My Bookish Nope-Words

Hi guys! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! In yesterday’s post I told you about some of my bookish buzz-words, the words that me want to read a certain book. Today’s post is the flipside of that: bookish nope-words, which are (obviously) the words that fill our souls with nope when we see them on the back of a book.

1. Male Protagonist (In YA)

28145767.jpgI’ve always been more drawn to female protagonists in general, but I’ll read a literary fiction or SFF book with a male protagonist if it sounds really interesting. But when it comes to YA, I very rarely make an exception. I spent enough time around teenage boys when I was a teenager, I’ve no interest in being stuck in one’s head 350 pages now.

The exception that proves the rule: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor


2. Urban Fantasy

35397049.jpgUrban Fantasy is a genre I haven’t quite figured out yet, but my impressions are that there’s often some kind of mystery (which reminds me that ‘Detective’ should be another word on this list), a steamy romance and a ridiculous amount of books in a series. I have commitment issues, guys, I can’t read a 15-book series.

The exception that proves the rule: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

3. Assassins and Thieves

10790290Since I’m a big fan of anti-heroes and other morally grey characters, you’d think I’d love reading about assassins, thieves and other criminals, but for some reason I just don’t. I’ve read a few and feel they all follow one of two plot-lines, either there’s a classic heist or the assasin/thief gets set up, then drawn into a bigger conspiracy. There’s nothing wrong with either of those plots, they’re just not my favorites – so I usually stay clear of books about criminals.

The exception that proves the rule: Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan


4. Dystopians

3707792.jpgI don’t think I’m the only one who’s not so keen on dystopians in 2018, but if I’m being honest I wasn’t that keen in 2012 either. And if I’m being even more honest, my objections are purely aesthetic. There’s just nothing about your typical dystopain setting that appeals to me, it’s too bleak, too grey and to dreary. What can I say? I don’t find reading about rubble very interesting.

The exception that proves the rule: Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (It’s still the end of the world, but at least it’s green)


5. Gothic

259035.jpgI think I shy away from books with the word Gothic on the cover for a lot of the same reasons I shy away from dystopians. I immediately picture something bleak and dreary: a gloomy isolated mansion, hidden passageways, stormy nights and creepy servants.

The exception that proves the rule: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

6. War

893136.jpgThis only goes for books set in our world and it’s gotten to the point where I almost avoid any historical fiction, cause nine out of ten times it will be set in Europe during WWI or WWII. It’s not that I mind reading about those era’s, I don’t. It’s just that they’re so over represented in comparison to other time-periods and locations and I feel like I’ve read the same story too many times before.

The exception that proves the rule: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak



So to wrap things up: boys are gross and rubble is boring. Do you have any bookish nope-words? Ar any of them the same as mine? What’s a book you weren’t expecting to like, but ended up loving? Let me know in the comments!

42 thoughts on “My Bookish Nope-Words

  1. I agree about male main characters in YA, I’m less likely to reach for male PoVs unless I already know the author. And we have the same problems with dystopians! I believe writers should show the beautiful and weird parts of the world too, and dystopians rarely do that. They’re only interesting when the setting stands out (I like dystopian societies a lot more if they’re set in space or in a really weird world).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Most of the dystopians I’ve read needed a lot more complexity and diversity in their world-building, they feel too one -dimensional and honestly, nonsensical. Not to mention the fact that they all seem to forget the US isn’t the only country in the world. I’m definitley hear for the super weird ones though!

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  2. I’ve never really been a fan of dystopians either and detectives would definitely be on my list of nope words! I am on the look out for an urban fantasy that is not a series of have a love plot because I think the idea has potential…. I just haven’t found a good one yet haha

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  3. I’m starting to get tired of Urban Fantasy. Either the book has so many love triangles that it feels like a Twilight ripoff, or it has so much romance in general that it feels like a romance novel with a side story of some monster-fighting. But I have read a few good ones.

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      1. I do enjoy reading the Freya Snow series. It does have romance, but the cast of characters throughout the whole series is very unique. Some have autism, are deaf, are wheelchair-bound, or have other qualities about them that make them unique. The series is going to end off at 13 books I think, but they are short enough that you could get through 2-3 in one day without feeling too tired. The first book, Hunt, is free on Amazon!

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  4. I’m definitely with you on dystopian. There have been some exceptions that I have actually enjoyed but… THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY OF THEM!! I really just don’t care after it’s been shoved down my throat for years now. I’m beginning to feel this way about nay books with “Woman” or “Girl” in the title too… I look at them and think…. Naw. That’s ok. I’m good.

