Let’s Talk Bookish: Overused Book Tropes

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Connected to my previous topic where we talked about tiresome characters, what are some tiresome tropes? Have you seen enough love triangles? Getting sick of enemies to lovers? What tropes have you had enough of, and can they ever be done well?

Because I often jump between my two favorite genres and there are so many books to choose from, I’m not sure if I’ve ever gotten tired of many tropes. However, I do despise love triangles. They wear me out! I tend to stay away from love triangles mostly because they give me anxiety. It’s a lot easier when there is a clear couple while the other person tries to intervene but isn’t really a consideration at all. Those I can kind of get through. Here are the scenarios I dislike the most.

The set-up: Lead A needs to choose between love interest B and love interest C. B and C love and adore A. How will A choose? A clearly chooses the love interest they prefer, B.

  • The problem with B was that B was an ass to A most of the time whereas C, clearly the better choice and favored by me, gets left behind. Sometimes it can be intertwined with B being the abhorred alpha type I mentioned in the previous prompt. (No books come to mind at the moment, but many Korean dramas have done this to me and I’m still bitter. Second lead syndrome hurts.)

  • Before choosing B, A kept going back and forth between the B and C rather than just leaving it well enough alone until A’s feelings were sorted. (The Inheritance Games was like this for me. I finished the book, but I was not very happy with Avery.)

Can love triangles be done well? Maybe they can, but I’ve tried to stay away as often as possible until The Inheritance Games hooked me. I was not aware there would be one but the book was enjoyable so I powered through.

Whew! I’m glad I got that all out! Thanks for reading my rant.

Are there any tropes you tend to stay away from?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Cut and Paste Character Archetypes

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Are there any characters you feel like you’re seeing over and over again recently? The same love interest in multiple romances? The same protagonist over and over? I’ve seen a lot of complaints about Rhysand-like characters recently so I’d love to hear what characters you’ve seen too much of.

First, I do gravitate toward certain types of characters, so I will see them more in what I read. My favorite novels feature a strong female protagonist. I haven’t tired of this archetype yet. Stories may have similar premises, but there’s enough to differentiate one from the next.

Alpha romantic interests or leads are abundant in romances but I try to steer clear if them as much as possible. I’ve been trying to write a discussion on why I love and hate alpha characters. Just to be clear, not all alphas are bad; it’s only those with certain characteristics that I despise. I see a lot of these in romances. I hate the overly jealous, controlling type alphas who tells the leads what they can wear and try to dictate the lead’s interactions with other people. All this is often done under the guise of loving the lead too much and claiming the lead as their’s. If I despise individuals like this in real life, I don’t want to read about it in my novels.

Are there any characters you’re seeing too much of?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Series vs. Standalones

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Do you prefer standalones or series? When you read a standalone, do you wish there was more, or are you content that the story has finished? Are series sometimes too long? Do you feel like some genres work better in series while others work better in standalones? What are some standalones you wish had continued? Are there any series you think should have stopped at the first book? 

I don’t have a particular preference but I have become accustomed to one over the other when reading books from certain genres. When reading romances, I’ve come to expect books that are part of a series but can be read as standalones–new book, new couple, and new romance. I like the versatility of being able to pick and choose any book in the series without having to read the entire series. With an expectation of a HEA at the end of the book, standalones appear to be the norm and work well here. More common in fantasies seem to be books in a series that continue the journey of the same main characters.

Whether standalone or a series, it’s not the quantity as much as the the quality. The book needs to be well-written. If it’s meant to be a standalone, I hope the ending is one that is not a cliffhanger. If it’s a series, as long as the author has more content, then by all means write more. When books are especially well-written, even if the ending wraps up everything nicely, I think readers will always be left wanting more.

With the above in mind…I do like to stick to 3-4 books mostly because I have no self control. I try to wait until all the books are out and then binge it. The other option is to read them as they come out, which leaves me tormented because I have to wait for the next book. My all-time favorite novel, The Green Rider, is the first in a series that has spanned over 20 years and still has one more book to go for a total of 8 books. Winterlight (book seven) just came out and I already finished it. I don’t know when the next book will come out, and I’ve been reading other books to make waiting easier. Waiting hurts a lot and I’m sure the end of the series will hurt a lot too.

