The Trope Tag

Happy Friday, everyone!

After an eventful week filled with school, lesson preparation, insanely hot weather, and me narrowly avoiding a kitchen inferno because I decided cooking and simultaneously catching up on Eurovision content was the ultimate time management hack, I’ve decided I’m too tired to be trusted with any creative ideas of my own and should instead focus my efforts on reducing that notorious tag backlog of mine 😁 So today, I’m here with The Trope Tag!

Ash @ Ink Words and Ash, who created it, is probably a genius because a) they came up with a whole bunch of questions that allow us to pair our favorite and not-so-favorite literary tropes with books we love, and b) they somehow convinced me to answer these questions even though it hasn’t even been a full month since they tagged me. Shocking, I know…

Seriously, though, these prompts were so fun to answer! So thanks again, Ash, for thinking of my own good and forcing this upon me, and thank you to everyone else for being brave enough to delve into all the chaos that is about to follow!

  • Mention the creator of the tag and pingback to the original post (Ash @inkwordsandash)
  • Tag 3+ people
  • Lastly, enjoy!!

So yeah – with that out of the way, let’s get into the questions!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontΓ«! Inspired by my great heroines Cass and Jemmie from Adrian Fogelin’s Crossing Jordan, a novel my fellow fourth-grade friends and I were beyond obsessed with, I decided to read Jane Eyre at the ripe old age of nine… And, boy, did I end up hating it πŸ™ˆ The book was incredibly boring, I barely understood the language, and, even after I had agonizingly pushed myself through the entire thing, I couldn’t for the life of me fathom what Cass and Jemmie saw in it.

Fast-forward seven years. I was bored, looking for something to read, and saw Jane Eyre on my parents’ shelves. Just out of curiosity, decided to take another peek. And, immediately, I was hooked! What nine-year-old me had found excruciatingly slow-paced and old-fashioned struck 16-year-old me as thoughtful, engaging, and creepily mysterious. Suddenly, all those stuffy 19th-century British societal conventions were beyond fascinating. Jane, a young woman trying to find her place in that world, was now so relatable that I was seriously questioning how I could ever have found her boring! And, of course, Mr. Rochester was the epitome of those brooding bookish bad-boy love interests that I, at 16, totally had a thing for πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ

Today, Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics ever, and my parents’ copy, which has since passed into my possession, is so battered from rereading that I should probably get a replacement at some point. Which I guess is proof that some books do deserve a second chance! Particularly when you first read them as a clueless nine-year-old idiot…

It’s a pretty safe bet that such a book does not exist. At any rate, I don’t remember one…

Because guys – I never DNF anything!! Even if a book is beyond awful, I will power through. There’s always part of me that initially hopes it will get better, and once I’ve gotten past the halfway point, I’ve already invested so much time that I just need to know how the story ends, no matter how shitty I think it is. I need to be able to say that I’ve read the book and can attest to its awfulness!

Seriously, the only book I can currently recall DNFing is Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, and that was an accident!!! My exams got in the way and then my library loan expired before I could finish reading! 😫

(Besides, I fully intend to finish David Copperfield at some point. So it’s not like it’s a proper DNF, you know? πŸ™ƒ)

Do I even need to explain? Laini Taylor’s gorgeous writing style paired with a unique world that has magic, politics, and death would already have been enough to convince me, but then Strange the Dreamer‘s main character is an awkward librarian 🀩 I mean, I just could not resist falling for this one!!

(Oh, and also, before you yell at me for neglecting them: I really love Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duologies, too! It’s just that I think I’ve already mentioned those so often on this blog that I doubt I really need to tell you that…)

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann! Granted, I wasn’t completely sold on this one initially – I liked it, but it was a pretty solid three-star read for me. While it gave an interesting portrait of New York and its people during a time of transition in the United States, it meandered a lot and really didn’t dig deep enough for my tastes…

However, after discussing it with my 2017-study-abroad roommate, who had recommended it to me to fulfill one of the challenges we had set ourselves for our actually-spending-quality-time-with-each-other-rather-than-just-studying bucket list, I came to appreciate it so much more! Let the Great World Spin led to such a cozy, insightful, and deeply philosophical late-night conversation that my respect for it couldn’t help but shoot up considerably!

