Today I am going to be listing 10 tropes I hate in books. The following week I’ll share 10 tropes I love. If you’re not sure what a trope is, it’s basically a recurring theme. For example, ‘The Chosen One’ trope is seen in books such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Some are great and some are just plain irritating. Without further ado, here are the ones I can’t stand:
This is probably the most popular of terrible bookish tropes. It’s when two characters fall in love instantly without any build-up or realistic progression. I have seen some terrible examples of insta-love in my time. The most well-known being Twilight where Edward and Bella fall hard the moment they see each other. They would literally die for one another before they’ve even had their first proper date. I’m sorry, not a fan!
2.) ABSENT PARENTS!
YA is by far my favourite genre but unfortunately the majority of teen books rarely feature the character’s parents. I see it time and time again. Why are the parents always absent? Yes, teenagers spend a lot of time at school and with friends but they also have home lives with at least one or two parents being their primary caregivers. When I was young, I thought I knew everything but in reality, I knew nothing…I still know nothing! Parents should feature more in YA, guiding and shaping their children. That’s just my opinion.
3.) THE TROUBLED/MISUNDERSTOOD JERK!
It’s disturbing how many books feature the troubled guy who treats the girl like a jerk before revealing a sweet, softer side. This is not okay! If a male treats a female badly, he’s not worthy of her time. I don’t care if he’s good looking. I don’t care if he’s just misunderstood. He needs to sort out his crap and learn how to respect a woman. All of the lovely ‘friend-zoned’ boys are completely overlooked because they just aren’t edgy enough. It’s not fair.
I see this a lot in YA and it’s girl hate. Slut-shaming, gossiping, teasing and catty bullying. I know that it happens in school but it’s so damaging to read about. Girls should not be calling one another derogatory terms like ‘whore’ and ‘bitch.’ We need to stand together and not make it okay for men to do the same (I’m channeling my love of Mean Girls here in case you couldn’t tell!). It really saddens me to see this type of behaviour when it’s completely unnecessary.
5.) FAT-GIRL/FUNNY FRIEND
Thanks to Dumplin, we have a book where the large girl is the protagonist and gets her own romance/happy ending. All too often, the bigger girl/guy is pushed into the role of sidekick or funny friend as though that’s all they have to offer. The same could be said for girls/guys of different colours and race. Books are definitely becoming more diverse but for the longest time the lead was white/straight/thin and attractive. It has taken some time but finally we are having protagonists of all shapes, sizes and cultures running the show.
6.) WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THAT?
This is not necessarily restricted to YA but I cannot stand when characters or plot points are introduced and then never heard of again. You get to the end and you’re like ‘whatever happened to that person’ or ‘that thing was never resolved.’ If this happens in a book, it will automatically lose a couple of stars from me. Be consistent!
7.) LET’S KILL OFF THE BEST CHARACTER!
Why, why do so many books kill off the best, nicest character? These sweet, cinnamon rolls are deserving of so much more than they get. We love them, we adore them and then all of a sudden…dead! I’m not okay with this! Do I need to mention a certain girl in Mockinjay? Still not over it!
8.) I’M GONNA CONFUSE THE HECK OUTTA YA!
Another trope that is a huge deal-breaker is when an author is purposely confusing. I don’t want to have to work things out when I’m reading a book. I like a bit of complexity but not to the point where I have no idea what’s going on and I have to ask people on forums. If a book is too complicated, I’m going to put it down and never pick it back up. This is why A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is my most hated book of all time.
9.) WHERE IS THIS GOING?
I’m always so disappointed when a book starts strong and then somewhere along the line, the plot spins out of control and is flat-out ridiculous. I don’t like books that are all over the place. The best books, in my opinion, are consistent and well thought out. They have been planned, drafted and cruise at a great pace. I felt that Insurgent and Allegiant went down a silly path, which was such a shame because Divergent was fantastic. Sorry for the shade!
10.) I’VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO COMMUNICATE
We see this a lot in movies and television as well. It’s where a problem can be easily solved with a bit of communication but the character’s decide to keep things to themselves, causing more drama and misunderstanding. It gets to the point where you’re yelling at the books because you can’t believe how simply the issue could’ve been fixed if they had just opened their mouths!
There you have it! That’s 10 bookish tropes I hate. What are some of yours? Thanks so much for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
I definitely connect with absent parents! It is something that annoys me so much in books where the story is centered around children and teens. There parents should be there yet there is a gap where they should be. It is almost like these young heroes and heroines cannot have a story if they have parents yet at the same time you know they must.
Absolutely agree and it’s such a shame! It doesn’t feel realistic to me at all. It only works if it serves a purpose which it usually doesn’t!
Quite true! It is a shame; I think writers need to start changing that. Movies are not as bad but that only goes to show it would be weird to show a movie without the young hero’s parents.