1. Boarding schools. See: THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS, ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS, HARRY POTTER. Books I really need to read in this vein: HEX HALL, SHADOW HILLS.
2. Historical fiction about witches or ghosts. See: the Gemma Doyle books, PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS. Cannot wait for THE VESPERTINE and THE REVENANT next year.
3. Artsy love interests who aren’t jerks. See: Joe Fontaine from THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, Seth from WICKED LOVELY, Adam from IF I STAY, James from BALLAD.
4. Books about sisters. Bonus points for twins! I can’t help it; it’s all that Sweet Valley High I read as a kid. See: PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS.
5. Dark, spookylicious settings written in wordsmithy ways. See: FOREST OF HANDS & TEETH, BLEEDING VIOLET. Really excited to read THE REPLACEMENT.
These are things that can, of course, be done well but just aren’t for me.
1. Books where the main character or their sibling/parent has cancer or is dying. I just can’t deal. I have a hospital phobia. I think it may have started with reading those Lurlene McDaniel books as a kid.
2. Unrelentingly grim dystopias. I like mine cheerful, or at least with a glimmer of hope. (Like RESTORING HARMONY, which I just read & loved!)
3. Books where the protag (usually female) falls for a hot but borderline-abusive mysterious alpha male with controlling tendencies. I think I’ve hit a saturation point on this.
4. Romance that’s just too…earnest. I like mine with a dash of humor, please. Love is messy and awkward and hilarious!
5. Really high fantasy. It just tends to have too much world-building and description for me.
What are yours? Feel free to give examples of your dealmakers–or books that fit mine! I’m always on the lookout for recommendations.