Good morning/afternoon/evening/night/lunchtime/breakfast time/whatever awesome readers. This is one of those posts where you start with no idea what you’re gonna write about, only a sense of obligation to post. Because I no longer have holidays (which is sad, but at least I get to spend hours with all my friends) I haven’t finished any books, so I can’t do a review. I am reading Summerland by Michael Chabon ( definitely MG but seems okay), and bird by bird by Anne Lammott, which contains advice about writing. Hey, I know! Cait@paperfury did a post about what she likes in books. I’ll do that too!
What I’m looking for in a good book (not that a good book need these but I like them)
1. Incredible journeys
I love it when characters, perhaps ones who might not even like each other, are forced together on some kind of epic journey. For example, Eragon is forced to flee Carvahall with Brom and Saphira and seek refuge with the Varden, and the Fellowship of the Ring must accompany Frodo as he saves the world, and in the Heroes of Olympus the Seven must travel to Greece. Incredible journeys often strip characters to their most basic and grumpy, and you see what they’re really made of.
2. Success against terrible odds in the most surprising of fashions
Eoin Colfer does this every time, in the Artemis Fowl series and Airman and Half-Moon investigations and everything. This also happens in Percy Jackson, and The Heroes of Olympus, and Skullduggery Pleasant, and the Mortal instruments. It’s great to see how authors can get creative and overcome these insurmountable obstacles, even death (*cough* Rick Riordan, Derek Landy, Cassandra Clare*cough*
3. Great but realistic friendship
It really annoys me when in practically all the books I read (especially contemporary), the girl and the guy who are best friends fall in love with each other. Seriously, it’s like it’s impossible to be friends with a member of the opposite sex without hating them. This is utterly unrealistic. Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Harry Potter series manage to stay friends through all their adventures, but have some fights along the way (and yes, Ron gets together with Hermione, but it doesn’t count in my world. I couldn’t say why. Apparently people ship Harrione(is that what it’s called?) but I disagree. The canon romances are the best in this case). Friends like Sloane and Emily in Since You’ve Been Gone, Simone and Caroline in Just Like Fate, Stephanie and Skullduggery in Skullduggery Pleasant, Verity in Maddie in Codename Verity and Katniss and Gale in the Hunger Games (yes they *SPOILER* kiss once, but again, doesn’t count). This shows that there doesn’t have to be romance, and is just so inspiring and awesome I like it.
4. Realistic Romance
So many books have these perfect couples! It just doesn’t happen in real life. Adam and Mia in If I Stay (not where she went), Harry and Ginny (they are really an OTP) Michael and Tori in Solitaire, Violet and Theo in All the Bright Places, Abdi and Teagan in When We Wake, Percabeth (of course), Penny and that other boy whose name I forgot in Love-Shy. It’s just so annoying when these people look at each other and suddenly everything’s perfect. The world just doesn’t work like that. It gives you all these standards and then you look at real life and you’re like ‘why can’t I have a boyfriend like Four? Why world? Just Why?’ (I don’t exactly like Four… but I do at the same time. It’s confusing. Maybe he’s good for Tris but not for me)
5. Interesting Settings
Whether it’s fantasy or the real world… a good setting just makes everything better. Like the little Welsh Island in Miss Peregrine, or anything in World War II (e.g the Book Thief. Codename Verity, Montmaray). The setting of Alaigasiea (which I can’t spell) in the Inheritance Cycle’s pretty good. If it’s well described then it makes it so much easier to imagine the characters going wherever they’re going and just fun.
6. Interesting Narrators(not good guys)
How many bad guy main characters can you think of in YA fiction? Not that many. It’s just, they have stories too! They do interesting things! I can think of Fairest (which I still haven’t read. I want Winter more though. But the other books have parts from her POV) and not that many others. But Death in The Book Thief is one of the most original narrators I’ve met (first sign of book madness:treating fictional characters as people). It’s very refreshing and enjoyable (If you know other books with bad guys, please just tell me in the comments)
7. Pretty Language
I just love it when authors use great words, and make it all sound better and nice. For example, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, the Ingo Series, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. It just sounds better. It’s pretty and happy and good and wonderful.
Thanks, Cait, for your great idea! (And sorry if I said anything you already said. It wasn’t intentional.)