Top 5 Tuesday: Buzzwords that Make Me Want to Read a Book

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Top 5 Tuesday is a meme by the fantastic Bionic Book Worm, and it explores a different bookish topic each week. If you’d like to join in on the fun, check out the Top 5 Tuesday August topics!

There are many descriptors that grab my attention about books, but I thought really hard about the things that shoot a dose of book adrenaline to my heart and make me bypass my Goodreads TBR and head straight to Perhaps they’re not all the buzziest of buzzwords…but they’re my buzzwords :’)

Love/Hate relationships

I will sell my soul for love/hate relationships. They’ve always been my favorite to read/watch/write/etc. I remember being 4 years old and making up a story about a boy and a girl who hated each other and became friends. Passionate hate turned to all-consuming love is MY FAVORITE. Even mild annoyance or an antagonistic nature between two characters, even if they’re friends, is my favorite (i.e. Ron and Hermione). I’m all about that tension, especially when it’s long and drawn out and full of reluctant vulnerability. Summaries that tease love/hate romance catch my attention far more quickly than any other kind of romance.

Recommendations: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Foxhole Court series by Nora Sakavic, Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat., Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan


This doesn’t mean historical fiction, necessarily. A historic setting is enough to get me excited, even if the actual story has little or nothing to do with history. I especially love fantasy worlds based off of historic time periods- Six of Crows’ Ketterdam is a perfect example. And I must admit, setting-wise, I am drawn to 1800s/Victorian England set books the most. But whether they’re all out historical fiction or not, I love books with a historic atmosphere and historic themes, no matter which time or place.

Recs: The Alienist by Caleb Carr, The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Names on a Map by Benjamin Alire Saenz, classics by Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Oscar Wilde, to name a few.

Boarding School/University 

The second I see a book is set at a boarding school or university I am already 85% invested. Give me those snooty, rich teenagers at their all boy boarding school. Give me pretentious, broke college students who attend a red brick university in New England. I love the conventions of the characters we seem to get in these types of settings- jerk students who take part in questionable activities and manage to wrestle their way my heart. I love these kinds of settings and I love the conventions of them. Bonus points if there’s something vaguely paranormal going on. And let’s not forget our fun magical boarding schools. Books that boast these kinds of settings are on my TBR in .5 seconds.

Recs: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, A Great and Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.


I love settings and characters and plots that are dreary and misty and moody. Chilly and cloudy and autumnal. Full of richly colored nature and rustling leaves. Perfect descriptions of silence. Shadowy streets and lamp posts in the fog. Something’s haunted or seems haunted. Probably set somewhere north. Could be in a city, could be in the middle of nowhere, I’m not picky as long as it’s spooky. Bonus: a good dark cover.

Recs: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Greek Mythology retelling/theme

I love Greek mythology and I love retellings of them of any kind, whether they’re set in ancient times, modern times, or anywhere in between. If it’s not a retelling, mythological themes are more than enough to pull me in. And while Greek mythology is my favorite, I love venturing into other mythologies as well. Mythology is just so much fun.

Recs: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, An Arrow’s Flight by Mark Merlis, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.

Do you know how hard it was for me not to list The Secret History, The Raven Cycle, and even Harry Potter in nearly every category? It is truly no wonder they are some of my favorite books. It was hard to not overlap most of these books!

Do any of my buzzwords peak your interest? What are some buzzwords that catch your eye?


32 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Buzzwords that Make Me Want to Read a Book

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Buzzwords that make me WANT to read a book! – Bionic Book Worm

  2. OMG this list is so good, shockingly I agree with all of these!!! I very nearly put academia and Greek mythology on my own list, but I decided to save mythology for the retellings prompt in a few weeks.

    I’ve had The Foxhole Court recommended to me a few times but I can’t decide if I would like it since I’m really not into sports??? Hmm. But I loooove hate-to-love relationships so that is tempting.

    I also LOVE Ketterdam ahhhh it is such a great setting – I started reading Crooked Kingdom btw!


    • Haha this was probably one of my favorite Top 5s to make! Academia is such a fantastic one, and it’s funny because I’ve never been a “school” person, like I love to walk through campuses and see fancy intellectual buildings, but actual class and schoolwork- nah. But I love how these kind of books don’t focus so much on that aspect of school and instead tend to hyperfocus on a subject, like The Secret History.

      The Foxhole Court! Okay…first of all you don’t have to be into sports to enjoy them. I’m really not into sports at all, and to read a sport sounds awful, but somehow the author weaves the sport into the plot so well I really enjoyed reading the sport action. Also, the sport in this book is made up by the author, which gives it a bit more creative leeway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OOPS didn’t mean to send that before I finished! Anyway, The Foxhole Court also has a crazy weird mafia plot, and honestly I can’t even find another series to compare it to, but their strength is characters. Like, it’s full of super terrible, unlikable, outrageously wild characters but as you read the books they start grow on you. To put it bluntly these books are crazy and the plot is a bit messy, and they’re self published and I do think they could use the eye of an editor, but it’s super strong on character and character relationships. The main romance is like none I’ve read before, and such good love/hate. Also, just a warning, they’re pretty violent and dark. Hope that helps!!

