10 Things I Need More Of
When I read the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday I didn’t think I’d be joining in. It wasn’t until I went back to the list and reread that my mind started thinking of things I’d like to see more of in a book. I realized how many times I’d cursed books, or willed storylines to go in a certain direction because I love it so much. Once my mental ball started rolling it was hard to turn it off, and I realized this was the perfect opportunity to vent!
I’ll try to keep it relatively short.
1. YA books that highlight amazing parent(s).
It seems to be the ‘go to’ for Young Adult books to have uninvolved or absent parents. I get it’s probably easier to give your fictional teenager freedom, which makes it easier to write. I’m just partial to reading about parents I want to emulate. I love the parents who exude all the love and adoration I feel for my own daughter. This is a trend I’d love to see more of in Young Adult.
Finnikin’s father, Trevanian – Ron’s mom, Molly Weasley
2. Characters who are Badass because of their mind/intellect.
Another trend is to consider characters ‘Badass’ if they can literally kick ass with their fists and feet. We’re naturally obsessed with the Caleana’s, or the Kaz’s. I’m not saying either of them are unintelligent, just that it’s become common for Fantasy to focus more on one type of character. I enjoy those, but I really really enjoy it when the character stands out because they’re strong of the mind. The Hermione’s, if you will. We need more heroines like her.
Sydney from Bloodlines – Laurent from Captive Prince
3. LGBT main characters in books that are NOT about being LGBT.
I read a LOT of LGBT books. I love M/M romance, and LGBT YA. I usually find the character being LGBT is the focal part of the story. It’s a romance and they’re falling in love, or it’s about the hardships they go through. It wasn’t until I read Living with the Fall that I started to want to read something different, and it was because the character’s sexuality was known, but unimportant. It wasn’t even really part of the story. I realized we need so much more of that in our books. Why do the LGBT characters always have to be in a story about their sexuality? We’re all normal people, living through normal circumstances… like zombie apocalypses.
4. Ethnic Diversity in a story that is not about Ethnic Diversity!
This is the same concept. A lot of diverse books are about racism, or discrimination. Those books are so important, because they help us to understand each other and our society. On the other side though, is the idea that in most places when we look around our daily lives we see all different races and cultures, just in our normal existence. It stands to reason all books should reflect that diversity, no matter the plot.
5. Characters who love themselves as much as they love their partner.
I feel like I’m typing this a lot, but another unfortunate trend in YA is to have one character sacrifice for love, or focus more on their relationship than on their own lives and futures. It’s already so hard, raising a daughter, trying to teach her it’s okay to choose herself. I just wish the trend would start veering more toward showing how, while they do love each other, it’s okay to put themselves first. I love that level of maturity.
Jonah from Your Voice is All I Hear – Josie from Looking for Alibrandi
6. Dialogue/Monologues that makes me laugh uncontrollably.
Crying in a story comes easy. Chuckles and smiles, even wide grins. It’s a lot harder to inspire loud guffaws, tears and snot on face, spurting laughter you can’t hide no matter who’s looking at you. It’s only happened to me twice, and both of those books are in my examples below. If anyone knows of others, please let me know!
7. Empowering confident women without typical romance ‘perfectness’.
There are a lot of romances I can think of about regular women, short ones, thicker ones, freckled ones, nerdy ones… but usually those characters have hangups and insecurities about what they view as their flaws. Instead, I’d love to read more characters like Natalie Grayson. She is a thicker woman who carries herself like a rock star! She knows she’s stunning, and she owns it. I love that. I want more. I want more woman who look like me, AND love themselves!
8. Variances in male characteristics, because sexy doesn’t equal alpha!
Who doesn’t love an Alpha? I know I do. I love possessiveness and testosterone. I’m not knocking it. I just find when I do get the chance to read a book with an introverted, quiet, man I’m more intrigued and interested in their character. It’s rarer to read in a romance novel, and it’s just as hot. Sometimes I’d prefer an omega to an alpha, and I feel that should be explored more.
9. Defects/Disability/Disorders done right!
I think when an author is going to tackle a subject matter like this they should have a first hand knowledge, or at least do a heck of a lot of research. However, when it’s done right there’s something really beautiful about the stories. These three in particular are such standout reads with amazing writings. I’d love to get my hands on others just as great.
10. Originality and unique ideas when World Building.
I know there are some parts of Fantasy/Paranormal/UF that will always overlap. You’re going to see a lot of shifters, vampires, fae, and ghosts. I’m not saying a world can’t contain that stuff. I am saying the surrounding idea should be unique specifically to that book. I shouldn’t be able to read a story and know exactly who the author’s inspiration was because she/he stole half of the ideas. Give us something new, something unlike anything we’ve ever read before. It is possible.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!