(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to make your own list? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
As with fashion, there are trends in the book world. They come and go, are popular for different lengths of time, and cause bookworms no end of joy and/or frustration. This week’s list is a chance for us to rant and rave about our favorite and least favorite bookish trends.
1. Love triangles in YA fiction – Oh dear God, please stop with the love triangles. If I have to read one more sappy soliloquy on how this girl is torn between two equally “perfect” boys, I’m going to throw what my grandmother politely calls “a hissy fit.”
2. Stereotyped/weak female characters – This correlates pretty closely to the above. I’m tired of reading about female characters who apparently can’t function without a man. There’s a difference between a character who needs a guy, and one who is happy to have one, but can still take care of herself — I’d much rather read about the latter.
3. Obsession with dystopian – I understand the value of dystopian literature, and the effect it can have on the people who read it. But what’s with the sudden uptick in dystopian novels? This is more of a pet peeve, really, but I might as well be honest: in an effort to empower female readers (by having the main character escape from a society that treats women as sex objects/breeding factories), a lot of YA dystopian novels just end up reinforcing gender/sexuality stereotypes.
4. Bad formatting in blog posts – This is a catch-all category for things like poor spelling, grammar, and functionality. There is nothing more irritating than wading through a blog post that is full of typos and bad sentence structure; and I’ve come upon several blogs whose combination of background imagery, text color, and link color make it impossible to determine if the content itself is worth reading. There’s nothing wrong with having a white website with black text. If people can’t read your article, what’s the point of posting it?
1. Memes – One of my bookish resolutions this year was to get more involved in the blogging community by commenting on more blogs — and participating in memes has helped me do just that. Memes have also helped me “meet” new people, find new blogs to follow, given me inspiration…and quadruple the size of my TBR list!
2. Reading Challenges – I’m participating in my first reading challenge this year (6/10 into the Gothic Reading Challenge, boo-yah!), and I’m loving it. It’s helping me explore a genre with which I don’t have too much experience, and is helping me spread my reading wings just a bit further.
3. In-depth reviews – You can take the girl out of AP English, but you can’t take the AP English out of the girl. I love reading detailed reviews of books (Small Review does this consistently), rather than a summary (often copied from Goodreads, I’ve noticed) and several short paragraphs. I want to know about the book itself of course, but I also want to know what the themes are, what cultural or historical significance the story has, as well as what the reviewer thought of the plot, characters, setting, etc. I want to see them making connections to other books, other cultures, their own life. I’m the first to admit that I don’t do as much of this as I could in my own blog posts — but it’s one of my goals.
4. Pictorial books – I have no idea if there’s a specific sub-genre for these kinds of books, but it’s things like Picture the Dead and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — where it feels more like a scrapbook than a novel. They’re fun to read and explore. Who says picture books are just for kids?
5. Banned Books Week – The idea of banning a book makes me want to scream. So every year I join thousands of other rebels and dedicate an entire week to reading, promoting, discussing, and standing up for banned books. Interested in participating? Mark your calendar for September 24th, and get to reading!
What bookish trends make you happy or horrified? Let me know in the comments!