Top Ten Tuesday

Bookish Tropes I’d Gladly Throw Into The Ocean

20210406 Tropes I'd Throw Into The Ocean

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s topic was supposed to be about books I’d gladly throw into the ocean but umm… I hardly ever feel THAT strongly about books. Even if I disliked it, I can usually find something I did like about it, or something I’m sure someone else will like. I’m just not a throw-a-book-into-the-ocean-kind-of-person. 

Tropes on the other hand? There are a few I’d gladly throw overboard, throw in a dumpster or burn to the ground!


I absolutely hate when two characters are kept apart due to some drama that would be solved in 2 seconds if they’d actually TALK to each other.

Emotionally abusive bad boys

I like a bad boy. I don’t like emotionally abusive bad boys who are really just arrogant alpha a-holes and yet somehow super romanticised. Nope.

Clumsy as an entire personality

Look, I get it. I’m clumsy too. But stop making it into a super adorable quirk that makes up 99.9% of a character’s personality. (Guess I’m still not over Bella Swan…)

Teenage chosen ones

Maybe I’m getting old, but I don’t mind the chosen one trope as much as the fact that the chosen one always ends up being a kid or teenager! I mean, sure, we shouldn’t underestimate them, but how about a middle-aged mom as the chosen one? She’d be able to kick ass and save the world too.


I HATE HATE HATE instalove. It always immediately ruins the story for me. Give me slow burn. There can be some instalust maybe, but the love needs to develop sloooowly. I need to pine and faint when the characters brush hands for the first time, okay?

Absent or dead parents

Look, it’s been overdone. We’ve had enough. Give us parents involved in their children’s lives. Give us good parents. Parents who care about their kids. And simply, parents who are around.

Fated mates

I love supernatural romances, but I have so much difficulty with fated mates. It often happens with werewolves, and sometimes fae. It feels kind of cheap to me. I don’t want to be told two people are meant to be together. I want to see them fall in love slooowly, remember. Fated mates often feels like instalove to me. I guess this trope can still be good if done correctly – but it’s a delicate thing: if it can be done in combination with a slow burn (like ACOMAF) then good! But if the fated mates trope is used to replace the slowly falling in love part (like in Shifter Island), then hard pass.

Girl-on-girl hate

I hate when a female main character has no female friends, and all the other girls are stereotypical, one-dimensional bitches. Enough with the girl-on-girl hate. Give me female friendships and girls building each other up!

Married with kids epilogue

I mean, this trope isn’t sooo bad. I do like a happy ending. And if this kind of epilogue were to happen on occasion, it’d be fine. But I feel like it’s been way overdone. Does a happy ending ALWAYS need to mean married with kids? I’m sorry, but I’d rather not have an epilogue then.

tried to care
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Tell Me:
What are bookish tropes you’d gladly throw into the ocean?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Ooh tropes. Good one. I agree with so many of these. Miscommunication is a big one- I just can’t with all the drama unfolding because two people didn’t talk to each other. It’s so contrived. And yes HEA’s are sometimes just SO tacked on. A slightly messy HEA is fine too haha!

    1. Oh, a slightly messy HEA can be fun too! It doesn’t ALWAYS need to be married with kids πŸ™‚

  2. Anne Bennett says:

    What a good twist on the topic. I agree with your choices. My TTT is off-the-board this week

    1. Thanks!

  3. OHMYGOSH, yes! The miscommunication bit is a favorite in the cutes-y TV rom-coms I watch. I mean I still love them (because they’re light and happy), but it gets to the point where the writer’s need to FIND something else!! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, miscommunication can happen and it can be funny and cute sometimes, but I want it to be fixed quickly and not drag on unnecessarily – that’s indeed just lazy writing πŸ™‚

  4. Yes throw out the girl on girl hate and miscommunication and instalove~

    1. Yes, they are the worst tropes!

  5. Omg yes we need a middle aged single mom chosen one!

    1. Definitely! They’d rock this whole saving-the-world-business πŸ™‚

  6. Yes to all of these! Miscommunication really rubs me the wrong way though. Just talk to each other, you’re just making things way harder on yourself! πŸ™ˆ

    1. Yes, miscommunication is always horrible, and when it’s the only reason the conflict gets prolonged it’s even more awful.

  7. lydiaschoch says:

    I dislike all of those tropes as well!

    My post:

    1. Glad you agree!

  8. Stephanie - Bookfever says:

    So many of these I was like YES KILL THAT TROPE! Especially married with kids epilogue. I hate it so much that I’d rather have no epilogue at all than that.

    1. Ugh yes I love a HEA but does it ALWAYS have to be married with kids? It’s like writers forget that there are other ways to be happy!

  9. Ahh, I love this list so much!! Miscommunication is one of my pet peeves, as well. Like, an entire book should not hinge on that. And I love your idea of the chosen one being a middle-aged mom! Now THAT would be a great twist!