      YAY! How do you like it so far??

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am the exact same with school omg, like I love the aesthetic of academia so much more than academia itself??? I was always a good student, I guess, but by the time I graduated college I was just DONE. Like the idea of grad school simultaneously seems like torture but also tempting just to be in that environment again. Me/school is a very complicated relationship. Basically I want to read about it more than I want to be in it.

        That’s super helpful re: Foxhole Court, I think I’ll give them a try at some point! I love unlikeable characters who eventually grow on you. But OMG I did not realize those books were self-published, that is insane that they are as popular as they are!! Violent and dark sounds good to me, haha. And that’s good to know you don’t need to be a sports fanatic to enjoy them, that was my main concern.

        Re: Crooked Kingdom I’m only about 20% in but I’m LOVING it. As I expected, I was able to get into it so much quicker than SoC because I was already familiar with the characters. And I am LOVING Wylan’s POV omg.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol yes I love the aesthetic and the romanticized version of academia, not staying up till 2 am writing an essay I saved till the last minute and sitting through a 2 hour class lol. I am the same about grad school! It’s also why when people suggest online grad school I’m like….that’s such a waste of physical experience! Sitting on my computer at home is not the intellectual environment I seek for my schooling lol, even if it is cheaper. And even when I am in school I have no desire to physically go to class, lol. I just want to sit in a fancy library and pretend the essay I’m writing is super intellectual.

        About the self publishing: I know, right?? It’s crazy! And all three books cost like $1.99 on amazon. I think the first two are free and the last one costs the two bucks. This woman could be making serious money. But they’re so intriguing, and honestly the reason it caught my eye was because the main romance is lgbt love/hate and it did not disappoint on that front. And even though the plot is erratic at times, they’re very well written.

        OMG Wylan’s POV is one of my very favorite things about CK, I loved his voice and learning more of his story. He’s my favorite character anyway, so when I turned the page saw his name heading a chapter I got so excited hahah.

        Liked by 1 person

      • oh my god those last minute essays KILLED ME. Why did I always leave them for the last minute?????? Why do I hate myself????? And omg the 2 hour long classes I could not handle those. My attention span is good for like…. fifteen minute increments.

        Hahahah I think the solution for us may be to write our blog posts in the fanciest library we can find so we can feel like we are doing something very Important and Intellectually Rigorous with our time.

        I guess I get the appeal of self-publishing, but that’s not a route that I would ever personally go down. Mainly because if I ever put the effort into writing and publishing a novel, I want to walk into Barnes & Noble and see it on the shelf, let’s be real. But also just, all the self promotion you have to do when you self-pub!!! I know getting an agent and getting published traditionally isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but still……..

        Ahhhhhh I love Wylan so much, at this point I’d say my order is 1. Kaz (duh) 2. Inej 3. Wylan 4. Nina 5. Jesper though I feel bad having him so low 😦 and 6. Matthias like a mile further down than everyone else, not because I hate him but I just find him the most boring??

        Liked by 2 people

      • I know!! I’d always be like “I won’t wait till the last minute with the next essay” and I ALWAYS WOULD. The only time I did an essay early was because I read the due date wrong and finished it a week early. I told myself I’d take that extra week to revise and make it perfect, but did I? Lol no.

        I would love to blog in a fancy library hahaha. I’d feel the Most Bookish doing that, maybe with a copy of A Little Life next to me even if I’m not reading it.

        I don’t think I’d have the stamina to self-publish, and I know that getting it published by a company is a lot of work to, but…YES I’d want it on a shelf. I have no idea how her books got so big, she must have taken it to tumblr because it’s huge there, and it’s a very tumblr-friendly book, content wise.

        Omg I thought i was the only one who wasn’t crazy about Matthias ahhhh haha. I FEEL THE SAME WAY THOUGH. I like him, but I definitely find him the most boring. Like I was never really stoked to read his povs. And then everyone else is like…so farther ahead of him in my favorites list. I think I’d say my order is 1. Wylan 2. Inej 3. Jesper 4. Kaz 5. Nina……………….6. Matthias. But Jesper and Kaz are such a toss up idk idk idk. They’re so different. I may just be the tiniest bit biased toward Jesper because I love his and Wylan’s relationship and Wylan is my fave, lol. But I love how painful Inej and Kaz are hahah.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha oh my god that was literally me, I am a chronic procrastinator so all my essays got written at 2 am the morning before they were due and I would ALWAYS tell myself that next time would be different by then……… nope!!! Somehow I managed to avoid doing all-nighters though, I wasn’t nearly that committed. If writing a shit essay was the price of a few hours of sleep, so be it.

