A few days ago, after yet another Judith/Ellen books conversation, I realized something: I totally have a book “type”. Just like how I know that the tall, über-jock looking guy at the bar will be the one I go for (it’s a weakness!) there are some books that, no matter how bad they might be for me, I will buy. Doesn’t matter if they’re YA/NA/romance novels, or if the book has a zillion 1 star reviews on Amazon, I just can’t say no! So now, dear readers, Judith and I are joining forces for just the second time to discuss our book types. Do you agree? Have we missed any important ones? What are yours??? Please let us know we’re not alone!
Ellen: Jocks. I’m sorry, it’s my weakness in real life and in my fictional awesome world in which the hot quarterback/hockey star (my faves) will realize that the quiet, kinda awkward girl is the one they want to be with. Because they’re secretly super sweet/deep guys who need a girl who is their perfect match! (The hot bodies are just a secondary factor, I swear.) Oh and this stereotype even extends to one of Judith’s least favorite plots: girls who play sports. Mostly because I know the girl will have tons of hot jock guy friends and will inevitably end up with one of them. Score!
Ellen: regular girl / secret prince. My entire life I’ve kept a secret: I’m really a princess. I KNOW! You are so lucky to know me. Granted, I’m still waiting for the day my real parents to find me and say “Ellen, leave behind your school work because you are our secret daughter we sent away because of a terrible plot against your life like in Rebellious Desire! But now it’s safe to rejoin us! And the best part is you’re our third child so you’ll enjoy all the awesomeness of being a princess with no actual responsibility! Oh but the best best part is that you’re engaged to Prince Hot Ginger and will be married and have beautiful responsibility-free ginger babies together”! (I HAD to use this photo because I’m pretty sure my obsession with these books can be directly traced back to when that prince moved to Sweet Valley and fell for Elizabeth and it was awesome!)
Ellen: regular girl / movie star. Basically the same as the prince plot except they’re typically less stuffy while still having an awesome life. Yes there’s always the “does he want me or the random hussies who are constantly hitting on him” subplot but I can deal with it, and usually just quickly flip through those scenes. I mean – you know they’re going to end up together so who cares if I “fast forward” a little? And then imagine the awesome gifts/shoes/bags I’m going to buy when a world famous yet still normal movie star falls in love with me.
Ellen: Alpha males. Okay I’m not totally proud of this but when I see a review that’s like “he’s kinda mean but you can tell deep down he’s just uncomfortable with emotion and he’s soooooo hot!!!”, yeah, I’m in. Just look at my top YA crushes: Jonah Griggs, Liam Cole, Owen Armstrong. All so hot, slightly angry, totally willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people they care about. Squee!
Ellen: Guy is girl’s older brother’s bff OR her bff’s older brother. I know, I know, it’s beyond trite and often leads to pathetic, really stupid actions by the couple but I can’t help it, I love this plot line. While I find it more in adult romance novels, there have been a few YA/NA books I’ve found recently with this plot. One was completely dreadful but that doesn’t mean I didn’t finish it while rolling my eyes so much I’ve probably caused permanent damage.
Both: ANYTHING by Sarah Dessen. Seriously. If she wrote a book about an astrophysicist who collected pocket lint and made it into visual representations of the solar system we’d probably buy it. Because you know the characters would be completely awesome and relatable and there will not be a single sentence/page/scene that seems out of place or forced. My favorite: Just Listen. It can’t be said enough how much I love that hottie hot hot Owen Armstrong. Swoon.
Judith here! Okay, the conversation went something like this.
Me: OMG I must buy this book. Have you read it?
Ellen: uhh, no. I refuse to read books about that.
Me, dumbfounded: what do you mean? I always read books like that.
Ellen: duh. That book is so your type. Just like I know you will always go for super skinny well dressed metrosexuals, I know you’ll always buy books like that.
Me: Well, I’ll be darned.
So I’m with Ellen: there are some book types we come across that we just can’t avoid. We know it’s bad for us, we know it’s a waste of money, we know it will be 24 hours of our lives we can never get back..but! We buy them anyway. Love them or hate them, here are mine.
Judith: tattooed hottie bad boys. If you mention tattoos, feature them on the cover art, or center the plot around them, I will buy your book, no questions asked. Well, I will more than likely buy first, start reading, and indubitably begin asking questions about the subpar plot because I’ve noticed a theme lately wherein the number of tattoos on a hero equates to how bad a book will be written. But still I keep on buying them! There’s just something about a bad boy that does it for me and if his badness is inked into his skin for all time? Well, ding ding! Judith is there to read all about the heroine hell bent on fixing him. And we all know by now that if a hero has tattoos, it’s a sign of his deep rooted issues and his need for someone to come make him be more normal.
Normal girl/celebrity : Tammara Webber’s Between the Lines series and Emily Tippetts’ Someone Else’s Fairytale both set me up for heartbreak but equally instilled in me a love for anything in which the heroine is a relatively normal girl and the love interest is a celebrity (actor, musician, male model, sports star, etc). This probably has to do with some deep rooted issue I have about needing to feel superior and protected from life by a gentle yet rich dude but come on! Sexy guy + fame + fortune = who could resist? Seriously, not even Victoria Beckham could and she already had Spice Girls money to fall back on! (Ellen note: um, it doesn’t hurt that David Beckham is just about the hottest thing on Earth)
Normal girl/rock stars : a subset of “tattooed bad boys” and “normal girl/celebrities”), bad boy tattooed rock stars = instant purchase. Having a guy be so passionate about music but also about his woman? Well, you know how weak I am! And if he has tattoos? Done and done. Consider that bad boy purchased.
Books with pretty covers featuring kissing couples: what can I say? I’m a sucker for a love story AND a pretty cover. Plus I totally heart the latest cover art fad – photographs of embracing young couples. I can’t resist. They’re so pretty and blatant about the plot. Now if you were to get to know me in real life, you’d discover I’m that one person out there who hates mystery novels. Seriously, I hate them. If I hear the word mystery linked to any novel, I avoid it like the plague. Gone Girl will never be read by me. Sorry. (Huh, maybe that’s the basis for our next blog entry – total book turn offs. Ellen, whaddya say?) Back to the point at hand, sleek and well photographed cover art leaves little to the imagination and doesn’t make me guess about a whole lot. It takes out that element of mystery and you know what, I like it!
Anything Sarah Dessen: totally agree with Ellen. We started with The Truth About Forever and read everything else. It was a little tough in that our heart strings were constantly being tugged but! Her writing style is epic, her plots focus on aspects of teenage life that we all experienced but could never put into such poetic terms, the
heroine always matures throughout the story, and the ending may be poignant but is never sad. Props to you, Sarah Dessen, for crafting such amazing reads.
Well there you have it folks. Please share your “types” and let us know what you think of ours! XOXO, Judith and Ellen