Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The deal breakers

After reading this post over at Forever Young Adult, I started thinking about what my deal breakers in YA fiction are. So here we go: the things that make me reject a book before I even finish reading the summary.
-terrible cover (I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but . . . I totally do. All the time.)
-vampires/werewolves/fallen angels/fairies (okay, there are some exceptions to this, but if it's of the Twilight-over-the-top-I'm-in-love-with-this-strange-creature-for-no-reason variety, it's 100 percent a no go for me)
-cliques (because I just don't like reading about mean girls)
-cancer/terminal illness patients (honestly, I just don't care . . . and I hate crying over books)
-ridiculously light/fluffy/whimsical plot (when there's nothing substantial to hold my attention, I start skimming/skipping after the first chapter)
-Christian/inspirational themes (because I believe in a separation between church and literature)
-a focus on plot rather character (news flash: I'm all about character development, folks)
-excessive teen drinking/drug use/partying (although, I guess technically, all teen drinking/drug use is excessive)
-sequels (I can't stand series. I just don't have that long of an attention span for characters and plot lines)
Maybe that's a lot of things, but since I still find plenty of YA fiction that meets my criteria, I don't feel bad at all.

And while I'm thinking about it, here are my deal makers--the books I automatically pick up:
-amazing cover (duh)
-death/suicide (morbid, but true)
-secrets (because they add tension and lies and conflict and fear and other things that equal character development)
-first person, present tense narrative voice (well, first person in general, but combine that with present tense, and I'm a goner)
-cute, un-shallow, non-creepy boys (double duh)
-book lovers (because I like reading about people like me)
-honest romance (none of this "I saw him and fell in love even though he's a jerk and there's absolutely no reason for me to like him" biz; gimme some conflict)
What are your deal breakers or deal makers?


  1. You know what Karen? All book bloggers should have a list of our deal breakers and deal makers on our blogs so that writers can tell what books we'll enjoy. It's really hard to make a list of what my deal breakers are. But here goes:
    -Weak whiny heroines
    -terminal illness
    -emo stuff

    That's all I can think of for now!

  2. Great post! My deal breakers are...

    -books about cancer/suicide/death in general
    - whiny protagonists
    - covers (as much as I hate to say it!)
    - slow beginnings...I want to be swept off my feet from page one!

    And I'm drawing a blank right now... but I would say that those are the main ones!

  3. I don't really have any deal breakers - I'm pretty much a try anything kind of gal. The only one I can think of is 'abused child memoirs' like A Child Called It. I just hate hearing about what horrible things real people are capable of doing :-(


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