Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Chat: Buzz Words and Deal Breakers

This is my response to Misty's Book Chat of the month discussion at The Book Rat. Please join in the coversation or link up your own blog post here.

Buzz Words

Anything dark or whimsical/fantastical or quirky catches my eye. I'm a sucker for legend/fairy tale retellings or anything to do with mythology. I love zombies and vampires (really all undead are awesome) even though both are flooding the market at the moment. Dystopias always draw me in, but I'm careful to evaluate if I would like it because there are so many. I'm drawn in by anything horror. The darker, creepier, scarier, gorier the better. If someone says "that was the scariest book ever," I have to read it to see if it lives up to the hype. I love reading about serial killers and the darker part of humanity. Taboo subjects spark my interest immediately because I'm curious about the thought processes and inner workings of people involved in those things. I love books about the circus or circus performers. I love books with music as the focus as well because it gives a wonderful opportunity to nerd out. Strong female protagonists are a plus for me. Alternative histories when done well are fascinating, of course including steampunk. Settings in Europe or Asia really draw me in.

Deal Breakers

Two dimensional characters are a huge deal breaker for me. I'm hating love triangles a lot right now, mostly because almost every teen book has to have one because of Twilight and the Hunger Games. It's lazy writing to tell you just how special the protagonist is and it's frankly annoying now that it's gotten so widespread. Romance in general seems to dominate the teen genre and it would be nice if it stayed in the background sometimes in favor of real story telling. Romance where characters are instantly in love like Romeo and Juliet are also pretty tiresome. Deus ex machina isn't an aspect I want in my stories outside of those with actual gods. Abusive, overly aggressive male characters are a huge turnoff for me. Men who victimize women or who are just assholes in general don't deserve to be male leads and glorified to say that abuse is sexy. Female characters who are weak and simpering are also annoying. Stilted and awkward writing can also make me put down a book really fast.

So how about you guys? What are your deal breakers and buzz words?


M.A.D. said...

I share some of the same annoyances as you do. And, of course, zombie/dystopians are still my top favs.

It's funny how someone can review a book and remark how scary it was, or they were unable finish it because of the high creep factor, etc ... and as for me, it barely registered on my personal fear factor lol

On the downside, I am seeing a lot of *formulaic* plots. While there has been an overwhelming plethora of YA books popping up - which is great - I'm also seeing too much of the *tried and true* formulas. I'd personally like to see something new & fresh, with thoughtfully developed characters instead of whiny girls who simply don't justify the male protagonist's interest in her. I don't see how these guys are allegedly falling in love with girls that barely utter three words and spend all day rolling their eyes hahaha ;P

Misty said...

Agreed across the board! I meant to talk about alpha males in mine, but I think they actually need they're own Chat. There IS a way to do an asshole character, I think. But it's really, really tricky and rarely done right, and he HAS to have a woman that gives it right back. (Clay from the Women of the Otherworld series comes to mind. Really, he's a dick, but it's so believable and understandable why, and Elena gives it right back, and he actually is really caring - he's just a dick to everyone else. Somehow, as much as you want to hate him, you just can't.)