Top Ten Tuesday: Ten hooks and phrases that will make me foam at the mouth over a book

top ten tuesday                loves

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And an example book for each!      

c.j.'s selections                         ten ten ten


I'm such trash for this trope. The snarky banter! The sass! The subtle changes as people see past their initial impressions. Bonus points if it's hate-to-friendship-to-love. 

Carnivals, circuses, and other oddities 

I love the bizarre and the fantastic, especially when there's magic or unspeakable horrors involved, because carnivals and circuses are places of both wonder and eerieness. 

I. Love. Fairy tales. I grew up compulsively reading Grimm's Fairy Tales (the original, f*cked up ones), Chinese fairy tales, Russian and Middle Eastern fairy tales. And also re-reading things ad nauseum, so getting to revisit the same content in a fun new way is perfect. 

Elemental magic 

Considering this is the subject of the WIP I've been rewriting for the last...embarrassing number of years, I'm pretty obsessed with it. Give me your fire, air, earth, and water! Your metal and stone! 


Dark comedy. Dark mystery. Anything twisted and a little f*cked up, I'm here for. Not so much like Gone Girl, but more like if Amy from Gone Girl wrote a book. I'm not sure what that says about me as a person. 

Mental illness 

They say don't take your work home with you, but I feel like, when you're a psychologist, your work is also your life and vice versa. So I pretty much have to read every book about MI, either to revel in its awesomeness or so I can nitpick the hell out of it. 
King Arthur and co. 

Another one on the list of things that C.J. has been obsessed with for a really long time. It can even be fluffy and silly like Avalon High; I'm here for it. Subsumed under this is a general fascination with Welsh and Celtic lore. 
Serial killers 

Yeah, okay, I think I know what this says about me. Psychopaths, serial killers, murderers. I guess when your primary area of research is psychopathy and aggression, you have to be a little twisted... 
Multiverses and alternate realities 

I'm not sure if it's a profound fear of death or just academic interest, but I love the idea of worlds layered on top of each other, people traveling between worlds with blood or magic or subtle knives, alternate Earths with sexy talking clocks. 

I don't overly go for the fluffy and the sweet (with exceptions for the Ganseys and Secret of a Heart Note-s). I like my heroes dark, messed up, edgy, and maybe a little bit on the antisocial side--but obviously with a secret softness. Sometimes very secret. 

Your turn!  What phrases or tropes are a guaranteed win for you? Or at least a strong second glance. 


  1. Love your list and every book on it. Snarky banter and sass always win with me as well.
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. Yes to all of these! I love books with morally gray characters (they're so interesting to read about), and books with hate-to-love romances are always awesome too. :) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3