Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish (click on the picture to visit their blog). A new Top Ten list is posted every week for fellow bloggers to participate in.
1. DISLIKE: dorky boy/girl meets popular boy/girl – Look, I can live without this particular cliché in my books. I don’t dislike it in EVERY circumstance, but it gets old quickly and if it isn’t done right it can just turn me off a book completely.
2. LIKE: authors include sex – I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, I’m not like ‘put sex in all the things’ (that sounds so wrong), but I like it when it’s in a book when it should be. Sex and physical intimacy are normal in many relationships, especially in older age brackets, so I appreciate when an author doesn’t shy away from this. I also think it’s good to have it in Young Adult books in a safe and positive manner in order to demonstrate loving and respectful relationships. I need to stop here because I could discuss this for eternity (well, at least 30 minutes at least)
3. DISLIKE: love triangles – Oh lord, spare me another love triangle. It CAN be good sometimes, only sometimes but ergh, I cannot deal with this on a regular basis.
4. DISLIKE: back and forth relationships – I don’t mind reading books where there is obvious romantic connection between two characters and it doesn’t work out until the end, that doesn’t bother me. But I hate it when characters go back and forth between liking each other, not liking each other, being in love, wanting to kill the other person. Best example I can think of is Jace and Clary in The Mortal Instruments. I don’t want to give away spoilers but their relationship made me not complete that series (amongst other things)
5. LIKE: awkward relationship beginnings – I’m pretty much referring to Young Adult novels with my entire list, but none more so than this one. I love it when authors write new couples as being awkward and inexperienced because it’s realistic. It doesn’t give off this false idea that everyone knows what they are doing or how to react because, guess what, we don’t! I would go so far as to say that the majority of people feel socially awkward, it’s just that some people are better at hiding it.
1. DISLIKE: Sex as magical/transcendent – Alright look. Enjoy the shit out of it, love it, go at it all the time, BE ALL ABOUT THE SEX – I don’t care. Like, they can feel a connection. That’s fine. But when I’m reading the aftermath part of a couple doing the deed and one of them is internal monologue-ing about how they feel like a changed-man/woman-and-it’s-never-been-this-way-before-and-I-know-now-that-you-are-the-person-I’m-supposed-to-be-with, I just want to diiieeeeeeee. Stop it. Can’t it just be about having really great sex? You’re not boning an ethereal being. Good lord.
2. LIKE: sexual tension – I live for the deliciousness that is sexual tension. Don’t even care if that sounds creepy. If you’re reading this, I recommend the Every series by Ellie Marney for an EXCELLENT YA example of some very well written deliciousness.
3. DISLIKE: cheating – You know, I get that it happens, and it happens a lot. But I can never really stomach it. Especially if it’s incredibly pointless/meaningless and goes on forever. I like it even less if the person he/she is cheating with knows too. I just want to yell at them, “Don’t take that shit! Think better of yourself and go find a single someone to get down with.”
4. LIKE: romance from childhood friendships – Oh man. These romances make me want to melt into a big puddle of mush. I luuuuuurrve these kind of romances. LOVE THEM. I think it all started when I read Summer Of Love by Wendy Loggia from this YA romance series called Love Stories, published by Bantam Books in the 90’s, which I read quite a few of when I was in my early teens. It’s the whole having years of history with someone and knowing them so well and it’s never a case of insta-love, which I haaaaate. *happy sigh*
5. DISLIKE: fixer-upper relationships – You know how it goes. One character is damaged somehow, but through knowing this one other character for a few months, he/she gets better, everything works out fine and dandy and everyone starts shitting unicorns and rainbows. Yeah nuh. Best relationship example I can think of which is the complete OPPOSITE of that is Will Trombal and Francesca Spinelli from Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta. Will is always there to help Frankie through when she’s having a tough time with her depression. He doesn’t “fix” anything, he’s just there for her. And that’s what those who struggle with depression need the most, really. But anyway. Having a love interest “fix” you is just bullshit. Books certainly don’t have to reflect reality all the time, but I happen to think that if you’re going to write a story like that, it should be true to real life.