Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Interested in a Book

Posted April 18, 2017 by Madalyn || 16 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is the top ten things that make us instantly want to pick up a book. I thought this was such a fun topic, and one that I hadn’t really thought about previously. Without further ado… here are some tropes, premises, and general attention-grabbing things that make me interested in a given book!

madalyn’s top ten

F/F Romance!

This is one thing that pretty much guarantees I’ll pick up a book, no matter what genre it is. There is so little queer girl rep in YA that I’ll devour every page that’s available to me. It’s just nice to see myself and my sexuality represented in the books I read, ya know?

Interesting magic systems!

This is a bit of a vague one, but I’m a sucker for magic systems that are completely unique. Sure, I love a good fantasy that features elemental magic, but that’s been done so many times before. My favorite magic systems are completely original. Examples: Mistborn, Warbreaker… basically, all of Brandon Sanderson’s books.

Historical fiction with paranormal or magical elements!

Historical fiction is my favorite genre in general, but my favorite historical fiction stories incorporate some type of fantastical or paranormal elements. I think it puts an interesting spin on the history we all know and love. The best examples of this, in my opinion, are Libba Bray’s books– both the Gemma Doyle Trilogy and the Diviners series have a bit of an urban fantasy/paranormal spin to them that makes them all the more delightful.

YA contemporaries set in the South!

As someone who grew up in the Southern US, I know how unique of a place it is. Southern life really is quite different from the rest of the country; there are so many quirks, and so many interesting juxtapositions. It’s a really distinct culture. I wish there was more YA set in the South that accurately portrayed what teenage life here was like! I think Jeff Zentner and Jaye Robin Brown both show this really well in their novels.

#OwnVoices representation!

If I know a book is #ownvoices (for those unfamiliar, this simply means that the author of the book shares the main character’s marginalizations), it makes me a million times more eager to pick it up. I try to read diversely in general, but reading #ownvoices is especially important because it lends the story and the characters’ experiences an authenticity that other diverse books can’t replicate, despite authors’ good intentions.

Boarding school settings!

Enough said. BOARDING SCHOOL SETTINGS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST, OKAY???

Floral covers and covers with interesting typography!

I’m not normally a cover-buyer, but if a book cover features pretty typography and/or eye-catching florals, I’m going to be more intrigued to check it out. Those are definitely my design weaknesses.

Retellings of classics!

I know everyone loves fairytale retellings, but even more than that, I love retellings of classic novels (especially Jane Austen books!).

Pen pal romances!

This is one of my favorite romance tropes. Whether it’s through letters, emails, texts, or any other form of written communication, I just adore books where the main characters fall in love through writing to one another.

Music, music, music!

I mean, this likely comes as a surprise to no one. I grew up singing in choir, doing musical theatre productions, and doing classical solo singing. I’m currently in college studying to become a music educator. So, any book that involves music (especially choir or musical theater) is an auto-buy for me!


There you have it– the top ten things that instantly make me want to read a book! What are some tropes or elements that make you more likely to check out a certain book?

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Madalyn

Madalyn is a 20-something music student and lifelong lover of reading. When she's not reading or singing, you're likely to find her drinking coffee, traveling, or buying more lipstick than one person could possibly need.
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  • I am so mad I forgot pen pal romances!! LOVE them. Southern settings always get me too. Great list 🙂

  • Pen pal romances are a recent favorite of mine. I should’ve added it on my top ten! And I also love retellings of classics. Probably even more than any other retellings. 🙂

  • Chrystal M

    Interesting magic systems is pretty cool. I love books with magic! And music! Yes. This is an awesome choice. I love books that pair music or mention music in the story.

  • Omg soooo many of these are true for me too! Boarding school, pen pals, floral covers, and historical fiction with paranormal or fantasy elements. Gemma Doyle <3

    • Yessss! <3 That series checks off so many boxes on my "favorites" checklist, haha.

  • Oh, music, yes — how did I forget to put this on my list? Historical fiction with magic/paranormal elements and interesting magic systems will also get my attention. And I’m beginning to try to read more diversely and pay attention to #ownvoices.

  • I agree with all of these! Well, except for maybe the south thing. I do like books in the south, but if I hear one takes place in the south, it doesn’t make me want to read it any more than I did before (does that make sense?). Boarding school settings are my absolute favorite though! I’ve always wanted to go to a boarding school, so reading about characters who did is kind of like being at one? Haha.

    • Oh, that totally makes sense! Ugh, I LOVE boarding school settings for much of the same reason. Especially if they’re fine arts boarding schools!

  • Gahhh some of the things that make me go YES I WANT THIS… LGBTQIAP+ main characters (+ maybe romance but not required). Male POV because I adoooore that. Neither are really tropes, I think??? But oh well. OH and friendship/family focused books. I LOVE those.

    • Yes! LGBTQIAPD+ main characters will almost always draw my attention. Male POV is a good one! I definitely don’t read enough of those. I loooove books that involve familial relationships or awesome friend groups, too!

  • You have such great choices here!! I mentioned on my TTT that pretty covers are a huge weakness of mine and that is especially true for covers with really nice typography! I love those kinds of designs. #ownvoices representation is another one that I probably should’ve added to my list. It’s such a great opportunity to either see yourself represented pretty authentically (although obviously not 100%) or to genuinely learn about what it’s like to live with a marginalization. Either way, it’s a win-win!

    • Thank you!! Oh, man, typography always gets me. #OwnVoices representation is so important for all of the reasons you mentioned! 🙂