TCWT Blog Chain: My YA Reader Wishlist


This is inspired by the Twitter hashtag #RBWL (stands for Reader/Blogger Wishlist), which is basically a place for people to post about the kinds of plots/characters/themes/genres/etc they personally would like to see in more published books.

I love this prompt, because as writers it gives us a chance to truly think about what we’d like to read and then to go forth and write it. Anyway, I have been giving this a lot of thought.

So, my list:

1. Books with multiple perspectives / books that follow the story lines of multiple characters.

raven-boys-SMALL-4I’ve found I really enjoy these books that highlight more than one character. If it’s done well, it adds depth to the story and to the relationship between characters. (This includes both first person narrations and books written entirely in third person).

Examples: Raven Boys, Cinder, Sea of Shadows, Panic, Legend, Game of Thrones, Percy Jackson

2. More retellings.cinder-SMALL-1

It’s exciting when I’m already familiar with the storyline, because this means there’s a good chance I’ll like the book. And when the author manages to captivate me with a unique spin on the story, I’m very appreciative.

Examples: Cinder/Scarlet/Cress

3. I would like to see futuristic novels that aren’t necessarily dystopian.

(Okay, this was brought to my attention by Emma at Awkwordly Emma. Credit where credit is due.) I love dystopian novels, but for the most part they’re typically about governmental corruption and that gets old. It’s the world-building that excites me every time, so there should definitely be more YA novels with super cool futuristic settings and unique plotlines.

4. Also, while we’re on the subject of dystopia, why don’t we ever see the new (and soon-to-be-corrupt) government being built / constructed?

(Wouldn’t this make for awesome prequels to some of our favorite dystopian novels?)

5. Books featuring healthy family units.

book-thief-SMALLIt pains me when so many of the parents/guardians in YA are neglectful, absent, selfish, or abusive. Of course, there is a reality to this. And it makes for excellent conflict. But I would just like to see a healthy familial unit for once, because they do exist. Not to say that “healthy” family units are perfect, because there is no such thing as a perfect person, much less a perfect family.

Examples: Harry Potter (the Weasleys), Raven Boys (Blue’s mother/aunts), Divergent (Tris’ parents), The Book Thief (Hans and Rosa Hubermann)

cuckoos-calling-SMALL6. Though I’ve read middle grade mysteries and adult mystery novels, I have yet to read an engaging YA mystery. I think this could be a really beloved genre, if only there were more YA mysteries.

Example: The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (It isn’t YA, but it’s a great mystery.)

Be sure to check out the other participating blogs!

May 5th – Sammi Talk
May 6th – Nerds Inc.
May 7th – Against the Shadows
May 8th – The Upstairs Archives
May 9th – The Little Engine That Couldn’t
May 10th – Life of a Random
May 11th – Relatively Curious
May 12th – Hugs & Kisses of Poetry
May 13th – Musings from Neville’s Navel
May 14th – The Looney Teen Writer
May 15th – This Page Intentionally Left Blank
May 16th – Tara Therese
May 17th – Miriam Joy Writes
May 18th – Writer’s Write, Right?
May 19th – Writing Portfolio
May 20th – Magic and Writing
May 21st – Unikke Lyfe
May 22nd – Brooke Reviews
May 23rd – page eight hundred ninety
May 24th – Laughing at Live Dragons
May 25th – Avon’s Babbles
May 26th – The Unsimple Mind
May 27th – The Writing Duo
May 28th – Lily’s Notes in the Margins
May 29th – Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams
May 30th – Teens Can Write, Too! – We’ll announce the topic for June’s blog chain!

15 thoughts on “TCWT Blog Chain: My YA Reader Wishlist

  1. coruscantbookshelf

    Ooh, all of these. All of these. Especially more normal families – I’m currently writing my most normal family, and… heh, it’s roughly dad-and-two-adopted-kids. That’s the most normal I’ve ever gotten. Sigh.
    YA mysteries I’d go for, if they’re good mysteries. If the murderer’s easy to guess, or somebody who isn’t Dorothy Sayers who knew exactly how to strike a balance tries to put love into mysteries, the whole thing goes down the drain pretty fast, actually.

    1. brooke Post author

      Dad-and-two-adopted-kids sounds like a great dynamic! Not every family is going to be the typical mom-dad-two-kids. I would just like to see more love/support in the family units. 🙂 And yes, mysteries that are too easy to guess are disappointing. Have you read Agatha Christie? I’ve never been able to guess the murderer! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Liam, Head Phil

    Great post! I agree about futuristic novels– dystopian is great, but when you’ve seen one oppressive government, you’ve seen them all. Of course, science fiction has already run with the idea of unhindered future, but in YA it’s hard to find.

    Good post!

    1. brooke Post author

      Hi Liam! You make a great point – I should really read more sci-fi! Do you have any recommendations?
      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. Lily J.

    Nice post!

    Love the idea of a story where you see the government being built. That would be really interesting. Something sort of like that happens in Dan Well’s Partial Sequence, but it would be cool to see it done in other ways.

    Definitely agree about mysteries and healthy family units, too.

    1. brooke Post author

      Thanks! I think it would be interesting, too. I always have so many questions when I read dystopian novels…of course, that’s part of the reason they’re so engaging! I haven’t read Partial Sequence, but I’ll check it out. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  4. John Hansen


    That is BRILLIANT! I never even thought of it, but a dystopian about the assumed-to-be utopian government being built and how it became corrupt would be mindblowingly awesome. It’s such a timeless theme and is extremely relevant, and I have no idea why we don’t have more books like that. The political nerd in me would die of happiness.

    And yessss to YA mysteries. Have you read Dangerous Girls? It’s more of a thriller, but it has a very intense mystery aspect too. Plus, it’s fantastic.

    Great post!

    1. brooke Post author

      Thank you thank you! 🙂 Sometimes when I read dystopian books my mind just goes it circles. The new governments have been created to address issues that were originally tearing society apart (or so we’re led to believe). And by the end, the characters have decided to rebel / create a new government, and then I wonder if they’re going back to what they started with before they decided they needed a new government! (See what I mean? Circles.) I haven’t read Dangerous Girls, but it really looks like something I’d enjoy. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 And thanks for commenting! I love participating in the blog chains – the prompts always give me something interesting to think about.

  5. Tara Therese

    I love #3 and #4! I’ve got to write one or both of them someday. What a cool idea! I enjoy reading books with multiple character’s storylines, too. I’ve had a project like that myself although it’s on the backburner for now. Those books can sure be fun!

    1. brooke Post author

      You’re right – the things we love to read are the things we should be writing. Already my mind is spinning with the possibilities these ideas open up. 🙂 Looking forward to reading your blog chain post! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Jennifer Austin

    Great post and some great ideas. I’m happy to say my current WIP takes place eight years after the apocalypse and the readers will see a “dystopian” style society forming and what people are doing to try to stop it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. brooke Post author

      I really like that twist on the more typical dystopian novel. 🙂 I’d read it! Thanks for commenting!

  7. erinkenobi2893

    Heh–non-dysfunctional family coming right up. Mom, Dad, two adopted older brothers, and one younger biological son. AND they are royalty (which is infamous for dysfunctional families.) Take that, Hollywood! X-D


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