A couple Wednesdays ago I posted about the character tropes I loved. This week is all about the ones I hate. Again, character tropes are overused themes in books. So let’s get started…
1. The perfect girl
You know what I’m talking about — I’m talking about the girl who seems so perfect on the outside with her perfect hair and her perfect teeth and her perfect boyfriend, yada yada yada. But really, on the inside, she’s suffered a lot and just doesn’t know how to tell anyone. I’m really sick of this one, mostly because it gives a lot of girls the impression that they shouldn’t let their guard down and no one will want them if they are struggling with something. Books included in this category are: anything by Sarah Dessen.
2. The troubled hero
This is most often found in young adult novels, but I’m kind of sick of it. I don’t want some self-loathing and deprecating individual to fight for me — I want someone who knows what they want and isn’t afraid to say they are awesome for it. Confidence is sexy. Hiding in the shadows because you messed up once is annoying. Books included in this category are: The Vampire Diaries and Twilight.
3. Love at first sight
Maybe it’s because I don’t believe in love at first sight or because I don’t think it ever happens in real life, but this one just never gets me excited about reading a book. Usually because it’s coupled with the troubled hero I just described, but love at first sight can bite me. Books included in this category are: Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
4. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”
This is the one where the girl is just a plain-Jane until this “amazing” guy comes into her life to tell her differently. I think this is another one that gives girls false hope in their appearance changing overnight and also encourages girls to seek approval from boys. Neither of which I find okay. This is also known as the “glasses removal effect”, meaning that once a girl (or boy) removes their glasses, they are 10 times more stunning than they were with that accessory on their face. Movies included in this category are: The Princess Diaries.
5. The jock who doesn’t want to be a jock
Or the ballerina that wants to quit ballet. Or the kid in remedial classes who’s actually really smart. I’m just sick of this. I’m sick of lead or supporting characters that just aren’t themselves. It gives you very unrealistic expectations of people having underlying meaning behind their actions. Sometimes, the jerk, really is just a jerk. Books included in this category are: Just Listen and Speak. (But I loved Speak! Don’t get me wrong!)