Last discussion we talked about features that throw up red flags and immediately turn me off from reading a book. To add a little balance and to avoid sounding like a big complainer, I thought I’d make a list of features that make me automatically say YES PLEASE!
When I say “questing” I don’t just say it like a normal word. I say it with this wistful sigh of happiness. I looooove questing. I don’t care where we’re going or why we’re going there. Honestly, the destination and reason are often kind of lame. But it doesn’t matter. I just want to travel across perilous lands with a rag tag group—including, always, at least one devastatingly handsome warrior. Preferably with hottie accessory #1 (a sword!), but I’ll settle for a bow and arrows (Weiland!) or magic skills (North! My review). As soon as I see a map, I’m thinking SCORE!
Recommended reading: In addition to the two mentioned, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens (yeah, the covers are awful, but trust me!)
Hate turned to love relationships
I am a complete romantic, but my absolute favorite type of romance to read about is the “hate turned to love” pairing. I love watching the two main characters fight like cats and dogs. Witty verbal sparring is the best. Their taunts and complaints lead to character growth. They also realize they admire one another, but they still fight it. This builds the tension for *THAT* kiss! The perfect kiss that comes at the end of the book when the two leads give in and admit that they love each other. Ah, swoon.
Recommended reading: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade (my review), Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (my review), Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
Fairy tale retellings
I may despise fairies (because they’re evil!), but I love fairy tales and I never get tired of reading fairy tale retellings. The best retellings are the ones that add an original twist while still paying homage to the original tale. I like comparing the different ways authors can tell the same story while still making it seem fresh and original. It’s also a ton of fun picking out all of the little references and ways the author chooses to weave in the original. Fairy tales also tend to have romance, happy endings, and magic—all features that make me happy.
Recommended reading: The Once Upon a Time series (hit or miss, try the books by Cameron Dokey or Debbie Viguie), Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
If a book has even a whiff of courtly intrigue then I’m all over it. The mystery and tension keep me glued to the page. There’s always a question of who is doing something dastardly, but everyone has their court face on so the bad guy could be anyone. Usually the main character ferrets out a bunch of gossip and a few minor bad guys before putting all the pieces together and figuring out the identity of the Big Bad. The scandal! The mystery! The gowns! Ah, I’m in heaven.
Recommended reading: The Firekeeper series by Jane Lindskold (big on the questing, too!), Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle, Mistwood by Leah Cypess, Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
I prefer to go back in time, mostly because you get historical fiction with a running modern commentary. I also love the funny situations that occur when the main character from modern times needs to pretend like they totally know what’s going on when in reality they’re eating the dinner plates and messing up all the local customs in the most comical ways.
Recommended reading: Waterfall by Lisa Bergren, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde, more time travel books
What about you? What features make you automatically start running through your list of bribes (first born, candy...) in order to get your hands on a copy of the book?
Do you have any suggestions for me of books that fall into these categories? I'll love you forever!
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