Themed Lists

Trope-tastc Recs! // Sunshine and Grumpy


She is currently three days old, and luckily it seems like we are avoiding the terrible twos (computer time works differently than human time). Brought to life at 11:26 PM on May 31st, she is a proud Gemini and has a birthstone of emerald. Name is still in the works…

So yeah, I got a computer over the weekend. I had been using a computer from the school and then my phone to write posts, so I am unbelievably excited. I am also currently accepting name suggestions, preferably a book reference or something else that is equally nerdy lol.

Ok ok, that’s enough of my excited chatter. Today I actually curated a recommendation post. A few days ago, I created a recommendation list by trope over on Instagram and it got me thinking. I know that a lot of books I pick up are based on trope, so why not do a series of recommendations based on some of my favourite tropes! So here I am. Up first will be books with the sunshine/grumpy dynamic.

The sunshine/grumpy dynamic is one of my favourites! With one character who is bubbly, upbeat, goofy (or some other sunshiney-ish personality) combined with someone who has the temperament of a wet cat (or some other antisocial or grumpy-ish personality), the interactions are bound to be golden.

For this post, I’m going to give little mini bloops on why you should read the book, rather than dedicating a whole infomercial spiel to just the sunshine/grumpy dynamic. It got sort of redundant only talking about that dynamic, so know that all of these books feature it even if I’m including other reasons to pick it up. I hope that makes sense??? Ok, let’s dive in.

Do you like witches? Do you like sapphic enemies-to-lovers? Do you like interesting magic systems? Do you have commitment issues that make you prefer reading standalone fantasy over series?

Cause me too. But also, if you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you need to check out Sweet & Bitter Magic!

When Tamsin has been cursed not the love after a Big Bag Incident, she lives off bargains for other people’s love. Stealing those small tidbits are all she has.

Wren is a source, a magical being who is made of magic. When her father falls victim to a magical plague, her only option is to enlist Tamsin and her help to save him. The only catch? Wren must bargain away her love for her father.

For more thoughts on Sweet and Bitter Magic, check out my review here!

I feel like I don’t talk about how much I love Emma Mill’s books on here enough. If you’re ever looking for a contemporary that highlights friendships (but also a bit of romance too!), then any of her books will be your jam.

When Claudia accidentally overhears the breakup of her school’s “it” couple, Iris and Paige, she ends up in some murky waters with Iris. Claudia wishes she could just hole up in her room and forget the whole thing.

To make matters worse, both Claudia and Iris both have to participate in their schools production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream where they meet a crazy cast of theatre kids. With god-tier humor and a focus on forging new friendships, Foolish Hearts is an absolute delight.

After reading Smyth’s last masterpiece, Not My Problem, she has officially scratched her way into my favourite authors of all time list. From vibrant characters to hyena on helium level humor, both of her books are worth checking out.

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love. She has sworn off of it all together, figuring it’s not worth the enviable heartbreak. But that’s not to say there can’t be loopholes…

Not phased by Saorise’s cynicism, Ruby proposes that they recreate a rom-com worthy love montage. If there are no feelings and a binding contract to end the romance at the end of the summer, no one will get hurt, right? Right.

The Falling in Love Montage is the perfect book to kick off the summer with. Featuring the sunshine/grumpy dynamic, lesbians recreating iconic rom-com moments, and a swan heist (or sorts…), this one is totally binge worthy and totally sweet.

For more thoughts, check out my mini review here!

I know it’s summer (at least where I live), so the sound of a big, warm, nerdy blanket kind of makes me want to shuck my skin off because ahhh I’m melting. But luckily, this big, warm, nerdy blanket is more of the metaphorical sense, so there is exactly no skin-shucking needed.

When Rosie accidentally destroys a priceless set of Starfield books, she must compensate the owners through manual labor (aka reorganising the library). The catch? The current occupant is all around grump — but also famous — Vance Reigns.

This Beauty and the Beast retelling features lot’s of nerdniess, forced proximity in a library, and of course, the sunshine/grumpy dynamic we all love!

Feel free to check out my full review of Bookish and the Beast here!

Ok, I’m actually like 20% through this one, but I feel the sunshine/grumpy dynamic a bubbling and a brewing in my bones.

