Things I Love In Books aka my Bookish Buzzwords Revealed

Every reader is different, and has a specific type of taste, no matter how similar it may be to another/other readers.

We all have things in books that we love. Those words/tropes/elements that we actively seek out in books, or that we find we just love. You know, those books that you hear about that have a/those specific elements that you love in books to the point where you break the world record in hitting the “Want to Read” button as soon as you see it.

Or is that just me? Probably. Definitely.

So a few months back, I saw Lala over at Books and Lala on YouTube make a video called ‘Things I Love In Books‘. I found it really interesting and thought it might be fun to write up a post talking about things that I just absolutely adore in books. I’ve seen a bunch of posts talking about their bookish buzzwords (which essentially has the same core idea of Lala’s video) as well, so I figured it’s high time I write my own.

On to the post!


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Boarding School Setting

This is probably one of my favourite tropes of ALL time. While I haven’t found any new favourites from the books that I have read in boarding schools, I have really enjoyed the boarding school aspect of them! I truly have no idea why I love this trope as much as I do, but I guess I … just really want to go to boarding school? This started from a pretty young age (with lil Taasia just plowing through Enid Blyton’s boarding school books) and just subsequently being drawn to books with boarding school settings. I just love it so much.

Examples:

Image result for people like us bookImage result for harry potter and the philosopher's stoneImage result for truly deviousImage result for a study in charlotte

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Flawed/Complex/Extremely Developed Characters

I know this is pretty obvious, and that most people also love this, but there is truly nothing more that I love more than highly well-developed, flawed and complex characters (especially if the main character). I do need plot in books but I can (and have) enjoyed character-centric books, and vice versa. I am incredibly drawn to and am fascinated with these kinds of characters. The majority of my favourite books of all time are books with incredibly nuanced and flawed main characters. Even if I really loved the plot of a book, it would not get a high rating without these types of character work, because they’re the ones that stick and the ones that I can wonder about for years.

Examples:

Image result for evelyn hugo coverImage result for far from the tree robin benwayImage result for harry potter and the philosopher's stone

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Strong Friendships

I know this is a trope/an element in books that many people love, and that’s for a great reason. Some of my all-time favourite books have a focus on/a highly prominent theme of friendship throughout it, and if friendship is done well in a book, I will naturally take a better liking to it. It makes me love characters even more, and then I become even more Trash for them.

I mean I’m already trash but still.

Examples:

19547856Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)Image result for clockwork angelImage result for darius the great is not okayImage result for radio silenceImage result for the hate u give goodreads

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Fictional Famous People Telling Their Stories

While I love the plot device of someone older telling their life to someone younger, I love it even more when fictional famous people do this. This is something that is linked to my genuine interest of understanding human behavior and the actions of humans as a whole, but there is something just so compelling about having fictional famous people do that. Maybe it’s because that books with this aspect tend to destroy the social construct of perfection that society builds around celebrities (by humanizing them), but I love it even more when these characters are designed to be flawed and complex and nuanced. It’s the main reason why I love The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as much as I do (and why I enjoyed Taylor Jenkins Reid’s works as a whole so much).

Examples:

(Please recommend me more books like this that isn’t by Taylor Jenkins Reid. And yes, The Thirteenth Tale is on my radar).

Image result for evelyn hugo cover40597810

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Realistic depiction of high school/teens

So some major pet peeves (and I mean major) of mine in YA books (and books as a whole, honestly) is when authors write high school and teens in a stereotypical, highly unrealistic manner, because, yes, homework and exams exist, ya know, or when authors are trying too hard to have their characters sound hip/trendy/sound like modern teens (because it really ain’t it, sis), so it only makes sense that I LOVE when authors incorporate the opposite of these pet peeves into their books. I will often hold a soft spot and/or will be more lenient on my rating of the book if this comes up, and especially so if school is a major part of the book. This is honestly shockingly rare to find, especially in YA, so when I do so it’s like hitting jackpot.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ you asked for perfectผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ radio silence alice osemanผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ you'll miss me when i'm gone

Books That I’ve Read That Have This: You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman (granted, it is a book about academic pressure but STILL), Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Solomon

