We spend a lot of time thinking about how to help you find your next read. To make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for we categorise books into a bunch of different subsections.
Here they are in a way that can hopefully help you find what you want a lot faster. Click on the category to see all the books we have reviewed for that section. The site is built to only show a handful of reviews per page, so to see the older reviews you will need to use the link at the bottom of the page that says Previous.
Hall Of Fame: These are books that have more than four reviewer favourites badges. Guaranteed to be awesome.
Best Of The Best: These are books that have two or more favourites badges from the review team.
Highly Recommended: These are books marked as a favourite by one of the review team.
Colour Your World
Books by Authors Of Colour – all our reviews by black, indigenous and authors of colour
Black Author – These are books written by authors who are black
Latinx Author – These are books written by authors who are Latinx
Own Voices – #OwnVoices is a term coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group.
Level Of Drama And Romance
Romantic Subplot: A romance that is connected with but less important than the main plot in a story. A secondary part of the story and not the main focus. (Choose this if it is only a small plot point)
Sweet Romance (with little angst): Do they break up and feel miserable? If yes then it’s a dramatic romance. If no then it’s a sweet romance.
Dramatic Romance (with lots of angst): Do they break up and feel miserable? If yes then it’s a dramatic romance. If no then it’s a sweet romance.
Slow Burn Romance: A romance where the attraction and getting together takes the entire book to develop. It’s slow, sometimes painfully so.
Butch/Femme: A butch woman and femme fall in love.
Butch/Butch: Two butch women fall in love
Femme/Femme: Two femme women fall in love.
Age Gap: Two leading ladies with a significant age difference. 10 years or more. Or at very different phases of their lives, for example on is still studying and the other is a successful career woman.
Enemies To Lovers: The main theme of the romance is how they go from an antagonistic relationship to falling in love.
Friends To Lovers: A story where friends finally realise that they were meant to be together and fall in love.
Rich Girl/Poor Girl: Two women fall in love even though they are from vastly different financial backgrounds.
Setting Of Romance
Small Town: A story set in a small town and the setting is central to the story.
Trapped Together: They are stuck together unexpectedly and discover that they have feelings for one another.
Vacation: Finding love while on holiday (vacation). Maybe on a cruise, at a ski resort or in a mountain cabin.
Workplace: Finding love at work.
Theme Of Romance
Erotic Romance: A romance where there is a lot of sex but it is key to the story of falling in love and the sex scenes develop the romance.
Marriage Of Convenience / Fauxmance: Two women pretend to be married or in a relationship so that they can attain something they couldn’t without the relationship and then they realise that they are actually madly in love with one another.
Opposites Attract: Sometimes women who are complete opposites in personality, status and/or beliefs can complement one another and ultimately become a perfect match as they compensate for the other.
Second Chances: They broke up a long time ago and meet up again only to realise that the chemistry has never gone away.
Toaster Oven (Converting Hetro): A lesbian “converts” a woman who is heterosexual or helps her discover the real meaning of love or helps her realise that she is actually lesbian or bisexual or pansexual. The toaster oven comes in because the lesbian supposedly ‘wins a toaster oven by converting a straight woman’. It’s a long running joke.
Level Of Heat (Sexpectations)
No Graphic Physical Relations: Fade to black or no scenes involving physical relations
Tame/Euphemistic Physical Relations: On page but tame or euphemistic descriptions
Medium Heat Physical Relations: 1 to 3 graphic scenes of physical relations intended to titillate
Hot Physical Relations: Lots of on page and graphic descriptions intended to titillate
Physical Relations With Toys: Toys are used in a graphic manner
Physical Relations Includes BDSM: Physical relations includes bondage, discipline, spanking and all the sub categories that falls under the BDSM banner
Action: Guns, running, shootouts, anything that an action heroine would be in – has physical challenges
Adventure: Has puzzle challenges for the main character – eg, needs to solve something like find a treasure
Chick lit: Literature which is light and fluffy, likely to appeal to young women.