When Hani comes out as bisexual to her friends, they don’t believe her because she has never dated a girl. Panicked, she tells them she is dating the first person to come to mind: Ishu. Too bad they are on not-so-friendly terms.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating is by Adiba Jaigirdar, author of the Henna Wars. Her latest story features a rivals-to-lovers turned sapphic fake-dating scheme. I’m already in love with both of the main characters and am so excited to dive into the rest of the story!

I love this dynamic more than words could even begin to describe ahhh. If you know of any more books that feature it, I’d love to hear your recommendations! And with that, we are going to call this rec list a wrap. My books are calling…

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are some of your favourite tropes?


26 thoughts on “Trope-tastc Recs! // Sunshine and Grumpy

  1. Happy three day birthday to your computer!! And both your computer and I are Geminis!! I’m twins with a computer! Loved this post 🙂


  2. All these books look so good!! I think every one of these are on my tbr, but I didn’t know bookish and the beast had a sunshine and grumpy trope!


  3. wow yay for your computer!! ahhh i am devoid of any creativity so i can’t suggest any names, but keep us updated on what the final one will be okk! ooh sunshine and grumpy is SUCH a satisfying trope to read about, i’ll definitely be giving bookish and the beast a try (especially for the nerdiness haha) great post april! ❤


  4. ahh hello to your new computer!! you could always name her milo? (sorry my creativity is really down lol) the sunshine and grumpy trope is so good! and I love how we get to see a softer side to the grumpy’s personality!! loved the post!


  5. yay congrats on the new computer! Wow I have to admit that I never really thought about this trope until I saw your post, but I definitely agree that sunshine and grumpy characters are always so fun to read about! (I wonder if Kaz and Jesper can be called that)
    Thank you for the amazing recs (I’ll definitely be checking out Sweet and Bitter Magic) and great post!


    1. ahhh thank you!! yess the dynamic and the banter between sunshine and grumpy characters are SO GOOD. hmm I guess you could consider their friendship to kind of be like that, but even within the SoC books Nina and Matthias are a really great example. because Nina is really outgoing and fun and so on and Matthias just kind of hates everyone on the outside but underneath the cold exterior loves all those idiots!!
      ooo I hope you’ll love Sweet and Bitter Magic!! thank you so much and happy reading : )

      Liked by 1 person

  6. loved reading this, april!! 😍 Grumpy x sunshine is one of my favourite tropes because most of such books are hilarious and so wholesome 🥺 I recently read foolish hearts and ahh I still can’t stop screaming about it!! Iris is grumpy but she still owns my heart 💖 I can’t wait to get hands on hani and ishu, I want to read it so badly 😭 A man called ove is another grumpy sunshine book I loved reading!
    also, congrats on your new computer!! I’m the worst with names but I hope you enjoy coming up with cool ones for it!! Awesome post 💕


    1. ahh thank you so much!! seriously the dynamic between the sunshine and the grumpy character is unparalleled! yesss foolish hearts is so good and the friendship between claudia and iris is everything! and yesss hani and ishu was also fabulous!! hope you can read it soon!! ooo i’ll keep that in mind if i’m looking for another book with that dynamic!
      thank you so much!! ahaha it’s such a high pressure choice, but i’m having fun brainstorming!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I JUST NEED TO READ BOOKISH AND BEAST PLEASE. I have heard so many good things about this book and I honestly loved Geekerella so I’m sure I’ll love Bookish and the Beast too <33


  8. What kind of computer is it! I’m pretty good at coming up with pun names but I don’t think there’ll be many that work with computer…the kind of computer may be easier to use.
    Great post!
    (also, really random but on the topic of pun names…my sister and I named the sling I have from my injury the Darksling, the splint was Alina Splintov (that one’s not that good because there’s no good splint puns) and the injury itself is Shadow on Bone because that’s literally what the x ray showed to tell us there was an injury haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well its a macbook air! nothing screams super punny about that, but feel free to work your magic lol.
      that is literally the funniest thing I’ve heard all day, seriously, that is pun-tactic genius. Darksling… Alina Spintov… Shadow on Bone… ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT IM CACKLING

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm….yah that might be tough…I mean you could always name it Mac lol but idk how good that one is. Also not very punny. Airies? ooooh what about kaz brekkair. this is a little hard. matthias helvair? lol feel free to reject these.
        Honestly, it was mostly my sister’s doing, she’s really the pun genius in this house. But haha yes we had a whole trio of S&B pun names for my injury.


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