10 Things I Love To See In Books | Discussion

Time for another discussion post!

I am so excited to tell y’all ten things I absolutely love to see in books. This is primarily focused on contemporary books but it can come in to play with absolutely everything I read. I just love these themes or just inclusions in the books I read. This is a bit of a rambly post but stay tuned to find out things that basically have me itching to pick up a book.

What do you love to see in books you read? Tell me more in the comments below!

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1. Familial Relationships

I feel like it’s not as common of a trend anymore for disappearing parents to be present in books. I just like family relationships in books. Give me the messy, gritty and realistic relationships. Give me the happy, loved and sweet family relationships. Give me the drama or give me the love, I don’t care I just want it.

Family dynamics are obviously different for everyone. You may have terrible parents and these should be represented. You can have amazing parents and those are great to read about that!

Not only that, but sibling relationships should be featured as well. I don’t get along with my sister. Never have. I feel that should be shown. I know countless people who get along with their siblings.

I just adore family dynamics in books – whether they’re positive or negative. I feel they really add to the characterisation of everyone throughout the book. How someone treats their family or their family treats them can really add to the great dynamics in books.

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2. Realistic Discussions

Life isn’t easy and teenagers have it a lot tougher these days. However, they are ignorant. I have grown a lot since my teenage years, which were just under two years ago, but teenagers are realising things a lot earlier than people like me. Technology and social media push for this idea of education and being politically correct. These are the things that will begin shaping our universe.

This is so amazing when it is reflected in books. I mainly read young adult, with adult romance sprinkled in, and I can’t believe how some authors write characters set in 2018. There is obviously a large number of people that reject these societal changes and when these conversations are included throughout the book it can really make a young reader think and maybe go about changing the way they present themselves to the world.

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3. Dogs!

Do I need to say much here? I absolutely love dogs. My dog is truly my best friend and seeing those human and animal bonds in books melts my stone heart.

Involving a dog in a book (and having it live all the way to the end) is a sure way to win my heart over in a book.

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4. Anti-Heroes

love anti-heroes. The fact that they don’t follow the traditional structure that we see in so many books has my heart fluttering in excitement. I love seeing a character do the wrong things because they want to. It is so damn satisfying to see someone who deviates from the traditional structure.

I just get so sick of reading the typical good hero. Not everyone wants to stop a war from coming. There is typically someone who wants to start that war and I want to read about their triumphs and downfalls. I want to read them take the place as a ruler. I do dislike when the reasoning behind this character point is because of abuse or a traumatic event, but I still love this type of story.

My best friend, Alexandra, and I became friends due to our mutual love of anti-heroes. She is actually the one who introduced them to me and I am so damn blessed for her to have brought this miracle book theme into my life.

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5. Baking or Cooking

In my house, I cook and bake a lot. I typically cook dinner and if I have time I will try to bake something as well. I find joy in cooking and just being in the kitchen. I absolutely love when characters share the love as well. I find that not enough people my age actually know how to cook or bake. At least half of my friends don’t know how to cook an egg, much less a roast dinner.

When a chef or baker is the main character or love interest in a book I’m reading it is an almost instant love for me. I just love the way an author can describe food and it just makes me both hungry and excited.

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6. Sexual Relationships Explored in Healthy Ways

This is a two-parter in a way. I love sex positivity in books, adore it, especially when positive and consensual relationships are shown. I feel they are so important to young adults and I know it would have helped me a lot when I was in my teens.

It is simply nice to see it happen. Teenage girls who are comfortable with their sexuality and own it. The fact that slut shaming is being eliminated and that stories are taking a whole other route in terms of plotlines.

However, asexual and aromantic teenagers still exist and need more representation in young adult and just fiction in general. These teenagers can get left behind in the storm that is being created of sexual relationships in books. The exploration for ace teenagers would be absolutely wonderful to see.

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7. Soft Heroes/Male Characters Who Aren’t Trash

A trend a few years ago was Alpha males. They didn’t take no for an answer and in most cases, the behaviours came across as abusive. It began frustrating me after I started reading Talia Hibbert’s books. She has the ability to create the most wholesome and kind males. Males that are supportive towards women and are just in general amazing people.

It is just so good to see a change happening in male characters. I am so glad to see the personality shift as the world shifts with it. Authors who have the ability to create these male characters that aren’t trash are my absolute favourite. They have a talent that some would dream about.

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8. Supportive Female Friendships

This is one of my favourite things that can be in a book. Female friendships that are supportive and don’t only revolve around the love interest or romantic partners. It is just so amazing to see close friendships (this isn’t just strictly female either, platonic and boy friendships are amazing as well).

For so long in fiction women were pitted against each other and even if there was a female friendship it typically dissolves when the love interest comes in to play. Authors seem to be changing the game and I am so damn thankful for it.