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    1. I agree, there are definitley exceptions. But in general I feel like they put no effort into creating original worlds and plots, so I just can’t be bothered. If one sounds really unique, I’ll totally give it a chance 🙂 Haha, I feel you there! For some reason I’m especially put off when it’s a thriller? It just feel like it’s trying to be the next Gone Girl or something.

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  5. Fantasy is a nope word for me. I’ve read a few and enjoyed them, but I prefer contemporaries. I feel scandalous saying that because so many people love fantasy

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    1. Ohh yes, that is quite scandalous! I do love fantasy, but I love a good contemporary as well. That’s the lovely thing about the bookish community, we might have different tastes, but we all have our love for stories in common 😊

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  6. I have been so hesitant when it comes to reading Strange the Dreamer because I was really let down by Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I couldn’t even get myself to finish it. Yet I hear such great things about all of her books that it makes me wonder if I should give them another go.

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    1. Strange the Dreamer and DoSaB are very different books and I’ve a few people say they loved Strange the Dreamer, even though they disliked DoSaB, so maybe you’ll enjoy it too if you give it a chance 🙂

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    1. That’s one of the things I love about the bookish community, we all love reading different things, but we all have our love for books and stories in common 😊 I look forward to hearing what you think of Strange the Dreamer!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Woa! I think most of these are nopes for me, too lol. Except I don’t mind war yet. It’s really cool to see someone else have assassin’s and thieves as “nope” words. This tends to be super popular with fantasy fans, but I’m meh about them.

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  8. I love the idea of this post! Personally, I’ve recently gotten back into dystopian YA and urban fantasy, but I can completely understand the fatigue when it comes to those genres and I totally get why someone wouldn’t find them appealing. I do think there is some excellent urban fantasy out there that breaks the mold…but yeah…lots of books in the series haha!

    Great post!
    – Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That’s cool, I’d love to get back into some of the genres I’ve gotten tired of too. I’m very open for urban fantasy recommendations if you have any (even if they’re part of a long series), I love exploring new genres and reading outside my comfort zone 🙂


  9. Yesss Strange the Dreamer was awesome! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading from Lazlo’s perspective and his character! I don’t typically read from male protagonists either, usually because so many books nowadays have female leads!

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  10. Agreed on all the nopes except for Wars, although, I agree if there’s anything that’s overly represented it is, for sure, WWII. But The Book Thief is an easy exception because of the wonderful cast of characters literally they’re all amazing. Civil War period is white interesting though, especially Gone With The Wind and there’s an interesting and business-minded heroine to boot. 😉 (if you haven’t read it already).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gone with the Wind is one of my mom’s favorite books 🙂 I read it years ago, but I have to admit I skimmed the war parts. I should probably reread it properly, it’s a classic after all. And the heroine was, of course, my favorite part the first time around!

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      1. Your mum is awesome! 😎 I don’t blame you, I did too on my first read but during rereads, I read the war parts properly and you actually learn a lot (I regretted skipping those parts!).
        The heroine is the stuff of heroines. 😉

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  11. I’m with you on male protagonists being a turn off. There are definitely good books with male protagonists, but I’ve read so many that it’s just enooough. Plus many of them tend to have like… no girls other than the love interest. Like, come on, you can still have female friends, sisters, cousins, etc.

    I absolutely agree with you on 15-book series too. If it has more than 5 books, it has to be REALLY good.

    I like how you put an exception after each one!

    I’m not sure what my “nope” words would be. Rape, definitely – I just can’t handle it, not even if it’s obviously presented as a bad thing (and often it’s just for shock value. fuck no.) I also find myself more and more turned off by gritty dystopias. Give me hopeful stuff and solarpunk any day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly why I’m put off by male protagonists, where are all the girls? You can usually count the female characters on one hand, or you know, one finger. And I’m just tired of it already.

      Rape for shock value is definitley a big fuck no for me too, but I’m personally ok with reading books like Asking for It and All the Rage that tackles themes like victim-blaming and rape-culture, but even then it’s definitley jarring to read about. What on earth is solarpunk??? It sounds fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s even worse in m/m. Like, in m/f at least the love interest is a girl, but I was reading this m/m novel once and literally EVERYONE (protagonist, love interest, best friend, mentor, adopted brother) were male. Like, even if you want to write m/m, three of those still could have been female.

        Yeah, I don’t read “rape for shock value” on principle – I might read the ones that challenge victim-blaming like you said, but I usually avoid those too because I can’t handle the topic.

        Solarpunk is basically a futuristic genre focusing on hopeful, environmental-friendly futures. “Solar” because sun energy and “punk” because protecting the environment and supporting marginalised people in your community is unfortunately against current capitalist/racist/etc ideas. I linked four solarpunk books in my own buzzwords post, I think you found it since then, I’m still going through notifications 😀


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