My Bookish Exceptions

We all have themes, tropes, or little quibbles that we don’t like in fiction but sometimes there are exceptions, and those are the books I am going to talk about in today’s post!

Time Travel

I don’t know what it is about time travel stories that I just don’t click with! It is just not the kind of SciFi that I am drawn to. I think that these types of stories can become repetitive quite quickly. Maybe I just don’t like the so-called established rules of time travel and I often struggle with the fact that if you can’t go back in time and change the past, then what is the point? I think time travel can be a little too philosophical for my taste; however, there is one time travel novel that is an exception for me.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold explores the questions I have about why someone would go back in time if there is nothing they can do to change the future. It does so in a way that was deeply emotional, believable, and human. This is not a story about epic adventures but one about love and relationships. It was really beautiful and I appreciated the way that time travel was used as a way to talk about human connection.

Quest Stories

I want to be someone who enjoys a good quest story but I find them tedious! There is something so uninteresting to me about following a character on a journey. That is probably why I am also not a fan of road trip novels, though I don’t think I even have an exception in that case. I have yet to come across a road trip novel that I love!

I always say that T. Kingfisher is my exception to what I think I like. A lot of her books are what I would consider quest novels but I absolutely adore them. I think it is the quirkiness that she adds to her stories that make them hit in a different way. Her characters are so endearing that I will read about them doing just about anything! Minor Mage

Survival Thriller

I am not a fan of thrillers where we know who the bad guy is from the beginning and we are just following a character trying to survive. Again, I find it tedious and I quickly lose steam. I am realizing that a lot of my preferences come down to the fact that I am more of a character-driven reader than a plot one!

Don’t Look For Me is the one survival story that worked for me and I think a lot of that comes down to the flashbacks that we get and that we also see glimpses of her daughter’s perspective. The relationships were important in this case, so I didn’t feel bogged down by the survival aspects of it.

Beauty and the Beast Retellings

Beauty and the Beast will always be my favourite Disney movie, but I really struggle with retellings of the original tale. The problematic elements of the relationship becoming glaringly obvious and I just can’t get behind them!

Bryony and Roses is the only Beauty and the Beast retelling I have ever loved! T. Kingfisher addressed a lot of the problems that I have with the romance and the book felt self-aware. I also loved the whimsical touches she added!

Groundhog Day Trope

I think that the Groundhog Day trope is one of my least favourite tropes because of its repetitive nature! I find it tedious to read about the same day over and over again even if there are slight changes. I want to love this trope because a lot of the tropes that have it sound interesting but I have been burned by it one too many times!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is my one exception because it was executed perfectly and in such a unique way! Our main character starts the same day over and over again but always in the body of a different person, so it keeps it feeling fresh. I loved the twists and turns this book took and I am in awe of Stuart Turton’s mind!


I have made my dislike of fairies known at this point! I want to love them because so many popular books have fairies and I feel like I am missing out on the conversations, but I think I prefer more cinnamon roll heroes and that is just not the nature of fairies.

I loved the scholarly take that we get in Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries! These are the kind of fairy stories that I love. If you have read this and you know of anything similar please let me know!

Epic SciFi

I have been dipping my toes into epic fantasy lastly but something about epic SciFi terrifies me! I tender to prefer quieter SciFi, especially if it is set in space.

Unconquerable Sun took me by complete surprise and I think a lot of that comes down to Kate Elliott’s writing and the way she is able to create memorable characters who you can root for even amongst all of the chaos and political maneuvering. There is something special about that!

Long Horror

Something I learned during the 72 hours in the haunted house readathon is that I prefer my horror to be under 300 pages! I think that a more concise format just hits better for me. Longer horror novels can become tedious and the scare factor is often lost for me by the end.

Plain Bad Heroines is a divisive book and I probably shouldn’t have loved it as much as I did when you consider it is over 600 pages. I think the characters shone for me and there were so many layers to the story that the horror elements weren’t the only thing keeping me reading and that a large number of pages was justified.

Books Set in Hospitals

I am open to reading books set in most places but there is something about a hospital setting that doesn’t appeal to me. This is true for all forms of media!

I think the historical element of The Pull of the Stars is what makes it an exception for me! It is set in 1918 at a maternity ward in Dublin. The Spanish Flu was happening at this time and we see how that affected everyone in the ward. This is very much a character-driven novel and I adored it!

Books About Social Media

In theory, I should love books about social media and I keep trying them, but they never feel accurate to me! I recognize both the positive and negative sides of social media, but most of the books I have read lean into the negative.

The Subtweet definitely focuses on the toxic side of social media but does so in such a nuanced way. It highlights how the world likes to pit women against one another and how that is amplified online.

Love Triangles

My problem with a lot of love triangles is that it is often obvious who the author wants us to root for, which takes out some of the fun of the entire thing!

The love triangle in Daughter of the Moon Goddess is an exception for me because I was invested in both relationships and understood why our main character who be attracted to both of the love interests. There was something so refreshing about that!

Domestic Thrillers

I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a fan of domestic thrillers and I do not see myself picking up any in the near future, though I do understand the appeal. I think I am tired of a lot of the tropes that are used and find many of them to be predictable.

There is a twist in I Let You Go that floored me! I have been chasing a similar reading experience ever since and I think that is why it took me so long to give up on domestic thrillers.

What are your bookish exceptions? Do you have any books that fit into these categories that you think I might like?

YouTube Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

25 thoughts on “My Bookish Exceptions

  1. This is such a fun topic! I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know I’ve read some books like this too, that I shouldn’t have liked based on my typical preferences. Sometimes they wind up being the best reads!

  2. This is a fun topic! I love that T. Kingfisher is an exception to two of your categories here. 😉 I personally am a fan of Groundhog Day style stories, but I’m just now realizing that I haven’t actually read many of them. I should fix that.

    I can totally see why “long horror” is a type of book you don’t usually like. I’ve only read a handful of horror books (because I am a wimp) but the ones I’ve liked best are shorter ones.

    1. T. Kingfisher is always my exception! I just finished an ARC of A House With Good Bones this morning and loved it, of course.

      I am a wimp with horror too! But I’m starting to embrace and that’s probably part of why shorter is better for me 😂

  3. Great post, these are themes that I definitely avoid myself when it comes to selecting books but I guess you never know, you may end up enjoying a book although the theme is not something you typically like. PS. The social media book seems interesting. I will check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love this topic! There are so many books I’ve been considering reading for a while now–it’s good to know that they’re the exception to your general-dislike rule. I’m glad you enjoyed these!

      1. Oh my Maker you have got to read The Christmas Wish by Lindsey Kelk. It’s Groundhogs Day Set on Christmas Day in England and it is LOL Out Loud hysterical.

        Also, I just read Of Love and Forge. There is some Time Travel and it makes sense. I original have the book a 3.5 but then changed it to a 4.

  5. I have a really hard time getting into books that center on modern dystopian, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic worlds. Most times, I won’t even pick them up. The topic is depressing, and, in my opinion, not too far (or far enough away) from reality. I do have a recommendation for you on a book that involves a road trip/quest though. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. Sooooooo good.

  6. This a fantastic post and most of these don’t work for me either. Time travel, Sci-fi and love triangles are a strict no-no. I could make do with retellings.

Leave a Reply