(No matter what my ex-roommate claims, it’s still not a five-star book, though 😜)

I mean, what did you expect? The Capture has an owl on the cover! Third-grade me saw it at the library and all but snatched it off those shelves! I couldn’t risk some other kid checking it out before I did!!

However, even if I was already expecting to love this book, I had no idea just how much I would grow to treasure it πŸ₯° To this day, Guardians of Ga’Hoole remains one of my all-time favorite fantasy series, and I swear that isn’t just because it follows a bunch of owls! (Though okay, fine, that’s part of it πŸ˜‚) It just has such unique world-building and amazing character development that, even though it’s technically middle-grade, I would highly recommend it to everyone!

If you didn’t know that my favorite book of all-time is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, then I seriously hope you’re new to this blog… Because otherwise, I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve very much been living under a rock!! Nothing has ever come close to beating Harry Potter for me!

As to my favorite read of the year, that probably goes to The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb, which is the second book in her Liveship Traders trilogy. Its spot is very closely contested by The Golden Fool, but since that’s also the second book in a Robin Hobb series, I don’t feel too guilty about giving first place to The Mad Ship. Robin Hobb is still getting the honor she deserves! πŸ₯°

And my favorite book of the month? Well… now is the time to confess that I have not actually read anything in May yet πŸ˜… I tried the being-swamped-by-work-and-reading-instead-of-sleeping route in April with not-so-great consequences, so this month, I’ve switched to the being-swamped-by-work-and-sleeping-instead-of-reading route. Which is also horrible, but maybe still better than the not-sleeping option? Seriously, the only things I’ve touched are my current beta-read (Katie, if you’re reading this, I’m really sorry for being so freaking slow despite you trying so hard to match my crazy schedule up with yours!), about 150 pages of Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land (I still have no clue what is even going on in that one… ), and Lois Lowry’s The Giver (I’ve already read The Giver about 50 million times, but since I have forced it upon one of my classes as required reading and need to figure out what the hell they’re supposed to learn by spending six weeks with this book, it’s safe to say that I don’t think I’ve ever dissected any book to the point that I’m dissecting The Giver right now!). So yeah, time will tell whether I will actually manage to read something in May and at least give you a proper favorite in my wrap-up! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The Skogland duology – or The Princess Plot if you want to go with the English translation – is yet another pair of books I could have mentioned for that love triangle question. I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT!! 🀩

Trust me: The terribly cheesy English title and cover do not do it justice. This book has depth, it has politics, it has dysfunctional families, and it has royals who are completely out of their element. Sure, the plot is a bit ridiculous – it’s about a German teenager named Jarven, who, after winning a casting show, is sent to the fictional Scandinavian-ish country of Skogland in order to impersonate the crown princess at boring royal functions – but it is just so good! There are very few modern German YA series out there that I would whole-heartedly recommend, but Skogland is one of them.

Fun fact: Did you know that you are actually much, much richer as a billionaire in Germany than as a billionaire in English speaking countries? In English, 1 billion = 1,000,000,000, whereas the billion that pretty much everybody else uses actually refers to the number 1,000,000,000,000.

