Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. A prompt is given each week, and I hope to do it every week so I always have something going up on Tuesdays. This week we are talking about the top ten book qualities or topics I love reading about. So if the book has these qualities, I am more likely to read the book or keep reading the book if I have already started.
This is obviously more about first impressions than anything else, but I definitely think it is a truth about me and a lot of readers. If I am drawn by the book cover I am more likely to be interested in the book itself. It will at the very least motivate me to look into what the book is about and see what the book community is saying about it.
Fantasy (specifically, magic).
Fantasy novels are always something I am interested in. I think a good fantasy world mixed with a cast of hilarious characters is always my go to comfort read. The more you can escape into the world the better.
Diverse Set of Characters.
When I hear that the cast of characters in a book is diverse, whether that means representation for POC, LGBTQ+, non-abled bodied, other cultures, fat characters, characters with mental illness, etc, then I am more likely to pick it up. That could be because I have challenged myself to support authors that write characters that represent more cultures, but also because (if not all) the diverse books I have read felt so real.
This is pretty self explanatory. I am a sucker for good dialogue. I think it helps the reader really get to know the character but it also makes everything real.
Familiar Authors That I Like.
If I like the author's previous books, I will pick up their new books. I have a handful of authors that I see their books (old and new) as must reads.
Characters I Like Rooting For.
If the characters are ones I am happy to root for, if I want them to succeed, then I am more likely to keep reading. I don't need to love the main characters, but I at least need to want them to succeed, or I don't see a point in reading. Unless its a You by Caroline Kepnes kind of deal where you're not supposed to root for the main character.
I am a fat woman who is kind of sick of seeing only thin main characters characters. I do not expect main characters to be as big as I am, I find that to be unrealistic especially if the story is fantasy or action based. However, I think there needs to be more fat characters in books where they are represented well and positively. Maybe if I had some sort of positive representation in the books I was reading or the tv I watched I would have had the self worth to care enough to take care of my body. But instead I grew up with a weird relationship with food because I felt like there wasn't hope for me. I want young readers to see themselves in literature, to see that they are not alone and that their lives and health have worth. A book I am excited to read The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, who's main character is fat. I also hear that The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson has a fat main character (and its fantasy!!!) so sometime this year I want to read that as well.
Books That Revolve Around Important Topics.
Not all books need to be hard hitting. I understand that, some books are made for escapism and it's hard to escape when every book is about heavy topics. However, I am really excited about the influx of books that talk about the topics I think are important to discuss. Asking For It by Louise O'Neill, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall, etc. Those books are so important.
Revolves Around Friendships and Family.
I love when a book has a strong friendship that is the main focus of the story. This is either becoming a more common trope in young adult literature, or I am just picking up the right books. The List of Cages by Robin Roe, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz are two of my absolute favorites when it comes to a good friendship. Sam with Saenz's book that I mentioned in the last question.
Insta-Love needs to go. It's unrealistic and it makes someone who isn't big on romance already even less of a fan. I think it's safe to say that most young adult books have unrealistic romances in a sense that it's happily ever after after the girl meets the guy even if they're sixteen and have their whole lives ahead of them. Is it impossible for high school sweethearts to fall in love and stay together forever? No. But it's not common, which makes it way too common in young adult.