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Tournaments/Games

This is a trope that I’ve known that I’ve loved ever since I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as a smol child. There’s something so entertaining and fascinating about tournaments, and I love seeing the inner workings of said tournaments/games, the competitors and how it will all turn out. They’re mostly just so entertaining, and they make fantastic pageturners.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ spin the dawnผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ harry potter and the goblet of fire bookผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ the hunger games bookผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ warcrossผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ the selection kiera cass

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Theatre Kids Portrayal (especially High School Theatre)

Here’s the weird thing: I was never a theatre kid (but not gonna lie, I lowkey want to be), but I absolutely love musicals, plays, theatres, performances. You know, the whole spiel. So, in the end, it’s not incredibly surprising that I love reading about books with theatre in it, especially high school theatre. I just love seeing the process and the behind-the-scenes of it all, and there’s normally some really great character development and the development of a variety of different relationships (both platonic and romantic) which I’m just Trash for. Seriously, it just makes me so happy.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ always never yoursผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ foolish heartsผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ if we were villains

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Books with a Shakespearian Element

Carrying off my love of reading about theatre in books, it’s not incredibly surprising that I love books with a Shakespearian element to them, no matter how big or small. I went through a MASSIVE Shakespeare phase when I was around 10 (I didn’t actually read the texts though). I have always been that person in English that genuinely doesn’t mind reading Shakespeare and can actually somewhat translate it. Point is, I love Shakespeare. I generally rate books that have this very high (i.e they make some of my favourites-of-the-year lists) and I’m glad they’re pretty common.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ exit pursued by a bearผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ foolish heartsผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ always never yoursผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ if i'm being honest

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Books dealing with academia/academic pressure

Like many other readers, a major part of why I read is because I want to be able to connect. And being both in high school right now and being a high-achieving student, books about high school academic pressure and the standards of perfection that education expects nowadays are incredibly relatable. This is especially since (like I discussed earlier) YA contemporary in particular, the majority of what I read, often have unrealistic depictions of high school, and this is an issue that many people struggle with. It is a shame that I haven’t found many yet, because I have generally really enjoyed how it has been written when I’ve come across it.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ you asked for perfectผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ radio silence alice oseman

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Fake royalty

I know this sounds kind of weird but let me give myself a chance to explain: when I say fake royalty, I mean people who are fictionally royalty in a contemporary setting, if that makes sense. I just love seeing behind the curtain in terms of royalty (especially since they are always SO fun and fluffy), and I love contemporary settings, so the combination of the two is obviously gonna be a huge success in my book.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ royals duology rachel hawkinsผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ royals duology rachel hawkinsผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ red, white and royal blue

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Contemporary Settings Outside the USA

This is becoming a more common trend now, which makes me so happy! My favourite genre is contemporary (especially YA contemporary), and much of the contemporaries I do pick up are set in the USA. While I am not familiar with the USA myself, seeing countless contemporaries being set in the same country gets boring. So I absolutely LOVE it when I find a contemporary set outside the USA (especially in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia). I hope this trend continues to grow, because it’s absolutely awesome.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ love from a to zผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ darius the great is not okayผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ somewhere only we know maurene gooผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ the weight of our skyผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ crazy rich asians book

*Love from A to Z is set in Doha, Qatar, the majority of Darius the Great Is Not Okay is set in Iran, Somewhere Only We Know is set in Hong Kong, The Weight of Our Sky is set in Malaysia, the Crazy Rich Asians series is set in Singapore (!!!)

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Generational Stories

Even though I haven’t read or loved many books with this trope, it is a trope that I am able to really love in the right circumstances. I have always been interested in stories with a heavy character focus (with the development of awesome character personalities!) and find it really fascinating to see developed characters in a generational story, if that makes any sense? I especially love generational books following the women of the family and/or family curses. However, convoluted generational books is something that can turn me away from liking books with this element.

Examples:

vผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ the strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavenderผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ don't date rosa santos

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Intersectional Feminism

If you know me at all, you know that I am extremely passionate about social issues, one of them being feminism. And while I love feminism as a whole, I especially love intersectional feminism, because champions of feminism (and even feminism itself) tends to be very white, hetero, cis, and able-bodied centric. So it’s especially awesome when we have lots of intersectionality, especially since so many people have a variety of marginalized identities.

