Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme.
Last week was super busy for me, so I took a few days off from blogging, but I’m excited to be back with a top ten Tuesday post! This week’s theme was “things that make me pick up a book,” and I had so much fun thinking about my favorite themes, tropes, topics, cover styles, and other factors that make me automatically put a title on my TBR!
Here’s my top ten things that make me pick up a book, and a title for each that I’m excited to read!
1. The fake dating trope: I was late to the Lara Jean party, but after reading Jenny Han’s trilogy last year, I’ll read anything involving fake dating!
Upcoming release: Fake It Till You Break It
by Jenn P. Nguyen
Release date: June 18, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.
After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.
The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…”
2. Floral covers: I’m a sucker for florals both on my clothes and on my books!
Upcoming release: This Time Will Be Different
by Misa Sugiura
Release date: June 4, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.
She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.
Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.”
3. A book being even vaguely Buffy-esque: Literally everything about this book is screaming my name.
Upcoming release: The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
Release date: September 17, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.
And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.
Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?
The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”
Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.”
4. Jewish rep: As a culturally Jewish teen, I struggled so much to find books about Jewish people that weren’t just about WWII. Now, as an adult, I’m so excited whenever I find a book with own-voices Jewish rep!
Upcoming release: It’s a Whole Spiel edited by Katherine Locke
Release date: September 17, 2019
Goodreads summary: “A Jewish boy falls in love with a fellow counselor at summer camp. A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend’s family over Shabbat dinner. Two best friends put their friendship to the test over the course of a Friday night. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. Hilarious pranks and disaster ensue at a crush’s Hanukkah party.
From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.”
5. Island settings: I grew up on an island, and love reading books set on islands! And if they’re atmospheric and spooky, all the better.
Upcoming release: Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Release date: July 9, 2019
Goodreads summary: “It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.”
6. F/f romance: Can I just read all the happy queer girl romances for the rest of my life?
Upcoming release: Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Release date: July 11, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.
Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsesssed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.
There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.
Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.”
7. Illustrated covers: This is easily my favorite cover style, and I’m so happy that we’re getting so many cool YA illustrated covers this year!
Upcoming release: The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos
Release date: May 28, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.
Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.”
8. Own-voices LGBTQIA+ rep: I’ll automatically add any book to my TBR if it’s own-voices queer and/or trans rep! This one is the first own-voices YA novel about a nonbinary teen that I’ve h
Upcoming release: I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
Release date: May 14, 2019
Goodreads summary: “When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.”
9. Historical storylines that are diverse (and feminist): My reading world seriously opened up when I discovered that there are in fact, historical novels that aren’t just about straight cis white people. Historical YA has come a long way in recent years in terms of diversity!
Upcoming release: Girls Like Us by Randi Pink
Release date: October 29, 2019
Goodreads summary: “Set in the summer of 1972, this moving YA historical novel is narrated by teen girls from different backgrounds with one thing in common: Each girl is dealing with pregnancy.
Four teenage girls. Four different stories. What they all have in common is that they’re dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
In rural Georgia, Izella is wise beyond her years, but burdened with the responsibility of her older sister, Ola, who has found out she’s pregnant. Their young neighbor, Missippi, is also pregnant, but doesn’t fully understand the extent of her predicament. When her father sends her to Chicago to give birth, she meets the final narrator, Susan, who is white and the daughter of an anti-choice senator.
Randi Pink masterfully weaves four lives into a larger story – as timely as ever – about a woman’s right to choose her future.”
10. Plotlines about food: I will readily admit that eating is one of my biggest hobbies, and I love books about food & cooking, and especially ones that show the role of food in identity & culture!
Upcoming release: Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richard
Release date: June 18, 2019
Goodreads summary: “A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.
Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.”
What makes you pick up a book?