Remember my post about my bookish turn-offs? WELL.
It’s time to get positive with some bookish turn-ons!
When it comes to bookish turn-ons, I only need to see a hint of my favourite things* and the book sky rockets into Favourite Territory Zone. Even a book with elements I don’t like (a love-triangle, for instance) will still win mega points if it includes fabulous parentals, or copious amounts of cake.
So let’s get started!**
* If possible, avoid breaking into renditions of the Sound of Music. If not possible…GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES WITH BLUE SATIN SASHES! HUZZAH!
** Also, if you want to write a post about your own bookish-turn-ons (or offs), go for it! Steal like an artist.
There are 3 kinds of friendships I adore and I’m happy to read any of them!
- Friendships that turn into romance.
- Friendships between 2+ girls (or 2+ boys) where they’ve been buds forever and always have each other’s backs.
- Friendships between a girl and guy that is sibling-ish and doesn’t end up in romance.
I think friendships in general tend to be overshadowed (in YA, at least, which is what I eat) in order to have spunky romance. Don’t get me wrong! I am not a romance hater. But friendship with family values will always win for me.
- I loved the friendship (turning slowly into romance) of Emily and Frank in Since You’ve Been Gone.
- I loved the friendship of Adam, Gansey, Ronan and Noah in The Raven Boys.
- I have intense delight over the friendships in Elizabeth Wein’s books: both Maddie and Verity and Rosie and Roza.
- I loved the friendship (hateship?) of Maggie and Gus in Disruption. No romance.
I’m not opposed to shipping BFF as couples, but I think good ol’ fashioned friendships get smushed into “couples” too much. I don’t want to see them ALL fall in love. I want to see them be buddies. Mates. FRIENDS.
2. Books that agree there is a world outside of America.
Sometimes I think (with American books particularly) they forget there are hundreds of other countries out there. I enjoy a book set in America (or Australia or England) just as much as the next bookworm, but seriously: what about the rest of the world?!
I want to read more books set in Africa! Europe! Asia! Russia! Antartica!* Sure it takes more research, but I wish more authors were up for this challenge. Or, at least, I wish books set in countries like America would acknowledge there are other places out there.
- I adored Daughter of Smoke and Bone for being set in Prague!
- I LOVED The Girl From the Well for venturing into Japan.
- I squeaked (quietly) when Rose Under Fire was mostly in Germany but with Polish characters.
* Yeah, okay, maybe not. Unless there’s a penguin uprising or something.
3. Realistically diverse characters
Maybe I’m being fussy…but the world is pretty multicultural these days. (I know Australia is.) I feel like the only diverse things that happen are characters with red curly hair.* And enough with the best-friend being Asian. Why isn’t the main character Asian?!
I think YA is doing really well with this, but more! More! Keep it coming!
- Michael Grant’s books nail this, because his books are always a multicultural well of diversity.
- Also so impressed with Fish Out of Water for including Indian and Japanese culture.
- The Starbound has a spectacular cast, including China and Ireland.
* Only, apparently, 2% of the world is supposed to be redheads. They’re all in YA books. What even.
4. Disorders and peculiarities
What about allergies? Odd quirks? Disabilities and deformities? What about phobias and mental illness? These are real issues that a lot of people experience, so why aren’t they in more books?! Especially in spec-fic. Contemporaries get into this grittiness and I admire them for it…but spec-fic has no excuse.
Sure, maybe in the medieval days there was less mental illness than we have now. Or was there? Those freaky kings with thirsts for destruction* had to have had issues. And what about people born blind or deaf or with undiagnosed bipolar or autism or megalomania**?
I LOVE READING THIS IN FANTASY BOOKS.
- I loved how Angelfall explored characters with disabilities and schizophrenia.
- I liked how Gone had characters of ALL different kinds and shapes and minds, everything from bipolar to autism.
- I like how the Percy Jackson series many characters have ADHD and dyslexia.
* I think Sauron, at least, had problems okay?
** Disorder where one has delusions of grandeur? I’m diagnosing Sauron with this.
5. Crimey things
Um, I’m being totally honest right now: I’m not a criminal! I’m just really fascinated by crime books and shows! I love to see cases solved and people outwitted. I love complexly delicious plots. I love geniuses.
If these are done right? The book is so getting a high-rating.
- Thank you Holly Black for writing The Curseworker Trilogy (best paranormal crimes ever) and if you don’t trust me, just as Deborah. I successfully got her hooked too.
- Also Heist Society by Ally Carter
- Also How To Lead a Life Of Crime which (as the title says) is very useful on crimey tips.
This is pretty much a given. If you know me (unless it’s your first time reading the blog, in which case, HELLO! WELCOME!) you’ll know I adore laughing. I love books that make me cackle maniacally.
- Rangers Apprentice will always win big points for making me snort out loud.
- I snickered copiously throughout The Mortal Instruments.
- Skulduggery Pleasant just wins the world for humour.
7. Food, Oliver, FOOD.
Food is important. Food is life. I do love it when a book takes a second to describe what characters are eating. Not only is it delicious, it allows me to judge the characters based off their food preferences. Only a person of great fortitude can do curry. (I cannot.)
And it’s so incredibly weird but…most books skip food! NO ONE EATS! Especially fantasies. What about low-blood sugar dumps? What about no-energy? It frustrates me no end.
- Anna and the French Kiss described french food and it was glorious and also torture.
- Divergent wins because DAUNTLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE.
- They ate a lot in Sinner which was delicious, especially the green eggs (kiwi fruit).
8. Freakishly fantastic families.
Besides the awesome alliteration up there (I hope you admired it…at least for 1.2 seconds), I really have a soft spot for fabulous families. Nothing hits my feels harder than siblings fighting to survive in a raging apocalyptic world. (I’m not really fussy on the setting. They can be fighting to find mayonnaise in the store for all I care. Just so long as they fight their battles together.)
Family is an incredibly complex thing. You’re stuck with a bunch of weirdos that you have to like or lump, because they’re part of who you are. (I always cry harder when a sibling dies in a book, than when a love-interest does.)
- I love the Lightwoods in City of Bones and how they’re ALL Shadowhunters, kicking butt together.
- And let’s not forget Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire who go through 13 books of unfortunate and ludicrous events to keep each other alive and semi-sane.