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Top Ten (or Eight) Tuesday: Things On My Reading Wishlist

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Morning, lovelies. Today we are welcoming another week, another Tuesday and another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Oh, my! This week's topic isn't about books that have me in a tizzy of anticipation or a themed topic in that regard and is instead asking what we'd like to see more of from authors. Although in my case, I'm being extra nit-picky and also requesting things of authors I'd like to see less of... not sure how well that translates to this topic, but there you have it.

The official topic Jamie and the Broke and the Bookish ladies planned is...

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist
 (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.)
 
Ideally, that wishlist would looking something like this:
 

TTT_Meme3 (Jan 21st)_3-0011.) Contemporary Royals: there are likely dozens  of stories out there that chronicle a fairytale set in our contemporary age, but reading Rachel Hauck's beautiful Royal Wedding series has given me a special appreciation for how "realistic" the genre can be done and fond memories of Lori Wick's novels. Translation: I want more fairytale-esque novels that fit into our world without conforming to it. What can I say? This girl is a sucker for a good prince-ly hero. (Do we always blame the accent...?)
2.) Better Endings: so many novels build up to a fantastic climax and then... fall flat. This is a conversation my mom and I have had many times over our many bookish journeys and while I'm not terribly picky since all I ask is that the character's get the happy ending sometimes, a nonchalant ending is the biggest let-down a story can leave us with.
3.) Decisive Characters: it seems in fiction, so many character's and their emotions are... well, I'm just going to say it, unnecessarily wishy-washy. I "get" how it helps create friction and in a sense, "mystery" to play up character's that vacillate between moral choices or love, but it also wears very thin, making the reader want to wash their hands of the character. This is also going to relate to my 5th topic on the list, so for now, I'll just say some characters (even endearing ones) need to grow a backbone.
4.) [Less] Insta-Love: like the heroines of novels, reader's like to be "courted" with the romance. We don't need the entire story or pace to reach an obsessive point - or to "take over" so nothing else can be of importance, however by the time the end rolls around, a reader desperately wants to believe in the romance angle. In other words, if the couple hasn't indicated interest beyond physical attraction and in an effort to put them together in the final 50 pages, they declare their love, uh-uh, sorry but I'm not going to buy it.
5.) [Less] Love Triangles: expanding on topic number 3, love triangles are insanely popular in YA/teen fiction and really, I don't mind it if the heroine isn't so ho-hum or flippant in her feelings for the two dudes vying for her attention. I mean, really... If there is one excuse, it'd be that the characters are teenagers which - let's face it (we all "get" this), pretty much excuses everything, however if the girls (and I use the heroine as the one caught in the middle since I've rarely if ever seen it be two girls and one boy caught in a love triangle) were more decided and it was just the "other" dude standing in the shadows experiencing unrequited love*, I don't think I mind nearly as much. (*Inspired by Laura's comment, I revised this just a smidgeon.)
6.) Settings: I love the artistry and beauty behind activities like dance or specific sports like figure skating (though I am clueless about both for myself) yet in my reading world I've not read many stories set in such settings.
7.) Spy Stories: okay, so I know... there are probably no shortage of spy stories out there, I just haven't discovered them yet and who's fault is that...? That's right, none but my own. Still, with the recent discovery of an upcoming book called Blonde Ops and certain TV fandoms, I'm all for more sleek sleuthing - can I help it if I lovelovelove shows like Covert Affairs?
8.) Unique Character Names: unless they're hard to pronounce, I want to see more individual character names. For me, the more unique the names, the more I remember them. For example, The Hunger Games gang have names I haven't forgotten (Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne). Names like Eden (It Had to be You by Susan May Warren) or Jade McKinley (Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter) are beautiful and feminine, yet easy-to-pronounce and "unusual" in the best sense. Or in her upcoming novel, Dani Petrey's Kayden McKenna. The more original, the more I'm apt to associate a character to their story and remember them.
 
Now, it's time to hear from you, friends!
What would you like to see more (or less) of from authors and books?


24 comments

  1. Amen on less insta love and love triangles. SO right there with you.

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  2. I would love all of those things! I have been dying for such things. Though recently, i have been finding some great ending in books such as Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire (Elizabeth Wein), Champion (Marie Lu) and Allegiant (Veronica Roth).

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    1. Wonderful! I've read books that have good endings, it just seems like, more often than not, books go for a lackluster ending as opposed to a "good" one. Thanks for the listing of books you found with good endings, Layla - I'll have to look into them at some point. :)

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  3. I completely agree about "insta-love". Mostly what I think about when I read stories written like that are the friends I've had that have those kind of experiences, have fallen into lust not love. And it rarely outlasts the first serious hurdle of their relationship. Attraction lights the flame, but there has to be fuel for the fire to burn long-term.

    And love-triangles bother me because if the girl can't commit to one guy, how are we as readers supposed to commit to them as a couple - to root for them to end up together and close the book feeling satisfied? I unabashedly admit that I read for happy endings. If I didn't, I'd watch Jerry Springer. :) Although, I agree with you that if unrequited love is part of the triangle that's different. It can add poignancy or tension.

