Discussion Time: Why I Love Bookish Tropes

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

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?

Carry On

Penryn and the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee – The interaction between Penryn and Raffe was my favourite part of this trilogy.

Penryn and the End of Days


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.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Of course.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


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.

shades-of-magic-uk-series


Subverted Tropes

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).

Why I Love Bookish Tropes (1)

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.

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66 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Why I Love Bookish Tropes

  1. Yes I love this discussion! I don’t mind tropes as long as they do it well. I know that I like the journey and with those tropes, you get to know how each author handles it. Not stereotypically but a little twist. I also really like subverted tropes but I also love friends to lovers and I only like certain enemies to lovers if done right. I do not like insta-love or girl hate. I also like redemption arcs as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, yeah I think when it comes down to it all books have tropes in them, my opinion of them and my rating just depends how well they’re written. 🙂
      Oh insta-love is a difficult one to get right in my opinion, but I’ve read books with that trope that I’ve enjoyed. I love redemption arcs as long as it’s not the whole ‘redeemed through death’ trend which is a little old in my opinion, and god I hate girl hate. :/

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t think I know anyone who likes girl hate 🤷🏻‍♀️ But I don’t like the redemption through death trope either (I won’t name names but Shadow and Bone) so I am still like ugh. There is some that have done it right like The Star Touched Queen when I didn’t notice it was insta love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well yeah, it’s one of those tropes we all kind of don’t enjoy I guess. I think it’s kind of lazy to try and erase all a characters bad deed just by having them die nobly. If you want them redeemed then make them actually work for it.
        Yep, The Star-Touched Queen is one of mine too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tropes can be hard to discuss, and really depends on personal preference. Because tropes are tropes for a reason – and a lot of them are fun to read about!

    But for me it depends on how it’s done. Is it a cookie cutter storyline or is it redefining the trope?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I mean can you imagine books without tropes, or anything really. For the most part I find tropes a lot of fun, they just need to be well written is all. It’s why I enjoy it when tropes are turned on their head, all the comfort of your favourite trope but there’s a new level of surprise isn’t there?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post Beth!!
    I agree that tropes are popular for a reason, and that’s because they tend to appeal to the readers. I think we like to see tension between characters (such as the enemies to lovers trope) and we like to see the underdog succeed (such as the chosen one trope). However it is up to the author to spice things up and prevent the trope from becoming a cliche!
    I also love the enemies to lovers trope and Simon and Baz are a great example of that! I also liked Holland in ADSOM, who is one of my favourite antiheroes. It is awesome that you mentioned subverted tropes. I loved how this is done in Carry On and would love to see this more often 🙂
    A trope that is a hit or miss with me is the childhood genius trope. I find that it happens a lot in YA fiction and it annoys me sometimes, however I can also think of cases where it is done very well (such as in Warcross and Six of Crows!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sophie. 🙂 They really do, I mean just based on the comments on this post there are a lot of tropes we all seem to love as readers and I guess people are drawn to stories with familiar elements they know they’re going to enjoy. Yeah tension between characters like in the enemies to lovers trope just means they’re well developed characters with a well developed relationship right? 🙂
      Simon and Baz are one of my OTPs for sure, and Holland ended up being my favourite character in A Conjuring of Light solely because of his development in that book. Also yes Carry One is a brilliant example of a subverted chosen one trope, and I’d love to see more books like that you know? I haven’t really read many books with child geniuses, but despite how much I love Six of Crows and Warcross I do get how that could be kind of tired.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I freaking love tropes and looking them up and seeing when they are done or played with successfully, especially in books. It’s so easy to fall down a tvtropes.org hole but it also teaches a lot about similarities across all storytelling.

    I’m particularly fond of villain redemption arcs and Rashomon-style incidents (where everyone has a different version of the tale and interpretations of each other) and love triangles that become anything but that “standard” two crabby dudes and one clumsy lady.

    Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think when it comes down to it there are tropes in all books aren’t they? So yeah I love it when they’re written well even though I love reading the same ones over and over. I’ve never heard of tvtropes.org but now I need to check it out! 😀
      Oh I didn’t realise it had that name but I love the Rashomon-style incidents too. I feel like when done right that can be hilarious and I love books that make me laugh, even if they’re serious fantasy books like Six of Crows or something you know?
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes same, there are actually a few books where I ended up loving the villains more than the heroes! 🙂 Oh I definitely agree, when it comes down to it it’s the ability of the author to make the trope unique that decides where it succeeds or fails in a story you know?

      Like

  5. Nice discussion post as always, Beth! I rarely run into tropes that I hate, but if there’s any, they’re usually related to the romance! But that chosen one trope is definitely one I enjoy reading about, especially when done right by the author! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. 🙂 When I think about it there are more tropes I love than those I hate, and I guess even with the ones I don’t like if written well they could end up being tropes I enjoy after all. Yeah that’s the same with any trope right? It has to be done right by the author.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh I think this post just gave me all the fuzzy feelings (that might just be because Carry On turned up more than once and that book just makes me squeal because it hits all the buttons when I need a comforting read!) I agree with all of these – and all the ones that irk you as well! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very well written! I agree, tropes are inevitable and cliche, but the way they are written depends on the authors and some authors can really write them well! It’s also a comfort to read them, you know? Especially when the story got so dark, you just feel comforted that the chosen one will survive because well, that’s how the story supposed to go, right??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah I think when it comes down to it you’d struggle to find a book that doesn’t have any tropes, I guess it’s how the author handles them. I’ve always said even tropes I hate I could end up enjoying if they’re well written (it rarely happens but it has once or twice). Yeah definitely, you know how they’ll end most time it’s the individual stories and characters that keep you entertained and reading. 🙂

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  8. Wonderful post, Beth! ❤ I really love some tropes just as well and will never get bored of some of them, I think my favorite one always has to be the childhood best friends one, it has my heart haha. I also love a good friends to romance trope and an enemy to lovers one. The chosen one trope does get a bit tiring at times, but some other times it just really fits the world and the plot really well, in a way, so I can't ever be mad about that haha 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 ❤ Yeah I feel like even when you know how the story is going to go there's something comforting about reading the same tropes over and over again. Childhood best friends is one I've heard you talking about before (I knew even before I read your comment it would be the one of your favourites).
      I think currently I've just read too many chosen one stories. I either want a reverse chosen one, like with Simon Snow in Carry On, or just a book that does something unique. Kind of hit and miss whether a chosen one book is one I enjoy or not! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have to say that I really love a lot of tropes as well, even though there are also the ones I dislike! I think that a lot of tropes can be done really well and integrated in a way that is slightly new 🙂 I’m definitely a fan of the Chosen One trope too, it can be done really well and be very entertaining!

    I also agree that subverted tropes can be a lot of fun, I loved how Simon Snow was such a bad chosen one 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I think about it there are more tropes I love than tropes I hate, I’m just more vocal about the tropes I hate I guess. 🙂 At the end of the day it’s not the tropes that keeps me reading, but the story and the characters and the writing, they need to be well written to keep my hooked.
      Yes, Simon Snow is my favourite chosen one for that reason alone! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love enemies to lovers. I have no idea why, but that’s one of my favorites. I also like friends to lovers, but no where near as much. Sometimes I just want them to stay friends. Honestly, I really don’t mind tropes at all. I know a lot of people hate them, but they don’t bother me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems like it’s everyone’s favourite based on some of the comments (for me it’s the banter and tension it allows between the two characters) there’s just something irresistible about it. I mean yeah I’d love to see more friends in YA books that stay friends rather than see every male/female friendship turn into a relationship, but I feel that’s another discussion topic all together. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I find I love the forbidden love trope, which I know is cliche. But hear me out, as much I fell for the Twilight and Fifty Shades series, I find now that I prefer more realistic forbidden love stories, I’m tired of the plain girl and ***hole guy. Having said that, I haven’t yet found what I’m looking for in a book yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get what you mean. I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey but when I was younger I loved Twilight and other YA books like it, but now it’s kind of like you want forbidden love where it’s not just that one character is an a-hole that’s keeping them apart. It would be better if it was something like religion or family or something deeper which allows for more development right?
      I hope you find it in a book one day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I loooove bestfriends to lovers tropes. I never get tired of it, IDK why. HAHA. I also like the enemies to lovers one. It’s how they end up together makes it worth it. 😂 My fave bestfriend to lovers is Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris while the enemies to lovers is Pride and Prejudice. 😂

