Now that I am nearly 30, I’ve found that my taste in books has gradually shifted. A lot of the themes and book tropes that I loved when I was younger I no longer want to read now. Some book tropes I pass over because they are overdone, some I have read way too many of, and the rest don’t interest me because I am past that life stage.
Book Tropes I No Longer Want to Read (AKA, Things to Avoid When Writing a Book)
Whatever the cause, the following book tropes are likely to make me pass over the story.
I have yet to see a love triangle in real life. The closest I have ever seen is someone liking one of the partners in a committed relationship. I always say, if you can’t pick between two guys (or lins) then neither is right for you.
I saw this most recently in a TV show. There were two people who were “meant” to be together, but for some reason neither wanted to admit it, so they both dated other people and every time someone gathered courage to confess their love the other person was suddenly in a new relationship.
I find this frustrating and not the least bit endearing.
A middle class/upper class teen’s life is So. Incredibly Hard.
I don’t want to read about how parents Just Don’t Understand or how you are going to be the next revolution. Sorry book boys and girls, but you won’t be.
This piggybacks on teen angst. A lot of books have characters that rebel for no good reason whatsoever. It is not cool to sneak out of the house and smoke at two in the morning. You could die and no one would ever find your body.
The Clueless Female
A lot of “chick-lit” style books have this book trope. The clueless female is bad at math, bad at life, often clumsy, and loves shopping most of all. No women I know are this impossibly shallow.
Intense Sci-Fi and Fantasy Universes
When I was younger, I ate up stories like Dune or The Wheel of Time series with in-depth, over-the-top science fiction or fantasy universes. These days, I even think Game of Thrones could stand to have a bit of editing. Such intensity is not usually necessary. I might like this book trope more if I had more time to read.
Infallible Main Characters
I like my characters to have flaws like real people do.
I don’t know a single person who has a personal enemy. Even if someone does dislike you, typically it is not their sole mission in life to ruin yours. I don’t want to read about one-dimensional characters even if they are the “bad guy.”
I’ve read too many of these. I may return to the genre one day.
I realize that it is difficult to get a book noticed with so many publishers, but some authors’ solution seems to be slapping as many “edgy” events as they can into the book so that someone will find it shocking and ban it or otherwise get publicity for edgy content. But in many of these books, there is no point to the excessive violence/drug use/abuse. Edginess for the sake of being shocking does not appeal to me. It needs to be important to the story somehow for me to want to read it.
What book tropes are you tired of? Have your book tastes changed over the years?
I think these books are awesome: