I know tropes are supposed to be a bad thing and yada yada yada, but there are certain plot devices that I love so much they don’t feel overused to me no matter how often I see them pop up in literature. When I read a blurb and come across any of the following, I just know my wallet is going to get a little bit lighter (I’d give specific examples here, but as my sister wisely pointed out, authors may not take kindly to having their books on a cliché list, whether I’m saying I freaking love the book or not!)
Tropes I freaking love
- Forbidden romance.
- New girl at school. Bonus point if it’s a boarding school.
- Love triangles.
- Bad boy with a secret tender side.
- Characters who start out hating each other and then fall in love.
- Seemingly normal teenager who discovers their secret destiny.
- Character thrust out of poverty and/or obscurity into fame and/or fortune. Bonus points if there’s royalty involved.
Tropes that get under my skin
- Instalove. There’s nothing better than a good romance, but it has to come from an authentic place. Nothing gets to me as much as two characters who fall madly and deeply in love seemingly at a glance.
- Absent parent-figures. Not that they’re dead, which I’m totally down for, just that whoever is in charge seems to let the main characters do whatever they please, stay out late, skip school, get into trouble, etc., and either don’t notice or care or else they understand. Basically they don’t act anything like parents in real life.
- Female main character who relies on the man to save her. Save yourself, woman.
- Main character who wants nothing more than to be a writer. Specific trope is specific. Now the reason this one bugs me is that I can see the author’s hand and it pulls me out of the book. While being an author is great (obvi!) there are other jobs out there to aspire to. Another close one is a main character who plays a quirky musical instrument.
So, there you have it! What are the tropes and clichés that you love and that get under your skin?