Do you have a preference? What are books that you wish still had more for you to read?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Putting off books you actually want to read

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Feel free to take a look at any old topics you may have missed and do your own take on it. Or you can just take the day off!

April 2, 2021 Prompt
Do you ever put off the books you actually want to be reading? Do you treat reading books you’re excited about as a reward?

I put off books I actually want to read all the time! I currently have two books on my shelf that I have been putting off even though they were two of my most anticipated reads this year. I haven’t put them off because I’m using them as rewards–I actually have no self-control and would have read them anyway if this was the case. I actually am too excited and that would entail skipping pages and trying to get to the ending.

Second in The Shamanborn Trilogy by Lori M. Lee, I was looking forward to this as soon as I finished Forest of Souls (review here). I waited nearly a year and I’m still here waiting, staring at it on my shelf because I’m still waiting for the emotions to die down. (Goodreads)


I’d like to just jump to the last page but I can’t. While The Kinder Poison (review here) ended on a cliffhanger, I’m more torn about the potential love triangle here. The antagonist has a somewhat compelling story but I also find him to be manipulative. (Goodreads)

Are there books you’ve put off because you’re just too excited? I’d love to hear about them…so I can put them on my TBR too! Ha…

Let’s Talk Bookish: What do you do when a book triggers you?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Everyone has different reactions to triggers; what is yours? Do you have measures in place to help you avoid books that could potentially trigger you? If you get triggered without previously knowing there would be a trigger, do you still care to finish the book? Does it affect your eventual rating/review? Have you ever read a book knowing that something within it would trigger you?

The bookish community’s openness about their triggers have helped me be comfortable with sharing my own. I don’t have to feel bad about choosing to not read a book because it contains content that may be triggering. I tend to stay away from books that contain cheating and abuse as much as I can, but I have read books that contain those triggers as well.

I don’t have any specific measures in place, nor do I actively seek out trigger warnings. If the book or the reviews include warnings, I do pay attention to them. Additionally, I appreciate the rise of content warnings from bloggers, and the Book Trigger Warnings wiki has been helpful.

If I know ahead of time, I will likely stay away from the book. On the other hand, if there were no warnings ahead of time and I’ve already started the book, there is a higher probability that I may choose to finish reading it. Finishing the book depends on how prevalent the trigger is. For instance, I’ve read a book by a favorite author without knowing ahead there was cheating. Because the author is one I like and the book had been good so far, I went ahead and finished it. The book ended up being great even if I had some discomfort due to the trigger. Additionally, I thought it was addressed well. Of course, this has not always been the case and I’ve either skimmed the book to find out the ending or DNF’ed and pretended it doesn’t exist.

If the book has triggers, I try to ensure it is disclosed in my review, because I am sure it has contributed to my rating, whether explicitly or implicitly, in some way.

Thoughts? Do you have measures in place when a book has triggers?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Do you prefer male or female protagonists?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: When it comes to books, do you prefer male or female protagonists and why? Do you not have a preference? Have you ever not read a book because the protagonist was male/female? Do you think it’s important for children to read protagonists of the opposite gender from them? Do you feel like certain genres have more of a certain gender of protagonist than the other?

I prefer reading books with female protagonists and have often opted to not read books when the main character solely identifies as male, more specifically cis male. If there are dual points of view, as long as one of the main characters at least identifies as female, I will be more willing to read it. Not too long ago, a friend said that excluding books when the main character is male means there are a lot of great books out there I’m not reading. I completely agree! It likely does but it also means I get to read more of what I want. A lot of it has to do with being able to connect with the character as well as being able to live vicariously through the character. I grew up wanting to live adventures but was often told I couldn’t do things but my brothers were allowed to do them. Books give me the opportunity to do what I couldn’t. Also, if I really want to read a book with a male protagonist, I will. Just because I prefer female protagonists doesn’t mean I will never read a book with a male protagonist.