Extremely interesting language-nerdy math facts aside, though, I’m gonna have to go with Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky for this one, the first book in a super angsty YA dystopian trilogy. I’m pretty sure that if I read it for the first time now, I wouldn’t be all that impressed, but when 16-year-old Naemi encountered it at the library while hunting for English books that she hadn’t already read, she was hooked! I honestly thought I’d discovered some hidden gem, only to realize that almost every other reader I talked to already knew about it πŸ˜… Which, in retrospect, should have been obvious because my library never gets new English books unless they’re bestselling new releases…

(However, to redeem myself, I must mention that I actually did read quite a few extremely popular books way before they were even popular!! Take The Hunger Games, for example. As a massive Underland Chronicles fan, I read The Hunger Games immediately when it came out, and then I had to wait for everybody else to catch on so that I finally had people to talk about it with! So my underrated-gem-radar works! πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‡)

That will probably have to go to my copies of The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – because they’re signed! My sister and I met Brandon Sanderson when we attended the 2017 Leipzig Book Fair, a moment that was simultaneously awe-inspiring and overwhelming. It’s not every day that you meet one of your favorite fantasy authors, and, being me, I was struck a little bit speechless! Thankfully, though, my sister is extroverted enough for both of us and was able to salvage what would probably otherwise have turned into an extremely awkward conversation…

As proof, here’s a picture of my sister and me standing next to Brandon Sanderson while he’s signing my sister’s copy of The Way of Kings. And yes, that is the very copy it took me like five years to borrow πŸ˜… My sister kept taking it to places and forgetting to give it to me!

So yeah – those copies mean a lot to me and would probably be the first books I’d try to save if my shelves ever caught fire… They’d just be way harder to replace than any other books I own!

(Also, if you’re wondering why I didn’t also have The Hero of Ages signed, that was simply because I had limited backpack space and so little stamina that I didn’t want to drag too many books to Leipzig and back. So I had to pick favorites!)

Confession time: I was one of those nerdy kids who actually enjoyed quite a lot of their required reading πŸ˜‡ Sure, there were duds – I positively hated Iphigenie auf Tauris, Homo Faber, To the Lighthouse, Heart of Darkness, and The Pilgrim’s Progress, for example – but for the most part, I happily read whatever my teachers threw at me!

One book I have particularly fond memories of, though, was Charlotte Kerner’s Blueprint, a novel we had to read for my tenth-grade German class. Not only did I genuinely enjoy this book, which follows the clone of a famous pianist who was created so that her “mother’s” talent would live on after multiple sclerosis made it impossible for her to perform, but I also really liked how our teacher made us work with it! We went into so much depth, had a ton of creative tasks instead of only sticking to the standard stylistic analysis + argumentative essay format, and somehow, our teacher managed to convey so much enthusiasm for this novel that the whole class ended up reading it! Which I don’t think ever happened at any other time in my school career. After all, I distinctly remember spending quite a few breaks summarizing chapters that had been assigned for homework to desperate classmates…

Now that we’ve reached the end of the questions, I tag the following amazing bloggers!

Please don’t in any way feel pressured to do this if you don’t want to – but I’d love to see your answers if you think you’d also have fun with this! πŸ’™

Anyway, that was it for today! Let me know what you thought of my choices in the comments below, and feel free to tell me how you would have answered these questions! Were you as studious about getting to your required reading as I was? Is there a book you love but rarely talk about? Which of the tropes in the prompts do you like, and which ones do you hate? I would love to know!

35 thoughts on “The Trope Tag

  1. saima @ storieswithsaima says:

    Thank you for tagging me! This was so fun to read.

    I cannot believe you read Jane Eyre at 9 years old, oh my gosh. No wonder you hated it at first haha. And I’ve heard good things about Strange The Dreamer so it makes sense to see it here for your fave duology!

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re welcome! I hope you have fun if you decide to do it! πŸ’™

      And lololol, yeah, I was about as far removed from Jane Eyre’s intended target audience as possible πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ I don’t even know why I decided to power through because NOTHING about that book was remotely interesting to a nine-year-old!!! And it’s not like I really understood much of the language, either… But I suppose that, even as a kid, I was remarkably stubborn about not DNFing things 🀣

      And yes, Strange the Dreamer is excellent! πŸ₯° I would highly recommend it to fans of slower-paced, character-driven fantasy, particularly if you love lyrical writing. Those books are so atmospheric!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Corrie.S.P. says:

    I have only read Jane Eyre. I read it at 12-13. I enjoyed it but it was not my fave.
    I don’t think I know many series off the top of my head with just 2 books. I’m sure I’ve read some but I’m not good at remembering.

