Hello book bees! Today I will be discussing my favorite tropes to read in books, in no particular order! Let’s get started, shall we?
Enemies (to friends) to Lovers
Yes I am one of the many guilty lovers of this trope. I just really enjoy when a set of enemies with significant sexual tension actually get to indulge in that tension. I particularly like this trope when the enemies come to respect each other, have a level of camaraderie, and then finally become lovers. My preference for the “enemies” is that they may be opposed to each other, but they aren’t necessarily a straight villain and hero combination. An antagonist, sure, but not one whose choices and morals aren’t worthy of redemption or respect. I’m not a fan of twisted villains toying with the protagonist of the story out of a sick obsession.
Scoundrel With a Heart of Gold
Maybe it’s because I love pirates, but anytime someone in a traditionally villainous or “scoundrel” role turns out to have a soft heart and noble ambitions I melt. I absolutely love historical romances that focus on a good gentlewoman falling for a pirate, or an outlaw, or someone along those lines and discovering that they are actually a better person than anyone else she knows. Sometimes they don’t even need to be a true scoundrel, just someone with an unfortunate reputation. Either way, I love this trope to pieces.
For this trope, I’m a bit pickier. I really enjoy when you find out a character has a mysterious tie to an ancient king or queen, or perhaps even the antagonist or villain of the story. But I don’t always enjoy this trope, when it’s applied heavy handed. In fact, I think I usually don’t enjoy this trope when it applies to the main character or protagonist! It entertains me in cases such as Zuko’s lineage in Avatar: The Last Airbender, or Murtagh’s and Eragon’s connections in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. But in my recent read Piper Prince by Amber Argyle, when applied to the main character Larkin, I found myself not enjoying the trope nearly as much.
Doing the Unexpected
I absolutely love it when our characters are so smart they do something unexpected and it works. Kind of like Jack Sparrow in the early movies, where his unexpected actions were so outside of the box that they bewildered his opponents long enough for him to accomplish what he wanted. I’m not as huge a fan of when antagonists do these things, because then it feels like a gratuitous twist to complicate the story. But clever main character protagonists are my jam!
Respecting Women Juice
I love me a respectful male character! Especially one who doesn’t make a big deal of it, just a character who doesn’t struggle with protecting or defending a female character. Acting like it’s completely normal to let the other characters go about their business as they need. Especially in a fantasy piece, where frankly the rules of the world can be literally anything so why is misogyny ever needed?
No Moral Qualms
This is something I just realized while reading The Will and the Wilds. I love when characters, especially when they’re the POV characters, don’t agonize over their choices and decisions. They make a choice, they stick with it, and there’s no moral crises as a result. The main character of The Will and the Wilds, Enna, frequently makes morally upright decision and there’s no beating around the bush. She checks her intuition, it tells her something, she trusts it and moves on. She doesn’t have to agonize over the right versus what feels right, she doesn’t have to pat herself on the back for being a good person. She has more important and more interesting things to think about!
While I’m sure I could think of more tropes I like if I really wanted to, I think I’ll end this list here for now. What are some of your favorite tropes to read? Do you dislike any of the ones I’ve listed? Feel free to share and tell me why in the comments!
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