Top Ten Things I’d Like to See More Often in Books

I’ve been thinking about this topic, and I worry that this will be more of a “what I’d like to see less in order to see more of” kind of topic. Hopefully that’s okay. Because there are things that show up too often in books, and things that really ought to show up more. Here are my choices:

1. Friendships that don’t turn into romances. I don’t care if these are same gender, opposite gender, group friendships, longtime friendships, or new friendships. Just more non-family relationships that don’t have to tend toward romance!

2. This-world fantasy set outside of the US and Europe (especially Britain). Can we have some fantasy set in, I don’t know, Indonesia? Zambia? Argentina? Please?

3. Non-binary characters. I’d love to see some agender, gender-fluid, intersex, and other non-binary narrators/characters, especially in books that aren’t about that person’s non-binary-ness. Ditto for characters/narrators with non-binary sexual and romantic orientations. There should be more asexual, pansexual, bisexual, etc people in books.

4. Grey characters. I’m so tired of the tropes (which show up most often in YA) of 100% good or evil people. I recently quit reading a book after a character’s father was introduced as the cruelest person to ever exist. How about a father who is stern and believes in corporal punishment, yet also loves his kids and is simply doing what he thinks is the right way to raise them?

5. Situational antagonists. This is kinda vague, but basically imagine a book where the antagonist is not evil, where no one in the book is really a bad guy, but the situation falls out because the situation sucks, because events happen that cause bad things. Maybe everyone is trying to be good, trying to do right, but their actions come into conflict and cause bad things. I guess what I want to see is more ambiguous sources of conflict.

6. Pets. I don’t mean as the focal point of the books, but as part of the textured background of a story. Many, many people have pets, but far few characters do. It would be fun to have that touch of realism introduced in more books.

7. Cruise settings. Because really, I just love cruises as book settings, and there aren’t nearly enough of these.

8. Women confident in their sexuality. The narrator from City of Dark Magic is a perfect example.

9. Diversity. Race, religion, language, culture, heritage, gender, sexuality, body, ability, etc etc etc. Just more diversity. Especially in fantasy.

10. Happy, supportive families in YA books. I’m kinda bored of the absent-parent and dysfunctional family tropes in YA. I’d love to see more of the other kind, especially big ol’ extended families all living close together, or big families made up of biological members and adopted members. Blue’s family in the Raven Cycle books are a perfect example of this.

What are some of your book wishlist items?

topten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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5 Responses to Top Ten Things I’d Like to See More Often in Books

  1. Friendships that don’t turn into romances was an important part of my list as well. It seems that the YA Genre in general has turned the young adult part of our lives into a constant quest for romance, when there’s so much more to it than that!

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  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about #1 and #3. I think it’s so important to read books where friends are just friends, especially friends with different gender identities (e.g. male-identified and female-identified friends who are just friends throughout) and friends with different sexualities that always seem to “complicate” storylines (a gay guy and a str8 guy who are just great friends and there’s no pressure in the plot to push that boundary).

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    • Amanda says:

      Our culture in general seems to focus so much intensity on romance in media. I recently read an article talking about how friendships – especially female friendships – are missing through a lot of novels, movies, etc and how that’s not helping us as we grow up and don’t really understand/need/care for those friendships. So many of us – I include myself in that number for a long time – focused solely on relationship and the friendships I had through my extended family. Only a few years ago did I realize just how detrimental that was to me. Since then I’ve craved more books about friendships, especially group friendships with all sorts of dynamics.

      Liked by 1 person

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