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, from my own experience, I can only recommend trying Jane Eyre again a few years from now. It might really surprise you! πŸ₯°πŸ˜‚

      Oh, and I’m sure I probably forgot a ton of duologies I love, too… Keeping everything you’ve read organized in your head can be really hard sometimes!


  3. Line @First Line Reader says:

    Reading Jane Eyre at the age of nine was certainly risky but honestly, you wouldn’t have surprised me if you’d said you loved it at that time (you loved required reading so you can’t fault me for thinking that) πŸ˜„ I didn’t read it until I was 24 and I actually think I would have hated it if I had read it any sooner.

    And just you mentioning the word “Skogland” had me immediately wondering if you’d started reading Swedish books πŸ˜… However, I’m glad to know that the book isn’t another Sanderson-situation because it sounds like the author actually know that Skogland means forest land in Swedish/Norwegian (I appreciate the tree in the title on the cover). I’m looking at that English cover though, and it’s like my brain can’t comprehend what it’s seeing πŸ˜‚

    Oh, and I so remember learning that our billion isn’t the same as the English-speaking’s one. I felt like English was being difficult intentionally πŸ˜…

    And to answer one of your questions: No, I generally wasn’t eager about reading books for school except for that one time when we were learning about fantasy and had to read The Shamer’s Daughter, which I’d already read 10 times. By far the easiest month I’ve ever had in school 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Of course I loved required reading! It meant you got to read and discuss books at school instead of continuously writing essays on whether school uniforms were a good idea or whether cannabis should be legalized πŸ™„ Seriously, compared to the rest of German class, our required reading was beyond interesting! And I also discovered so many good books I might never have picked up otherwise πŸ₯°

      Funnily enough, though, I actually never particularly liked when we had to read books for school that I’d already read at home… I always felt like I had already grown to love those books in such a personal way that I could never share my full thoughts in a school discussion without utterly embarrassing myself. And sometimes, the teachers also “ruined” the experience by being so all-knowing about the book with their “one right interpretation”! 😀 So I’d probably have sat there in a snottily obnoxious silence of protest if my teachers had come to school with a fantasy book I’d already read ten times because I would’ve refused to see that they could know it more intricately than I did… πŸ˜… (And then my teachers wouldn’t even have noticed because I rarely talked unless they called on me anyway.)

      And no, I am, unfortunately, nowhere near good enough at Swedish to start reading books in it yet 😭 In fact, in light of my current schedule, I have kind of been neglecting language learning considerably… The only thing I’ve kept up with is Duolingo because I’m so close to that 500-day streak that my competitiveness just could not live with losing it now!! So at least I already know “skog” means forest? πŸ˜… But yeah, I am positive Kirsten Boie knew that when writing Skogland – the country is covered in forests, has a huge lumber industry, and is so obviously Scandinavia-inspired that it’s simply impossible for the name to not be intentional!

      You’re right about the English Skogland cover being something, though… πŸ™„ And I already chose the better one out of two options! There is another one that is completely pink (meaning I already hate it with a flaming passion) and features this weird skull that somehow screams “angsty pirate novel for girls”??? Those cover designers must have been more confused that the people who named the English billion πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        I do see your point there about the variety in the lessons. I just hated everything we did in Danish class. It was my worst subject right from the start and up until the day I didn’t have to take it anymore (at which point I got the highest grade in both exams and no one was more confused than me πŸ˜…). I was a fantasy reader only at that point, so I was very bored with all those short stories on existentialism we were asked to read.
        And I don’t remember my teacher interpreting The Shamer’s Daughter differently so us reading it just meant that I didn’t have to worry about being called on (like you, I also wouldn’t talk voluntarily, not even about that book) because I would have something to say without needing to think about it too much.

