaels
Felicia Yap's Yesterday delves into a murder investigation taking place in an alternate reality, in which adults can only remember one or two days into their pasts.
Where Yap's novel looks at love gone sour, Fern Michaels' romance novel of the same name takes place in the days leading up to a wedding, when four childhood friends reunite at the estate where they grew up.
'Provenance' by Ann Leckie and 'Provenance' by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo
Set in the same world as her Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie's Provenance revolves around a small cast of ambitious characters, all of whom are interested in a years-old forgery case.
Shifting gears from sci-fi into the real world, Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo's Provenance traces the history of a 20th century art fraud that shocked the creative world.
'From Here to Eternity' by James Jones and 'From Here to Eternity' by Caitlin Doughty
Set in the months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, James Jones' From Here to Eternity examines the fraught relationships that exist between members of an army regiment stationed in Hawaii.
In her microhistory of the same name, Caitlin Doughty travels around the globe to give readers an inside look at how people outside the West care for the corpses of their loved ones.