Michelle Rowen

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Top 10 ways to get on my keeper shelf

Last year I didn’t read half as much as I would have liked. This year I want to change that. I have a ton of books on my kindle I haven’t even opened yet and I’ve been sorting them into two categories — will DEFINITELY read, and… maybe later. Likely, I’ll never even attempt the maybe laters.

Based on the few books that I buy and devour because they hit all the right notes with me (normally I have the concentration of a gnat), I’d like to share the top 10 things which will indicate that I’ll (probably) enjoy a novel….

1. First person POV from heroine. I’ll read and enjoy third, but I prefer first.

2. A subtly evolving, but intense romantic subplot (with payoff). All this “lust at first sight” rarely works for me in a novel, but “awareness at first sight” is another thing all together. Slow, but steady wins the race. As far as “payoff,” well… I think you know what I mean. I’m very patient, but there better be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

3. An enigmatic, badass hero with secrets who could very easily be a bad guy, apart from his feelings about the heroine. Yes, please. The more screwed up the hero is, the more I like him. I don’t know what this says about me.

4. Pain. Sending a main character through intense pain — emotional and physical — really earns her/him my respect. Plus, it’s entertaining. I know, I’m a bit sadistic.

5. A love triangle. Love writing them, love reading them. Prefer 2 guys and a girl to the opposite. The heroine should always be the one to have this wonderful and horrible choice. I’ve rarely read the opposite.

6. A certain level of predictability. I like to be able to guess how a few things will turn out, especially with the romance. Don’t make me invest in a couple and then kill one off. I will not like you. Ever. Even if it’s done well.**

7. Twists and turns for everything else. Surprises that I can’t see coming — that still make sense in the context of the story — make me happy and turning pages.

8. Make me laugh. Even the darkest book needs to have some comic relief. Otherwise…how incredibly dreary. I’d rather watch the evening news for the same effect.

9. Make me cry. Grabbing me by the throat and making me feel the pain of the main characters is a guaranteed way to getting a spot on my keeper shelf.

10. Creative worldbuilding. I’ve read vampires, werewolves, and fairies many times before, but if I find a world clever and unique, I want to know more. More more more!!

**I should say, that they shouldn’t be killed off permanently. In a paranormal, there’s always the hope of resurrection. THIS IS OKAY.

Know any books that fit the bill? PLEASE recommend them to me to read in 2012! And please share what you look for in a book as well!

10 comments to “Top 10 ways to get on my keeper shelf”

  1. Jessica R
     · January 4th, 2012 at 11:26 pm · Link

    You’ve probably already read this series. But hands down the Fever series by Karen M Moning meets every requirement on your list.

    Second series that meets this list is the Zodiac Series by Vicki Pettersson.

    These two series are my all time favorites.

  2. Michelle Rowen
     · January 4th, 2012 at 11:29 pm · Link

    The Fever series is my absolutely favorite series right now. Read 4/5 last year. I started the Zodiac series on my kindle, but got away from it. Will have to restart!

  3. Asho
     · January 5th, 2012 at 12:12 am · Link

    Have you read “The Good Ghouls Guide To Getting Even” by Julie Kenner? Great book.


    I’m a huge fan of vampires. Especially your Immortalitly Bites series! :-D

  4. Jennifer Messerschmidt
     · January 5th, 2012 at 2:20 am · Link

    We have very similar and excellent taste :wink: I actually read the Vampire Academy series based on your recommendation. Loved that series! I also bought the first Fever book and added Downside Ghosts to my list from your recommendations but haven’t had a chance to get to those yet. I have so many things I could recommend but I’ll stick with the last thing I read that fits your bill perfectly. Nightshade, Wolfsbane, and Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer. Killer love triangle, unique werewolf world that is different from any werewolf book I have read, lots and lots of pain for the heroine, twists and turns, and I laughed and cried. In fact I cried quite a bit in the last book that I just finished yesterday.
    Some other good ones I enjoyed
    Unearthly & Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
    The Mortal Instruments series & Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
    Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
    Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

  5. Tez Miller
     · January 5th, 2012 at 5:13 am · Link

    Sammy-kitten’s so cute :-)

  6. jk
     · January 5th, 2012 at 4:27 pm · Link

    Oh, I just finished the 4th novel in Diana Rowland (http://www.dianarowland.com/) demon summoner series. Slow burn? Pain? First-person POV? Iffy characters? Funny?Twisty turns that leave you shaking your first at your kindle? All there. (her demons aren’t like your demons, but really, whose demons are alike?). Her White Trash Zombie book is also a keeper and can’t wait for the next one. :wink:

  7. Jackie McCowan
     · January 5th, 2012 at 5:36 pm · Link

    The Devouring trilogy by Simon Holt is really good. It’s about these monsters called Vours that posess people and they take the main character’s brother. It’s a really good series, it has monsters, a love triangle (1 girl, 2 guys), it’s sad but also funny, and there are a few twists. Overall a great read :mrgreen:

  8. Rae M.
     · January 6th, 2012 at 1:37 am · Link

    Two really good series are Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series and Linda Robertson’s Persephone Alcmedi series. These two series are so good and I’m pretty sure they hit everything in the list. Which is why I love them!

  9. tara dawn
     · January 8th, 2012 at 2:55 am · Link

    The weather warden series by Rachel Caine. I’m getting ready to start her new book working stiff. I really like the way she writes. Shes very indepth with her narration. Great descriptions and awesome st building her characters. Kelly Armstrong and Adrien phoenix also write in a similar way. I feel description and building the relationship between the character and the reader is essential to writing THE kick ass story. I read ALOT! More than I should lol. Some books I look at and say have I read that, oh yes I have. And some books will live in my heart forever. Those are the books that stay on my shelf while the others find a new home :) cant wait to read that old black magic!

  10. Amanda
     · January 10th, 2012 at 10:37 am · Link

    I totally agree with everything you said especially 1st person POV and making me laugh and cry. I tend to love it when someone close to the heroine dies too so long as they have me invested in the heroine first.
    The first series that comes to mind is the Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill. I have much love for it. 8)

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