Examples:

Image search results for watch us riseผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ here we are kelly jensen

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Tudor Anything

Here’s a little fact about me: I went through a massive Tudor phase at the age of ten. I know that is truly weird, but it’s true. I’ve always been a history buff and a complete nerd, especially for English history. So if there is any sorting of Tudor elements, especially in YA genres I love reading, you best bet that I will run to get my hands on it.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ the dead queens clubผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ my lady jane

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Vivid Food Descriptions (I.e of Non-Western Cultures)

While I wouldn’t consider myself a foodie, I do really love food (I get that this sounds stupid, since we need food to survive). And I really love seeing lots of descriptions of food in books, especially when it comes to non-Western cuisine! Food is a really great way to incorporate lots of cultural diversity and to spotlight countries and places that don’t get much representation in mainstream (i.e traditionally published by the Big Five) literature. And since I love seeing different cultures (as well as cultures I personally identify with) being represented, this makes a lot of sense. It’s why I can’t wait to read the recently released Hungry Hearts anthology edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ darius the great is not okay39828159ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ american panda

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Fake Dating

Listen. I know everyone and their mother loves this trope, but they have good reason. This trope really is too good and is gonna be my favourite, forever and always. This is probably my favourite romance trope, and it’s normally done oh so well. This one has definitely grown in popularity in mainstream media, and is something I will continuously fall for. Bonus points if it includes enemies to lovers or friends to lovers. Truly, too good.

Examples:

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ to all the boys i've loved before bookผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ fake it till you break it

 

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What are some elements that you adore in books? Are there any favourite elements of yours that are included in this post? Or (perhaps more interestingly) are there any elements in this post that you hate? I would love to know.

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24 thoughts on “Things I Love In Books aka my Bookish Buzzwords Revealed

  1. Great post! I wish there were more books set outside the U.S. too! It’s crazy that so many YA books are set in just ONE COUNTRY when there are 194 other countries they could be set in. I would especially love more books set in the Caribbean and Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m happy that books set outside the U.S is becoming more and more common, because there are so many amazing places for books to be set in! I would LOVE to read books set in the Carribean and Africa too. Now to find some! Happiest of reading 😊

      Like

  2. I love this list so much, Taasia! If you’re looking for more fictional famous people tell their stories, I definitely recommend some of Jen Wilde’s books! I’ve only read one, but I’m pretty sure all of her books incorporate that trope (and they’re all fun and queer of course)!.
    I’m also a big fan of really complex or flawed characters — I DIE for antihero/morally grey anything, especially. Strong friendships of course is another favorite of mine, which sadly there aren’t much of because romance takes over in YA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, May! Yes yes yes I need to read some of Jen Wilde’s books – I looked into her books and I added her newest release to my TBR! Anti-heroes are honestly SO interesting, especially since they’re really the most realistic hero/villain trope (definitely over heroes and villains for sure). It really is a shame that romance takes predecence over friendship in YA. Yeah, my (very) single self likes to live vicariously through romance, but friendships are awesome too and need so much more attention!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay so we really are twins, because I love ALL of these things so, so very much as well! I love a great boarding school setting and somehow I’m always seeking these kind of books, too, they just sound so, so very cool?? And the strong friendships, strong developed characters, royalty and ahh the fictional life of the fictional famous people AHHH I LOVE IT ALL OKAY. There are so many books I still need to read in your suggestions here, I’m especially eager to get to Darius The Great, Daisy Jones and You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone! ❤
    Fantastic post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marie that’s honestly insane! That makes me so happy, and confirms we’re twins AHHH. Boarding schools are the dream setting ngl and they’re just so fascinating and I love it SO much! Some of these are so specific and I’m glad that you love them too! I cannot wait for you to read Darius because it’s just such a beautiful piece of literature that I will never stop gushing about. Daisy and YMWIG are really great and I hope you love them both! Thank you so much Marie, you’re really too lovely ahhh ❤

