I’ve spoken a lot (a lot a lot) in the past about all the bookish tropes I hate. In fact if you’ve been following me long enough you’re probably already aware of a few of the tropes I can’t stand; insta-love, love triangles (unless they’re done right and honestly how often does that happen?), and girl hate are the main three.
However while there are tropes I can’t stand, and it’s the same for everyone, there are plenty of tropes out there I can’t get enough of. I talk so much about the tropes I can’t stand but I rarely talk about the tropes I love and why it is I love them so much.
Why I Love Bookish Tropes.
Tropes are definitely cliché and because of them it can be easy to tell how the story will end in books with a ‘Chosen One’, or who the characters will end up with in books with a friend to lover arc, but part of what I love about them is seeing the journey. It’s more about watching two people grow closer despite the different sides they’re fighting on than seeing the outcome, about seeing the prophecy play out in ways I never could have predicted than the grand finale.
Tropes are also kind of inevitable, let’s be honest, but what turns them from clichés into great stories and characters is down to the author. As much as I will pick up any book with an enemies to lovers relationship there are definitely some out there better than others because of the way they’ve been written and developed.
Enemies to Lovers
This is probably my favourite trope, and I will pick up literally any book with an enemies to lovers relationship. I love the snark between the two characters as they try to align their feelings with the fact that this other person is supposed to be their enemy. It makes for great reading.
Favourite Enemies to Lovers Reads;
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Who doesn’t love Simon and Baz?
Penryn and the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee – The interaction between Penryn and Raffe was my favourite part of this trilogy.
The Chosen One
I know this a trope that’s getting tired for a few people. I feel like this trope works well with the prophecy trope, and what I love is seeing the twists the author will come up with that bring the prophecy into actuality but in ways the main character and the reader never see coming.
Favourite Chosen One Reads;
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan – After everything he’s been through Percy really deserves a break, but he keeps getting pulled back into these quests and prophecies.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Of course.
Friends to Lovers
The friends to lovers trope seems to be a staple in YA contemporary books. There’s something sweet and kind of comforting about having that person who the character has been so close to for most of their lift turn into something more as the story develops.
This isn’t to be confused with the unrequited, one-sided friends to lovers trope. Where one friends is in love with the other but the other just sees them as a friend. That’s another trope I can’t stand.
Villain to Hero Redemption Arc
When I say ‘Redemption Arc’ I don’t mean redemption through death, which again is a trope I’m not a fan of it. I want to see the villains realise they are in too far over their own heads and switch sides, working to prove themselves to the hero and to themselves that they’re better than what they were.
Favourite Villain to Hero Redemption Arc Reads;
Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab – Holland’s development, especially in A Conjuring of Light, was incredible and I really felt for his character.
What I really love though, and would love to see more of, are subverted tropes. I want more chosen ones like Simon Snow, the worst chosen one ever to have been chosen according to Baz, and I want more love triangles like the one between Caden, Dylan and Julia, where instead of fighting for the same girl the two boys realise they’re in love with each other (or vice versa).
As much as I love the tropes I’ve listed above there’s nothing better than when the author takes the clichés and expectations that comes with our favourite tropes and turns them on their head.
Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:
What is your favourite thing about bookish tropes, and which trope is your favourite? Do you have any recommendations?
Do any of the tropes I featured make your top trope list, and are any of the books I picked your favourites as well?
Which tropes do you think would work really well if they were subverted?
Let me know in the comments below.