For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (TTT), the topic is the top ten things that get me hooked on a book. Top Ten Tuesday, or as I refer to it: TTT, is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I will share some of the catch phrases and topics that make me instantly want to read a story. Or, in other words, top things that are instant hooks for me with books.
It wouldn’t be a TTT without me breaking the rules a bit, so this TTT will include some examples. And, I like peppering in some images in my lists, so TTT will be a little weird (as usual).
10. People of Color As Main Characters
Some people assume including people of color is complicated. I just want a group of people from various backgrounds together on a quest. Interracial couples, bi-racial people, all are rare in fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk novels. More representation is something I look for these days.
Case in Point: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
9. Out of the Closet Queer Characters
Another thing that would get me hooked is queer characters. In particular, asexual characters are somewhat rare, too. I have not encountered any aro ace people in fantasy stories. I want queer characters whose life is not centered around their queerness.
So: proud lesbian girls in love with trans girls while on a quest to eat the evil Nachos created by fogs from the misty magician. Things like that. I like fantasy.
For a case in point: Tithe by Holly Black.
8. Disabled Characters
I can read only so much contemporary fiction about how sad life is for disabled kids. As a disabled person, I want to see happy examples. And, can we not be presented as reliant on the able-bodied people to save us?
Can’t I have a character with cyclothymia like me? Must all characters have one of the four or five commonly discussed mental illnesses?
Case in Point: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
7. Snark and Humor
This is an important one because I am not snarky. My brains are not that sophisticated in the humor department. And, unfortunately, I like laughing.
As a case in point: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.
While I am trying to read more fancy-pants fantasy (high fantasy), I will always enjoy urban fantasy. I like seeing fantasy grounded in some reality. I admit that fancy pants fantasy has a flavor itself. And, I like it.
Some case in point: Furthemore by Tahereh Mafi or Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.
5. Friendship Goals
Think of Lord of the Rings and how the Fellowship was a bunch of dude-bros who had a goal to accomplish. I want that. In addition, I want unlikely friendships and alliances.
The case in point for this element is: Paper Towns by John Green and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.
4. Enemies to Lovers
My favorite jam of all the jams is the enemies to lovers trope. Oh my goodness, I love it so much. All the bickering, the snark, and annoyance. Then, stupidly falling in love.
Case in Point: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.
3. Independent Female Characters
There is a lot of false representation of women in books. Basically, tons of bickering females, jealous girls, and so on. The problem is the prevalence of this depiction. I understand that some girls do get jealous and they do fight. But, not all girls are like that. So, I like seeing stories that give girls room to be powerful, strong, independent, quirky, and individual.
An example: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
2. Complicating a Societal Norm (or two)
Fiction has the power of communicating new ideas in an indirect way sometimes. For example, look at Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings with its biblical themes. Same deal for Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.
But, I like books who can question certain elements in its society/setting, too.
Case in point: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I know, I know. Fandom should not dictate what I like, but I am a fan of having community around to discuss and fangirl with me. One of the crappiest feelings is to have no one to share a story with.
For instance: Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Carry On.