I think it is important for children to read whatever kind of book they would like without having to consider gender unless that is part of their criteria for a book. It’s all about what you feel is best for you and what you enjoy most. In school, children are required to read certain books. Outside of the classroom, they should be able to read what they want--obviously, parent approved and all that stuff too (to an extent…Heh)

Due to self-selection, I can’t be entirely sure whether certain genres have more of a certain gender/sex as a protagonist. If one was to look at all my books, it would look skewed toward female protagonists. It’s certainly possible romance novels largely feature female protagonists but many are dual points of view so wouldn’t that mean it can be viewed as both? On a different not, what I’m actually quite curious about is whether male protagonists written by women in romance novels would be considered accurate depictions of men from a male point of view? I guess that’s the long way of saying that I’m not entirely sure if there is more of one gender protagonist in a genre than others. Hah…Sorry.

What about you? Do you have a preference when it comes to the sex/gender of a book’s protagonist?

Let’s Talk Bookish: What is one book everyone must read?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: There are some books that are just required…or at least you personally think they are! Maybe it’s a book that changed your view on everything, or maybe it’s just the BEST vampire book ever written. What book do you try to get everyone in your life to read, even the non-readers?

Wow. This is such a difficult question! I want to cheat a little and say this is the one book in this genre to get a few books in, but I will attempt to keep it at one. I read The Sun Is Also A Star last year during a time when I was questioning a million different things. The entire concept of the book spoke to me, although the instant love nearly steered me away. It remains one of the elements that I am back and forth about, but within the context of this book, I’ve grown to be okay with it. Within the context of this book, I can let myself believe in it because, while only a day, their connection is electric.

The scientific method is not only what Natasha, one of the main characters, believes in, but also one way to view the book: a series of hypotheses testing what could have been’s and showing what is. It pushes you to contemplate the consequences of your actions. There is a multitude of choices that you can choose from, but the series of decisions you make along the way guide you to this particular point in your life and the set of choices before you. However, the outcome of your decision also intersects with the decisions made by others. It’s difficult to isolate the causal effects. For every decision made, there was an alternative. The book provides a glimpse into how things might have turned out differently. These are the “what if’s” that we often think about, the multitude of experimental groups had different decisions been made. This is my scientific lens speaking, of course, because the heart of it remains a story about love, fate, and how we are all connected as Natasha races to extend the limited amount of time–24 hours–she has left in the U.S. It’s a phenomenal read that makes you think and believe that it is possible to fall in love in a single day.

What book do you think is a must read?

Let’s Talk Bookish: What is your posting type?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts:  Everyone blogs differently, how do you do it? Do you schedule posts long before they’re published, how long? Do you write several drafts of a post and edit them, or do you not edit at all? Perhaps you simply write a post and put it up for the world to see immediately? There’s no right or wrong answer!

I really like this question! It’s about time I reflect on how I post and figure out how I might do better.

I’m such a mood everything so it’s only been in the past few months I’ve started to develop some sort of schedule. Memes, such as this one, have helped me with structure and consistency. I try to schedule memes ahead of time–maybe a week or more. I’m also prone to make make last minute changes, such as changing the song I’d like to highlight on “Music Monday” or a book on “First Lines Fridays.”

Book reviews, on the other hand, can be dependent on a few things. For ARCs, I use Notion to keep track of publication dates, using it as a deadline as much as possible. I try to ensure I read and review by that date or before, although this doesn’t always happen. Usually, I read it and then post within a few days–I really need to be better at scheduling these beforehand. Occasionally, I read books that won’t come out until a few months later. When this is the case, the book review can be scheduled months in advance. For instance, I already have a November book review scheduled because I was so excited to receive the approval. For non-ARCs, I read and post as soon as I can. I don’t usually have a set TBR for those, so I don’t usually have these reviews scheduled. Again, maybe something I can improve on as well.

When writing, I usually have a draft or two a post. I run my final draft through through Grammarly because I know I often unintentionally omit words. It’s like that text you thought you sent, but it only happened in your head. I will revise a sentence or add a new one and run the post through Grammarly only to discover my eyes tricked me and the sentence doesn’t look like the one I had in my head.

What is your posting type? Do you have any tips or suggestions? I’d love to know!

