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It’s a little known fact about me that I love talking about things I HATE in literature. I always try to see the positive, but there’s just something about discussing your hatred for a book or element of a book that brings people together. Some of these tropes may not be actual “specific” tropes that have been named, but they are things I see SO OFTEN that I hate with a passion.


I have a feeling this trope is going to be on many people’s lists, but I FREAKING HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. For example, a girl who has two great guys who BOTH like her [shocking] and spends the book/trilogy *cough*The Summer I Turned Pretty*cough* trying to decide between them. Though this may happen in real life, as people have argued, these instances are few and far between. Someone who likes someone who likes someone ELSE is much more common. VERY RARELY do two people like the same person and then have it out over them for a long period of time. I could go on and on about this but trust me, I just hate it.

2. Dark/Mysterious/Broody/Mean Boy Gets The Girl

HONESTLY I AM JUST WAITING FOR THE SWEET LOVELY BOY TO GET THE GIRL. This does happen, but more often than not it’s the DARK SEXY MYSTERIOUS VERY PROBLEMATIC CHARACTER who is the main love interest. I hate them. SORRY I JUST DO. They may be interesting characters, but I can’t handle the cliche “bad boy attitude”.

3. Savior Complex

If you’ve read a dystopian novel without a character with a savior complex, count yourself among the lucky stars. In almost every dystopian novel I’ve read, the main character comes to a situation where THEY AND ONLY THEY *heavy on the sarcasm* can SAVE THE WORLD. AND THEY MUST DO IT ALONE, NO EXCEPTIONS. Also, they can’t tell anyone what they’re doing. They must WALK TO THEIR DOOM ALONE. Come ON. Give me an amazing team that works together and doesn’t keep secrets from each other and beats the enemy….TOGETHER.

4. Absent Parents

Have you ever read a YA book and wondered, “where the poop are the parents?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In SO many YA books, mostly contemporary, the parents rarely, if ever, pop up, or if they are mentioned they are barely involved in the main character’s life. This is terrible character development, not to mention parenting! Unless the character has a rocky relationship with their parents that is a part of the conflict of the novel, parents should be there and be a part of their lives!

5. Stubborn Leading Ladies

This is somewhat related to the Savior Complex trope, but can emerge in ALMOST EVERY YA NOVEL EVER. The leading lady just HAS to have her way and her way alone, and won’t listen to anyone else’s advice. This attitude gets her in to trouble, AKA the main conflict of the novel. *shakes finger good-naturedly* Those darn stubborn leading ladies!

And there you have it – some of my most hated tropes! Let me know in the comments what some of YOUR most hated tropes are. I know these are pretty specific to YA, as most adult/classic books I read don’t have tropes I hate, but I’m sure there are some tropes I hate that I missed!

<3 Maureen

2 thoughts to “Tropes You Hate | T5W

  • Whitney (Accio Books)

    Great post! I need to start doing T5W again!

    I can deff agree with you on most of these tropes. I’ve always wondered why the parents weren’t more involved in YA lit specifically. I get why they don’t have to be around in NA and general adult books. Love triangle…. >.<

    Dark/Mysterious/Broody/Mean Boy Gets The Girl <— This one is a very very slippery slope. I think some authors do this well, while others are very stereotypical about it. If done correctly and dark/mysterious/broody (not including mean because I don't think mean works most of the time unless it has to do with character development.) can be an awesome character. However, I don't really think that they have to be the love interest all of the time. If you've ever read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan I think that gay Will Grayson is a really interesting character and his growth through the story is really interesting.

    Okay, I'm done rambling now. =]

    • maureenkeavy

      I get what you’re saying! I think it can be done well, I just think most of the time the character is very problematic, doesn’t change at all, and still ends up with the girl, and that’s where I have the issue. The ones that don’t have the heart of gold underneath, haha.


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