In keeping with my more honest, oh-what-the-heck-attitude, I thought I would list a few of the things I am tired of reading/hearing about involving books currently popular in the market. This is not a slam on any particular books or authors, it’s just the stuff that I am OVER ALREADY.
In no particular order, books where:
- Every character (except maybe a villain or two) is gorgeous and physically perfect in every possible way. (And we are told how gorgeous and perfect they are continuously).
- The protagonist is a thief/assassin/con artist. (Enough with this trope already!!)
- The villain turns out to be the protagonist’s father/mother/uncle/long lost cousin on their stepdad’s side.
- The protagonist starts off as a poor, ignored, “nothing,” but really… They are the long-lost prince or princess. (Or emperor, or mightiest warrior, or most-est powerful of all powerful sorcerers).
- Sexual acts are described ad nauseum, but ONLY using the oddest, purple prose euphemisms.
- Love interests pause in the middle of highly dangerous or traumatic events to … you know, do those euphemistic things.
- Characters fall madly in love in zero to sixty seconds. (Usually based only on the “gorgeousness”).
- The setting is supposed to be “exotic” but it reads more like a rehash of books from the late 1800s and early 1900s, where the protagonist, “suffering” under the “white man’s burden” brings “enlightenment” and “progress” to the “backward natives.”
- The story is based on cultures the author obviously does not understand deeply, if at all.
- At least one of the male leads is so DANGEROUS! and DARK! But despite being willing to kill any and all other characters, he somehow wants to protect the female protagonist (even if that means killing any and all other characters).
- Female characters hate each other for no other reason than that they are both female (and somehow, thus in competition for every guy they see).
- No one has a disability or, if they do, it is “magically cured”. (Or it turns out this disability really unleashes their “secret power.”)
- Any POC or LGBTQ characters feel like they were inserted into the story just to meet some quota (and thus, tend to have no storyline of their own and/or get killed off quickly).
- Anyone CLAIMS anyone else.
- Characters have MATES. (You know, unless they are wolves. Then it’s okay).
- Any growling occurs. (Again, unless it’s wolves…)
I guess I’d better stop there… Okay, so what are some of your pet peeves in popular books? And what new and different tropes would you like to see?