This week’s question was “What are some overused book tropes”, (suggested by Aria @ Book Nook Bits).
As so often happens here at Maison 52, we are putting a spin on this topic, flipping it upside down. I think that I must just successfully avoid books featuring tropes I don’t like, or think are overplayed. Or, I DNF them.
But there are certain tropes that I actually love, so here’s a list of those. I basically read romance, mystery and UF, so I tried to get a few from each.
- Friends to Lovers—When two best friends realize that they are more than just friends. See People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry.
- Fake Relationship—When you have to get your secretary to pretend to be your girlfriend because your dad’s new girlfriend is your ex…and they are moving in with you. Hijinks will, in fact, ensue. See Faking Ms. Right by Claire Kingsley.
- Enemies to Lovers—There really is a razor-thin line between the two. See Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- Forbidden Relationships—Ah, my absolute favorite of all the tropes, ever since I saw The Thorn Birds when I was 16. Besides the priest thing, which is still a major turn-on for me—looking at you, Fleabag— other types of ‘forbidden’ relationship are: best friend’s little sister and its corollary town good-girl; employee/employer; late-spouse’s best friend/sister/business partner. See By A Thread by Lucy Score.
- Amnesiac Hero—We love a hero who doesn’t know who he is. Maybe he has a scrap of paper with something scrawed on it in Russian…which he can totally read. Huh. Also, how does he know Krav Maga? See The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Markus Sakey.
- Anonymous Killer Narrator—I think that this one is tricky to do, as it’s really hard to make the killer at all sympathetic, and without the ability to do that, they need to be super-interesting. When it’s done well, though…wow. See The Poet by Michael Connelly.
- Consulting a Felon—You know the story. Only one person can help solve the mystery of who stole the priceless Picasso…and that’s an international art thief! White Collar did this brilliantly on TV. For a book that does a similar thing, see The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.
Urban Fantasy Tropes
- Amateur Sleuth—So, you’re an ordinary girl who may or may not be a psychic…and when your neighbor turns up dead, it falls to you to solve the crime. See Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door by Lucy Score.
- The Myths are True—You know this one—everything you were afraid was hiding under your bed is real… See The Lord of Stariel by AJ Lancaster,
- Badass Longoat—It’s universally true that the hero is extra badass if he’s wearing a long coat. Think Angel, Spike, Mal Reynolds or John Constantine. In book form see Storm Front by Jim Butcher.
What tropes can you not get enough of? I’ll take your shameful confessions in the comments.