Top Ten Tuesday · weekly features

Top Ten Tuesday // Tropes I’m 100% here for

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:

August 20: Favorite Tropes

Some tropes, I’m really not fussed about. But there are others that I’m a slut for, and if you tell me they’re in a book, I’ll literally run out of my house, get on a bus, and go buy the book.


Enemies-to-friends

I am an absolute sucker for this trope. I love novels that begin with the main characters mistrusting and disliking each other, and as time progresses, they begin to warm to each other and eventually become friends. That character development is just so great to see when it’s nuanced and captivating.

Redemption arcs

Image result for to kill a kingdomIf you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ve probably seen me cry over how much I love redemption arcs at least once twice.

One of my favourite things to read in books is a character who has been set up as the villain, or anti-hero, realise that they’re on the wrong side, and do everything they can to change that. I particularly love how this is done in To Kill A Kingdom.

Royalty we expect to be rude and obnoxious then turns out to be kind

So let me get one thing straight. I don’t mean Cardan from The Cruel Prince here. He’s rude and arrogant, and seems to stay that was for most of the series (I’m not here for it, to be honest).

What I mean is a royal character who the main character (usually a non-royal) assumes is rude and unkind, and then it turns out that their assumptions were misplaced, and they’re actually really kind. I really enjoy that moment where they’re proved wrong, but it turns out to be a good thing.

SOFT BOYS

Image result for heartstopperAh yes. The hill I will die on. I will never not love the soft boy trope.

Miss me with those bad-boys.

Hit me with soft boys who are caring, kind, and just want to do good and help others.

Yes, I am thinking of Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper as I write this. *heart eyes*

Characters have mutual romantic feelings for each other but refuse to admit it

There’s something about the long build-up between two characters who both like each other but refuse to admit it that I really enjoy.

I guess it’s just the growing tension of the ‘will they/won’t they’ scenario.

Group of unlikely heroes has to team up to save the day

Image result for six of crows

Basically, squad goals.

I love it when a group of diverse, unlikely heroes have to come together to save the day/world/universe, or pull off a heist, in the case of Six of Crows.

I find this trope the most effective when all the characters are dynamic and have witty, fun dialogue with one another.

A character appears dead but then comes back to save the day

If I become really attached to a character and then they die, I’m distraught. You can probably find my lying in a puddle of my own tears on my bedroom floor, yelling “BUT WHY?!”

So if it turns out that that character wasn’t actually dead, or somehow comes back to life, if it’s believable and not too contrived, I’m down with it. As cliche as it can be, I like for characters to walk out of the smoke, surprisingly not dead, and triumphantly save the day. What can I say, if I love a character, I want them to have a happy ending.

Badass women

Image result for a darker shade of magicOK, don’t get me wrong, I also love soft girls, and girls who are tender and gentle. Girls can be physically weak and still be incredibly strong, and I’m here for that.

But something I really enjoy is warrior girls, who don’t wait for anyone (*cough* men *cough*) to save them in a tough situation. They save themselves.

I think this stems from the fact that a lot of the YA in circulation when I was growing up was heteronormative and the guy would often have to save the girl. So now, I prefer it when women save themselves, or they save other men/women/non-binary people. Let’s spice up those gender roles people.

A character discovers they have a butt-tonne of magical power and have to learn to control it

I suppose this is a bit like the chosen one trope, really, but I just love it when characters – who are usually the underdog – discover they have magic and have to figure out how to control it (without frying their friends) so that they can stop the villain.

Fake dating

Image result for frankly in loveOne of the most fun contemporary YA tropes (for me) is fake dating. Two characters pretend to date so they can mutually gain from their fake relationship, but then realise they actually like each other??? 

Yes. Sign me up. This is why I’m so excited to read Frankly in Love, which comes out next month. The entire plot centres on fake dating!

Extra bonus points from me, if it’s the fake dating is between two queer characters, because I definitely need more of that in my life.


What are some of your favourite tropes? Do you love (or hate) any of these?

Until next time,KateNEW

15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday // Tropes I’m 100% here for

  1. Oh I LOVE some of these. Badass women always get me. And squad goals for sure! Also I definitely agree on the conceited royalty that turn out to be kind. As for bad boys, I have a thing for the ones that that have that secret soft side that they’re hiding…so it was always there, but the cover was a defense mechanism. THAT I can get into.

    1. Squad goals are just so fun to read about and badass women make me feel empowered 💪 Ah I know what you mean and I agree, badboys that are actually sofies underneath a hard exterior are really fun to read about 😊 It’s the ones who are unkind and don’t have a soft side that I’m not here for 😂

  2. Great list! Yes, give me all the soft boys and all the found families and all the will they/won’t they slow-burn romance. The whole ‘two idiots in love’ is something I will always get behind – like Kaz and Inej, for example, who EVERYONE ELSE CAN TELL are totally in love with each other but they won’t admit to anyone, let alone themselves. I live for it. I love me a redemption arc, too – nothing will ever beat Zuko’s redemption arc in Avatar for me, it’s superb, but I love it. 😀

  3. YES to the fake romances and enemies-to-lovers plot lines!!! Like you said it’s almost guaranteed to be an instabuy once I know those tropes will be involved. I cannot wait to read Frankly in Love for that very reason!! Great list and examples!!!

    I went completely off book and devoted my TTT post to red reads. Feel free to check it out here: https://bit.ly/30lumAT

  4. A lot of these tropes made their way into my list. I adore the enemies to lovers trope, the tension always sizzles in those scenarios. Redemption arcs are also a favourite of mine, just give me all the feels!!
    Soft boys have my heart until the end!!

  5. I LOVE fake dating, and I’m so excited about Frankly in Love after hearing about it on your anticipated releases post the other day. I’m so annoyed with myself for not pitting an underdog protagonist on my list because I love those! I found this prompt quite tricky, so I kind of just did ten of my favourites rather than my absolute top ten faves, if that makes sense?
    Amy x

  6. OMG THERE ARE AT LEAST THREE OF THOSE TROPES IN RED WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE!!! PICK IT UP!!

    But also yesss so many of these tropes are my favourite too 😀

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