        I would totally carry around a copy of ALL for the #aesthetic but then I also feel like I’d randomly glance at it and burst into tears, so that could be a slippery slope.

        My friends who’ve recommended TFC to me are from tumblr so that would make sense!! But yeah it’s just like… publishing either way is going to be SO MUCH WORK and there just isn’t half as much payoff for self-publishing imo.

        OMG have I not ranted to you about how boring I find Matthias yet???? The whole time I was reading SoC I was messaging Chelsea and Hadeer like ‘WHY IS MATTHIAS A THING HE NEEDS TO GO AWAY.’ He’s just so….. tropey??? And his character arc is so basic??? Like ‘prejudiced guy learns to be a good person’ wow congrats… good job buddy but I Don’t Care. So then by extension I don’t like Nina as much as I would ordinarily because so much of her narrative is about him!!! In SoC she was further down for me, but then that Thing she does at the end of the book ahhhhh it was amazing I love her. But she can do better than Matthias. HE IS SO BORING UGH I’m actually in the middle of a Matthias chapter right now and I’m so bored, trying to push through because Kaz is next and he hasn’t had a POV chapter yet ahhhh but oh my GOD getting through Matthias’ whining is testing me. Like I don’t even HATE HIM and he is clearly a good person etc etc but I just….. don’t care!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol I always managed to avoid all-nighters too, and since I’m not a coffee drinker I was never one of those people who survived on caffeine (or energy drinks). That romanticized aspect of school does not appeal to me at all hahah.

        I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID ABOUT MATTHIAS. Like I would read everyone else’s povs like a hungry animal and then it would switch to Matthias and I would just be like…….why. And especially with Nina, it’s SUCH a shame how he made a dent in my interest in her, because she’s awesome and funny and I love her interactions with everyone else, but a Nina POV usually means Matthias screentime and even she could not liven him up for me. I did not care for their romance at all, it just felt so…standard compared to the other two pairs. Nina’s so sassy but Matthias’ personality mutes them somehow. And idk I just am not a fan of romance that is too outwardly passionate, haha. But honestly I’m like NINA HOW DOES HE HOLD YOUR ATTENTION. But yeah I don’t hate him because he’s not hateable, he just doesn’t interest me and he’s the most predictable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omg ditto not being a coffee drinker! I didn’t even start drinking caffeinated tea until the very end of college. How did I survive????

        I’m so glad you feel the same way about Matthias – he seems like a character that the fandom must love so I was a little afraid when he just wasn’t Doing It For Me but so far you and Chelsea and Hadeer all agree so PHEW!!!! I should have trusted you guys to have good taste though ahahaha. Ugh in theory Nina/Matthias is a pairing I should love because it’s hate-to-love but I can’t get over how much better she could do. I loooovee her friendship with Inej though and her interactions with the others. She’s so great so I feel bad that Matthias drags her down for me 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have never seen anyone else complain about Matthias so I thought I held an extremely minority opinion, so it’s very nice to vent about the lack of spark he had hahah. But for real, if Matthias had a different personality I think i’d have loved the dynamic between him and Nina and the situation they were put in in SoC, but their romance has 0 spark for me. I think when a male character is too…”I’m a good guy” proud, or overtly masculine in a romance I get super eye roll-y. I much prefer Kaz’s “I know I’m a jerk but you can’t do anything about it” pride, lol.

        And YES I love Nina and Inej’s friendship, I love their girl bond amongst all these guys and the little jokes they share. I also love all of them individually with Inej in particular, I feel like she has a way of tempering them all down, and her interactions with everyone can be very sweet. I love the way she and Jesper interact. Leigh Bardugo is so good at giving them all small, realistic inside jokes with one another that make their friendships feel so authentic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ahhhhh this is making me want to dive back into CK, I didn’t read any yesterday because I’m trying to finish another book, but I really want to finish CK so you guys don’t have to dance around spoilers while talking to me ahahah.

        Oh my god I can NOT deal with ~chivalrous~ male characters especially when the female characters around them are PERFECTLY CAPABLE. Matthias just tries to be TOO GENTLEMANLY it drives me crazy!!!! I literally cannot stand that in a romance. Like great you’re a Nice Guy but you are still boring as all hell and Nina can do just fine on her own GO AWAY. Meanwhile I am such a sucker for the Kaz/Inej dynamic, where he worries about her in spite of himself but he puts her in dangerous situations because he knows she can handle it. And I have such a weakness for the asshole with a tragic past trope in general.

