Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, for which today’s theme is our favourite tropes. I always get very mixed up about what’s a trope and what’s a cliché, so fair warning that there’s a good chance some of these aren’t actually tropes. Onto the post!
Fake dating– I LOVE fake dating. It is easily my favourite romance trope ever, and I know it’s unrealistic but I do not care. It is SO fun. I love watching the couple catch feels, even though they’re trying to pretend they don’t *actually* care. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an amazing one for this!
Love triangles– judge me if you like, but I LOVE a good love triangle. Love them. Especially if both options are viable and wonderful, because then I will be agonising over who I’m rooting for. My favourite recently is in TV, not books, and it was in Cable Girls (I am Team Carlos, but only just). My favourite bookish one is probably the Blood for Blood trilogy (and I am Team Luca by a MILE)
Pen pals– this is one I especially love in romance, but I’ll take it in really any genre- the Princess who Flew with Dragons (which I’ve just finished) had some letters in it which I really liked. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda obviously takes the crown for this one, but both the Flatshare and Our Stop do it in a very cute way too. And if you want something darker that uses epistolary format, Ketchup Clouds is the one for you.
Mythology is part of the real world– think Percy Jackson, Aru Shah, the Who Let the Gods Out quartet etc. I love stories where mythological characters are real and part of our world, largely because it’s often a great source of humour. I really must read Oh My Gods soon, because I think it’ll be RIGHT up my alley.
The murder victim isn’t really dead– I don’t know if this technically counts as a trope, but give me a mystery where they’ve been solving the wrong person’s murder and I will be delighted. I obviously can’t give examples of this one, or I’ll spoil the books for you massively, but I really do love this reveal.
We’re all trapped in *insert secluded location here* and someone’s dead/creepy stuff is going down– I think this may be known as a country house mystery, but I’m not 100% sure. I much prefer this to a locked room murder (I do like locked room a LOT too, but they really confuse me at the same time so I never quite grasp how they were done, no matter how hard I try). Robin Stevens’ Arsenic for Tea does this one BRILLIANTLY. I very much want to read a few Ruth Wares that sound like they’ll do this too (the Death of Mrs Westaway/the Turn of Key)
Talking/human-like animals– if you know me, this one will be no surprise to you. I LOVE animal companions in books almost always, and talking ones are SO fun. Some recent talking faves include Nicki Thornton’s Nightshade, Everdark’s Bartholomew and Willow Moss and the Lost Day’s Oswin.
Human/animal friendships– following on from this, give me all of the human and animal friendships please. They make me cry, but I love them all the same. Charlotte’s Web is wonderful for this, as are the Elephant Thief/The Great Animal Escapade and my favourite book of 2019 so far I, Cosmo.
Politics in books– I love it when characters are political, especially campaigns. Nothing dystopian, I’m not one for “let’s overthrow the oppressive government” plots like Hunger Games, but give me West Wing-esque stuff and I’ll be delighted. The Sorrow duology and Vote for Effie are my mosy common recommendations to people who also enjoy this in their fiction!
Film references– I don’t know if this is a trope, but it’s something I love to see in books! Tell Me How You Really Feel is a really fun recent example, and I love how many Disney references there are in the Alex Sparrow books. Beth Garrod does it really well too, and there are so many others that it’d take me all day to list them! I also love music references, but I see them less often which is why films got this spot on the list.
What are your favourite tropes? Do we share any? Do you have any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear in the comments!