Top Ten Things that I Look for in Books

top ten tuesday

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new Top Ten topic and other bloggers respond with their own lists. I take part in this meme when I have something to say for the topic and I remember what day it is.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I decided to do a counter to a recent Top Ten of mine: Top Ten Reasons I Won’t Read a Book. This time, I want to focus on reasons I will read a book. And yes, I know it’s Wednesday, but I’m just going to pretend I posted this on the right day.

  1. A new type of magic. One of my absolute favorite things to read about is magic, but I don’t want to read about magic that I’ve read about before. I love it when authors create entirely new ways that magic works and rules that govern it. Perfect examples include Harry Potter and Mistborn.
  2. A unique twist on a cliche genre (I’m looking at you dystopian). I hate to write off genres as a whole, so I’m always willing to read dystopian or paranormal books that look like they take a tired genre and inject new life into it. Good examples include Vampire Academy and Across a Star-Swept Sea.
  3. The promise of awesome friendships. Friendships are one of my favorite things to read about; I love watching groups of people form and then go on to do amazing things together. Some of my favorite examples are the Gallagher Girls series and Beauty Queens.
  4. An author I love. This one is obvious. We all have auto-buy authors, the authors we just trust to write amazing books over and over again. Mine include Libba Bray, Patrick Ness, and Maggie Stiefvater. And if Megan Whalen Turner ever wrote another book, I’d buy that book so fast you don’t even know.
  5. The promise of adorable romance. As you can probably tell, I’m a sucker for adorable romances. Of course, the best source for these is the contemporary romances, but sometimes I pick up a fantasy novel and just die because of the two people I can tell will end up together. You know?
  6. Assassins or thieves. Yep, basically if assassins or thieves are involved, I’m buying your book. Unless your book looks really cheesy or cliche, that is. But even then, if it looks cute or funny, I might buy it anyway. Best examples include the Queen’s Thief series, the Heist Society series, and Graceling.
  7. A plot based in fairytales or mythology–but with a fresh twist. I can’t handle any more cliche spinoffs from the Percy Jackson series, whether those are written by Rick Riordan or someone else. Still, I love mythology and fairytales, so if those get reimagined (in a cool way) in a YA style, I’m in.
  8. A unique setting or fascinating world-building. This one goes along with the one about magic, but expands it to include anything that involves unique worlds–unique cultures, religions, governments, social structures, and magic, of course. I don’t care about plot anywhere near as much as the world it is set in–mainly because the world it is set in will decide if the plot is interesting, more often than not. Some of the best examples of this are Steelheart, the Gemma Doyle series, and The Scorpio Races.
  9. A powerful first page. If I’m in a bookstore–or sometimes on Amazon–I will always read the first page to see if I like the writing style. Sometimes, you just know that a book will be amazing. Code Name Verity is the ultimate example of this. Read the first page–the first line–and I dare you not to read the rest of the book in one sitting.
  10. A lack of tired, tropey, stereotypical plot devices that are clear from five words into the summary on the dusk jacket. Basically, I like new things. I like reading things I haven’t read before. Because of this, books that have plots/characters/worlds that I’ve read before are beyond boring. I can’t tell you how many books I pick up in book stores that I put back before I’ve even read the entire plot summary because I can already tell that I have read it before.