The Good, the Bad, the Eh: Trope Analysis

I thought today I’d look at tropes that really work and really don’t work for me and tropes that I’m just sort of eh about.

The Good:

1)  Badass Heroine: I’ll be the first admit I love a  kick ass heroine. I know, I know, the badass main character is a cliche.  Especially when she can kick a guy’s butt who’s three times the size of her.  But….well, I can’t help it when they actually halfway can kick ass I’ll read the book even if it is totally unrealistic.


Cinder’s my definition of YA bad ass and so are most of the side characters in this book.  I think that’s one of the reasons it uses this tool so effectively.  And all of the characters are bad ass in their own way.

2) Long Lost Famous/Rich/Royal/Something Other Than a Boring Accountant Parents. Okay, I know it’s sort of embarrassing  because I really like this trope. It can be poorly written on occasion, but I’ve seen a lot of good books that use it.  And I’ll almost always pick it up.

I really like this one because the father character is portrayed in such a realistic way and the relationship with him and the main character seems realistic.  I also liked all the little nuggets of living in political life.

3) Gender Bending: I almost put this on the eh list.  In theory, I love this trope.  And I’ve actually read a few books that I have pulled it off effectively.  I think my problem with it, is that a lot of books don’t make the most of the trope-i.e. they really don’t develop the relationship as much as they should when the character is pretending to be a boy.  I like the idea of having two people love each other regardless of gender, becuase it really shows that love can transcend.  Sadly, you never really see it in these books.

Okay, there are a lot of things wrong with this book.  It is a bodice ripper from either the late 70’s or early 80’s.  The hero is a douche.  The heroine has issues herself, but the gender bending aspect of this novel was done quite well.  She pretends to be a guy for a considerable portion of the story.  And the relationship that she develops with the hero as a guy actually works really well.  It doesn’t go full Mulan territory, but I like the fact that you sort of see these two deal with their feelings.  She has to try to come to terms that he’s not going to be with her because she’s well stuck as a guy.  And he has to wonder why he’s oddly attracted to his girlfriend’s cousin.

The Bad:

1) Insta Love: Ha! Ha! Ha!  No.  I live for banter in books, so…no banter me no gusta.

In hindsight, as far as insta love goes this one is not too bad.  But I feel like it gave the insta love trope a big push.  So, it’s going here.

2) Super Sue: I really cannot stand perfect over powered character who despite having super duper pooper powers can never save the day.

Schuyler is a super Sue.  And it sort of was okay, at the beginning of the series that you could overlook it because there was mystery and intrigue.  And then…well, it feel into the territory that all Sues fall in, you just want to punch them in the face.

3) The Rich Abusive Jerkwad: God.  Someone out there thinks women like abusive men.  We don’t.  But yet, they tend to pop up in the majority of books.  And if there’s a love triangle, you can almost be guaranteed he’ll come out the winner.  Though, I don’t really like the word winner for a love triangle. It’s just such a possessive word.  And I don’t think possession makes for really a healthy relationship.

He tells her what to wear.  He randomly hits guys she’s dating. And he constantly harasses her. Yet, Travis Maddox is somehow the hero of this story.  Rolls eyes.

The Eh:

1) Love Triangles: Love triangles more often than not don’t work.  They can be done right though.  And when done right I can appreciate them.  But most of the time they’re just eye roll worthy and usually I’m like-why are two guys drooling over HER.

I really like how this love triangle works because there is one obvious right guy, but the situation with him makes it impossible to where the main character can end up with him.  While the other guy, is totally there but in a lot ways totally wrong.  If you haven’t read it yet, pick up The Mediator series.  This is Cabot at her best.

2)Royalty: Funny thing is, I actually like contemporary royalty.  But I find I get annoyed with it when it is used in  fantasy.  I think because it’s used almost in every single fantasy I read.  Seriously, there’s always some sort of lost princess or something.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I’d just rather have my lost princess be more of the Mia Thermopolis persuasion.

As cheesy and as trashy as this book was, I can’t help but kind of love it.  I know, I only gave it a B+ (three and a half  stars) but in hindsight it really sort of stuck with me and it really was a good book.

3) Friends to Lovers: In theory I love this idea.  But a lot of time, it just doesn’t end up working.  I think because I just have to wonder why a lot of the time when I read these.  And generally  it’s either one of two cases 1) the guy’s a jerk or 2) the couple just lacks chemistry. However, on a rare occasion that this does work these can be the sweetest stories.

I loved this book but the relationship between the two main characters sort of had the ick factor.  Mainly, because St. Clair is sort of a douche to his ex girlfriend and Anna.  I did oddly ship it though, but it was an ick ship (meaning, a ship I really shouldn’t ship-much like how I ship Rumbelle on Once Upon a Time even though the relationship is obviously very unhealthy).


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