things that make me pick up a book | #toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re all talking about what makes us more likely to pick up a book. Certain buzzwords or tropes that’ll sell us on a novel immediately. Here are some of mine!

ASSASSINS

If you want me to pick up a fantasy book, add assassins to the mix. I don’t know what it is about assassins that I love so much, but I do admit it immediately makes me want to buy a book. And why wouldn’t it? Some of my all-time favorite fantasy novels revolve around assassins! Take Red Sister or Grave Mercy for example. Both have assassin nuns – which is a specific trope I’m even more fond of – even though Grave Mercy technically isn’t fantasy but historical fiction. Theft of Swords has a assassin-mercenary duo, and they’re some of my all-time favorite characters. Lastly, while Assassin’s Apprentice isn’t as action-packed as the others, it does follow a boy in assassin training.

CONS/HEISTS

Cons and heist stories are so fascinating, and I’ll probably buy every single (fantasy) book that has them as the main plot point. Apparently, I like to read about assassins, thieves, and liars. I sure hope that doesn’t say anything about me in particular. One of my favorite novels featuring this trope is The Lies of Locke Lamora. It’s absolutely epic. Of course, we can’t forget about Six of Crows, one of the most hyped YA books ever. I also really enjoyed White Cat, the first book in the Curse Workers series by Holly black. It’s an urban fantasy trilogy wherein people can use certain abilities through touch. The main character comes from a con family associated with the equivalent of the mafia in this world.

DRAGONS

Dragons are some of my favorite fantastical creatures, thanks to Eragon and The Hobbit. I read these books growing up, and although they feature very different dragons, fell in love with the stories and characters. In the past few years, I also discovered Nice Dragons Finish Lastor the Heartstriker series. It’s urban fantasy set in the US, where dragon clans are infiltrating every position of power. Only there’s no place for a nice dragon, is there?

NON-EUROPEAN FANTASY SETTINGS

I’ve been trying to pick up more non-European fantasy novels, because there has been a sore lack of them in the past decades. There are so many more wonderful worlds to discover other than medieval Europe, and I can’t wait to find more of them. Recently, I’ve loved The City of Brass. I’ve also been in love with the Bone Witch series for years, and am eagerly anticipating the release of the third book. Last year, I also read Girls of Paper and Fire which is an epic Asian fantasy novel with an f/f romance.

MURDER IN A GROUP OF FRIENDS

Okay, I swear I’m not planning on killing my friends. There’s just something so intriguing about one person dying in a group of friends and finding out who is responsible. If We Were Villains is exactly that. One guy went to prison for murder, but he may not have been the one to commit it. While The Secret History doesn’t exactly follow the same trope, since we know who is responsible from the start, it does have murder within a group of friends. Lastly, I also quite enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying. It’s not necessarily focused on a group of friends, but rather a group of students serving detention together. Still, the gist of the story is the same.

MULTIPLE POV HIGH FANTASY

Multiple POV fantasy stories are my one and true love. The amount of characters to love, worlds to discover, and relationships to unfold is truly astounding. I also find it helps to read a story through different eyes, because it changes the reader’s perspective. Brandon Sanderson is a master of the multiple POV fantasy novels, such as The Way of Kings and MistbornIf you haven’t read them yet, please give them a try! You’re missing out on so much. Another one of the most famous examples of this way of storytelling is A Song of Ice and FireTrue, at times it feels like there are too many characters and you can’t keep them straight anymore. That just increases my admiration for the author, who managed to create a vast world with numerous characters, and has to keep track of them all.

RETELLINGS OF MYTHS AND LEGENDS

There are so many stories I grew up hearing, especially the Ancient Greek and Roman ones. I’ve always been fascinated by them, and they were the reason I decided to study Latin in high school. Some of my favorite retellings include the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which I’ve loved for a decade now. I also fell in love with Madeline Miller’s writing in The Song of Achilles and Circe. Because of my love for Rick Riordan, I also learned a bit more of the Norse gods through Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

ENEMIES TO LOVERS

This might be my all-time favorite trope when it comes to romance. There’s something so incredible about the chemistry it brings forth. However, these don’t only happen in romance novels. In the dystopian Angelfall, there’s most definitely an enemies to lovers relationship between an angel and a human. One of the most well-known examples of this trope is Pride and Prejudice. It was one of the first classics I actually liked. Although there is a love triangle in The Kiss of Deceptionthere’s also an enemies-to-lovers side to it.

ANGRY WOMEN

Yup, you read it right. I love stories about angry women, preferably when they’re taking revenge. One of those angry women is Sadiewhose little sister was murdered. Courtney Summers has a way of writing stories, and All the Rage is no exception to that. It’s an incredibly moving story about a girl who was raped by the town’s golden boy. Lastly, we can’t forget about Jane Steelethe woman who has murdered quite a few men. Were they really so undeserving of death? I don’t think so.


Here are some of the tropes, buzzwords and aspects of a synopsis that will sell me on a book immediately. Are these tropes you love as well? Do you have any recommendations for me based on these? What are the buzzwords you love?

40 thoughts on “things that make me pick up a book | #toptentuesday

  1. Fantastic list! I love that you’ve included ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in the midst of fantasy books. I love retellings of myths and legends; ‘Circe’ is so beautifully written. I haven’t read any Brandon Sanderson yet, I’ll have to remedy that and make it sooner rather than later.
    My TTT: http://bit.ly/T10Tues

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  2. I giggled at “angry women”, but honestly, YES. I am reading Vengeful right now and it is delicious. Your categories are all amazing, especially assassins and enemies to lovers.

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  3. Love this list! Angry women are my favourite kind of women to read about, and I 100% agree with non-European fantasy settings, assassins and cons/heists. I want to read so many more heist books this year and, even though I know they’re so common in fantasy, I never tire of assassins and thieves.

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  4. I really liked The City of Brass and The Bone Witch – anything fantasy that doesn’t vaguely feel like a historical version of England is automatically more interesting to me, especially if it’s non-western and/or written by non-western authors. And I love reading about assassin schools too (Red Sister! I loved everything about that book).
    Great list!

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  5. Great list! I agree with a lot of these, especially no-European fantasy settings, dragons and assassins. Royce and Hadrian are the best. 🙂

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