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    1. I think a lot of the time with tropes like enemies to lovers and friends to lovers, even though you know how it’s going to end, it’s the individual characters and their development that keeps you hooked (at least it’s that for me). I haven’t read either of those, but I’m glad they’re books you enjoyed. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello! Love this post. 😀 What’s funny for me is that there are tropes I think I hate (e.g. cohabitation or forced marriage tropes) but I’ve actually found myself enjoying books with this trope. So, I think that no matter what the trope is, if the author is smart and knows their stuff, they can actually make any trope work. Like you said, nothing is better than when an author takes a cliche and turns it on their head.

    And, I’m a fan of friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers tropes too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi! Thanks so much, and yeah I get what you mean because I’m the same with some tropes. I hate insta-love and love triangles but there have been some books which revolve around those tropes I’ve really loved. I guess it’s down to the writing and how the author uses the tropes like you said (likewise I’ve read books with enemies to lovers relationships that I really haven’t enjoyed).
      I feel like based on some of these comments enemies to lovers is a trope we all enjoy! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same for me. Insta-love is such a big no-no for me and yet I’ve warmed up to this trope in some books. Love triangles are a headache and rarely executed well. Hence I stay shy of books with this trope. But recently I read a duology by Jewel E. Ann that was a love triangle and it was on instantly on my top 5 reads of 2018.

        So yeah, tropes really are a slippery slope. Hehe. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There have been some cases that have been soulmates bordering on insta-love and I’ve quite enjoyed those I will admit.
        Yeah I’ve always said if a love triangle is done well I could end up really enjoying the book, but I’ve only read one book where it’s been done well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, soulmates written in a way that their connection can’t be denied is hard to resist.

        I hate love triangles where a girl is equally conflicted between two guys and you don’t know the decision until the end. That’s just playing with the reader’s emotions. The duet series (Transcend) I was talking about actually had a theme of reincarnation so the love triangle was really compelling.

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      4. Definitely hard to resist, but it can be a tricky line to walk because it can feel too insta-love-y if it’s not done well.
        Yeah those are the ones I hate, it feels like they’re just thrown in to create tension and it’s a cheap way to add it into the plot. Oh, that does sound quite interesting, I may have to check that duology out then. (Like with soulmates reincarnation is a trope I kind of love, if it’s done well). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this idea! I think a lot of time is spent talking about tropes we hate, (which is, admittedly, entertaining), but I think the truth is that everyone has a trope they love!

    For me, tropes can definitely be a springboard into deciding to read a book – if it has a familiar trope that I enjoy, I think I’ll be more likely to enjoy the book. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Oh definitely, when I was writing this I honestly couldn’t remember another time I’d spoken in depth about the tropes I loved (for me I think it’s partly that I love to complain, I’m British it’s a thing for me.)
      Yeah I get that, I guess like we all have genres we love we all have tropes we love too. All a book has to do is reference one of the tropes I mentioned in this post and it’s an automatic add to my TBR list! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️ Yeah there are some tropes that will never get old (at least I hope they never will) and those are two of mine. Definitely, I’ve had books which use tropes I hate but because there’s a unique twist I’ve ended up really enjoying them. It’s a nice surprise isn’t it? 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Meghan. 🙂 I think even these tropes (if you’re not a fan of them) can sometimes be bad tropes, and I’ll admit I’d probably get bored of these ones too if they were all I was reading or if they weren’t written right.
      Definitely, I feel like the main reason I love that trope is because of the banter! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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