Picking up a book is something akin to grasping at another’s soul. In a very horocrux-ish way. Sometimes it’s a good experience, sometimes bad, but lately I’ve noticed that the books which satisfy me most include the following things. So this is a love-hate letter to all the things I wish were more prevalent (or entirely removed) from my books.
1. Friendships. Best friends who have genuine connections and aren’t the shallow, manipulative, cowardly people that seem to dominate too many Ya books. Where are the Hermione, Ron and Harry’s of the world? You don’t have to read each other’s minds, but there seems to be huge emphasis right now on strong leads rather than strong relationships. I want books with characters who love each other because they can rely on each other for humor, or comfort and a good kick in the pants, but who remain independent of each other.
2. Life goals outside of hooking up, acquiring fame, or general comfort. Artists, entrepreneurs, and the like. There is so much to explore and experience in the world, and I’m sick of reading about characters who are consumed with high school drama, and only have goals or hopes in relation to tragedy or misfortune being thrust upon them.
3. Characters with mental illness; depression, bipolar, mood swings, anxiety, social fears, eating disorders etc. Life is chaotic at any age, but the years when we are exploring ourselves intentionally for the first time is dominated with books that place the highest value in romantic entanglement and possessions, rather than inner peace, acceptance, and self reliance/cultivating meaningful relationships. I wish there had been more books available when I was younger that introduced me to people who were just as confused and lost as I was. Hell, I still want those books because at 25, I’m well on my way to figuring out that not having things figured out is a-okay. It would just be nice to see it in print every now and again.
4. Riddles, puzzles, codes and other thought provoking hidden tidbits. I love the idea of books being more interactive. Some stories are told well with the words scattered across the page, but I’d love to find a story that makes you work for the ending. Or at least offers you a chance to expand it in your own way.
And as a sort of anti-wishlist I’d like to never see another love triangle, indecisive protagonist, or “everyday” dialogue again. I’m sorry, but when I read, I want the words to mean something. I just don’t get into books that muddle through. I want to be spoken to. Called out and demanded to hear the tale. If you don’t captivate me in 2 pages I’m done. Harsh but true.
If anything I said above reminds you of a book you’ve read recently please for the love of JKR recommend it to me because I need more of this stuff in my life. K Thanks.