Let’s Talk Bookish: What makes a book a 5-star read?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts:  How do you decide whether a book should get 5 stars? Do you try to keep 5 stars rating prestigious, or do you give them generously? Do you have a checklist of things a book must accomplish to be 5 stars? Are 5 star books perfect, or just very good? What are some of your favourite 5 star reads? What made them stand out?

Rather than a checklist, the amount of stars I give a book is often related to the likelihood of me rereading it. The book should speak to me in some way, whether it be through my emotions or connect me with the main character. It’s a combination of phenomenal writing, compelling characters, a satisfying ending, and an overall plot that I enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it might feel nearly perfect to me. As someone who is normally detail-oriented and likes things explained clearly, I apologize. My explanation is completely nebulous. It’s hard to explain. Knowing a book is a 5-star read is a lot like being in love. You just…know. (Hehehe…)

I recently discovered I have two types of 5-star reads.

  • The book I may never be able to read again: The first time was just magnificent. I was speechless. It might have even left me bawling. The first time will always be the best, especially if there was some twist I didn’t see coming. Often, the experience of reading it the first time will never be replicated.
  • The book I will read over and over again: I will read this again in its entirety multiple times. Maybe I started on it again as soon as I finished. It was magnificent.

This is my all-time favorite novel. It embodies everything I love in a medieval fantasy including a strong protagonist, a compelling cast of characters, and an exciting plot that transports to another world. The series is not yet over and subsequent books have not been nearly as good but I’ve stuck with the it. I really want to find out what happens at the end.

I reread this nearly every year.

In Arrow to the Soul, a trained assassin who isn’t supposed to have feelings develops feelings for the person who is trying to capture her. It’s a common enough story but I knew this was a 5-star as soon as I picked it up because Lea Griffith’s writing is superb.

I recently finished another rereading. It’s still on my desk so I can still read my favorite parts again.

Kayley Loring is one of my favorite romance authors. Her books are hilarious. She’s stated in the past that she doesn’t believe the quality of Green is up to par with the rest of her novels. This is my favorite of her novels precisely because it’s a bit different from the rest. It’s not quite as funny but it hit all the feels for me and more.

I’ve already reread it.

This is my latest 5-star read. My review of it won’t be posted until a few weeks from now, but I was completely blown away by it. It was amazing. The experience was moving. I was in tears by the end.

I may never be able to read this book again.

Solomon is phenomenal author who took me back to my high school years. This was the highlight of 2020 for me. I connected with it on an emotional level and it also helped me to be more comfortable with telling people I love romance novels.

I reread it a few months ago.

What makes a book a 5-star read for you? If you have any 5-star reads, I’d love to hear about them!

Let’s Talk Bookish: Best ways to get over reading slumps

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts:   Sometimes you just don’t want to read anymore, how do you get back into it? Do you give yourself a break? Watch booktube or read blogs? Read an old favourite book to reignite that spark? Do you just force yourself through it? Maybe you read a picture book or a graphic novel?

I went through a reading/blogging slump around the beginning of the year and didn’t quite realize it was a slump until I was already deep in it. I was feeling sluggish and nothing in my digital and physical shelves seemed interesting at all. Even new books I was previously excited about couldn’t get me to crack a book open. Self-imposed blogging deadlines didn’t mean too much either. There were a few things that helped.

Read something short. Books can be long, and when part of series, feel even longer, delaying the gratification that comes with completing it. Read something short like a novella so it doesn’t take as much time to reach the ending, and it still provides a sense of accomplishment.

Reread a book. I am a fan of rereading. The nice thing about rereading is that I already know what is going to happen next. I also know that I only reread books I like so there is no surprise about whether I will enjoy it or not.

Blog hop. While I may not want to read a book, there are plenty of people who are reading. Blog hopping can provide an alternative to books. If interest in books is lagging, bloggers can help restart it. If a trusted blogger is reading something new and they loved it, I am much more willing to not only put it on my TBR but also read it.

Take a break. Ride the slump out and let your brain rest. It’s possible that a slump happens because you’ve been reading too much. You can step away from all things bookish or you can just step away from reading but continue to blog or participate in the bookish community like attending author discussions or panels.

Have you ever gone through a reading slump? What strategies do you suggest?