        Yeah, I also saw on Goodreads that the series title for it is “Scandi”, just if the Scandinavian inspiration wasn’t obvious πŸ˜‚ Lol and I found the pink cover πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It looks like a kind of poster a 14-year-old girl would have on their wall. But at least it’s simple where I have no idea what’s going on with the blue one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          But… those short stories about existentialism were so interesting! πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜‚ I do relate to what you say about Danish being your worst subject, though – while mine was P.E. due to my absolute inability to throw things, German was probably the subject I had to try hardest to get good grades in apart from that. Summaries in particular were the bane of my existence… I mean, you’ve read my posts, so you should know exactly what my problem with those was 🀣 So required reading was way better!!

          And OMG, I just looked it up on Goodreads and that series title is TERRIBLE!! 😳 I’ve never seen anything so on the nose πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ And apparently they also decided to rename the main character Jenna – which, as I think you know, is one of my biggest translation pet peeves!! πŸ™„ I hate in when names are changed without a good reason! If the book is set in another country, people are going to have names from there!!

          And your description of that cover is perfect, too 🀣 Although I’m not sure the fact that it’s simple makes things any better… Overall, I guess I am veeeery skeptical of that English edition. Which kind of makes me want to read it now, so I can look at what else the translation messed up… πŸ€”πŸ€£

          Liked by 1 person

          • Line @First Line Reader says:

            Yeah, chanding the names in translations are super weird unless there’s is a good reason for it. Especially when we read fantasy where some character names can be pretty much unpronounceable, but those don’t get translated because it’s fantasy. What’s the difference?

            And it’s sounds like you could make a Lost in Translation post out of that πŸ‘€ I would totally read that if that wasn’t clear 😁

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Meena Green says:

    I loved these questions and your answers!
    My answer for the second one would also be nothing because if I DNF something it’s for a reason, more than me just not enjoying it because then I’d still try to power through so, if I DNF, I’m not picking that book up again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yes, exactly! The only scenario I could ever picture myself intentionally DNFing a book in is if I hated it with a flaming passion and saw no literary merit in in whatsoever! So then why would I ever pick that book up again? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maria @ The Character Study says:

    I’m already squeezing my brain for answers hmmmmmm. That Princess Plot cover is… something, so I’m glad you pointeed out that the book is actually good because seriously, that cover had me so confused. Also, who reads Jane Eyre at 9??????

    I was, unfortunately, someone who simply couldn’t not read my required reading (I think I might’ve only intentionally skipped poetry). However, if I knew I wasn’t going to like the book, I always left it for the last day before the exam which, let me tell you, is a terrible idea. My reasoning was that I could spend all the time I’d need to finish those books reading things I actually liked and then I could just free up the day before to dedicate to reading the required book. It wasn’t fun and yet I kept doing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yeah, that cover is really something 🀣 Too bad I only discovered it now; it would’ve been perfect to give you guys even more inspiration in my cover designing post! But, alas, alas, I suppose it is better you saw it late than never…

      Also, reading Jane Eyre at nine was a perfectly plausible choice 😜 The protagonists of Crossing Jordan read it when they were only a few years older!! If they could do it, so could I!! (But yeah, it didn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me, so reading it a bit later in your life might be the smarter option 🀣)

      And OMG, that last paragraph speaks to my soul πŸ˜‚ I also just couldn’t not read what I’d been assigned, but procrastinated terribly on books I didn’t like… Like, I’d read the first few pages, realize this really wasn’t my thing, put it down for ages, and then desperately squeeze it in the day I was supposed to have read it by πŸ˜… Thankfully, those completely horrible books didn’t occur all that often, or my university experience would have been even more stressful! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nehal Jain says:

