Top 5 Wednesday. Tropes I hate..

Every Wednesday, people from all over the bookish world gather ’round to share their top 5 lists concerning whatever theme that week. All under the watchful eye of the Mother of all Top5’s, Lainey.
Some weeks ago, we had a little chat about the tropes in books I actually quite like. This week, black is white, day becomes night. Here are five tropes that make me want to spew some vitriol in my reviews.

5. Stronger

But now I’m stronger than yesterday
Now it’s nothing but my way
(Britney Spears)

Convenient character growth. You know that story, where the main character is just stumbling about it’s half a miracle he or she is still alive halfway through the first book? But then suddenly, out of the blue, near the end of the story when the battle is heating up, our dearly beloved is suddenly strong enough to survive. And every time the stakes are raised, they happen to rise to the occasion at the right time.
It’s almost like a videogame, where the next boss is just tough enough. I mean, how the hell did Brock ever make Gym Leader compared to the likes of Sabrina, Blaine, Claire, …? The series that comes to mind is The Banned & The Banished by James Clames. Really loved that series – and need to reread it! – but the character growth was ridiculously convenient. Also, that thing in the third book to make that other thing happen? No, I don’t really like that.

4. Mr. Know It All

Mr. Know It All
Well ya think you know it all
But ya don’t know a thing at all
(Kelly Clarkson)

Sometimes paired with the sudden gain of strength, comes the sudden enlightening of the mind. As with the former, it’s all about believability for me. Over the course of the narrative, it has to seem possible that the character has gained certain knowledge. No boom, clap, I know it! Even worse is a character that seemingly knows it all and is always right.
Richard Rahl from Sword Of Truth by Terry Goodkind is a perfect example for this. When we meet Richard in the first book, he knows nothing but woods and how to make camp in the forest. He never ever shows any sign of being more than a woodsman, but all of a sudden he is a master strategist and despite knowing nothing about magic – at all – he intuitively does the right thing every single time. Further on in the series he becomes the preacher of all things life and freedom and only knows best. If by then he wasn’t already my most hated main character, his sudden understanding of creative magic and symbolism in magic in the ninth book makes me want to squish him.

3. Evil In The Night

Danger by day, but you’re evil in the night
Danger by day, but you’re evil in the night
(Adam Lambert)

Duality. As I mentioned in the post about the tropes I like, I’m a sucker for a good versus evil story. If.. it’s not all-good versus all-evil. The devil incarnated is not an antagonist I want to read about, cause as an author, you force your reader to side with good. The power of a good evil character, is that despite everything, you, as a reader, are able to think upon some stuff. Also, by humanizing the antagonist and allowing some specks of grey, the battle becomes all the more interesting because a victory for good is no longer a given. When the antagonist is all-out evil, a victory for good is pre-set from the get go.
Alongside this, spare me the Goody Two-Shoes heroes. It’s fine for a while, but they tend to get on my nerves. While heroic and all that, this perfection is so devoid of humanity that it’s tedious to read.

2. I Knew I Loved You

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life
(Savage Garden)

Insta-love. A cheap excuse for romance. It’s like those meals you buy in the supermarket. Super cheap, stab some holes in it, put it in the microwave and without any effort whatsoever, your belly is full. Could be nice, but compared to a fully homecooked meal, it’s noticeably lacking something to be completely satisfied.
On the whole, romance is not one of my top priorities in books, but I don’t mind. I do mind when eyes lock and the next page lips touch. You don’t have to take seven books like Ron and Hermione, but at least make me believe the romance and take more than one bloody page before the swooning start. Cause if not, it’s not love dearie, it’s lust.

1. 3

One, two, three,
Not only you and me.
Got 180 degrees and I’m caught inbetween
(Britney Spears)

Does this even happen in real life? If so, I missed something in my teens, clearly. I spent all those teenage nights reading and watching series, while I could have, should have been pondering over whom to date and whom to dump. Precious time wasted, thrilling drama missed..
This whole love-triangle craze is really annoying me, and spare me the even more complex configurations. Given time, you’ll need to buy a Geometry 101 textbook to understand the complexity of the relations. While I can appreciate a well-executed romance and am not aversed to some drama, it seems like the default setting for achieving this is the love triangle. And if only they were good, I could live with it. But as far as triangles go, there are some bad ones out there it could’ve been a Bermuda triangle.. Cause once the story sailed that course, it plummeted deep down, never to survive.

Agree? Disagree? Chat away in the comments below!

Click here for a complete list of all the participants in T5W.


8 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday. Tropes I hate..

  1. Agree wholeheartedly with every one you picked, especially love triangles. You’re so right, it hardly ever happens in the real world, and yet, based on YA, you’d think it happened all the time! Great Top 5!


    • Agreed. It was a tie between insta-love and the triangle for most annoying. They both are just… *sigh*
      Yes well, I found that lyric so fitting. As with insta-love it’s a case of how? Why? And how? You hit your head? Wait while I cringe a little.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s