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9. Diversity

I feel in 2018 this one is an absolute give. I only really joined the diversity movement in the last year. I was pretty late due to my ignorance on social media and am doing my best to catch up in order to make up for my lack of support.

Diversity is something that makes me instantly pick up a book. To see minorities represented in fiction in such realistic and own voice portrayals is amazing. These voices deserve the hype and representations so it is absolutely incredible to see them finally getting their moment in the spotlight – something they incredibly deserve. I have learnt so much through reading these books as well, which I know is not their purpose but I still love it.

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10. Girls Who Kick Ass

Now, this may seem like a strange point. I mean the books that element the stereotypes of girls. I want the girls who are feminine and like dresses and can wield a sword. I want a character who has layers and doesn’t disregard one particular trait with disgust in favour of another.

It is beyond frustrating when an author has a character be ‘bad ass’ but they can’t like the colour pink and they can’t like dresses. It is such a contridiction and it get tiresome. I want a character who can do it all and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

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Happy reading everyone!

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31 thoughts on “10 Things I Love To See In Books | Discussion

  1. Supportive female friendships are an absolute must! I see so much girl on girl hate in literature, especially in young adult, and it’s really a horrible way to represent female relationships to young readers. I understand that sometimes this happens in real life and therefore it should be represented, but it almost never gets addressed in the books. I wish more books showed positive and healthy platonic relationships!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s a nightmare when I see it. I absolutely despise it and it’s enough at this stage to actually make me DNF a book. Hopefully books start to change to include these as authors combat their internalised misogyny!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with you on your second point! I think with the heated climate going on today in the United States in terms of politics, race, and gender equality, books that include and explore these issues are wonderful in that they give us a new perspective and way to understand everything that is going on around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing list! 😀 I appreciate seeing all of these things in books. So many of these things are just a necessity for books I love to read especially seeing diversity and supportive female friendships.

    I’m throwing in cats because I love a good cat in a book. But dogs so great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much ❤️ I agree they’re a necessity, it’s unfortunate that so many aren’t included frequently.

      I can’t save I’ve read any books with cats in them (+ they seem to hate me) so I’ll trust you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh I love this post, Amber!! I agree with everything you listed. I don’t get along with my sister either and I love when familial relationships, both positive & negative, are seen in a book. And a huge YES to dogs, supportive friendships, soft male characters, and diversity!! Those are all the ingredients of my favorite books. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Family relationships and siblings relations are such a good asset to the story. I don’t care if the family is perfect but dysfunctional in the inside, or lovely and perfect inside out! Some of my favorite books have these relationships well marked. Diversity! I love it, but what I don’t like is this concept of the “gay sidekick” or the “let’s add a gay here to make it diverse but all their interactions are either sexual or super mean”. Like watching Riverdale… that is one of the most irrelevant gays in my life…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that sometimes people seem to include diversity without actually changing characters or just playing aggressively in to stereotypes. Authentic diversity that comes across like it does in real life – aka like the fact they’re human since they are – is what is important. Some authors definitely need a lesson sometimes before they do try to write diversely!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! They are either extra sexualized which is a horrible stereotype. I read The Beginning of Everything and I like how she portrays the possible gay character like he might but it is irrelevant (in the good sense). There is a lot of education that needs to happen haha

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This list gave me such life tonight. Every single one of these things are things I wish there was more of. Especially supportive female friendships. I shouldn’t be so shocked when I come across one, I really hope it becomes the norm at some point. Oh and yes DOGS! But only ones where they don’t kill them off in the end. I’m scared to death of books involving animals because they always end up dead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Melanie! Oh my gosh, yes. I love the inclusion of pets but the anxiety that fills me for the animal throughout the story. I literally sob like a baby whenever an animal gets hurt 😩

      Like

  7. I love your discussion posts always but this might be one of my favorites so far.

    First, yes to the familial rep! I feel like there are two things I never saw as a teen (and still rarely see now) that would have meant a lot to me: 1) kids who have good relationships with their parents (especially mothers as mine has always been one of my best friends, my dad and I have a mostly good relationship too), and 2) bad sibling relationships like you mentioned (I have an older half-brother who I honestly don’t even tell people exists because we hate each other so much and haven’t spoken in years).

    Also, yes to antiheroes. My faves. ❤ Yes to all of it, honestly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Destiny! Thank you so much 🥰

      I’m so glad you feel the same way. I was nervous writing up that section because after the post I saw that basically said dysfunctional family relationships were too much in books I didn’t know how people would react. I just wish we could see how messy the relationships are sometimes!

      I’m so glad you feel the same way 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Um, yes, I need dogs and friendship and baking in ALL my books. And I really want healthy sexual experiences, and anti-heroes, and basically everything on this list. I think it’s so good to have real life explored in books and not just what you want life to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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