10 Book Tropes that I love (and Book Tropes that I hate)

book tropes

Some of my favorite books have book tropes that I love and most of the books that I don’t enjoy that much, usually have book tropes that I hate. Of course, there are exceptions

What are Book Tropes?

Book tropes are common and sometimes overused. Basically they are similar to clichés minus the predictable and boring part. AND you will find one in every book. 

I leave you a very helpful link here if you want to know about the differences between tropes and clichés.

Quick summary (if you don’t want to read the whole article on the difference between book tropes and clichés):

“All stories have tropes. They are what propel a story along. How a trope becomes a cliche though, is when it’s done so much that it becomes too predictable for the reader. That causes boredom. And that isn’t what an author wants from their book, obviously”

(There will be some trope clichés in this list)

Now…let’s begin! 

book tropes

Book Tropes I Love

1. Love Triangles 

If it’s a contemporary or a fantasy book series, I rather not see the main character with the same love interest throughout the entire saga. It’s much more entertaining if I have to choose between two characters to root for. I also love a good love triangle between secondary characters. 

2. Good Villain

I love a good villain. By this, I mean a very lovable antagonist. It’s when the antagonist is much more entertaining than the protagonist. I’m not gonna give any spoilers from any book so for Marvel fans, think of Loki (so that you understand what I mean). 

Also, I love it when the villain is the main character in a book. 

3. When the Underdog does something unexpected 

Also known as the ‘average person takes the crown’ trope.

Basically it’s when the underdog does something that was expected from the main or super-powerful character. The most common example in this trope is when the underdog defeats the villain. 

4. Hero or Main characters save the world

Book tropes like these ones are often seen in dystopian/sci-fi or adventure books. 

Yes, it’s predictable and kind of the opposite of what I said before about the underdogs, but in dystopias, I feel like it’s part of the hero’s journey. 

5. Fairy Tale Retellings 

When I first started reading retellings, I thought that I would hate this trope. In the end, It’s like going back to a story you already know but with its own kind of touch to it. 

BUT I do have to say that I prefer a villain’s retelling than a hero’s retelling. The hero always gets a happy ending anyways. BUT with the villain, we don’t know if the author will stick to the ending that would explain why the villain is the villain in the original fairy tale or if the author would switch it up and give that character a happy ending. 

6. Unreliable Narrators 

Especially when reading thrillers! 

It’s entertaining when I need to second guess the main character. Especially when the story is written from a 1st point of view. It makes the story and the plot much more interesting. 

Book Tropes I Hate

1. Friends to lovers 

The typical story where both characters were best friends since they were is pre-school and both of them have feelings for each other but never say anything.  And then, of course, they end up together in the end. 

This one to me is a cliché because it turns out predictable and boring as the reader. 

The only exception to book tropes like this one is “Love, Rosie” (the film). Yes, I love that movie <3

2. Ugly duckling to Beauty Queen

 a.k.a The Makeover Story 

I tweeted this out recently where I said that I was tired of seeing the movie trope where the guy falls in love with the girl after she has a makeover. AND when at the end because of this, they end up together.

It is both in movies and books that I hate this trope. I find it so superficial and overrated. 

Of course, I have to say that the exception here is “The Princess Diaries” movie based on the book with the same name by Meg Cabot. 

3. Back to Small Town

When the city girl gets tired of her life in the big city or has to move back to her town for any reason. 

Usually, this ends up with the main character struggling to adjust to her new life and falling in love (what I surprise right??) 

4. Character Falls in Love with the Unnoticed one

In other words, when the popular guy falls in love with the nerd or the other way around). It’s very similar to the makeover book trope. 

The worst part is not when the popular person falls in love with the unnoticed one, but the fact that they end up together. 

Book tropes like this one remind me of the “I’m not like other girls” trend that later on became a meme (yess to that!) 

Side Note: 

I’ve never read a book with human-like vampires or werewolves so that’s why I didn’t include this trope in any of the two categories. Also, I don’t know if ‘royalty’ is considered as a trope but I would definitely add this one to the “Book tropes I love” category. 


Your Thoughts:

Which are the Book Tropes do you love or hate the most? 

Is there any book trope from this list that you would move to the opposite category? If so, Which one (s)?

  1. Hannah

    I love this! I totally agree with all of the ones you hate, they’re very over done and sometimes feel a little cringe. Saying that sometimes we all need a bit of a cheesey story haha xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

    • val @behindthatstory

      Ikr! The worst part is when they end up making the whole thing cringey 🙈but yeah…when I think about cheesy stories I think of books about royalty and honestly, I love these and we definitely need these sometimes😅


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