Top Ten Tuesday/ Themes and Tropes

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by thatartsyreadergirl with a new topic every week.

March 8: Books With Your Favorite Trope/Theme (Submitted by Raincheckandread.com and Sara Beth @ Life, Love, Writing)

Dog Shelters:

I love when I see animals getting better and find a forever home.

Goodreads Blurb:

After becoming an inadvertent viral sensation—and losing her job and her girlfriend as a result— Phoebe Shaw retreats to Vermont. Renovating her late grandmother’s cabin into a vacation rental seems like the perfect way to lie low for a while. But the last person she expects to encounter on the property is the woman whose kiss was her teenage sexual awakening . . . and whom she’s never quite forgotten.

Taylor Donovan has been hiking on the trails behind the Shaw family’s cabin her whole life. As children, Taylor and Phoebe were best friends before sharing a secret summer romance when they were sixteen, which left Taylor brokenhearted when Phoebe fled at the end of the summer. Now the property has become Taylor’s home away from home, and she wants nothing more than to convince the Shaws to sell it to her. But Phoebe’s return puts a crimp in those plans–and brings back old feelings she thought she’d overcome.

Of all the things Phoebe regrets, leaving Taylor is at the top of the list, but Taylor is determined to protect her heart. Yet the pull between them is stronger than ever. This time around, will love stay hidden . . . or finally see the light of day?

Living on the road:

Goodreads Blurb:

Julia Marks isn’t one to stick around very long. She’s blissfully living the vanlife, crossing the country as she pleases, working odd jobs to fund her lifestyle, treading lightly, and leaving no trace behind her. But despite the immense freedom she has as a traveling nomad, she can’t help but feel that something’s missing… perhaps someone.

A quick trip through Madison turns far more interesting for Julia when she meets Robin Hyland. Robin is searching for answers, and a chance encounter between the two women opens up a brand new adventure that neither expected. While Julia didn’t anticipate having a passenger in her van, it’s hard to say no to a pretty redhead who’s looking to find herself.

Will Julia and Robin be able to navigate the potentially treacherous road ahead of them and come out unscathed? Can love win out over the demons that both women must face? Life on the road has its challenges, especially when you’re living the bohemian life in your van. Facing those obstacles with a partner, however, might reveal a route never before considered.

Historical Fiction with Mystery:

Goodreads Blurb:

He loves no-one and never will.

Lord Christmas Gale is a genius and a misanthrope, and, quite to his disgust, adored by all of Society for his capacity to solve mysteries. When a man approaches him seeking help in locating a lost dog, Gale rebuffs him. But what begins with a missing dog ends in murder and intrigue–two of Gale’s favourite things, if it weren’t for the orphan that comes attached to them. Oh, and Benjamin Chant.

He has sworn to never love again.

The Honourable Mr. Benjamin Chant isn’t sure how he got swept up in Gale’s mad investigation, but there’s something intriguing about the man–a vulnerability that most of the world doesn’t notice, but which captures Chant’s interest, and his sympathy, from their first meeting. After a disastrous love affair in the past, Chant has sworn to never give his heart away again. Especially to a man who does not want it.

But it isn’t just their hearts at stake.

When their investigation takes a dangerous turn and their lives are threatened, both Gale and Chant are forced into the realisation that perhaps two imperfect men might fit perfectly together–that is, if they can outwit the killer who is intent on seeing them both dead.

Famous people who want an everyday life:

Goodreads Blurb:

Last year, twenty-three-year-old actress Dina Gilbert snagged the lead in the summer’s biggest blockbuster. It wasn’t easy: she’s black, openly queer, and has actual curves she refuses to let people Photoshop. Now, overwhelmed by sudden fame and homesick for Georgia, she’s becoming someone she doesn’t recognize. Maybe that’s why she’s out partying her face off most nights.

