Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week is about things you want to see more of in books, such as a type of character, theme, era, issue, etc. I had to think really hard about this one, as I never really stop and think what I miss in books. This is what I’ve come up with:
And I’m not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey and such, Lord knows that’s been done to death. Instead I’m talking about Romeo and Juliet-type stories, where the couple are forced to hide their love out of fear of backlash. A book that really did it for me was Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward. Judge me if you will but I love the forbidden romance that exists between step-siblings (as long as they didn’t grow up together from little kids!). This book is about a girl who meets her stepbrother Elec for the first time in her senior year when he was forced to come and live with her and their parents. She tries her best to hate him and he helps her along by tormenting her but it soon becomes apparent that there’s a spark between them. Just as everything changes, however, Elec ups and leaves. Years go by before they see each other again and confront what happened between them. I honestly couldn’t put this book down, but I must warn you that it does contain graphic sexual content (not completely free of Fifty Shades of Grey) and harsh language so it’s only suited for readers 18 years +. You’ve been warned!
This seems very picky but obviously I’m referring to crime/mystery books. I absolutely love when a chapter ends and leaves you gasping for the next one, especially when something shocking is revealed. A lot of my favourite crime writers are good with chapter cliffhangers, not in every chapter, but some of them. The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi had a cliffhanger at the end of EVERY chapter. I could barely put the book down because something was always happening. I find this type of storytelling can either go really well or really badly, but for Carrisi it’s the former. The book starts with the discovery of six severed arms arranged in a circle in the woods. Five of them belong to missing girls aged between 8 and 18 but one has yet to be identified. But where are the rest of their bodies? This book is not only filled with gripping cliffhangers but a twist you couldn’t possibly see coming!
One thing I can’t stand is evil characters not getting their comeuppance. I’m not talking about the predictable superhero versus bad guy, who always gets his/her comeuppance one way or another. I’m talking about books whereby a character is clearly behaving awful to the main protagonist (or a supporting character), be it doing something spiteful or a full-on betrayal, who doesn’t get karma delivered to them in the end. I know that technically this is art imitating life, but I do love a good karma story! I think it stems from my own experiences with shitty people who seem to get away with their awful behaviour and I can only pray that karma catches up with them someday. However, I’ve yet to read a book that does this to the level I’d like. Some books that have come close, aside from the usual crime books, include The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The former book tells the story of Susie Salmon (like the fish!) who is murdered on her way home from school. She’s now in a version of limbo, unable to move on. It’s not the best delivery of karma/revenge, but it was satisfying. I read Thirteen Reasons Why years ago, having looked everywhere for it. Now that it’s been made into a Netflix series, there are a lot more opinions, some negative on Hannah’s motivation. Some may see it as her simply blaming others for her misery and not looking to herself and what she could’ve done (note: I haven’t actually watched the series yet). In the book, however, I did empathise with some of her tapes but again, like The Lovely Bones, it was only a satisfying delivery of revenge against a wrong. If anyone has any good revenge book suggestions, please let me know!
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Many books I’ve read involving eating disorders only covered bulimia and anorexia and while I’m not dissing the authors for covering these issues, I’d rather read a book about the lesser known disorders, such as ARFID. This is something I personally deal with and because there is so little written about it, in books and in the media, it makes me feel quite isolated. I recently read a review by one of the bloggers I follow (sorry I forget which one!) and she reviewed a book called Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot, which apparently deals with this issue and I remember my eyes just lighting up when I saw it. Finally someone acknowledged it. I have yet to read the book or any other book that deals with this issue and distinguishes it from picky eating.
Strong, unique relationships
I’m not fully sure how to define this but I’ll give it a shot. Basically I love when there’s a strong bond between siblings/friends/couples. For example, the protective older brother who would do anything for his little sister. I love that kind of connection. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner did this perfectly. This is the seventh book in a crime series called Quincy and Rainie, who are a married couple with backgrounds in law enforcement. They have a foster daughter named Sharlah whose parents were murdered by her older brother Telly in order to protect them. They were separated by the system and haven’t seen each other since that night. Now over a decade later someone is going around killing people in her little town and Telly is the main suspect. Telly’s affection for his sister is both heart warming and devastating at the same time. He’d do anything to protect her and it’s this kind of bond I love.
What are you some of your book wishes? Let me know in the comments!