Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Book trends you'd like to see more of/less of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It was created because of their love of lists and books, and since I love those things too, I thought I'd join in every once in awhile, when I have time.
Top Ten Trends You'd Like To See More of/Less of
This is a rarity for me - I actually have 10 items on the list!  Usually I get stuck 1/2 - 3/4 of the way through (this was originally a top 8 list until a couple of minutes before posting), but I managed to think of 2 more!  Here we go...

1.  Faeries.  These books are definitely becoming more popular, but I want more!  When I first started trying to find books about faeries, I had trouble coming up with more than a few titles.  I've had an idea for a faerie novel for a couple of years and I wanted to read other books in the genre to see what was out there so I'd be sure to have an original story.  There are some really terrific books out there (my favorites so far have come from Lesley Livingston and Julie Kagawa), but I'd like to see even more, and with different spins on faerie lore.

2.  More young adult books (and other books, too) with strong, independent female characters.  Girls who don't depend on guys for their happiness or to get them out of bad situations.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a romance junkie and I don't mind the damsel in distress characters (unless they're whiny and needy), but I'd love to see more characters like The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen, who kicks ass all on her own and even though she has love interests, they're not the centre of her universe.
3.  I'd be interested in more books about witches and magic.  Not the wiggle-your-nose, point your finger imaginary witchcraft, but real witchcraft with roots in fact - stuff that's believable for anyone who actually knows anything about real witchcraft.
4.  That being said, I'd also love to see something like Harry Potter - the fantasy aspect of magic, where anything can happen and anything does happen.  Something I can completely lose myself in, a brand new fantasy world that's so real it makes real life pale in comparison.  I can't imagine anything ever comparing to Harry Potter, but it would be intersting to see more people try.  An adult version of Harry Potter would be pretty cool.
5.  Books with really clever, laugh-out-loud humour.  I love to laugh, so any book that can make me laugh is high up on my list.  With the exception of Janet Evanovich and MaryJanice Davidson, I can't think of an author who writes laugh-out-loud funny books.  I love quirky, eccentric characters, amusing side-kicks, clever, quick dialogue between characters or inner dialogue of the main character, things like that, and I haven't read many books lately that fit that bill.

6.  More books with unique supernatural characters.  It doesn't always have to be vampires, werewolves and zombies.  An example that I read recently was Immortal by Gillian Shields - not a vampire or other supernatural creature in sight but the book held my interest and had me wanting more.  There are plenty of creatures that go bump in the night - or day - so I'd love to see authors branching out a bit and breaking the mold.
Things I'd like to see less of:
7.  Less series.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE series and probably 1/2 - 3/4 of the books I read are part of a series, but it can be hard to keep up, and since right now I can only get my books from the library, I miss out on some great books because my library has holes in their collection of the series (like books 1, 3 and 5, but where are 2 and 4 and why on earth wouldn't you buy a complete set if you're going to buy them?!).  I love return characters, I love waiting for the next book and wondering what's going to happen, but I also love really good stand-alone books where you know that's that.
8.  Less books that copy Twilight.  I love vampire books, always have and probably always will, but so many new ones just seem to copy the premise of Twilight.  I'm beginning to only admit this once in awhile since people either love or hate Twilight and most of the people I come across lately hate it, but I loved it (but make no mistake, I loved the BOOKS, not the movies).  That being said, I don't need to read a dozen other books that are thinly veiled wannabes of Twilight and/or copy the idea for the cover art in some way.  It's getting old.  And since I do love vampire books, I'd love to see a new spin on vampire myth - I'm always really excited when I read something and think 'wow, nobody's ever gone in that direction before'.  It's rare lately, hence my excitement when it does actually happen.
9.  Stories from both the male and female perspective.  Two of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts and Heather Graham write this way, showing both main characters' perspective, but not in the first person.  As for young adult books, I've read two that did this, and they were both written in the first person: Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt.  I love knowing what characters are thinking and how they react in different ways to the same situation - I find it lets me delve deeper not only into who they are, but the story itself as well.

10.  Less whiny, woe-is-me characters in young adult books.  'Boo-hoo I've been sent to this stupid school and have no friends and my life sucks'.  'I'm not as pretty as all the other girls, so no one will ever love me'.  UGH!  What are we trying to teach young girls with characters like this?  That you're nobody unless you're pretty, smart, popular, have a boyfriend and an entourage of clones and wannabes?  That complaining and sulking will get you anywhere in life?  Life is all about hard lessons and it's how you deal with them that matters - and since a lot of books are about these hard situations, I'd like to see more characters who are self-assured, confident and do what needs to be done.  If there's a bit of self-pity, that's understandable at times - it's not that long ago that I was a teen, I know what it's like to have raging hormones and emotions and sometimes you do just want to give up, but the next time I come across a whiny, annoying character, I'm putting the book down, no matter how good the story might be. *steps off soapbox*

What about you?  What are some of the trends you'd like to see more or less of?  Leave a comment and a link if you have one, and I'll be sure to visit you in return!


  1. I definitely agree with you on the characters - more strong females and less woe-is-me! I also think it's amusing how many people agree that they want less series and less Twilight-knockoffs!

  2. YAY! I'm so excited about what you want to read more of because I have books I'm trying to get out there that fit in a few of these and I love to see people wanting the stuff-- Of course I read fearing I'd see myself...

    I think we largely agree on reading preferences... AND I have an answer about library series: the missing ones USED to be there, but some dork patron spilled coffee or their dog ate it or soemthing. Thankfully my library is part of a lending system, so I may have to WAIT, but usually I can get the missing volume (had to do this for Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series (I think 3 and 6 were missing)

  3. Yes! Less Woe is me, I am a teenage girl and my happiness depends on boys and being the bestest at everything!

    I would love more Dragons, and other cool supernatural creatures.

    More real to life characters. Not superbadass peeps with no flaws.

    Today i'm chatting about sex, so come.. on over
    Part one of Sex Talk

    and a giveaway by Stacia Kane
    Unholy Ghosts

  4. Yes to less woe is me. And I am on board for more laugh out loud humour. Much needed!

  5. YES YES YES on your number 10. That is one of my biggest pet peeves in books these days. I don't want to read about a character who is constantly down on themselves. Give me a girl with some sass anyday!


  6. I agree with your comment on humor in books. There aren't many that cause you to actually laugh out loud that aren't specifically humorous stories or by comedy writers.


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