My return to Top Ten Tuesday is a fun one this freebie week- I’m chatting about things that make me pick up a book! This is by no means an exhaustive list but 9 times out of 10 if a book mentions one (or more!!!) of these items I. Have. To. Have. It.
- You’ve Got Mail– one of my all-time favorite movies and a bookish premise I absolutely CANNOT resist in any form! Anonymous penpals, texting buddies, forum friends, any and all of it. These are also the best rereads once you know how it all fits together and can see the hints and clues.
- Enemies to lovers/fake dating– THE ULTIMATE ROMANCE TROPES!!!! There is nothing better than a well-written, chemistry-filled enemies to lovers pairing *chef’s kiss*. The only thing that makes me click “add” faster is the addition of fake dating. You know they’re going to fall for each other and watching that happen is delicious.
- Ancient Rome & Ancient Greece– there aren’t enough Ancient historical fiction settings in YA and it’s something I absolutely gravitate towards in adult hist fic. There is an abundance of riches to draw from setting-wise, drama-wise, and story-wise.
- Alternate History– the big What If question is one that always gets my brain spinning! What if this war was lost, what if magic existed, what if that historical figure was a different gender, and, and, and! Infinite possibilities.
- Retellings– I loooooove retellings! If a book is pitched as a retelling I’m automatically interested, especially if it’s a favorite story of mine. Fairy tale retellings, mythological, Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, well-known, lesser-known: all of it is fantastic.
- Old houses and magical/crumbling gardens: my absolute catnip. I don’t know what it is about old houses but they make such amazing settings! I think it’s the possibility of mystery and uncovered secrets and family history.
- Dual timeline– another favorite story device of mine, it’s such a great way to create drama and draw out tension. There are two ways this usually goes: the end point of one timeline is known but not how the story gets there, or the reader doesn’t have any idea how both timelines interact and when it slowly starts to reveal itself it is the MOST satisfying feeling! I love that a-ha moment. For me, this style often goes hand in hand with the old houses/family secrets trope, which is why I love Kate Morton so much.
- Princesses, thieves, and forgotten magic– I have to say I’m getting a liiiiiiiittle tired of thieves and forgotten magic because they are so popular but deep down I still love them which is why I’ll always add these sorts of books to my TBR! And I’m a Disney princess at heart so I am always here for princess stories, especially when they subvert expected tropes.
- Diverse offerings of favorite stories– I won’t read a book *just* because it’s diverse or ownvoices (I have to be genuinely interested in the synopsis) but I am much more likely to pick up a book for those reasons. It’s almost 2020 and I’m simply not interested in books that don’t reflect our wider world. Plus I love to see the culturally-specific details and spin that authors add to well-known stories and tropes!
- Magical/mysterious/creepy forests- if a book has a sentient Forest, or a town on the edge of mysterious woods, or a journey through an evil forest, I MUST HAVE IT. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t resist the lure of adventure and magic, which always seems to involve ancient forests and the like.
- Other things that generally make me pick up a book: witches, royalty, friends who realize they’re in love with each other (bonus if it’s LGB+), “for fans of The Raven Cycle”, Vikings, the Plantagenets/early medieval English history, long-hidden secrets, hockey romances.
What are some of the key words that catch your eye when you’re looking for something to read? Any suggestions on books I should add to my TBR? Let me know and leave your TTT link in the comments!