    1. Miscommunication is definitely my most hated trope, it can totally bring me out of a story! Haha, we definitely need more middle-aged mom chosen ones out there, they’d be awesome and save the world in minimum time πŸ˜‰

  10. Molly's Book Nook says:

    Miscommunication drives me crazy! Especially in those circumstances where in REAL life they would’ve totally just talked to each other but for the sake of plot theres this unrealistic avoidance of crap hahah

    Here’s my TTT:

    1. Yes, it’s so annoying when that happens in a story!

  11. Mareli Thalwitzer says:

    Hi Lindsey! Aaah! This was a great post! As usual. Loved it! Yes, I really can’t stand these teenage chosen ones anymore. I believe that’s why all teenagers out there believe they are the one and only chosen one too…!

    Happy TTT!

    Ten Books I’d gladly throw into the ocean (for the mermaids to read)

    1. Hi Mareli! Haha, OMG yes the teenage chosen one trope is definitely dangerous like that πŸ˜‰

  12. Omg miscommunication is almost a pet peeve of mine at this point. If the story is only possible because two characters couldn’t have a normal conversation then it’s really not that great of a story.

    Also agree with missing parents. Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Gold is a perfect example of parents being in the picture but the children still getting center stage and tackling a lot regardless

    1. Yes, a book ALWAYS loses points with me when they have miscommunication to prolong the drama!
      Oh, I still need to read Chain of Gold, but I’m glad to hear they have present parents πŸ™‚

  13. The “Love at First Sight” trope is what makes me stop reading books at this point. It’s also the point where I realized “Wait, am I FINALLY too old to read YA books?”

    My post:

    1. I’m definitely not a fan of love at first sight either! Lust or intrigue at first sight, maybe, but never love πŸ™‚

  14. Great post!

    1. Thanks!

      1. You’re welcome!

  15. I agree with most of these. I don’t always hate instant love, though. There are a couple authors I know write books with it and work for me. I think maybe because I know that’s their style and their writing is strong enough to make it work. As for married with kids epilogues, I think there are times they are appropriate. Like the last book I read has one and it was a natural progression based on what the couple talks about in the book. It felt like it fit. Now, if it comes out of nowhere, then I don’t always think it’s a good idea.

    1. Instalove indeed depends on the writing a lot. I think it can be done properly, but overall I’m just not a fan as I prefer slow burns πŸ™‚ Yeah, you’re right about the married with kids epilogue, it can be appropriate, but if it comes out of nowhere it just feels tacked on to me.

      1. So if you love slow burns, have you read Mariana Zapata? Hers are the slowest of slow. I just finished her latest (All Rhodes Lead Here) and really loved it.

        1. I read 2 books by her, Dear Aaron and From Lukov With Love and adored both of them, but I still need to read more and I know she has a big back list. I did already love her slow burn in those 2 books though πŸ™‚ I’m glad to hear you loved her latest, I’m adding that to the top of my TBR for sure!

          1. Yes, move it to the top!!!

  16. Girl on girl hate is a big one for me, I get it that you’re not going to get on with absolutely every girl ever, but at least let your female MC have some female friends! I do like the chosen one tropes, but I agree, it would be nice to see more adult chosen ones. I do agree that there are too many dead/absent parents in YA but I kind of get it when it comes to fantasy as it’s a lot easier to go on adventures when your parents aren’t stopping you (having said that, there should definitely be more present parents in YA). Fated mates irritates me because there feels like there’s a certain lack of consent inherent to the trope? Like yes, we were fated to be together so it was always going to be this way, we didn’t choose it. But yes, basically I agree with you on all of these, these tropes should not be as common as they are (especially the married with kids epilogue: some people don’t want either of those things, and it shouldn’t be seen as the be-all, end-all of HEAs).
    My TTT:

    1. Yes, I really hate it when a female main character has NO female friends and every contact with another girl is only negative. I like a HEA, and I don’t mind the married with kids epilogue all the time, but it indeed often feels like it’s just added on the show ‘here is the happy ending’, and happy doesn’t necessarily mean that for everyone.

      1. Me too! All my close friends are women, so I really don’t get it when I read books and female main characters have no close female friends at all. It’s not that I have a problem with married with kids being the ending for a book, I just wish that we had a broader scope for HEA endings that weren’t just married with kids, especially as someone who doesn’t want kids, it would be nice to see a HEA epilogue that didn’t have that being portrayed as the pinnacle of happiness.

  17. I agree with your first three. Miscommunication makes me want to pull my hair out (unless it was something small, but then it’s not a plot element). Abusive people are not lovely, and being clumsy is just a very small part of what makes a person.

    1. Yes, glad you agree on these! Small miscommunications are indeed okay, but when it’s part of the plot it’s just annoying.

  18. I love what you did with this week’s topic and yep, Instalove would have been first on my list to toss into the ocean.

    1. I think instalove is the most universally hated bookish trope out there for sure!

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