List-O-Rama: In Praise of... Awesome WTFery

It's no secret that I have a soft spot for a bit of awesome WTFery in my books. I mean, what's better than a random ghost or punny names for one's body guarding agency?

No, I'm not exaggerating. Some people like sweet, fluffy reads, and that's great--but me, if I want fluff, I want it to be ridiculous, nonsensical and downright nuts. I call it Awesome WTFery. 

Here are some of my favorite WTF elements.

The Random Ghost

What? You don't talk a random ghost about your problems?

What? You don't talk a random ghost about your problems?

Dude. Hate on the ghost that pops up and gives characters advice all you want, I freaking love it!

Take Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay trilogy-cum-quartet (the existence of the fourth book still confuses me). Each of the three brothers is visited by their adoptive father's ghost and then at the end of the series, they all realize they've all been talking to the same ghost and it's an awesome brother bonding moment. Of course.

Could these books have worked without the random ghost? Sure. Would they have been as awesomely crazypants? No way.

Our Lives are in Danger--Let's Make Out

Obviously, if you're running from the law, the logical next step is some serious sexytimes. 

Now this is a tricky one for me. Sometimes it just annoys me. For example, in Jeri Smith-Ready's second Shade book, Shift, the two leads make out in a lake while hiding from the FBI. The logistics were so confusing that the scene didn't work for me. But in Laura's Griffin's Scorched (and most of her books), it's executed with WTF brilliance. Gage and Kelsey race across the Utah desert and, of course, have wild-ish sex amongst the cacti--as one does. I think the key to this WTF element is twofold:

  1. The threat needs to be partially abated prior to sexytimes--otherwise, it just seems straight-up foolish;
  2. It's shouldn't be an overly romantic scene--it should have an overt feeling of panic/impulsiveness.

Yes, I've thought about this extensively.

The Pretend Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Fiance/Spouse

Really, what could possibly go wrong if you pretend to be dating/married/engaged? Oh, right... Everything!

Obviously, there is absolutely nothing unusual about pretending to be in love with someone--possibly someone you don't even like--to impress your grandma/inherit a bunch of money/look cool to the boy you're crushing on/get out of debt/trick The Capitol and win the Hunger Games. Naturally, because this is totally how it works out in real life, the fake love interest always becomes a real love interest and everyone lives happily ever after.

This trope is pretty much my Kryptonite and I have no regrets.

By the way, I was horrified--HORRIFIED!--to discover there's no ultimate fake boyfriend list on Goodreads, so obviously, I had to make one. Please do me a solid and add to it so that I can totally read every book featuring this trope others can easily find their next favorite fake boyfriend book.

Explosions

You guys, I love explosions.

I can illustrate this best by a conversation I had with my husband about a year ago.

Me: I wish there were more movies out that I wanted to see.
Husband: Well, that's because you only like movies with lots of explosions.
Me: No way! I totally love rom-coms!
Husband: *smirks*
Me: Like, I ADORE Grosse Point Blank!
Husband: *smirks* You know that's full of explosions, right?

One of my favorite book scenes ever is in Tomorrow, When the War Began and Ellie blows up a bridge with freaking tractor.

That's the definition of badass, y'all. 

Next time in List-O-Rama... I round up some Awesome WTFert of Note! I know you can't wait, right?

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