Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Tropes You Hate

So this weeks Top 5 Wednesday is the Top 5 Tropes in Books that You Hate. Umm, my understanding of this is that a trope is a cliche or overused situation that occurs in various books, movies, or other creations. Examples of tropes in popular culture could be evil stepmothers, the lovable bad boy, or even boarding schools. I thought I would have some trouble coming up with five tropes that I hated. Turns out I worried about nothing because I actually came up with 6 tropes that I get tired of. I promise I'm not a hater. So anyway, here are my Top 5 Tropes in Books I Hate:

6. The Never Ending Series:
Title: Marked (House of Night Book 1)
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

This is one of those things that makes me want to give up on a series, when it just seems like it's never going to end. I love a good series, but there comes a point where it has to end sometime. The storyline just gets too repetitive. The characters just become boring. There are a lot of adult series that suffer from this problem, some that I'm interested in reading, but having to commit to a 15+ book series just gets a little daunting. The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is a perfect example of this. I bought the first couple books because I was genuinely interested in it, but the story just ended up dragging on and on. I am not the type of person that likes to give up on books or series, I want to finish them all. But I have been taking a very extended hiatus from the House of Night Series. I've read up to book six and just haven't continued after that. I think that series in particular would be so much better if there was an actual end in sight, and if Zoe would stop drinking brown pop and all the boys in that whole world found another girl to fall in love with. But yeah, some series just need to end.

5. Weird character names:
Title: Fated (The Soul Seekers Book 1) 
Author: Alyson Noel

This one is just a personal pet peeve of mind. I don't like it when every character, a handful of characters, or even the main character has a weird name just to have a weird name. I don't mind it all the time. If the world the character is living in has that fantasy or otherworldly feel, then I'll be okay with it. But I don't like when characters are given weird names just to be different and have weird names. In the example noted above, Fated by Alyson Noel, there was a character that had to explain how her name was pronounced. Her name started with an X and just got weirder from there. How am I supposed to pronounce that?! It's just something that personally annoys me because I don't want to have to struggle with names the entire time I'm reading the book.

4. Sickness of family member or main character:
Title: The Fault In Our Stars           Title: Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
Author: John Green                           Author: Cynthia Hand

This one is another thing I just don't particularly enjoy, something I don't tend to gravitate to. I don't like reading about sickness, illness, or death. Especially when those things relate to the main characters or family members. That stuff scares me, I don't want to think about it. It's become semi-popular in Young Adult Literature of late and it's just something that I don't want to read about. Now before you yell at my example, I haven't yet read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, but I do kind of want to. At the same time, I'm put off by the cancer element. Everyday I pray for my family to stay happy, healthy, and well and that's why I don't want to read books that would make me focus on the grief of losing someone to something like that.
In this same sort of vein, I also get tired of teenage characters having parents who are sick or have died. Again, it's something I don't want to think about. I can understand why it happens, so the teenage character can grow up fast and take on whatever responsibility they have to. I just get tired of seeing it.

3. No world building:
Title: Rook       
Author: Sharon Cameron   

This is another trope that gets on my nerves, especially when the world the characters live in sounds so cool. I hate reading a book where I'm just thrown into a world I don't understand. Where the author doesn't really explain crucial elements about the world and maybe a why of how it came to be that way. My example for this trope is Rook by Sharon Cameron. The world in the synopsis sounds really cool, a distant future where the people live like they're in ancient Paris, but the story didn't explain diddly squat of why the world was like that. It didn't give me that visual that I wanted, that would make me really picture and understand the world the characters were living in. In all honesty, if Rook  had been a plain old historical fiction novel, I still wouldn't have liked it, but I would have had one less thing to gripe about. So if you're going to sell me on a really cool world, explain it and make me feel it.   

2. Insta-Love:
Title: Undertow ( Undertow Book 1)
Author: Michael Buckley

I imagine this trope is on a lot of peoples' lists, because it just doesn't happen in real life and it gets annoying in books. I don't know if authors resort to this as a time saver so they don't have to realistically build the relationship, but anytime a character spots someone across the hall and instantly knows they've found their soul mate, the rest of the book is teetering on uncertain ground. The best love stories are the ones that are built up, where the characters find common interest, and fall into a lasting relationship gradually. I don't buy into romances where the character falls in love at first glance. If they don't even know the person, then they can't be in love with them. Insta-love just annoys me and I kind of see it as laziness on the part of the author. And I will argue vehemently that Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is not insta-love. Maybe insta-attraction, but there was some work involved in their relationship. I only mention this because I think Twilight gets an unfair rap a lot. I like that book and series and will continue to like that book and series.

1. Main characters with huge egos:
Title: Half-Blood (Covenant Book 1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

And finally for the number one trope I can't stand, characters with egos the size of Texas. I can't stand reading characters written like that. They annoy me to no end. These characters tend to brag, say they're the best at everything, the smartest, the prettiest, the funniest, blah blah blah. Maybe if they really were perfect and good at everything, I would buy it, but more often than not these characters tend to make the stupidest mistakes or just fail at something they proclaim to be the best at. My example for this comes from a series I read this year. A popular series and character that many people love, Alex from The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I haven't hated a character this much in a long time. Alex had this ability to brag about herself and walk around like she was the best thing ever, and it just got on my nerves. She claimed to be one of the best fighters in the school and then she was always losing important fights or really any fight. She claimed to be a natural daimon hunter and then she would have the worst battle plans and conveniently forget her hidden weapon while getting captured. The whole reason I didn't like that series was because of Alex. In real life, I don't like people who are in love with themselves and brag about themselves constantly, so I'm sure not going to like it for a book character.

So those are my Top 6 Tropes I Hate in Books. Sorry I went on a bit of a rant there. I find it's always easier to come up with reasons why I don't like something compared to when I love something. So those are my tropes. What are yours? Do we share any of the same ones? If you want to join in the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should. Each Wednesday is a new, fun topic to ponder and consider. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers here!

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