The tropes and cliches I love and . . . don’t love as much

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?

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10 Responses to The tropes and cliches I love and . . . don’t love as much

  1. I love bad boys and superpower stories!

    What do you consider a ‘quirky’ musical instrument?

    • Michelle Krys says:

      Any instrument that’s not very common for a teenager to play. Which is funny now that I think about it, because I have a character in an upcoming book play ukulele. What a hypocrite I am! ;)

  2. Love triangles do have the potential to annoy me–like anything, they have to be done right–but I agree with a lot of this! Not sure I’ve encountered the musical instrument thing that often either…I’d be really interested to know where you’ve seen that, actually.

    • Michelle Krys says:

      Oh man I’ve seen it so much. I would love to give examples but you know, the whole ‘rude’ thing. ;)

      And yeah I know a lot of people are burnt out on love triangles at the moment. You’re totally right–it has to be done well.

    • Brandy says:

      I love a good love triangle!! But only if both options are equally good. I really don’t enjoy when an author sets up two options for the sake of it, but one option is the clear choice. It ruins all the fun!

  3. Brandy says:

    I love a good rags to riches story. I also love a forbidden romance. My favourite is a normal teen who discovers their secret destiny. HEXED!!!

    I really hate instalove.

  4. Ashely Garrock says:

    I don’t care for Mary Sue character. I love me some bad boys though!

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