Hey Book Clubs, if You Like a New Spin on Tired Tropes, read these!
I’m actually not a part of book club. In all my years as a reader I’ve never been part of a book club. I don’t really do well with assigned books. For some reason my brain doesn’t work that way. I read avidly growing up, all kinds of books. The moment a teacher put a book in my hand, no matter what it was, and said I had to read it was the moment reading became a chore and I didn’t want to do it. I’m happy to recommend books to your book club though! 😀
– I want to say that the concept of a ‘trope’ is a hard one for me to pin down. I’m not sure why I think that word has a slippery definition, but google did teach me that I’m not the only one. I may call something a trope that someone else would say isn’t, and that’s okay because the unreliable word is to blame.
So, for my top ten this week, please accept a loose definition of the word trope. I’m talking about plots and popular themes that I feel are overused, and the books that bring something new to the table.
links take you to reviews.
#1. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
#2. Feed by Mira Grant
Walking Dead happened. After that Zombies went NUTS. Zombie movies, television, and books popped up all over. All of them, though they differed in some ways, all portrayed the zombie apocalypse the same way. Destitute, barely hanging on to civilization, because of the mindless zombies. Warm Bodies and Feed took the genre and ran with it. With Feed we got a story about how humanity survived and adapted. They thrived despite the Zombies. I’ve yet to read anything like it. Warm Bodies took it one step farther, with a zombie love story. And about healing. It was practically innovative!
#3. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
I haven’t actually read The Love Interest yet, but it was the inspiration for this weeks TTT. I fell in love with the synopsis, and partially it was because we are ALL sick of love triangles. Except, we’re not sick of it when we read the triangle with the two guys falling in love! That is a love triangle I’ve never read. It’s pure brilliance.
#4. The Others by Anne Bishop
#5. Wolfsong by TJ Klune
#6. Static by LA Witt
UF and the Paranormal is all over fiction these days. In the 80’s it was Historical, the 90’s brought the contemporary romance. For the new millenium it’s all about the supernatural beings. We love shifters, vampires, fae… We love them so much that they’ve all started to run together. That’s why I love The Others and Wolfsong. They take the traditional and give it more. The Others makes the shifters act more animal than man, and in Wolfsong the story is so melancholy that it just doesn’t read like a normal UF. Static took a complete shift (pun not intended) by creating gender shifters. You’ll never read anything else like it.
#7. Hudson Valley by Alice Clayton
It seems like there are a lot of romance novels about city girls who fall in love with sexy country/mountain men. I generally stay away from these plots in general, but Hudson Valley adds something irresistible to its story, and it’s comedy. This series is just funny.
Agressive Urban Fantasy Heroine
#8. Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane
It seems like Urban Fantasy is littered with the same type of heroine. She’s always tough, gritty, and smart mouthed. She usually has a big weapon of some type, even if it’s supernatural. In Downside Ghosts, Chess isn’t your typical kick ass heroine. She has power, but she’s a mess. I mean that literally. She’s a drug addict, and she’s got some serious baggage. I know this will sound strange, but the change is nice.
Historical Romance Feminist
#9. Storm and Silence by Robert Thier
One trope I’ve always hated is when the characters in a historical book have modern personalities. Suffragist’s existed, I know. It was the birth of feminism. It has just been written so frequently that it’s become the norm in historical fiction, and that’s annoying. Storm and Silence takes that same movement but gives it quirk, and it’s in a way that’s funny and that makes up for everything.
#10. Last Day of Summer by Steve Kluger
It seems like sporty stories are all the rage these days, particularly romance’s. Last Day of Summer isn’t a romance, but it is about baseball. And it does contain a romance, just not at its core. The spin is that it’s actually the story of a baseball player and the friendship he strikes up with a kid. It’s also one of those stories that’s written in letters, transcriptions, newspaper articles, etc.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
I loved Steve Kluger’s My Most Excellent Year, which is also about baseball, so I’m going to put The Last Day of Summer on my TBR! Have you read My Most Excellent Year?
I haven’t read that one yet. I’m going to have to read it though. I read Almost Like Being in Love and that one was good too, so it seems like he’s just an author I’ll like. (I hope you like Last Days of Summer!)
I haven’t read Wolfsong yet, but I plan to do so this year. Gender shifters sounds very interesting too *marks static on goodreads*
Oh man, I hope you love Wolfsong! It was so beautiful!
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Written in Red would be awesome to read with a book club.
Lauren @ Always Me
I think so too! It’s so nuanced.
The Others is a series that I really must start to read!
I definitely definitely recommend it! 🙂
I was really pleasantly surprised by Warm Bodies – I read it for a Young Adult Services class in library school, and I was anticipating something pretty cheesy, but it’s actually really very good, and definitely not just for teens.
No, not at all. And actually, the author didn’t write it as a YA book. He intended it for the adult crowd. I consider it a crossover though. It has such depth to it.
[…] Birdie@Birdie Bookworm […]
I’m so with you on the definition of ‘trope’. I’ll even confess that even though I went to college and studied English Literature, I had never even heard the term prior to starting my blog and reading posts by other bloggers, haha. All of these titles are actually new to me so I’m very excited to check some of them out, hopefully in the near future 🙂
I keep trying to understand and define ‘trope’ and the more I research and read the more confusing I think it gets!
Warm Bodies is incredible ❤ It totally smashes the traditional zombie trope and actually humanizes the zombies, something I've never known a zombie novel to do before.
I think your definition of trope is the same as mine 🙂 I just class it as themes prevalent in certain genres.
Thanks for the links and your thoughts on each of the books 🙂 My to-read list has suddenly grown 😉
It’s funny because my husband hates Warm Bodies for all the reasons I love it. He’s a traditional zombie story fan, and there’s nothing traditional about Warm Bodies.
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I really want to read Feed. I hear so many good things. Have you read The Girl With All the Gifts? That also makes a good zombie novel if you want something different. Great list!
I just read that not too long ago. The whole fungal aspect was really hard for me to swallow. Only because it was really disgusting! 🙂
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