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.
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.
If you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ve probably seen me cry over how much I love redemption arcs at least
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.
Ah 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
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.
OK, 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.
One 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?