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Tropes aren’t always that bad! // 7 tropes I love πŸ’ž

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/clichΓ©s 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 β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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 πŸ™ˆ

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?

42 thoughts on “Tropes aren’t always that bad! // 7 tropes I love πŸ’ž

  1. omg I love boarding schools!! I think they’re one of the best settings, especially for fantasy! And of course the “we have to share a bed!!!” trope, especially when the characters are pining for each other. No matter how cheesy it is, I love it every time


  2. I love haters to lovers and boarding school tropes as well! They are usually done so well and the boarding school one is usually so fun! I also love the average protagonist one because it reminds everyone that you can do most anything with practice and dedication to your cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game is such a great read! Enemies to Lovers is also one of my favorite tropes, I feel like the characters are force to get to know each other better than just falling in insta-love. The trope is great for slow burn romances!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooh this is such an interesting post – I always fall into the hole of thinking about tropes as bad, but you’re right there also fun tropes that I like as well, I’ve just never thought about it like that!

    Some of the ones you mentioned that I also LOVE magical schools (doesn’t matter if it’s a boarding school or general school) I love to live that vicarious life, college campuses and found families.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely agree that not all tropes are bad tropes! There’s nothing wrong with repeating elements from other books if it’s done well πŸ™‚ I’m also a huge fan of literally all of these. I laughed out loud at the ‘oh no there’s only one bed’ one because honestly, SO TRUE! I think immediately of A Court of Mist and Fury by SJM and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins; both of those scenes are gold. And yes yes yes to fantasy boarding schools! Honestly, it’s kind of everywhere in fantasy (especially in the late 2000s, early 2010s fantasies) and I’m here for it. I’ve been wondering if there are like trope trends in YA and anecdotally, I think the answer is a definite yes πŸ™‚

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so here for magic schools! Especially when the group of friends get into some shenanigans around the campus. I really loved the whole construction of the Hogwarts castle, and so I love it when the magic schools are also MAGICAL in the build. Moving stairs, haunted rooms, the whole nine yards!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am also obsessed with found families, boarding schools, and dorm rooms… I didn’t even think about how those are tropes for the longest time because I just love them so much I’ll fight somebody over them lol

    Also, somehow, I did not realize that my love of boarding school settings stems from Harry Potter. It was just so much a part of my childhood that influenced everything!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh I love this post ❀ I agree with so many of your favorite tropes here, I love a good enemies to lovers relationship, though I have to say my weakness in that relationship area is the friends to lovers one haha. I also LOVE boarding schools, though not necessarily fantasy schools, just boarding schools in general haha and YES to fake dating, too πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hateeeee when the parents are just like… not there? That used to get on my nerves so much especially when I was a teen! I’d read books or watch movies and think jeez my parents must be really strict πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fake dating and boarding schools are for sure at the top of my list for favorite tropes as well! I have read Truly Devious recently and it is set in a boarding school, which was one of the top things I loved about it! The setting was really remarkable.
    I think it’s amazing you included “found family” as one of your favorite tropes, because recently I read Far From the Tree, by Robin Benway and that’s literally this trope in a book! It’s about our main character Grace connecting with her two biological siblings after sixteen years, and one of them has never been adopted and has a lot of trauma surrounding his foster care experience. If you’re looking for another book with that trope, I’d highly recommend checking this one out! It was a beautiful read!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some of your fav tropes are also mine!! May I recommend some books:
    – ennemies to lovers : Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston (between the prince of England and the First Son of the US– soooooo good)
    – elite school : if we were villains by M.L Rio (drama school with a LOT OF DRAMA – basically shakespeare and murder)

    Liked by 1 person

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