Is it really a treacherous thing to compare your work to that of others? I've talked to a few heads of publishing companies, and a few published writers and have been told that you SHOULD compare your work to that of others.
If someone compares their work to another's, is that as grevious as, say, NOT sending an SASE?
Because I'm torn. If comparing myself to others, as I've been told to do, won't HURT my query's chances, then I'd rather hedge my bets and compare the voice of my work to The Rules of Attraction with a twist of I Know This Much Is True..
It's not as bad as failing to send an SASE cause I'll read it.
However, you run the risk of shooting yourself in the foot by saying "my work is like The Rules of Attraction" if the agent you're querying doesn't like that book at all.
I always suggest you say "readers who liked The Rules of Attraction" will like this because it's not a comparison. It's a signpost.
See the difference?
And mostly people who say "my book is like this other book" either didn't read the same edition I did, or aren't objective enoug about their writing to see why the comparison is ludicrous.
Avoid shooting yourself in the foot inadvertently if you possible can.