I have this idea circulate blogs, BookTube and other places a lot over the last couple of years and I thought I should give this a go! I actually struggled to find tropes I didn’t like because I don’t really know many tropes and the tropes I do know I actually like a lot. But we managed to find a couple which is good. I will try and also give examples of where I have seen this trope happen. So, there may be spoilers.
The books I mention include:
- The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan
- Caraval – Stephanie Garber
- City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
- Storm Front – Jim Butcher
- Predator’s Gold – Phillip Reeve
I feel like everyone lists this trope down. Now I don’t mind the trope when the characters are planning to be open with each other but external forces get in the way to prevent it from happening. What I don’t like is when people deliberately don’t discuss their feelings/thoughts or knowledge they find out to someone and this is the main cause of friction or tension in the book. I am someone who always tries to have open and honest communication so when I read characters who refuse to talk. I get frustrated! Not in a good way, at times I actually consider putting the book down and stop reading as I can’t handle what is going on!
Secret Twin/Sibling You Never Knew You Had
This is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. This tends to happen a lot in soap opera dramas, the secret twin is revealed in order to add tension. I really don’t like this. Most of the time the reveal doesn’t land well and comes across as sloppy writing, a scape goat to save a fan favourite. I don’t think I have ever been a fan of a secret twin reveal.
I also am not a fan of this person you knew all along was actually your sibling. I think this comes down to how much I like the characters, if I think they are a good sibling match and if I feel the author did a good enough job with their relationship whether that be they become really close or further apart, so it’s quite subjective. In Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan, you find out Tyson and Percy are half siblings and while it’s shocking Riordan does a great job in showcasing them working together and forming a bond but for example in Caraval by Stephanie Garber when you find out Julian and Legend are brothers I don’t think Garber did enough for me to really feel the family bond in the following books. To be honest, I thought they came across more as colleagues, boss and employee not even brothers. I would have preferred it if they were friends rather than brothers, it felt really unnecessary addition to me.
Also don’t get me started on the Mortal Instruments Clary and Jace situation! That made me hella uncomfortable! I couldn’t’ view their subsequent relationship in a good light after that. Too icky for me!
The Down on their Luck Detective
I really struggle with these kinds of detecitves. Normally found in a modern day thriller or a urban fantasy, these detectives are not for me. I love your eccentric detectives like Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Kosuke Kindaichi. They have different methods of doing things and their character jumps off the page. I tend to find with down on their luck detectives that they are actually quite boring and all they do is moan about how life sucks and they have been dealt the wrong hand and to me that is boring.
It was one of my major struggles with Harry Dresden from Storm Front. I found him to be really dull and actually very misogynistic which I notice goes hand in hand sometimes with these kinds of detectives. I don’t pick up books with these kinds of detectives as I think the characters can make the book boring.
Just not realistic to me! Unless one of the characters is under a love spell this is not realistic. You are in lust at first sight. To me I then find it hard to believe in the couple and the romance. It feels forced and most of the time I don’t think they actually have chemistry. If you want to do instalove at least have one person be in love and not the other else it just doesn’t feel realistic.
Girl on Girl Hate
I hate this in books and in real life. I do not like it when two girls are on the page together and instantly don’t like each other for no reason or because of a boy. To me, boring writing. If they are going to hate each other I need a more interesting reason.
In Predator’s Gold (review coming this week) by Phillip Reeve. Freya hates Hester because she has a crush on Tom who she has never actually spoken to. Hester hates everyone regardless so on her end I gave more credit but on Freya’s end it felt like a really disappointing place to go with her character.
So there are some of the tropes that I don’t like. Another post will be coming soon discussing the tropes I do like.