Smash or Pass Book Tag

I’ve really been enjoying watching other book bloggers do the “Smash or Pass” book tag, so I was absolutely delighted when Celeste from A Literary Escape tagged me!  Becky at Becky’s Book Blog created the Smash or Pass book tag which is, I think, based on a trend from BookTok? Basically, for each prompt, you explain whether you would “smash” or “pass” on it. There are no specific rules except to link back to the creator and whoever tagged you (done and done!)

Okay, let’s get to the prompts!

Bookish Tropes

This one really depends on the trope and how it’s done, but I’d say overall SMASH. I do love seeing what authors do with tropes and how they put their own spin on them. It’s also a nice shorthand for getting a sense of what you’ll get from a book.

Alternating POV

This depends on the genre for me. In romance, hard PASS. I like to follow the story from one person’s perspective, particularly as so many authors do a bad job of differentiating between the two voices for me.

If it’s more general fiction, it’s a SMASH. I love multi-generational and family stories with alternating POVs.

Ambiguous Endings

I read a lot of romance so this isn’t usually a thing with the whole HEA expectation. But SMASH in literary fiction. Life rarely has a clear ending.


SMASH, particularly personal essays and memoir. I studied creative nonfiction in grad school so I write in this genre myself and love reading it.

Historical Setting

PASS. I have grown out of enjoying historical fiction for now, though I did love it as a kid.

Morally Grey Characters

PASS. I’m fine with complicated characters who make mistakes but I like to know that they’re trying to be good peopne and do the right thing.

First Person POV

SMASH. Love first person when it’s done well though I do think I enjoy a close third person a bit more these days for whatever reason.


SMASH for sure. I love audiobooks.


PASS. I reread favorites a lot when I was younger but there are just so many books out there that I want to spend my time reading news ones. If I visit old favorites, it’ll be through audiobooks at bedtime.

Classic Novels

I have a BA in Literature, so this may be a bit controversial, but PASS. I read so many classics during my undergraduate years and in high school that I feel like I’ve got a good handle on the so-called Canon and rarely feel called to pick up those books I might have missed during four years of literature syllabi.


This is more of a soft tap than a full smash, but SMASH. I don’t annotate much these days but I do like to read with a pen nearby in case a quote strikes me and I want to mark it off.

Cracking Book Spines

Honestly not something I think about. I’ll say PASS since I don’t do it intentionally but I’m also not devastated if it happens.


I may be in the minority here among romance readers, but PASS. I like the sexual tension and buildup far more than I enjoy on the page descriptions of two characters getting together. These scenes feel awkward to me and I generally prefer some steamy buildup and a fade to black. That’s not to say I don’t read books with lots of on the page steam, because I do, but I’m there for the love story not the love making.

Character Driven Books

SMASH. Yes, please.

Past/Present Split Timeline

I haven’t thought about this explicitly but thinking back on some of the books I’ve enjoyed in the recent past I have to say SMASH.

Heavy World Building

Soft PASS simply because I don’t read enough fantasy or sci fi for this to be necessary. I’d like to get back into fantasy so I guess we’ll see how it goes.


By now most of you know that tagging people makes me anxious, so I’m tagging any of my book blogger friends who’ve been waiting for an invitation to join in on this one!


4 thoughts on “Smash or Pass Book Tag

  1. This is a very fun tag. I just did put together a post for this tag earlier today and scheduled it for next week. I’m enjoying all the different answers.

  2. POV is not a huge thing for me, but there are some romances I have read where I wish I had the other person’s POV. I wanted in their head. Dual POV is not necessary for my enjoyment, but there are times I felt it would have been an asset. I hate ambiguous endings. I know I am an outlier, but I like it tied up in a bow.

  3. I think our answers would be very similar except that I would SMASH historical fiction and Non-Fiction is a soft smash. I love your explanations as well.

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