        The friendship between all of them is just so believable!!! It is such a well written group dynamic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Chivalrous males literally take away all semblance of interest I have in a romance, which is probably the reason ~conventional~ romance doesn’t appeal to me. I love my romances to have at least one self-loathing jerk, lol. So yes to the asshole with a tragic past. I love Kaz and Inej SO MUCH, they have such a fantastic dynamic. I can’t wait till you read more hahahah.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. UGH The Boarding School/University setting is my favorite. I can’t tell you how long I begged my parents to let me go to boarding school after reading Harry Potter. That and the love/hate relationship might be my favorite things in books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahah! If only actual boarding school was like Hogwarts! I think I also love that boarding school settings do away with parental characters and give the young characters more leeway in their adventures, lol. Love/hate is the best….I’m pretty sure all of my OTPs start out hating each other, lol.


  4. So many good buzz words! I just made a post today about how much I love love/hate relationships!

    I adore books as well as tv shows and movies set in boarding schools! I don’t know what it is about it that is so interesting to read! I love that you gave recommendations as well. My poor TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know right?? I never even loved going to school or anything, but I just love super academic atmospheres in books! I think they’re also a great excuse to do away with parental characters so that the kids can have more leeway in their adventures, lol. And all the books I recommended I love dearly, so if you read them I hope you like them! And hopefully they don’t make your TBR too full hahah.


  5. Oooh this is SUCH a great list and I pretty much agree with all of them! I don’t think I’d even realized how many relationships I like fall into the love/hate category. I’ve also been recc’ed Foxhole Court and was a little hesitant because I’m not into sports, but also because my local library only has them as ebooks and I don’t have an ereader so I would have to buy copies and I don’t know that I’d enjoy them enough to justify buying the series.

    Ha I’m pretty close on the historic – anything set in the Georgian late 1700’s, early 1800s I’m instantly more interested in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!! I think most of my favorite romances are love/hate…though I am also a fan of best friend romance from time to time. My favorite is probably hate -> best friends who still annoy each other but get along super well -> romance. Which is probably why I love pairs like Adam and Ronan so much, haha.

      I wouldn’t say you need to be into sports to enjoy The Foxhole Court because they’re so character driven (I don’t care for sports at all and never got bored), but I definitely don’t know if it’s worth it to buy them in hardcopy, simply because the e-versions are only like two dollars on Amazon, anyway (also, the covers aren’t….nice enough to own imo lol).


      • Btw I would feel funny jumping in, but I do enjoy reading you and Rachel’s conversations in the comics! I’m also a chronic procrastinator and got worse when I went to grad school, leaving myself just enough time to complete an essay before a deadline. To be fair I do tend to point form in sentences and I always had detailed outlines, but the biblio and actual structuring of the essay was always the night before. I do drink coffee, in limited amounts (one cup a day and it’s more of a workday habit than a fix, I don’t drink it on weekends) but I actually found that I drink pop/soda so seldom that a glass of that and some salty chips or candies kept me awake through last minute essays more than coffee!

        I’m definitely the same, there needs to be a progression. Hatred -> Grudging Respect -> Genuine Affection -> Love is the ideal for me and does seem to fit Captive Prince, Ronan & Adam, and although it’s really only subtext and shipping and they don’t actually end up together, the characters in C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy, who are all favourites of mine.

        Ugh once again the lack of an eReader lets me down! I’d be tempted, but basically everyone who recommended eReaders mentioned the Kindle which isn’t compatible with the library system in Canada so there would be basically no point for me, or a tablet so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What is it about most of us that we can’t help but procrastinate??? Hahaha. I could at least get myself to plan beforehand sometimes (not always), but there’s just something about the actual writing that so difficult getting started on. This is probably worse than coffee, but I used sugary snacks to keep me up sometimes…I’m glad I don’t have to live that lifestyle anymore!! Lol.

        Ahhh yes, I love the grudging respect stage of love/hate! And even if they secretly like each other while they’re hating each other, I still need that friendship stage….ships that go from hate straight to relationship always seem to jump the gun.

        Canadian libraries need to get on the Kindle compatibility!! It can’t be too difficult- I wonder if there are copyright laws standing in the way, or something like that.


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  8. Lol at your boarding school comment 🙂 I went to boarding school for most of my childhood and adolescent years (grade 3-12). I often wonder if I would put my own kids in boarding school too. I had a good experience, but not every kid in my school did, so I can understand that can be difficult. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Interestingly I just wrote a post about my experience in boarding school 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually never really considered if I’d have liked boarding school myself (I went to public school), but I love the atmosphere people tend to write them with! School is never quite as romantic in real life as it can seem in books. Thanks for your comment!!


  9. “…dreary and misty and moody. Chilly and cloudy and autumnal. Full of richly colored nature and rustling leaves. Perfect descriptions of silence. Shadowy streets and lamp posts in the fog.” – I mean, that alone right there is perfection to me! haha

    Liked by 1 person

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