Tropes usually have a pretty bad rep. They can get repetitive, boring, and sometimes make you feel like you are always reading the same thing. But is that always such a bad thing? What about all the story elements that you love and just wish more books had them? Well, friends, today I’m bringing you my top 7 tropes/clichés that I love to death.
what are tropes?
When I look online for a definition, I get mostly examples of figures of speech. But I think that we all know here in this bookish community what we’re referring to when we say “trope.” At least when I use the term, I mean to say occurring themes and plot devices used to further the plot of a story.
If there’s a better term for what I’m referring to, please let me know in the comments!
are they always bad?
Of course not! Sure, book tropes can be pretty lame, and there’s no real objective reason for that. It’s all about personal preferences. A good way of finding out what your favorite tropes are is by thinking of your top 10 favorite books. Now, do they have anything in common? Whether that be a kind of character, a situation, or what makes the plot move? If so, you may have found a new favorite trop!
Some of my least favorite book tropes are:
🐝 relationships that start off because of cheating
🐝 issues that come up because of miscommunication
🐝 parents who are conveniently gone just so the teenage main character can get up to some mischief
🐝 female main characters who are “just not like other girls, omg”
The main reason why I have grown to hate these tropes is because I’ve seen them used a number of times. Plus, they either stand for something I hate or despise.
But tropes can also be oh-so-gooooood!
when can tropes be good?
The sure-fire way for any author to know how to write a good trope is for them to know that they can’t please every reader — and that’s fine!!! What I call a bad trope may be one of your favorites, and there is no harm in that. In fact, all the merrier! Yay, a greater diversity of books around!
Then, it is also important to not overdo it. Everything in the right measure. I love maple syrup, but if I had to drink a mug full of it? I probably would never want to eat it or smell it ever, ever again.
So, when they’re not overdone and when they hit that personal cord with the reader, tropes can be really, really awesome. It’s so hard to know what tropes to include in your story and which ones to leave out. In the end, everyone has their favorite trope and some are more widely loved than others. It’s just life!
a list of my favorite tropes!!!
This is my favorite part, telling you (and hearing from you!!!) what my favorite tropes are. I have to admit, I have quite a few that I have never heard anyone mention, so definitely let me know in the comments if you like them too!
🌼 01. enemies-to-lovers
Okay, starting off with my absolute favorite one. I love it when two characters who used to be enemies become lovers. There is just something about all the intensity of the relationship and the chemistry that makes me ship those couples even harder!
Some couples I can think of off the top of my head that fall into this trope are:
🐝 Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter (even if only in a veeeeery subtle way)
🐝 Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
🐝 Simon and Baz from Carry On
🐝 Bianca and Wesley from The DUFF
And since we’re talking about this trope, I can’t wait to read Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game. The name says it all, doesn’t it!
Also, if you’re looking for LGBT couples with this tropes, you need to check out Anna’s post all about it.
🌼 02. fantasy boarding schools!
Ever since I read Harry Potter, I have been obsessed with boarding schools. Bonus points if they are magic or martial arts schools, too! I love the thought of living in a dorm surrounded by your friends and being fully immersed in the school world. In reality, that would probably suck a lot, but there are always books to satisfy this craving!
Some books that have this element:
🐝Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (pretty much the whole series)
🐝Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
🐝 The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
🐝 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
🐝 The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
If you want to read boarding school books that are not fantasy, then Anna has a bunch of LGBT books for you. Check it out — you won’t be disappointed.
🌼 03. college campuses
Probably because I’m in university, I love reading about other characters who are also at university. Especially if they have one of those big, movie-style college campuses where there are also dorms. In my country, we don’t have those, so I’ve hyped them up really badly in my head — oops!
More awesome books with this element:
🐝 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
🐝 American Panda by Gloria Chao
🐝 Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I know that this list is lacking. Honestly, I just really need to read more campuses books!!! (P.S.: Should I haves called this campi??? What even is the plural of campus???)
🌼 04. the ‘oh no! the hotel booked us into the same room and there is only one bed?’ trope
Okay, hear me out, I KNOW THIS ONE SOUNDS STRANGE! But just the other day I read a tweet about this trope and I was completely taken aback by how much I love it in movies and how little of it I’ve read it???
I actually have zero books for this trope, so I’m fully expecting a writer to come in and write it for me! If you know of a book with this trope, let me know!
🌼 05. found family
For whatever reason it is, I love it when characters find a family to love them when they previously had no one. It’s so heartwarming and makes my insides flutter. Especially because these bonds are usually super different to what “normal” relationships are like. There’s an element of loyalty and independence that I find very cute.
Some books that have this trope:
🐝 The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
🐝 The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Once again, Anna wrote a great post recommending a bunch of LGBT books with this trope! I’ll definitely be checking some of those out.
🌼 06. average protagonist (and not a chosen one!)
I really like it when an average character goes out and does something extraordinary. They’re not the chosen one, they’re not the son of some God, there is no prophecy saying they will save the world, nor do they have some crazy powers no one knows about. They’re just… normal, you know?
To me, it’s so much more meaningful when these characters succeed. After all, the odds were not really in their favour, but they pulled through!!
The only book I can think of right now is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s been a good years since I read it, but I’m pretty sure Kvothe isn’t a chosen one, is he??? Boy it’s gonna be embarrassing if he is one…
🌼 07. let’s pretend we’re not dating but we’re going to end up dating!
I’m a sucker for this one. The biggest example I can think of is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. I really love seeing people fake being in relationships and then realize they do actually like each other quite a bit! I don’t know what’s wrong with me 🙈
What about you? What are your favorite tropes? Do you have any book/movie recommendations for me that might fall into one of these tropes I mentioned?