TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: Top five character tropes

(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

This week, Top Five Wednesday is focusing on top five character tropes. If you don’t know what a character trope is, it’s something that is overused and can sometimes feel redundant, but is something that you still love anyway.

I found this topic really tricky: most tropes annoy me to no end. However, I’ve collected five of the ones that I can appreciate – they still get written well, or there are multiple layers to the trope that can work well in the story line.

5) The absent parent trope

Whether they’ve left their child due to an inability to cope, or have died in some tragic back story, nearly every character in YA has a troubled relationship with their parents. This is one of my favourite tropes because I can relate to it, so some of the books I’ve read have meant a lot to me because I’ve been able to understand the emotions, but I also love this one because it really seems to light a fire under the protagonist and kick their ass into gear.

4) The idiotic heroine trope

Could be a trope, could be a personality flaw, but it happens all the time in YA. Bella Swan? Tris Prior? America Singer? All massively annoying and massively idiotic. But for some reason, we love them anyway – even as we throw our books at the wall in frustration.

3) The teenagers alone at the end of the world trope

It wouldn’t be a good dystopian novel if there were adults or parents guarding you and shielding your every move, so it needs to be a group of teenagers out in the wilderness on their own. My favourite example of this trope is probably ‘Tomorrow, When The War Began’ by John Marsden, because the teenagers all go camping and when they return the end of the world is nigh, their parents nowhere to be found. It’s a bit too constructed to be completely believable, but it works and is damn well entertaining. However, this trope does mean that if the end of the world happens, I’m going to be striking out alone – no cool YA characters hang around with their families and make sure everyone survives, duh.

2) The love triangle trope

I can’t think of a YA novel that doesn’t have a love triangle – or at least, doesn’t alude to one – but some of them are really well written and I can enjoy them. Some love triangles are thinly veiled ploys to sell more novels, but some are really well constructed a believable. 

1) The I’m in love with my best friend trope

This is probably my favourite trope because this is something I am highly guilty of in real life! I just think sometimes it is so adorably written, and some of the novels are really effective and aren’t cheesy in the slightest. 
I’m also picking this as my top trope because ‘Never Always Sometimes’ by Adi Alsaid comes out in a couple of weeks time, and it’s all about best friends falling in love with each other, so it’s definitely a plot trope that has been at the forefront of my mind recently. 
  • The idiotic heroine (or hero!) trope never fails to annoy me haha. I can't stand when I'm reading and I know the perfect solution to a problem and the main character is like 'hmm I'll just do this' or 'I'll just ask my dubious mentor for help only for them to steer me in the wrong direction'. Ahh!! Drives me crazy!

    Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging

    • I haven't read any YA books with idiotic heroes (or at least none that I can think of off of the top of my head!) but I agree with you that it can get annoying – sometimes I enjoy it just because it makes me laugh at them! When characters in novels are too perfect I just feel like I can never live up to them – at least the idiots give me a high sense of self-worth.

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