Favorite Bookish Tropes

by Hope Hanson
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Hi, and welcome back to another Top 5 Wednesday post, everyone! I love today’s topic: My favorite bookish tropes! I’ve probably mentioned these here and there over various posts, but I’m excited to share them all in one place.

This week’s prompt is pretty self-explanatory. What are your favorite tropes and what are some examples of them in books?

(This month’s prompts were provided by Alex (The Scribe Owl). Top 5 Wednesday was originally created by GingerReadsLainey.)

I don’t have anything else to add to that, so, her we go! I give you five tropes that I absolutely love to see in books.

#1: Found Family

Maggie Stiefvater Call Down the Hawk cover

I think everyone loves this one, to be honest. But what isn’t to love about it? After all, this kind of close-knit group is exactly what we all want in our lives. Of course, bookish found families tend to lead slightly more exciting lives, but still. The facts remains.

Also, who wouldn’t want to join The Dregs or the Gangsey or the PJO gang? I know I would jump at that opportunity.

Book Examples: The Raven Cycle (Maggie Stiefvater) / Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) / Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan) / The Infernal Devices (Cassandra Clare)

#2: Antiheroes

We all know that antiheroes are just much more interesting to read about. Morally grey characters cross lines and get into situations that classical heroes never would. That’s not to say that the classic hero doesn’t have a lot of positives, of course. But I have to say that most of my favorite books have a main character who’s an antihero.

Book Examples: Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) / The Folk of the Air (Holly Black) / The Witcher (Andrzej Sapkowski) / Game of Throne (George R.R. Martin) / Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer) / Vicious (V.E. Schwab)

#3: Misunderstanding Turned Romance (a.k.a. Enemies to Lovers)

Honestly, the entire umbrella trope is pretty amazing, but this specific nuance is my jam. When an author gives me two characters who hate each other because of some sort of misunderstanding, and then they end up together? I can’t say no to that. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing the misconceptions unfold and come tumbling down.

Book Examples: Red, White and Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston) / Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) / Carry On and Wayward Son (Rainbow Rowell) / To Kill a Kingdom (Alexandra Christo) / An Ember in the Ashes (Sabaa Tahir)

#4: Politics and Plotting

I honestly think I mention my love for this too much. Any and every time it comes up in a book, I can’t resist the urge to mention how much I adore it. But, well, I do! I just love seeing these brilliant characters come up with insane plots and plans; I love seeing them subtly manipulate people and situations to get the outcome they want.

And, yes; bonus points if it’s political plotting. It doesn’t have to be, to be honest, but I definitely like it even more than your generic plotting. Especially when it’s political plotting between rulers within a fantasy setting.

Book Examples: The Folk of the Air (Holly Black) / The Innisfail Cycle (L.M. Riviere) / Red Queen (Victoria Aveyard) / Pariah’s Lament (Richie Billing) / Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

#5: Fierce but Feminine Female Leads

I won’t lie; I love a good heroine who doesn’t adhere to typical feminine ideals and behaviors. But I love a heroine who’s fierce and badass, but still has some “stereotypically feminine” things and retains her femininity. (Maybe it’s the sense of “I could never”?) I think that that’s something we have a lot more examples of, now, than we did a few years back, and I absolutely love that!

Book Examples: Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas) / Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) / A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas) / The Crown’s Game (Evelyn Skye) / The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare)

So, there you have it: Some of my favorite bookish tropes. Of course, I have a lot more that I didn’t mention, but this list only asked for five, so. Though, I do want to give an honorable mention to the trope that involves a seemingly villainous, put-together character actually being an absolute disaster. (I’m looking at you, Cardan.) I really wanted to include that one, but ended up choosing to go in a different direction.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list! I want to hear some of your favorite bookish tropes, so drop a comment down below and let me know. Plus, if you want to find more posts like this one, check out the recommended posts below for more similar content.

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