Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday // Things that make me want to pick up a book

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:

April 2: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

This is a pretty open topic and there are so many tropes, character archetypes, or narratives styles I could choose from, but I’ve done my best to narrow it down to ten that make me go ‘I need to read that.’

F/F romances

If I read the synopsis of a book and it has queer characters or is about LGBT+ issues in some way, I’m immediately interested.

F/F is so underrepresented in YA (and in literature in general) that if a book offers me a sapphic romance, I want to read it.


One of my favourites tropes of all time. I literally can’t get enough of it, especially because every author does it differently, and there are so many routes this trope can take.

Redemption arcs

I’m a HUGE sucker for ‘evil/dark character sees the light and becomes good’. I just really enjoy the development of a character as they realise they’re on the wrong side and decide they want to help others/save the day/be the hero.


Part of the reason I like anti-heroes so much is because they have huge potential for a redemption arc. But the other part is how they go against the grain of what we expect in a novel.

We open a book expecting to side with a good protagonist, but if we’re faced with an antihero, it throws up all kind of moral questions. Should we be on their side? Is what they’re doing actually right?

Antiheroes, arguably, make readers think about these questions far more than heroes to, and I really like that about them.

Elemental magic

To be honest, you know I’ll read books with any kind of magic in them, but elemental magic is so much fun. Seeing characters summon fire or stop a waterfall? I’m here for it.

Aromantic and asexual characters

Again, a-spec characters are still pretty rare in YA, so any time a book professes to have an ace character, I’m keen to read it. I ID as demi/graysexual so I’m always looking for books with more characters who feel the way I do, as well as all other orientations on the a-spec scale.

Soft romances

I’m don’t have much time for bad-boy romances any more (she says, planning to read The Wicked King in a few weeks), because I’m giving all my time over to soft romances.

Why have love interests who treat the MC terribly and undervalue them, when you can have love interests that are kind, thoughtful, and incredibly soft.

Own voices

YA has been a white-dominated field for far too long, but now that more own voices books are coming to the fore I want to support the authors as much as possible.

If I see a book that’s own voices and the premise sounds interesting, I’ll try to prioritise it wherever possible.


Yes, I am that reader, who gets drawn in by a well-designed cover. But I have very little shame about this. After all, what’s wrong with wanting your bookshelves to be filled with lovely covers?

Yes, it’s what’s inside the pages that counts, but if the story is stunning, doesn’t it deserve a stunning cover to match?

 Unusual world-building

If the setting for a book is very different to anything I’ve read before, or has something unique about it, I’m likely to want to pick it up. The YA market is quite saturated with similar stories, so anything new is intriguing to me.

What makes you want to pick up a book? Are there tropes or character archetypes that will make you automatically buy a book?

Until next time,KateNEW

19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday // Things that make me want to pick up a book

  1. Love your list! Yes to f/f romances and ace rep, and I love a redemption arc. Enemies-to-lovers is such a popular trope but, like you, I love an enemies-to-friends story – friendship in general I find so much more powerful than a lot of romance out there.

    1. Thanks Jess! I find enemies-to-friends so satisfying because watching people go from hating each other to teaming up as best pals is so much fun. I enjoy enemies-to-lovers too, but I don’t always think romance has to be the end-game of a story, and sometimes the rate at which characters go from disliking each other to being attracted to each other seems too quick for me. So it’s nice when friendship is foregrounded instead 🙂

  2. Enemies to lovers is my favourite romance tropes. If a book features it, I must read it. 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have the shelf with pretty covers (I hate people who try to shame readers because of it). An alluring cover is the first step to pick a book, but the final one is the summary.

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    1. It such a fun trope, isn’t it! Yeah, I wish people wouldn’t shame others for wanting to have nice covers and shelves – we should all be able to just buy or borrow the books we want without judgement! You’re spot on – if a book has a bright or intriguing cover, I’m probably more likely to pick it off the shelf! Thanks for stopping by Thannya ❤

  3. This is a great list, Kate! I really like the enemies to lovers trope as well and soft romances, yes yes yes I love these ❤ ❤

  4. You have so many books from my TBR mentioned in this post 😂 totally agree on the f/f romances and and the soft romances, too. I absolutely adored Autoboyography when I read it 😍
    I love a good LGBT+ read in general, but that one was so cute!

  5. Yes own voices and f/f romances are great reasons to be drawn to a book. I really need to read Girls of Paper and Fire at some point. To be honest f/f is underrepresented in Adult fantasy too. ._.

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