Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.
This week’s topic is:
Top Ten Trends You’d Like To See More of/Less of
1. Love Triangles
For some reason, more and more authors (particularly YA authors) are becoming convinced
I prefer my novels team-free.
that this is the only acceptable form of romantic entanglement. I can’t speak for all readers, but I for one do not find it easier to relate to a character who can’t turn the corner without a new man falling in a dazed stupor at her feet. Perhaps if some of this page time were dedicated to developing the relationship between two characters rather than figuring out how to delicately remove the third side of the triangle, I would find more literary couples to cheer on.
Again, I’m looking at you, young adult authors, although I ultimately blame Shakespeare for this one. I’ve never found Romeo and Juliet romantic. They were two kids whose hormone-addled brains decided to get some action and give the finger to their parents all at the same time. They did not know each other, barely spoke to each other, yet died for each other. I rolled my eyes at this premise back in seventh grade, and I roll my eyes whenever an author resurrects it with characters who experience ALL-CONSUMING-LOVE within a week of meeting each other. Please see above re: relationship development.
Adultery is not sexy. True, it is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean I want to read about it in romantic contexts. I give a slight pass to non-romance-centric genres, but only if they make their non-romantic status clear from the get-go.
There is no substitute for the feel of a book in your hands as the pages flip past, or for the anticipation of strolling through your local bookstore searching for a new release, or for the beauty of book covers that are an art unto themselves. E-readers are lightweight, perhaps cheaper…and offer absolutely none of this.
When you find a great series, there’s excitement and comfort in knowing that you won’t have to say goodbye to your favorite characters when you turn the last page. Yet, now and then, I wish I could open an urban fantasy novel and know that there will be resolution come the end, without any loose threads or dreaded cliffhangers. If Neil Gaiman can do it, so can others.
I bet Mercy could use something right around now. Like a jacket.
1.Covers with clothing
Personally, if I were about to engage in hand-to-hand with a nasty beasty, I would want something covering my midriff. I’m sure some of the heroines could do with fewer tattoos as well.
2. The Anti-Mary Sue
Mercy, Kate, Cat, Mac…want to know what some of my favorite UF heroines have in common? They make mistakes. Why anyone would want to read about an infallible protagonist is beyond me, because what could you possibly learn from such perfection? There is a difference between a character that is perfect, and a character that is strong, assertive, and intelligent, for often it is in over-thinking things that one makes the biggest mistakes. The best characters may overthink, or they may (gasp) act human and not even think at all at times, but they own up to their mistakes, and therein lies growth. Please note: the same can be said for TSTL heroines.
3. The Beta Hero
Yes, we get it, it’s fun to fantasize about the brawny, bossy male. But how many of us would actually be able to tolerate that in real life? There is a dearth of Beta men, and I’m calling for that to be rectified. Strength is sexier when it doesn’t come in a domineering package, and it’s time that authors start romanticizing the heroes that are right next door.
4. Updated Mythology and Folklore
Newsflash: there’s more to the supernatural than the creatures that want to drink your blood. Greek, Egyptian, Celtic…there’s no end to the mythologies available for artistic interpretation, and I’d love to see more authors start to take advantage of that.
5. Loving Family Relationships
Estrangement, dysfunction, abuse…they are themes prevalent both in fantasy as well as young adult fiction, and sometimes they provide a necessary background for the protagonist. But more often than not, they seem gratuitous, as if by depriving their main characters of a loving family the authors can simultaneously secure audience sympathy and make their characters seem more capable and edgy. Yet, as I highlighted in my reviews for Audrey, Wait!, The Black Jewels Trilogy, and Blackout, family relationships often provide some of the most interesting dynamics among characters.