    Ooooh I’m currently rereading Harry Potter five 🀩. And mcgonagall just told harry to have a biscuit lmao. Just thought u might wanna know πŸ™‚.
    Also yooo, how’s it going? It’s been a while, i was busy with exams and chatting and doing stupid useless stuff πŸ™ƒπŸ˜­πŸ˜‚.
    But wow you did a tag within a month of being tagged?! 😳
    Do i need a new pending-tag partner now πŸ₯Ί?
    Also wow i didn’t know you have Brandon sanderson books signed omggg!!!!!!!
    I’ve only read the final empire and hp 5 from this list though πŸ˜‚. Our reading tastes go only so far in similarity. I have no idea if that made sense lol.
    Awesome post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Of course I wanna know that!! Professor McGonagall is simply the most epic person ever!!! πŸ₯° So of course I love being reminded of her and the snarky ways in which she simultaneously undermines Umbridge and manages to both show her support for Harry and tell him off πŸ˜‚ Order of the Phoenix is just soooo good 🀩 (And I’m severely tempted to reread it again, even though I just did a the beginning of this year… πŸ˜‡)

      And ahhhh, I hope your exams went well, Neigh-hal! How much longer until your ghost will be freed to bless us with its wisdom again, huh? πŸ™ƒπŸ‘»πŸ˜‚ And doing stupid useless stuff sounds so fun – I wanna join! 😫 Seriously, having a full-time teaching job is the most exhausting thing ever, and I’m dying for a bit of mindless down-time πŸ˜…

      Fear not, though – thy evil twin still has plenty of pending tags from as far back as 2020 🀣 Thou hast nothing to worry about!

      And yes, meeting Brandon Sanderson was such a cool experience!!! 🀩

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nehal Jain says:

        My ghost is currently on vacation, thanks for asking, Neigh-mi. You know your English now reminds me of jk rowlings 🀣.
        And lol, good to know you still have pending tags, i think i mightve lost my list..

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Hmmm – I guess I’ll take that 🀣 Even if I am a bit skeptical of what J.K. Rowling is up to these days, her English is top notch for sure! (Or an improvement on the dictionary-swallowing grandma, anyway… πŸ˜πŸ™ƒ)
          Also, now I feel really accomplished because at least, even though I never do them, I keep careful track of all tags in my drafts folder! πŸ˜‡

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Suhani says:

    Ahh it’s kind of ironic that David copperfield is one of the very few classics I’ve read?? MWAHHAH I FEEL SUPERIOR NOW. (Even though I remember being bored out of my mind, and perhaps wanting to throw the book across the room a couple of times…)
    Ahhh wow you’ve met Brandon Sanderson??? That’s so so cool!! I AM VERY VERY JEALOUS AKSKS. I’ve only had a very small lot of books signed but they are my absolute prized possessions hahah!
    Loved this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      LOLOLOL, I suppose you have every right to feel superior because the way I hastily thrust that poor book back into the library when my exams came around was definitely not very considerate… 🀣 BUT NOOOOO, WHY DIDN’T YOU LIKE IT, SUHANI??? I thought the beginning was pretty interesting and I AM COUNTING ON THE REST BEING GOOD SO THAT I WILL ACTUALLY FINISH IT!! WE CAN’T HAVE BOREDOM COME AND RUIN THE PICTURE!! 😒

      Also, yes, I am still fangirling so hard over that Brandon Sanderson moment!! 🀩 I don’t have a lot of signed books, either, so those Mistborn copies are some of my most prized possessions ever! **insert MY PRECIOUS in a croaky Gollum voice** 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ash says:

    thank you so much for doing this tag ahh!! i’m so glad you enjoyed it ❀

    skfgskfkfg i really need to get to Strange the Dreamer! i've heard so much about it and am TERRIFIED of the hype tbh.

    dysfunctional families you say? The Princess Plot already sounds amazing, i've added it to my tbr!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank YOU for creating this tag!! Seriously, I had so much fun answering your prompts!! πŸ’™

      And ahhhh, yes, read Strange the Dreamer, Ash!! πŸ€©πŸ€— The hype is totally justified – at least in my opinion πŸ™ƒπŸ˜

      As for The Princess Plot, I can’t vouch for how good the translation is, but I love the original πŸ₯° So I really hope you end up enjoying it!


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