Comedy/Humour: Comedy ranges from ridiculous humour to physical humour to satire. Tag this if the book makes you laugh more than usual.
Cozy Mystery: A sector of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.
Drama: A serious book that is likely to make you cry or really feel bad for the characters.
Erotica/Erotic Fiction: A story that deals substantially with erotically stimulating subject matter. A book with more than two or three sex scenes or a book with the main theme of sex.
Historical: Takes place in a historical setting.
Literary Fiction: This is a term that describes books that are serious fiction. A book which is a work that claims to hold literary merit, in comparison from genre fiction and popular fiction.
Mystery: A genre that involves something that needs to be solved. It could be anything from mysterious death to a piece of art that has been stolen and needs to be recovered.
Romantic Suspense: Romantic suspense is any genre romance that features a prominent mystery, suspense or thriller plot.
Alternate History: Focusing on historical events if they happened differently with implications on the present.
Cyberpunk: Focusing on historical events if they happened differently with implications on the present.
Steampunk / Dieselpunk: science fiction that generally has a historical setting and features machines that are powered by steam. Where steampunk uses steam powered vehicles, dieselpunk uses diesel power vehicles.
Dystopian/Post Apocalypse: A story set in a time where everything is bad, often a totalitarian environment.
Horror: A book which intends to scare, disgust or startle the reader.
Gothic Horror: A subset of horror in which the creepy elements come more from the overall atmosphere. It’s less gruesome and more oppressive in atmosphere than typical horror. Examples of gothic horror include Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as books by Michael McDowell.
Fantasy: Imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure often set in a world that isn’t ours.
Fairytale/Myth/Legend: A retelling of a fairytale, Greek mythology or historical legends all fall into this category.
Fantasy Of Manners: This is the fantasy equivalent of a Comedy of Manners, which focuses on or satirises the manners and affectations of a social class. This book gives fantasy elements to a story that is set in an otherwise specific cultural setting.
Sword And Sorcery: The most common type of fantasy novel. Often it will include magic, swordplay and fantastic creatures like dragons.
Urban Fantasy: A fantasy story with an urban setting. This can be historical or modern.
Paranormal: Non-human entities or previously human like demons and ghosts – also includes aliens.
Science Fiction: fiction based on future scientific and/or technological advances. There are often large social and environmental changes. Science fiction also often revolves around space or time travel and life on other planets.
Supernatural: Supernatural beings can present as human but have extra powers or abilities. These include Vampires, Shapeshifters, and Werewolves
Suspense: In a suspense the protagonist may become in danger but it’s more gradual than in a thriller.
Thriller: A protagonist in in danger from the outset.
Crime Thriller: A thriller that combines the pacing and storytelling of a thriller with a crime plot.
Espionage: Also known as spy fiction. CIA, secret agents, Bourne etc. Spying at it’s best.
Historical Thriller: Thrillers set before 1960s in a specific time period that is accurately represented.
Legal Thriller: The main theme of this thriller is around the law and usually a courtroom.
Medical Thriller: A story that revolves around something medical like a race to uncover who is selling organs on the black market or stopping a terrorist from letting a disease free in a city.
Military Thriller: This thriller is set in the military.
Psychological Thriller: This story revolves around a battle of minds and wills. They are often darker and focus on emotional trauma.
Supernatural Thriller: These thrillers blend the fast paced plot of a thriller with supernatural elements like magic, psychics or ghosts.
Techno Thriller: Technology focused thrillers for example, the main character needs to stop a criminal from unleashing the world’s biggest computer virus and wiping out all defence systems.
Age Of Protagonists
Young Adult (15-18): This is generally aimed at the teen market and most often doesn’t have sex or has fade to black sex, depending on the age of the characters. The main character is 15-18.
New Adult (18-24): This is aimed at the older teen and young 20s market. The stories are generally more sophisticated and include sex scenes. The main character is 18-24.
25-39: A main character or strong secondary character who is 25-39 years old.
