What I like~
+ Girl friendships! In which girls are talking to other girls! About things totally not related to boys! Books that pass the bedchel test make me a very very happy human being.
+ Family stories! Preferably the types with lots of sibling interactions and siblings caring for each other and parents who love their kids!
+ Competent female leads with agency. Less guys-coming-in-to-save-damsels-in-distress, more girls doing their own thing!
+ Character driven stories. I can forgive messy pacing and predictable plots if I love the characters.
+ School settings! Wherein people go around nerding with homework and stress over marks and bond over class projects stuff! Bonus for a boarding school setting! COOKIES FOR MAGIC BOARDING SCHOOL!
+ FANTASY! Low or high, I don't care, if there's some magic in there, I'm in. I love the ones heavily based on mythology and folklore in particular. Am all for fairy tale retellings too (less of those modernization ones and more of purely recreating an epic, elaborate fantasy world). Also I think steampunk is a very exciting genre to play with, and that dystopian and/or time travel novels have great potential. If you create a non-whitewashed fantasy land WITHOUT cultural appropriation you get my devoted love.
+ I like a good historical if it's super geeky about its historical references.
+ Political intrigue!
+ Simple, awkward, pure love stories. Wherein the two are dorks and blushy and awkward and cute around each other
+ Messed up romance between two very dysfunctional people who are awful to each other. Bonus if they're awful to others as well (Think Wuthering Heights). Orrrr those ones wherein the two are on opposite sides of the war but were once childhood friends and it's all very FORBIDDEN and TRAGIC and they have to point guns and kill each other.
+ Childhood friends!!
+ Those subversive type relationships wherein the girl is the competent but not emotionally intuitive and the guy is Beta and very sweet and care and thinks the girl's brilliance is awesome. (Think Graceling.)
+ Inter-POC relationships!
+ A sweet gay and/or lesbian relationship with a HAPPY ENDING wherein no one dies.
+ Girl Athletes who are really, really good at what they do, OR Girl Athletes who try really, really hard to be good at what they do.
+ Pretty writing. I could read almost anything if I love the writing.
What I dislike
- LOVE TRIANGLES!! THEY SUCK AND MAKE ME LOSE MY WILL TO LIVE.
- CREEPY, ABUSIVE BOYFRIENDS WHO STALK YOU AND TRY TO KILL YOU. I DON'T CARE HOW
- No spineless girls who need the guy to make all decisions for her. Doormats are boring.
- Boy's adventures wherein the girls either plain don't exist or are reduced to either the Love Interest, or the Old Hag and basically have no relevance beyond their usefulness to The Man.
- I reallllllyyyyyyyyy don't like the whole Good Virgin Girl and Evil Seductress thing. Why can't women just have/not have sex and not be judged for it?!
- Gossip Girl esque stories tend to bore me. I'm not all that interesting in all the brand-name dropping.
- I more or less never read the "hard" scifi genre, westerns, or the mystery/suspense stuff UNLESS they have YA crossover appeal.
- I do not read poetry or anything in verse at all. (My stint as a English major before I got out may have scarred me for life.)
- I rarely read Chick Lit, Quest Fantasy, Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, or Adult Historical Regency Romance. Also I don't really care for those historical queens/princess type stories a la Bolelyn Girl. (I prefer historical stuff that's not about royalty.) This is not to say that I don't read them, but it's going to take a bit of convincing for me to give these types of books a shot.*
- I really, reallyyy don't like those Urban fantasy stuff that like to use their Supernatural Creatures of the day set in an 'open world fantasy' and use the oppression of these Supernaturals as a metaphor for racism WITHOUT ACTUALLY HAVING ANY POC IN THE DAMN STORY. Talking about racism without having the actual people there?! NOT COOL.
- Badly researched Asian!fantasy stories. I'm picking out those Asian!fantasy stuff because your poorly researched story can't fool me, alright?
- Also poorly researched historicals. It just looks lazy.
- Whitewashed medieval fantasy wherein the humans all look pale and you get those savage orcs looking all "dark-skinned". Look, I know the LOTR shadow is long and wide, but you have to get over it.
- I really don't like those white-tourist-in-exotic-setting-getting-their-enlightenment-through-Othered-cultures. Or those White-Saviour stories. Or those stories about British subjects frolicking around the colonies
- No alternate history wherein modern day American continent is reimagined to not have any of the natives in there and is replaced with ~*magical*~ fauna. You'd think I wouldn't have to explicitly state that having the erasure of the history of marginalized people as the premise of the story is wrong, BUT THEN clearly SOMEONE in the publishing industry thought that a work like Wrede's Thirteenth Child can be allowed to exist and stocked in bookshelves, so I'm going to state it now.
- Cultural appropriation in general. Because it's wrong.
- No racist epithets in general. They burn me.
- No more tragic!gay/lesbian everyone-dies romances please!!!!!
- I don't care for allegorical novels. I find them pretentious.
- Similes and/or metaphors that make no sense. They frustrate me beyond words.
- Bad writing.
* I er, also apparently don't read Contemporary Romance according to my reading list, but I don't see why I shouldn't?! Go ahead and rec me a Contemporary Romance, I am willing to be open minded about this. 8D
Of course, all these comes with exceptions