I’m bringing you a very strange book post today: weirdly specific things I love in books!
This is not a list of tropes that I love, but more like things I’ve come across in multiple books that I seem to adore, whether that be certain character traits or plot points. I won’t be including things like “enemies to lovers” or “apocalyptic-types books” because 1: you already know I love those types of books, and 2: they’re tropes or a specific genre which isn’t what I’m going for.
I’ll also be including some recommendations too, so you know what I’m talking about! And lease let me know if you like any of these weirdly specific things too!
Complicated and sometimes confusing magic systems with a lot of rules
I love fantasy books but more than that, I love MAGICAL fantasy books. But — there needs to be rules. I don’t do well with magic books that have no system, which is why I hate magical realism books. However, I love magical systems and rules that are super complicated and sometimes are even a little confusing. I know a lot of readers hate confusing magic, but I seem to love it: you can tell that the author, at least, knows what’s happening and you can usually figure it out yourself. That’s always fun for me!
Gods that are actually aliens
I love books with gods, but I recently discovered that I love the gods even more when they are actually aliens. One of the things I love most in novels is fantastic worldbuilding and I just get so excited when the worldbuilding, which is usually about magic or the world the characters are living in, also expands into space.
Books about space that are not set in space
I don’t actually like sci-fi books. Every time I’ve read one, I’ve never rated it above three stars and I don’t have it in me to read average books anymore. However, I’ve found that I really like reading books about space and/or aliens so long as it’s not actually set in space. Does that make sense?
Omg, if there’s anything I live for, its dark academia books. There’s just something about the pretentiousness and the dark vibes that I love. These types of books are set in college and usually have murder, social-class differences, and strong friendship groups.
I used to be a massive crime fan a few years back, and from my time reading so many crime novels, I discovered that my favourite are the ones with an amateur detective. Someone who has no knowledge of the law or investigative procedures but who somehow finds themselves investigating a crime — usually one that’s personal to them, or that they are pulled into.
Fantasy books based on real historical events
Fantasy is by far my favourite genre and I love historical fantasy the most. However, there’s just something about fantasy books that are based on real people or real historical events. I’ve always loved British history, so add some dragons to British history and I’m there!
Ancient Greek retellings:
Don’t get angry at me, but I hate retellings. Can’t stand them. I think its because you already know where the story is going to go, so that removes any sense of surprise? Or excitement? That being said, I freaking love Ancient Greek retellings. I’m not sure why — maybe because I love history? I know, it’s so hypocritical.
Parallel universe is a bit of a misnomer. It’s NOT a sci-fi book, it’s usually a contemporary book where one thing in our world is different in the novel. So everything about our world and the books world are the same, except for this one thing. So for example, Red, White and Blue is a parallel universe book because in 2016, a woman won the presidential race aside from … that orange man.
May-December romance is a romance between two people with a large age gap between them. A LEGAL ONE!! The reason it’s called May-December is because someone who is young is in the “May” part of their life — i.e. Spring, youth — while the older person is in the “December” part of their life — i.e. Winter, old. Also please remember that this romance trope is LEGAL. I know a lot of people don’t like it, and that’s fair enough (because sometimes there can be a power imbalance) but please remember that this trope focuses on consenting, legal adults. A book with someone who preys on minors is NOT a May-December romance.
Character driven books with no plot
Of course these types of books do have a plot, but its pretty non-existent. Books that are character-driven tend to just follow a character going through life, which it always feels like there’s no plot. This is not a negative! I actually love books where you just follow a character’s emotional journey or you are dropped into a book for a quick look at their life.
Tight-knit friendship group — positive and toxic
While romance is definitely my favourite genre to read, I definitely love it when the main character has a really tight-knit group of friends. As someone who has a small group of friends and we’d all die for each other, I really relate to books with platonic soulmates. But I’m also intrigued by friendship groups that are really toxic, but you can’t stop yourselves from staying together.
This is probably one of the most fun things a book can have, because books that feature magic schools automatically have awesome worldbuilding. And by now, you all know how much I adore worldbuilding. Magical schools also feature tight-knit friendship groups, and a big-bad villain that needs to be taken down.
I probably shouldn’t enjoy homoerotic subtext in novels because almost every single book that has this is queerbaiting … but I’m trash. I just get so into the tension between two characters and I kind of like that there’s no payoff? I feel like, before queer books became so marketable, queer people had no choice but to see their identities represented through homoerotic subtext, so I would suggest that these kinds of books still hold literary merit.
I am trash for vampires. That’s it.
What are weirdly specific things you love in books? Do you like any that I mention? Let me know!