I like lists. I make them in my head all the time, about anything at all. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to posts lists on the blog, and I’ve finally decided to do it. The lists will be posted on Saturdays, with a different topic each week. There will be two sets of six, with a total of twelve. Originally I had planned on doing on a Tuesday 12–but I simply couldn’t give up Top Off Tuesdays. Amanda kindly lent her brain power for a brainstorming session and thus, Saturday Sixes were born.
- When a series suddenly, and inexplicably, becomes paranormal. I love paranormal stories–heck I read them all the time–but, sometimes I want to read a book that doesn’t have any vampires, angels, telepaths or, I don’t know, psychic monkeys. And when I turn to a series that was, previously, completely normal I expect it to remain that way. I depend on it.
- Dead parents in YA are a big, fat, cliche “no no” in my book. Put the girl in a boarding school if you want to reduce parent supervision. I love boarding school stories. Or–here’s a thought–make the struggle between parental dependence and adult autonomy a part of the MC’s internal conflict. God knows it would be relevant.
- Immediate physical attraction that interferes with intelligence is a particular bete noir of mine. I flipping hate it when the hero and heroine lose all brain function while their counterpart is within spitting distance. Don’t get me wrong–I love an instant sizzle of attraction–but I don’t really need to be privy to the way the heroine’s reflections on the hotness of the hero’s fantabulous rear end affect her ability to stay upright (*snerk*). Or the how the hero wants to throw the heroine to the ground and, well, you know.
- Books that don’t make full use of their setting–Die for Me, I’m looking at you. If you can’t make Paris come alive, don’t bother using it as your setting. I’m serious. You’re insulting the City of Lights. Be more like The Name of the Star.
- Series that go on forever–I like it when a series is an average of about three to four books. Any longer, and the characters and plots start to become slightly ridiculous. There are exceptions (Kate Daniels), but more common are the books that make the rule (I call it the Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome). It takes rare talent and some serious plotting skills to make a 5+ book series work.
- Love triangles without a clear winning couple–It’s no secret that I become emotionally invested in the books I read. Sometimes I take this a bit too far, but the truth is, my reading time is too valuable (at this point in my life) for me to read a series, highly anticipate each volume, reach the end and become furious when my favored pairing isn’t the ultimate one. Who does this? Cassandra Clare–I never once thought that Clary would end up with Simon. Who doesn’t do this? Andrea Cremer. I hate you, Shay. I hate you.
- TWINS! I love twin stories, especially when they play on the good v. evil dichotomy. It’s delicious. I also especially love it when the “bad twin” turns out to be the “good” one. (See: Double Trouble by Clare Cross)
- Books that build up to a central couple’s story. This is kind of an extension of the slow burn romance I also adore so very, very much. I like to know that a couple we know or hear about it going to eventually get their own book. It heightens the anticipation. (See: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh)
- Childhood friends (or people who’ve known each other their entire lives in one capacity or another) become romantically involved. I eat this romantic twist up. (See: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting). Also see my most recent Thematic Thursdays post. It focuses on Best Friend Romances, but I also like life-long antagonists, best friend’s older brother, sibling’s friend, etc.
- Books with characters named Ruby. I invariably take this as a sign that I’m meant to read the book. It is the universe bringing me and the book together. Best examples: Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles (Lavender is one of my middle names) and the Boyfriend books by E. Lockhart (because the MC is named Ruby Oliver–and Oliver is my older brother’s name). Worst example: The Anne books (because the Ruby DIES).
- Amnesia stories. It’s like emotional crack. Especially when it involves a romantic interest that the heroine (or hero) can’t remember. I can’t get enough of it, which is quasi-fortunate, since it seems to be a lasting trend in the Harlequin Presents series. Not that I would know. I’ve never read an HP in MY LIFE. Nuh-uh. (See: You Only Love Twice by Elizabeth Thornton).
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