    Love the unique names, too! These are really all great points.

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    1. Well put, Laura. I think to have physical attraction at first meeting is fine because that is realistic... "chemistry" when we first meet someone romantically is about the physical but as you say, as time passes and a couple gets to know each other on a deeper level, there has to be MORE than mere attraction and sadly, I don't think authors are taking that in romances seriously.

      ...wow, you are right on! Love all you say about love triangles, as well. You summed up exactly what I was attempting to say. Thank you. Like you, I read for happy endings also, and even at that, there is nothing wrong with requiring more from the romantics - plus does that always mean there has to be love triangle involved...?? I mean, most the time the girl cannot decide between the guys and that's when I'm MOST frustrated. *sigh*

      Unique names are the best!

      ...and thanks for this insightful comment, Laura. I appreciate it. :)

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    2. It makes me wonder . . . what exactly can we say for any particular girl's moral base if she's constantly flitting between two (or more!) men?

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    3. EXACTLY! Good point, Hannah. I don't mind a love triangle if the girl is either not encouraging either guy or she's made up her mind about which she loves. Beyond that...? Love triangles need to be scarce. :)

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  4. ugh, I can't stand love triangles! please stop with them!

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    1. Well said, Lis. :)

      Thanks for visiting.

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  5. I love your idea of reading about contemporary royals! The only book that comes to mind is The Princess Diaries, which is one of my favorite books of all time. Nice list!
    Check out my TTT list and please follow my blog, Book Savvy: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. ...who among us girls doesn't like a good fairy-tale, right!? ;) I recently read a book called, Princess Ever After and thought it was beautiful - plus oh, my! The author has written one of the most realistic British hero's ever (you can practically HEAR him speaking in that accent *swoon*). Aw, I love Princess Diaries as a movie. Glad you like the book.

      Off to read your list! :)

      Thanks for visiting, Katie.

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  6. Good list, I wish that there were less love triangles as well.

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    1. ....I love how united we are in this comment thread - love triangles be gone! :)

      Thanks for visiting, Lilly. Hope you enjoyed it.

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  7. I certainly agree with you about the love triangles. They are so cliche! Why can't there be a plot development or character issue that separates the couple and causes them (or one of them) to doubt their relationship? Like Rumpelstiltskin and Belle from Once Upon a Time, or something. . . .

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    1. Fiction does often create something conflict that will separate the couple before the end and in a way that too is cliché. However, as an aspiring writer I totally understand the "need" for this last-minute "suspense" (will the couple end up together...?) but as a reader, it can wear thin. Either way, unless the girl is more assertive in her choice, I crave less of the love triangle. :)

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  8. I'm with you on the fewer love triangles and more contemporary royal stories! I'm a sucker for modern-day princess stories...I guess it all started with The Princess Diaries. That's still one of my favorite movies (totally a guilty pleasure :), and I've loved it since I was about 11 or 12. I read the first five books in the series as a teenager, but I've been thinking I might try to reread a couple of them this year, since I do own them. (Though from what I remember, I liked the movie a lot better.)

    I'm getting Princess Ever After to review soon, and I can't wait to read it! :)

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    1. *High Five*

      Me, too Kristin, on both accounts. I can take a "specific" kind of love triangle just not so much the heroine jumping back and forth between would-be BF's (although I DO love 'The Selection' stories and America is very much like that) and as for contemporary royals... yes, please! I never grow tired of Princess Diaries and enjoyed Rachel's follow up "Royal Wedding" novel (GLAD you got it, too! Eager for your eventual review).

      ...I vaguely recall starting to read the first Princess Diaries novel and being "shocked" that it wasn't clean like the film. Needless to say if I'd go back and try to read it today, I'd find them rather "tame." :)

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    2. Yeah, the books are definitely not nearly as clean as the film. (That's one of the biggest reasons why I preferred the film, even back when I was reading the books.) But they're probably no worse than most YA now. :)

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    3. That would be my assumption also, Kristin - if anything they're probably "tamer" than I remember since the trend of "trashy" YA novels is worse now that it was over ten years ago. Perhaps one of these days I'll pick up the first book again - I would like to read more of Mia's adventures and the books take her farther, so... :)

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  9. I'm with you on all of those, but especially more contemporary royals! Sometimes I just CRAVE a princess story, like Lori Wick's and now Hauck's. I just got Princess Ever After in the mail, and I can't wait. :)

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    1. It's been eons since last I read The Princess but it really sparked that enchantment feeling, Tammy and now Rachel is doing it in that same tradition, so like you, I am all for more contemporary royal pieces of fiction. Yippee! Anxious to read your review of Princess Ever After. Hope you like it. :)

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  10. I LOVE your list! I would love for there to be less instalove in books, it's really frustrating. It's much nicer and believable when the romance builds up over time. I am sick of love triangles too, we definitely need less of those. Great picks :)

    My TTT :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Bookworm. Hope you enjoyed your stop. :)

      The trend of YA love triangles is annoying as is insta-love. I don't want a sudden declaration, I want to feel engaged and believe in the romance. The novel doesn't have to be "all about" the love, but it should make us crave for the couple to be together.

      Off to read your list! :)

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