Enter Colleen Thomas, an ex-model turned photo editor whose issues with her own body are only surpassed by her issues with other peoples’. Colleen knows the rules but Photoshops Dina’s magazine cover anyway, incurring the wrath of Dina and her fans. And, okay, maybe that cover image was unbelievably sexy even before Colleen’s alterations. So what? Dina’s not fooling anyone with that girl-next-door, I-eat-Snickers-in-my-Golden-Globes-dress BS. Colleen knows a train wreck when she sees one.

Tensions rise even more when Colleen and Dina have to work together at the Rose Social Club’s annual charity gala. When they realize they have something in common, no one is more surprised than they are. The sexual chemistry doesn’t hurt either. Their differences could either be a source of strength—a life raft in the heaving waters of Hollywood—or the makings of a titanic crash.

Funny Mothers:

Goodreads Blurb:

Welcome to Forest River, New York, where perfection is a requirement. The Lululemon-clad moms are perfectly toned, expertly highlighted, and magnificently manicured. The women spend their days practicing Pilates, shopping for shoes, and doing everything in their power to ensure their children never experience a difficult day.

PTA president, Jackie Martin, is the envy off the mothers. She has a loyal and handsome husband, she host’s elaborate parties, and her eldest daughter, Hayley, is the most popular child in the fifth grade. Her life appears flawless, but is life ever what it seems to be?

After receiving a painful blow, when Hayley was in kindergarten, Jackie clawed her way into PTA power. She lived her life by the adage, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Her attention to detail (okay fine – her control freak nature) served her well until she experiences the ultimate betrayal.

When justice is done with minorities:

Goodreads Blurb:

From the prolific author of The Moon Within comes the heart-wrenchingly beautiful story in verse of a young Latinx girl who learns to hold on to hope and love even in the darkest of places: a family detention center for migrants and refugees.

Nine-year-old Betita knows she is a crane. Papi has told her the story, even before her family fled to Los Angeles to seek refuge from cartel wars in Mexico. The Aztecs came from a place called Aztlan, what is now the Southwest US, called the land of the cranes. They left Aztlan to establish their great city in the center of the universe-Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. It was prophesized that their people would one day return to live among the cranes in their promised land. Papi tells Betita that they are cranes that have come home.

Then one day, Betita’s beloved father is arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported to Mexico. Betita and her pregnant mother are left behind on their own, but soon they too are detained and must learn to survive in a family detention camp outside of Los Angeles. Even in cruel and inhumane conditions, Betita finds heart in her own poetry and in the community she and her mother find in the camp. The voices of her fellow asylum seekers fly above the hatred keeping them caged, but each day threatens to tear them down lower than they ever thought they could be. Will Betita and her family ever be whole again?

When Disability is seen as a strength, not a weakness:

Goodreads Blurb:

Josie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family’s small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another mansion grows up behind it. She lives with her career-obsessed mom and opinionated Gran, but has never known her father. Then there’s her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can’t seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy—Jordan—moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. Before long, Josie finds herself reaching out for something she’s never really known: a friend… and possibly more. Interlinked free verse poems tell the beautiful, heartfelt story of a girl, a family farm reduced to a garden, and a year of unforgettable growth.

Middle Grade with a strong message:

Goodreads Blurb:

Twelve-and-three-quarter-year-old Felix Knutsson has a knack for trivia. His favorite game show is Who What Where When; he even named his gerbil after the host. Felix’s mom, Astrid, is loving but can’t seem to hold on to a job. So when they get evicted from their latest shabby apartment, they have to move into a van. Astrid swears him to secrecy. He can’t tell anyone about their living arrangement, not even Dylan and Winnie, his best friends at his new school. If he does, she warns him, he’ll be taken away from her and put in foster care.

As their circumstances go from bad to worse, Felix gets a chance to audition for a junior edition of Who What Where When, and he’s determined to earn a spot on the show. Winning the cash prize could make everything okay again. But things don’t turn out the way he expects. . . 

Drag themed books:

Goodreads Blurb:

A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future.

Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school — until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship.

Books set around a game:

Goodreads Blurb:

ARE YOU PLAYING THE GAME OR IS THE GAME PLAYING YOU?

Vee doesn’t know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever’s behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it’s easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it’s thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?

Alex

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