Tropes: Hate It or Love It?
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Ah tropes, the bread and butter of story-making. You either love them or hate them, and that is exactly what I am going to talk about in this post.
Like most people, there are a fair share of things that I love to read about in books, but also a good amount of things that ruin the experience if it is included.
As I am currently making my way through ARCs, I haven't been posting many reviews as I like to wait until two weeks before the books are set to release. Doing posts like this seem like a good idea to fill the void and it's just fun to talk about the things I do and don't like in books. Everyone loves a good ranting session.
Without further ado, here are some book tropes that I either LOVE or HATE!
Hate-to-Love - LOVE
Give me a slow-burn romance full of bickering and I will be a happy person. I always say that my go-to romances are ones like Anastasia and Dimitri from Anastasia and Rick and Evelyn from The Mummy. While some books manage to do it the way I like, I found that fanfics one the whole nail it way better.
I feel like this is a pretty common trope in books that a lot of people like. There is a wide range of romances that can qualify as hate-to-love or enemies-to-lovers, but I am a bit particular about what I like to see. I am not a big fan when the hate is due to miscommunication that was blown out of proportion or when one of the two is a bully or treats the other horribly. I just want some harmless bickering, not a romance that is borderline unhealthy.
Insta-love - HATE
Does anybody really like this trope? As I said above, I love me a good slow-burn romance where you can actually see the relationship develop. I find that when characters fall in love too quickly it is disingenuine and rather ridiculous. It also makes me feel like the author had no idea how to build up the relationship so they went from 0 to 100 in order to skip the process.
My only exception to this would be for romances like the one shown above from Speed. Romances that develop within a short period of time due to intense situations that are based on attraction are mostly fine with me (and I really just like the movie enough to ignore the insta-love).
Love Triangle - HATE
Nope, nope, nopety, nope. I know that a lot of people say that love triangles aren't bad if they're done well, but no amount of good writing can make me like this trope. Can someone have feelings for more than one person at once, sure, but the level of dramatics that is played up in books just doesn't work for me. If it was a scenario where the love triangle ends up in a poly relationship then that would be different, but so far I haven't read a single book, I don't think, that includes one.
Pirates - LOVE
I don't think this can technically be qualified as a trope but I love it anyway and I need more of it. There is a lack of good non-romance pirate books and that needs to be rectified immediately. As someone who took a course on pirates in university and loved every second of it, it is just something that works for me in media. There is so much personality you can put into a pirate character, from being downright bloodthirsty to being dashing and witty. Books set on ships on the high seas also is just so much fun to read about for me.
The Magical Inn - LOVE
I'm talking about Howl's Moving Castle and Hotel del Luna here. There's something so magical about a magical inn that captivates me. I am awaiting the day when I find a good book that is similar to something like Hotel del Luna because an inn for the dead is a great concept. The only book I have read that falls someone in here is Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews.
The Scooby-Doo Twist - HATE
Books marketed as paranormal horror/thriller are notorious for it, and I hate it. I feel cheated when I dive into a book expecting for the whodunnit to be something supernatural/paranormal, only for it to be a real human being after all (hence why I call it a Scooby-Doo twist). No matter how much I enjoy the book, I will always end up knocking it down a peg if it does that to me.
The same can be said for a book that puts a twist in the epilogue of a standalone book. It is a cheap trick and I am not here for it. It may have worked for classic slasher films, but it does not work for books.
Mary-Sue Character - LOVE
I saved the most unpopular opinion for last, as I rather enjoy mary-sue characters. There was a time when a lot of main characters were unrealistically powerful, and since then a lot of people have moved on from that seeking more grounded characters that they can relate to. I, on the other hand, love it when a character is overpowered. I watch a lot of anime so overpowered characters are nothing new to me, and oftentimes they are my favourite characters. I just really like characters that you know will win every fight.