Requested by amanda

BOOK RECS BASED ON MY FAVORITE STORY TROPES

This is a dream list request, thank you @americson! It may take me a while to pull together, but I'll try for one trope a day.
  1. PUBLIC DUMMY/PRIVATE SMARTIE
  2. The Sherwood Ring, Elizabeth Marie Pope
    My favorite novel, in case the worn cover didn't give it away. This is a bit of a subverted trope. Peaceable Sherwood has a reputation as a clever English officer, but takes care to maintain an unassuming facade around the public. He's one of the greatest characters ever - I love him. You can read an excerpt here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4770643
  3. The Game of Kings, Dorothy Dunnett
    Lymond is the archetype of public dummy/private smartie. He uses his wits as it suits him, often choosing to play the fool to his advantage. This book is an investment read- it's tough going in places — Dunnett loves not translating foreign phrases and also medieval English, but it's so worth it.
  4. HATE 2 LOVE
  5. The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer
    Most likely you're familiar with Georgette Heyer because she basically invented the Regency romance genre. She ALSO was an excellent trope deployer. This novel is so fun and outrageously witty. Sophy is independent, unconventional, and also QUITE bossy). Her distant staid cousin Charles takes an instant dislike to her, and they spar for 200 pages before admitting their feelings are closer to love than hate.
  6. The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
    The unrealized sexual tension ratchets up several hundred levels pretty much immediately and never lets up. This novel is so charming, it's nuts. Lucy and Josh work for rival publishers and are thrown together thanks to a merger. They're determined to get the same job until the sabotage spins out of control. Guys. There's a scene in an elevator that will change your world. 🤐
  7. EPISTOLARY/SCRAPBOOK FICTION
  8. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
    The first half of the book is told through Queenie's journal entries, deposition notes and coded messages while she's held as a Gestapo prisoner. The second half is Maddie's journal and flight notes. This book is incredible. It features lady spies, vital female friendships, resourcefully scrappy ATA pilots and a plot that hinges unreliable narrators. I loved it.
  9. Freedom and Necessity, Steven Brust and Emma Bull
    In 1849, James Cobham wakes up in a country inn with no memories. Through his correspondence with his cousin, he learns that he was presumed dead from a boating accident. He's also wanted by conspiring English government factions. Freedom and Necessity is an epistolary fantasy novel (magical elements abound!) scaffolded around German philosophy (Hegel! Engels! Kant! Hume!) and weird Victorian spiritualism.