40+ Leading Lady: A main character or strong secondary character who is over 40.
Careers / Hobbies
Amateur Detective: A detective that is not being paid by the police department and has no official training in police work.
Actress: An actress in any kind of acting.
Accountant: A woman who does accounting.
Artist: Someone who paints, draws, sculpts, tattoos or does anything artistic as a career or a significant hobby.
Author/Writer: A main character who is a writer/author as a serious hobby or for a living
Celebrity: Someone who is famous. This can overlap with Royalty and Actress but is not limited to those. It could be a YouTuber, Author who is well knows etc.
CEO: A woman who runs a company. Can be her own or can be a company she does not own.
Chef/Foodie: Someone who loves to cook and gets paid to do it.
Cop: Anyone who works as a police officer.
Criminal: Makes money doing illegal things.
Dancer: Professional dancer.
Firefighter: Fights fires.
Flight Attendant: Works for an airline.
Lawyer: Practices Law
Medical Professional: Doctor, nurse, anaesthesiologist, dentist, physical therapist etc. Not someone like a secretary or janitor that works at a hospital
Military Professional: Anyone who works in the military including Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce and Coast Guard.
Musician: Either professional or amateur musician.
Pilot: A person who flies airplanes, helicopters or spaceships for a living or for pleasure.
Politician: A woman in politics.
Private Investigator: A story that revolves around a formal or informal PI. For example a journalist who ends up solving a case can also be considered a PI.
Royalty: Anyone who is royal from the queen all the way to some minor duchess or second cousin to a duchess.
Scientist: A woman who works in science.
Small Business Owner: Owns her own coffee shop, book store or other small business and employs a handful of people or works for herself as something like a graphic designer or cake maker.
Social Worker: A Social Worker helps people of all ages to cope with the problems caused by poverty, unemployment, illness, antisocial behaviour and other social inadequacies. Works for the government.
Sports Player: Plays any kind of sport professionally or as a hobby including things like poker.
Baseball / Softball: A main character or strong secondary character who plays softball or baseball.
Basketball: A main character or strong secondary character who plays basketball.
Cheerleader: A main character or strong secondary character who does cheerleading as a sport.
Golf: A main character or strong secondary character who plays golf.
Olympics: A main character or strong secondary character who enters the Olympics.
Racing: A main character or strong secondary character who races in any form including cars, bikes, horses, humans running.
Soccer / Football: A main character or strong secondary character who plays soccer.
Surfer: A main character or strong secondary character who surfs.
Tennis: A main character or strong secondary character who plays Tennis.
Teacher/Professor: Teaches people.
Tech Specialist: Someone who specialises in any kind of technology eg, IT, hacking, website design.
Characteristics And Themes Of Protagonists
Divorcee: A woman who was previously married and is now divorced. The marriage can be to a man or woman.
Girl Next Door: A main character who is sweet and charming and everyone likes.
Leading Lady With A Physical Disability: A main character with a physical disability.
Neurodiverse Leading Lady: Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognised and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome to name a few.
Pet Mommy: A main character or strong secondary character who has a pet or gets a pet and it’s a significant part of the story.
Pretending To Be A Man: A cisgender woman who dresses and behaves like a man in order to pass for one. Not necessarily a butch character (but often is). This is often a case of having to pass as a man in order to survive or be safe. This is specifically not a transgender woman – there is another category for trans women.
Recluse: A main character who doesn’t like people and prefers her own company. Often lives in remote places or rarely ventures out into public.
Single Mother: A main character or strong secondary character who is an unattached mother and raising her child predominately alone. Someone can also be a single mother if they are divorced but have custody of the child or if the other parent is involved but not as often.
Widow: A main character or strong secondary character with a deceased spouse or long time life partner.
Taming The Beast/Thawing The Ice Queen: A story where one character starts off being nasty/prickly/ice queen and the other character breaks through those barriers and unveils the real woman.
