Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted weekly by The Broke and Bookish and anyone is free to participate! This week’s subject is a freebie, so I decided to make a list of my top favorite/hated trops with examples of books-I’ll make the examples in white text so you don’t have to know which books I’m thinking of unless you REALLY want to (AKA highlight the text). I’ll do some of each, and I’m sorry if one of my tropes is in a book you really like. I’d love to hear about why you do like it, maybe it’ll change my mind! I’ll choose 5 for each.
I always like to hear bad news first soooo:
I mean so many books are about this theme and I just cannot stand it. I really hate characters who cheat. I’m not a fan, I can’t really think of any situation where I would be OK with cheating. And romanticizing cheating? H-E-L-L N-O, I want to get off the ride. I think it’s probably because I hate cheating IRL so much (I mean who doesn’t) that I can’t even stand to read about a character who’s cheating.
- Examples: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover; Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (don’t @ me Bella was completely cheating on Edward with Jacob).
- MC thinks they’re plain/boring but then is in a love triangle/square/etc.
I have a whole other discussion in mind about why heroines feel the need to constantly belittle themselves all the damn day long but for this I’m specifically talking about main characters (usually this is a heroine-because apparently men aren’t insecure??) who is like, “I’m plain and nothing is particularly special about me. Boys don’t pay attention to me and blah blah.” But then *plot twist* the MC is in a love triangle and two boys are “desperately in love with them” ok. OK. Settle down there.
- Examples: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- All the MC does is ask questions
This trope is also known as memory dump and I credit Sam from Thoughts on Tomes for pointing this out to me, specifically. I’ve started noticing this in a lot more books now that I’m aware of it and it’s frustrating. As a reader, it doesn’t bother me as much. But the implications it sends about the character who asks all the questions is frustrating (particularly when it’s largely heroines who are subjected to this).
- Character A withholds information from Character B because “they don’t want Character B to worry, be in danger etc.,” and the threatener says so
This happens in books, this happens in movies. This happens ALL THE DAMN TIME. OK, real talk. IRL, if someone is threatening you and tells you not to tell the police, you tell the police anyway. IRL, if you’re working with someone and are threatened and are not supposed to tell another person, you tell them anyway. IDK when this idea of withholding information “for your own good” got started but it’s messed up. Sharing information is ALWAYS a good idea. And then oh yeah, Character B gets kidnapped because you withheld the information “for their own good” but if you had just shared the info in the first place this wouldn’t have happened. le sigh.
Examples: ALL THE BOOKS. I actually can’t think of any specific examples, sorry. But give me some time, I’ll remember them.
- When the reader is confused about how the character feels
OK, to explain. I’m fine if a character is confused about how they feel. That’s totally fine, it happens in real life, why wouldn’t characters have conflicting emotions? It’s when me, myself and I as the reader are confused. Like at the beginning the character is like, “I LOVE CHEESE, I would take a fondue bath in it.” And then later is like, “Meh, cheese, I could live without it.” N-O. I like to know my character well.
- Examples: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
OK, OK. I know what you’re thinking, “She just talked about love triangles in her ‘hated’ list and now this is on her favorite???” I still like love-triangles, that particular aspect of the love triangle is just annoying. But it usually only exists for about a page or two, and then it moves on so I’m allowed. There’s something about the indecision that rings true with me. OH yeah, it’s because I’m indecisive about everything (except my SO).
- Examples: Every Cassandra Clare book; The Unwritten Rules and 95% of Elizabeth Scott books
In addition to love triangles, I’m a sucker for restrained jealousy in fiction. I just can’t help it, and I have no idea why. I mean, like love-triangles, jealousy is like the worst thing in real life. But for some reason it really does it for me on page.
- Examples: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare; Suffice it to say many, many books feature subtle jealousy. Like almost every one.
- Rom-com movie worthy
I’m talking meet-cutes, “longing looks across the room” and “drop all your commitments to follow them across the city” books. I can just envision some of my fiction books coming to life as rom-coms and I can tell you, the future is bright my friends.
- Examples: The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
- Happily Ever After
Who doesn’t love this one? I mean I love a good, sad story. But when the ending comes, there better be rainbows and unicorns.
Any mutual loves or loathes? Let me know in the comments!