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!