Culture / Country Of Protagonists
American Lead: A main character or strong secondary character from the USA
Asian Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is Asian or partially Asian decent
Australian Lead: A main character or strong secondary character from Australia
Black Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is black.
British Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is from the UK (England, Ireland or Scotland)
Canadian Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is Canadian.
Indigenous Person of America: A main character or strong secondary character who is an Indigenous Person of America, known formerly as Native Americans.
Irish Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is from Ireland.
Jewish Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is Jewish.
Latinx Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is from any latin American country or with family roots from a latin American country including: Mexico; Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica; Panama; Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, French Guiana, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America; Cuba; Haiti; and Puerto Rico.
New Zealander Lead: A main character or strong secondary character from NZ.
Identity / Gender Presentation Of Protagonists
Asexual Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who identifies with being on the Asexual spectrum.
Bisexual Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who identifies as bisexual. If she was married to a man and then realised she is lesbian then this doesn’t count.
Butch Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is clearly butch.
Femme Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is clearly femme – lipstick, nails, dresses, heals.
Non-Binary Lead: A main character or strong secondary character who is non-binary / gender fluid.
Transgender Lead: A transgender woman main character or strong secondary character.
Speculative Fiction Characters
Magic User: Anything with magic as a theme.
Pirate: A story revolving around a pirate.
Shifter: Werewolves, shapeshifters and anything that can change its form.
Superhero: A being with abilities greater than human
Vampire: Any kind of vampire, even sparkly ones.
Academics/Education: The story takes place in an academic environment or one of the leads is a teacher, professor etc.
Bildungsroman/Coming of age: A novel dealing with one’s formative years, spiritual education or coming to terms with oneself and growing up.
Coming Out: A story of someone coming out at any age.
Foodies: A story with a strong theme of food.
Internal Journey: A story where the main character goes through massive internal changes. Often, but not always, this is a drama and will have internal dialogue.
Law: This story has a legal setting – either cops or lawyers solving a case.
Life Story: A story that takes place of the course of someone’s life span.
Medical: The story is set in a medical setting or has to do with a medical case.
Music: The story is set in a music related setting or has to do with music.
Naughty/Spanking/BDSM: A story that features spanking, BDSM or other role playing as an important part of the story.
Sad: A story that makes you want to cry.
Sweet: A book that makes you go aaaaawwwww.
Holidays / Events
Christmas: A novel set around Christmas.
Halloween: A story set around Halloween.
Valentine’s Day: A story set around Valentine’s day.
Across Time / Time Slip: A story that takes place over two or more time periods. The most common type of this story is time travel.
Contemporary: This is fiction that is realistic, it is set in the current time period where we live and while the characters are fictional, they are believable as someone who could exist now.
Futuristic: A story set in the future but not necessarily science fiction.
Historical: A story that is set in the past and uses true characteristics of the time. Generally set quite far back in history and not within the last 50 years.
Period Piece: A book that is set is a specific time in history. This can be as recent as the 90s or as far back as cavewoman times. It represents the era well and often nostalgically.
Western/Historic USA: Stories that revolve around The Wild West or traveling across the US to populate the country or are set in the 19th century frontier America.
War: A story set against the backdrop of war.
Lesbian Fiction: A story that is fictional with a main character who is lesbian/queer.
Audiobook: A book that is narrated and you can listen to it.
Kids Book: A book aimed at kids.
Series: A novel that is part of a series.
Anthology: A collection of short stories. Often with a specific theme.
Short Story/Novella: A single short story or medium length story.
Lesbian Non Fiction: A story that is not fictional with a main character who is lesbian/queer.
19th Century: Non-Fiction that took place anytime from 1801 – 1900
20th Century: Non-Fiction that took place anytime from 1901-2000.
Biography / Memoir / Autobiography: The real life telling of someone done as a biography, memoir or autobiography.
Diary / Letter: The real life telling of someone thought their diary entries or letters.
Literary History: This type of book charts developments in writing through history. It looks at the affects on culture and how history changed as a result of writing, poetry and drama.