Do you ever read a book and at a certain point in the plot, you realize the book has a trope and you know where it’s going. At that point, you could probably read the book with your eyes closed and you’ll still predict the ending.
Yeah, that’s the type of trope I’m talking about it. When you’ve read a lot of books, like most of us here, you’ll probably get tired of them. The following tropes usually, if not always, make me want to dnf a book, or it will at least lower my enjoyment of them.
I’m not like other girls..
Any book in which a female main character feels better than other girls because she’s not like them, or when a male love interest tells her ‘she’s not like other girls’ will be thrown across the room. I’m not here for that internalized misogyny. Luckily, this trope is slowly disappearing from modern fiction, because I can’t deal.
The Chosen One
Now, I’m not hating on all ‘chosen one’ books (Harry Potter is one..) but this is overdone. My problem with a lot of recent ‘chosen one’ books is that it feels like a cheap cop out and an excuse to not come up with a real, multi-layered plot. Why is it that completely unqualified characters find out they’re ‘chosen’ and suddenly master doing magic or battle fighting, and therefore never really face any issues. Lazy.
The let’s-pair-everyone-up-with-another-character trope
Okay, I’m realizing I’m giving all of these terrible names, but you get it. Since we’re on the subject of Harry Potter, I thought I’d expand on it. Why is it that books that are (usually) part of a series and feature a group of main characters, often in a dystopian or fantasy setting, at the end of the series they all end up in a hetereosexual relationships with each other, even if the relationships don’t make sense! It’s so unrealistic and unnecessary. You know, it’s cool to stay single for a whileThat doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.
The miscommunication trope
Whenever I see this, it just feels very ’80s movie. I’m talking about the no-wait-I-can-explain-it-trope, often used as a poor excuse for a plot. It’s the type of plot device used when the entire conflict of the book could be resolved with a simple conversation, but it just doesn’t happen because the main character just doesn’t want to talk. Reading about this is so frustrating!
The super attractive female character
She doesn’t sweat, she glistens in the sun. The shape of her breasts is clearly visible under her dress and her eyes have a vague shade of blueish green. You know the type of character I’m talking about, often written by male authors. I’m just so tired of it. How do you expect me to relate to your medieval peasant character if she looks like a supermodel?
I’m specifically talking about the type of love where both characters fall in love with each other at the same time and believe that they’re all there is in this world. It’s different when one character falls in love with the other, and they still have to convince or work for the other person to make their romance work. Otherwise it just feels like lazy writing, and a cop out to not have to include any decent character development.
The love triangle
Deep. Sigh. This one is popular to hate. Love triangles are in almost every single YA book now, and I could probably write a 1000 word post about them (I might, someday). I now actually go out of my way to avoid books with love triangles in them. I just really don’t like them. They’re super unrealistic, often feel somewhat abusive and like cheating (a main character tells one guy she likes him, but then kisses the other, etc). They’re often added to create tension in the plot, but for me it just creates frustration.