Question of the Week: Define what characteristics your favorite books share. Do they all have a kick-ass heroine or is the hot love interest the Alpha Male?
I love this question! And I even have bullet points:
~All my favorites are young adult, 'nough said. Except Hamlet, but technically that's a play. Semantics. Adult novels bother me because I really can't relate yet, unless they're about young adults in college. I can't relate to a married woman, or a divorced woman. I just can't.
~My favorites all have some paranormal twist to them. Even Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall has that freaky Groundhog Day (the movie, not the actual day) thing going on. Not that I don't have a few favorite contemporaries, but nothing compares to my love for the paranormal.
~My favorites always have some type of romance. But I have more of a specific taste in the YA romance. I hate it when they say I love you to each other in the first book. It's a pet peeve of mine. It's not realistic, even with all the danger and peril and stress they're put through. Teens are way more afraid of rejection then authors give them credit for. I need a love where it builds and takes time, and they're sort of forcing themselves to stay away from each other, but it's obvious how hard it is to stay away. I'm really picky when it comes to the perfect YA romance.
~The heroine doesn't need to kick ass, but it would be nice if she wasn't a total weakling. I don't want to read about a damsel in distress where only let their "one true love" can do anything to protect her! She needs to have some kind of power of her own that can be developed, which can even be slightly physical, self-defense moves, etc. It doesn't have to be paranormal, but if she can't hold her own with any of the people/creatures after her, we have a problem.
~The male interest: must have some good-looking features, especially the eyes (I don't find myself falling for simple brown eyes); snarky and witty is not a requirement, but he should have some humor and be able to do a little back-and-forth with the heroine; as I said with the romance, he can't seemingly fall in love with the heroine so easily (we all kind of see that he's in love with her, but it's never addressed); he protects the heroine, but also helps her be better and believes in whatever abilities she has; also, the image of a true bad boy is real nice. Oh, and the author has to make me fall in love with the guy. When I read, I make myself the heroine, meaning the love interest is mine. If I don't like him and the heroine does, I get detached from the story.
~As a final note, all my favorites have fantastic writing. I cannot stress this enough. If the writing is choppy, if the dialogue completely sucks (a big one for me), and/or the plot is unbelievable, I won't enjoy the book. My favorites have the opposite of all the things I just said.
Wow... I'm really picky... Oh well. I enjoy my reading and there's so much variety in this genre!