Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays: Kimberly’s Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the excellent blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we’re supposed to be creating a list of things we would love authors to write about, whether places, time periods, issues or types of characters.

1. The perfect read alike for Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I am convinced this book doesn’t exist. I have read many a contemporary romance about an American girl finding love in a foreign country, and every single one has fallen short of the high bar Perkins set.

2. The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is one of my very favorite series out there, paranormal or otherwise. Although I love the series as it is being written, I would happily read a full-length novel about Warren. The short story Briggs did write, just wasn’t enough!

3. I would dearly love to see more novels, realistic or otherwise, that focus on a developing relationship. I’m tired of instalove and I hate love triangles. Give me plots where one couple slowly builds a relationship that starts with a solid foundation!  (Rebecca would like to second that request!)

4. Along that same vein, I would also love for authors to stop writing obsessive relationships as if they are romantic and charming. There is nothing remotely acceptable about a guy who is so oppressive, overbearing or manipulative that he completely overshadows or controls the supposed love of his life. If we won’t stand for that in real life, why do we stand for it in fiction?

5. Similarly, why is it that in fiction (YA, especially), female characters are either tough as nails, or overtly feminine. Why can’t we have a blending of the two? Why can’t that beautiful girl who loves floaty skirts, sparkly eye makeup and baking, also be the kind of girl who can fend for herself when the going gets tough? Give me more YA fiction with feminine heroines who take care of their own problems.

6. More standalone novels! I love a good series as much as the next person, but does every single book need to be part of one? This is one big reason why I read so much realistic fiction - it is very rarely part of a series. I know it’s not as lucrative to write a standalone, but would some authors pretty please try?

7. I would be blissfully happy if authors would return to the traditional, top ten, baby names for their characters. I understand why authors use weird names, I really do. No one would name their kid that in real life, but a character is fine, right? WRONG. I just can’t read another book where the character’s name is Ever or Cricket or Caymen or something equally dumb. What’s wrong with Emily or Anne or Jack?

8. It seems like more and more, the trend in YA fiction is absent parents. One of my favorite things about Lindsey Leavitt’s Going Vintage was the happy family aspect. I know not all families are like that, and not all teenagers have supportive, loving parents. But that doesn’t mean that parents have to be absent or bad in every novel, does it?

9. Look, I’m verbose. I know this. That does not mean I want every book I read to be a 600 page tome. Sometimes 600 pages aren’t necessary to the plot. Sometimes more than half of those 600 pages are filled with useless details that do nothing to further the story. (A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a prime example of this.) Better editing and more restraint would be lovely to see.

10. Be unique! It seems half the books written now are meant to be a copy of a previous popular title. I don’t want the next Hunger Games or Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. I want the next original story. Don’t be afraid to write something truly spectacular, because I want to read that book.

*fingers crossed*