• Caitlin Kerr

Book Tropes and Clichés That We Love In Books

A well-versed reader is familiar with the many clichés and tropes that are commonly used in literature. If you aren’t familiar, these are simply overused, conventional and recurring writing techniques or story plots. From the rebel turned good to the superman type hero and love triangle twist, there are a series of popular repeating book themes that take place in both classic and modern reads. Although, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact for some books, it’s what makes them so likeable.

Sure, we can certainly lose interest if the book we’re reading is just plain old inevitable and yes, it’s often preferred story lines maintain an air of mystery or unique surprise, though particular book genres actually benefit from expected clichés and tropes. So, is it really such a negative thing all of the time?

One genre which can work well for this is romance. Ok maybe Romeo and Juliet (the undisputed greatest romance story of all time) didn’t end classically and maybe that’s why we admire it, though typically the romance genre does carry a certain anticipation for happily ever after, or at least we eagerly hope for it. As long as it’s compelling to us.

A prime example of this is the famous and tear wrenching novel, The Notebook. Both the book and film were widely celebrated and adored despite some of its predictable plot points, including Allie’s handsome wrench thrown love interest Lon, her disapproving villain-like mother and the hopeful reunion to end all reunions between Allie and Noah.

The Notebook was incredibly well written and the kind of story that matched expectation and enthusiastic curiosity. It also proves the point that certain clichés and tropes provide readers with a sincere comfort and potential familiarity.

Here’s some book cliché’s and tropes that we actually love in romance books:

· A happy ending between lovers after time apart

· Lost love or past love reunions

· Love triangles that leave us questioning who the right choice is

· Forbidden love that must be

· Second chances

· Fate or destiny at play

Other genres such as horror or thriller don’t necessarily bode well for expected plot points. If we know from the first chapter that the murderer is the shady neighbor or wicked step-dad, it’s not really intriguing. Though there’s other book themes which do provide pleasant predictability.

Here’s some book clichés and tropes we love in other book genres:

· The hesitant hero we root for

· The warm parent-like mentor

· A quest or journey to accomplish something important

· Revenge against someone who deserves it

· An annoying sidekick – they can actually bring a lot of humor

· Crossroads or a big life-altering decision

It’s true that there are over-popular clichés and tropes that will turn a reader away from early pages and yes there’s some that can resonate as boring. But, as long as these platitudes offer some form of human familiarity or genuine authenticity to the characters or overall theme, they can fit perfectly into a book and make it into an amusing read.

Ultimately, no clichés and tropes aren’t always a negative thing. Though it’s essential they make sense, are well explained and truly fit within a well worded tale.


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