Top 5 Wednesday: Book Trends I’m Tired of Seeing

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Top 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


This weeks’ topic  are the trends in books and publishing you are tired of seeing . It may be a certain kind of cover, or a trope seen too often in a genre.

1. Whitewashed covers

“Tired of” is too mild – this is completely unacceptable and offensive. Not many books have a POC main character, and then, when one finally does, the cover shows a white person anyway. You can find many examples of this HERE.

2. “The next xy!”

Publishers do this all the time… Every book is a “new” something. So now we have many new Harry Potters and Twilights, Girl in the Train was advertised as new Gone Girl etc. I think that’s very annoying, and often misleading. Also, quite unfair to the new book and author.

3. Insta-love

Now, when it comes to tropes, I think a lot of them can actually be done in a good way. It really depends on how the author handles the trope. But the thing I can’t stand is insta-love. No, I do not believe in love at first sight. Attraction – yes – and that can, with time, turn into love. But WITH TIME. You cannot love a person you don’t even know. That’s more of an obssession in my opinion. Sexual attraction and/or sexual tension can be strong feelings, and can be addressed in books, of course, but they are not love. I personally love books in which relationships are slowly developed, and not only romantic ones – frienships can also take time to develop. The only time insta-love worked was in Up. 😛

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4. Who cares about friendship?

This is something I’ve noticed, but you may not agree. Books often focus on a romantic relationship, even when it’s just a minor part of the book. Friendships are quite neglected. People always talk about their “ships” and which characters they want to end up together. But what about friendship? Especially male and female friendships – I believe in them and would like to see more of them in books.

5. It’s destiny!

This can be related to the insta-love trope (we were destined for each other!) and more frequently to the Chosen One trope. In my opinion, destiny is not a good enough explanation for anything (to he honest, I’m not a big believer in destiny in general, so this might be just my personal preference). It feels a bit awkward to me if a character does someting because s/he was predestined to. Also, it’s been done so many times. I think life is strange and weird, and that’s what makes it interesting. I believe we all make our own paths in life. Or at least I want to believe it.

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So, those are the things that annoy me. Hopefully they weren’t too controversial. 😉 Anyway, I’d like to hear what you think!

The Becoming of Me

I had just turned eight when they came for me. I knew what was going on, even though my parents tried to hide the truth from me – children always know much more than their parents realize.

Father told me that it’s a great honour. I was to be taken to the Emperor’s palace. Common people never went there.

“Only special children are chosen. You will get an education anyone would envy you on. It’s a great opportunity”, father kept talking. I suspect he was trying to make himself believe in his own lies.

The truth was, just as all the other families in our town, and probably all the other families in the Empire, my parents had a choice to make. One of their children had to be sent to the palace, to be trained to become a loyal member of the Emperor’s army. It could be any child, the only rule was that it had to be younger than ten. Among the four children in our home, it’s not hard to deduce why I was their choice. Father would never give away his firsborn, my older brother. He was too proud of him, of how similar they were and how quickly he learned all that father taught him. The twins, a boy and a girl, even though they were already six-year-olds, were still the babies of the family. Mother and father were very protective of them. All things considered, I was the logical choice. Were I in their place, maybe I would have done the same. But still, a cold feeling grew in me, a feeling which wasn’t disappointment, or anger, or sadness. It was neither of those familiar emotions but at the same time it was all of them.

When it came to this, I turned out to be the child my parents loved the least. Many children feel this way and grow jealous of their sibling. Those feelings are mostly obvious overreactions and secretly even those bratty youngsters know that parents love all their children the same. However, my case was different. I knew how my parents felt for a fact. They thought about it, and they decided it themselves.

I shouldn’t blame them. They had to do it. One of us had to be sacrificed so that the others could continue to live. There was no doubt the Emperor’s people would come and slaugher us all if my parents had disobeyed his orders. And everything might end well, after all. The Emperor said it himself, those who prove themselves (after they survive the harsh training and the destructive wars that would follow) might even return to their hometowns. The parents might be able to see their lost children again.

I decided I would be the one of those who would survive, but I don’t intend to go back home. In his lies, father said one thing that was true – this was a great opportunity. And even though they don’t think that, I am special. The Emperor wants to train young children because he wants them to become loyal to a flaw. He wants to be worshipped and that’s what he’s going to get. I know how to pretend, just as I pretended that I believed my father when he created the silly little story to comfort me.

My parents decided to give me up, and that’s how it’s going to be. They will never see me again. I will never live in a silly little town, I won’t be one of those weak people. I will surpass all of my peers, I will become a somebody, I will make the Emperor notice me. In the end, I might even surpass him. He will not be able to confuse me, to make me one of his minions. I have a mind of my own.

The only problem is – there may be other children like me, more people with similar ideas. They should not be a huge problem, though. I will know how to notice them, and once I detect who they are I will be able to deal with them. No one will be better than me.

And I know that, one day, I will not be the one who follows orders anymore. I’ll be the one giving them.