      Like

  4. oh my gosh yes!! i would read malory twoers…and be like mum, take me boarding school NOW. so i love the setting so much so i deffo need to read people like us and truly devious! i loved a study in charlotte and ofc harry potter. and yesss to the fake dating trope I LOVE IT SO MUCH. i’ve only read one book with it and that is tatbilb!!! I NEED TO READ MORE>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH Mallory Towers!! I was so excited to go to boarding school after that, ahahaha. Truly Devious was a little disappointing for me imo but I need to read the Vanishing Stair really, really soon. HP is truly the real OG and the Charlotte Holmes series are really solid too. It’s really weird that the fake dating trope is so widely loved, but that there’s so little representation of it. I WANT MORE. YES TATILB, I need the movie sequel like yesterday ngl 😦

      Like

  5. One of my favourite things in a novel is when you can find a strong found family element, it’s something that’s just so beautiful to me ♥ I never realized I liked the boarding school setting, but thinking about it I loved Harry Potter, I recently read Truly Devious and enjoyed it so much and I plan to read A Study in Charlotte. I’m sensing a theme here? The one I’d say I enjoy the least is the fake dating trope. It’s simply never been my thing, but I can totally see why people enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I love found families as well! I knew I forgot to include something omg 😭 I’m so glad you found something you loved, because that’s always an amazing feeling 💖 Ah I get why people don’t love the fake dating trope, but I really do – I wish there was more representation of it in books!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another one of mine is partners in crime (mostly the duo-solving-crimes kind) ♥ I love it so much And I hope you get to have more books with the fake dating trope in! If I ever come across one, I’ll send it your away!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. SO MANY great tropes. I love seeing what makes other people pick up books! Some of these are also on my buzzwords list, such as strong friendships, fake royalty, and Shakespearean elements. Thanks for the recommendations on some of these as well! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re all amazing tropes which I love with my whole heart! I’m glad that I’m not the only one who’s interested in seeing what people love in books. Those buzzwords that we both love are absolutely phenomenal, great minds think alike, clearly 😉 I hope you enjoy the recs!

      Like

  7. I am so sad, I know, but I can only think of a few bookish buzzwords I think is common in all of my favorite books. my faves tend to be of a pretty wide variety so I can’t really pinpoint and I want them to be done just right. i am such a sucker for the boarding school setting though! and i really do wanna be in boarding school too, like that sounds so interesting and i would love to have the independence haha! the same goes with competitions, especially if there’s a magical/fantastical element to it. I too love getting to know different personalities, and deciding whether this character is an ally or has to be defeated. I especially love finding cool new characters to stan because chances are, there’s that one character who is way cooler than everyone else in the competition and is probably brooding and mysterious, and because I’m trash, I usually fall for that character. ok so this comment is already so long, but you mentioned so many tropes that I want to read more from, as well as books that are really high on my tbr! ahhh i’m so excited to read Darius, and I agree that fake dating is the best! it’s so weird that i can only think of a handful of books with the trope because it’s so widely loved! the second book to the diviners has it between Evie and Sam, and it’s so well-done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah that’s really interesting, but I totally get it! You take your time with it :)) I think the boarding school trope is a very commonly loved trope, and everyone wanted to go to boarding school like yesterday. Yes to competitions, we love it, don’t we? The magical/fantastical element makes it better! Characters really help to make or break a book for me. The brooding/mysterious character doesn’t really do it for me, but they’re normally crafted so well that it can be really interesting! I cannot wait for you to read Darius, and I hope you love it! I agree with what you said about fake dating being quite rare despite being so loved. Ahh I read Lair of Dreams, and completely forgot about that element? Also, I really prefer Evie/Sam over Evie/Jericho and I’m salty, smh 😦 Sorry for going on a tangent, but thank you for your comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really loved reading about your bookish buzzwords! I have also got a soft spot for boarding school settings, because I always wanted to go to one when I was younger (might have been inspired by Hogwarts) 😄 I also love books with an emphasis on friendship and I never get tired of books with a Tournament setting 🙂

    Like

  9. Ooh, I love boarding school settings, and I think we need more of them. Maybe that, or I just wished I lived in one. 😂 I also agree that we NEED so many more well-developed characters in our books. Too many characters these days are devoid of realistic emotions or backstories. I need more well-written main characters!
    And I definitely agree about settings outside of the United States. I’m from the US, and I want to hear more about other countries! People live elsewhere, and I think it’s time that everyone experienced more than a forced story set in America. This is such a great list of tropes/elements, and I didn’t realize how much I would love to read about these until now! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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