I think every reader has something that the absolutely love to see in books. For some people, it’s close family connections. For others, it’s hate-to-love romance. Today, I bring you my four of my favorite fictional tropes along with and some recommendations for books that have said tropes.
#1: Ambiguous antagonists
obviously start off aggressive and arrogant but slowly begin to evolve as a character make me SO suspicious and invested in the story. I start asking myself things like: to trust or to not trust? Can a bad guy really become good? What if they’re lying?
And when I’m attached to the MC of the book, I am even more so invested in an ambiguous antagonist because I care about the MC’s emotions and don’t want them to get hurt. Agh, I love this trope so much.
Book recommendation: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
#2: Friends that are more like family
This trope appears often in YA contemporary fiction, and it never ceases to make my heart feel so full. Complex and genuine friendships in books always paint a smile on my face and help me to feel more immersed in the world. Plus, genuine friendships are a great way to build characters for readers through interaction rather than internal dialogue.
For example: I’m a MC and my best friend brings me my favorite coffee order without asking me what my typical coffee order is. Now, your readers have a hint at the depth of the friendship, and also know a detail about your MC that they didn’t discover just because the MC thought about it, y’know?
Book recommendation: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
#3: Plots that are driven by a legend
This trope is always interesting to me because it can be completely fictional or have real elements of actual religions and cultures. Either way, this trope provides a great method of world building for your book.
Why? Well typically, the legend holds enough significance to have some presence in everyday society. For example: the legend of x God is told as a bed time story to younger generations with the intent to instill cultural respect. The story most likely includes a time period, the status quo of society during that time period, the main event (i.e. the legend itself,) and how society was changed after that event.
With all of that said, I get really excited when the plot of a book is driven by a legend, because a quest typically follows! And i don’t know about you, but I’m always down for bookish adventures!
Book recommendation: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
#4: Books with strong human-animal connections
Like I said, I love adventure in books, and when a book holds an element of strong human-animal connections, an adventure is almost guaranteed.
But when I say “human-animal connections,” I mean a lot of things. For instance, books that have spirit animals? Love it. Human-to-animal shape shifting? Say less, I’m buying it. Just a really strong admiration for or interdependence with a certain animal in a society? Sign. Me. Up.
I REALLY need more books with this trope, so if you have recommendations, PLEASE LEAVE THEM BELOW!
Book recommendation: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Tentative recommendation: The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky
***I haven’t read this book yet, but it has animal shape-shifting in it so I’m definitely going to buy and read it eventually!
So those are some of my favorite book tropes! Feel free to leave more recommendations for books with these tropes if you have some in mind, and discuss your favorite tropes as well. As always, thanks for reading!