Let’s chit chat a little bit about tropes in novels and more specifically the ones I like to read. No matter how cliche or played out they may be, I always gravitate towards books that include some of these gems! These are my top five picks; let’s go …
Off Limits Romance
Yes please! Okay, I’m not sure why, but I think most people will agree with me. There’s something very satisfying about two characters falling in love even though they know they shouldn’t. Perfect example: Five Feet Apart. Any book where two people know they shouldn’t be together because of circumstance is one that’s going to be a page turner. I think it has to do with that inner struggle of “I know I shouldn’t but I’m gonna …” that makes this one so enticing. Because realistically the fact that you can’t be with someone only makes you want to be with someone even more. This ones always a crowd pleaser in my books!
The Chosen One
I’ll admit this probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I like the idea of one character being destined for something beyond them and beyond their control. I like the concept of “You have to because you’re meant to and no one else can.” Case in point: Harry Potter. I won’t even open that bag of worms because once I get to talking about HP you’ll never get me to shut up. But I love The Chosen One because I love that enormous burden resting on one person’s shoulders, only to see them rise to the occasion and prove why they’re the only ones who could have done it – despite the sometimes annoying protests of the character that they don’t want to be The Chosen One. That part I’m never a big fan of.
Don’t get me wrong, now! I don’t enjoy reading books with parents who are dead or no longer around but I once read (in a book about writing) that often times parents have to die in order to allow the protagonist the ability to do all sorts of crazy things. It’s almost an evil necessity. Realistically (especially in YA genre’s) good parents wouldn’t let their young kids go off on wild adventures, that’s just basic parenting (don’t let your kid do things that might kill them). So in order for Harry (for example) to be able to go off and do all the things The Chosen One has to do, his parents have to be dead (among all the other intricate reasonings JKR had for this plot point.) If Lily and/or James had still been around, one of them would have probably objected to him fighting the dark lord, no? So I love this one mostly for it’s need and purpose – not so much because I think every protagonist should have a tragic backstory.
This one gives me the feels. I love when one character is in love with a character who hates them (or vice versa) because let’s face it. This one is just adorable. To watch as they banter back and forth with each other, fighting how they actually feel and covering it up with “hate” is just appealing. How often, in real life, do we hear stories about so and so never getting along with their boyfriend or husband when they first met, but eventually they realized they were actually in love? Often.
This isn’t so much a trope I like to read as much as it is a trope I like because of the necessity of it (again) and the way it drives the plot forward and helps get information to the reader. Especially with the Dead Parents aspect, someone older and wiser needs to be in the picture to explain to the protagonist (and therefore the readers) the information we wouldn’t get otherwise. I like this as a writing tool most.
Those are mine, which are your favourites?