Updated: December 8, 2023

Literary tropes: how familiar are you with them, and how much do they dictate what you read? πŸ‘€πŸ“–

Have you ever found yourself falling in love with a particular type of story or character, only to realize that it fits perfectly within a well-worn trope? Let’s find out more about them:

Literary tropes have been a beloved aspect of storytelling for centuries and still capture our imagination. From the hero’s journey to the forbidden love, these literary devices serve as familiar touchstones that allow us to explore new worlds and ideas through the lens of familiar narratives πŸ“š

Get ready to dive into the top 10 most popular literary tropes:

  1. The Hero’s Journey
  2. The Love Triangle
  3. The Chosen One
  4. The Coming-of-Age Story
  5. The Villain
  6. The Forbidden Love
  7. The Fish out of Water
  8. The Redemption Arc
  9. The Time Travel
  10. The Battle of Good vs. Evil
  11. Enemies to Lovers
  12. Unreliable Narrator

1. The Hero’s Journey πŸ‘‰ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Hero’s Journey is a literary trope that takes us on an epic adventure. It’s the story of a hero who sets out to face challenges and overcome obstacles, leaving the ordinary world behind. Along the way, the hero meets allies, fights battles, and endures trials, all leading up to the ultimate challenge. In the end, the hero emerges victorious, having proven their worth and fulfilling their destiny. It’s a story that captures our imaginations and inspires us to be our best selves.

The Poppy War is a great example of a book with the Hero’s Journey literary trope.

The story follows Rin, a young girl from a poor village who dreams of escaping her fate and making a better life for herself. She enrolls in a military academy and quickly discovers that she’s a natural-born badass. As she learns to harness her immense magical powers, she also discovers that there are dark forces at work, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

This coming-of-age grimdark military fantasy is highly inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War. If you’re looking for a relentlessly tension-packed book, this one truly deserves every second of your time 🏹

2. The Love Triangle πŸ‘‰ One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

The Love Triangle is one of the classics of literary tropes where there are three people caught up in a love mess. The protagonist is stuck between two love interests, causing all sorts of drama and heartache. It’s like a game of tug-of-war, with each love interest pulling at the protagonist’s heartstrings. In the end, the protagonist must choose who to be with, but it’s never that simple. There are twists and turns along the way, with secrets, lies, and betrayals making things even more complicated.

For this literary trope, we suggest trying out One Last Stop. The story follows August, who moves to New York City to start over. But she never expected to fall for her quirky and mysterious roommate, Jane, who seems stuck in some time loop. As August tries to unravel the mystery of Jane’s past, she finds herself getting deeper and deeper into a love triangle with Pete and Jane that will have you swooning.

This book is a rollercoaster of emotions, with heartwarming moments of romance and heart-pounding moments of suspense. Grab some tissues and get ready for a wild ride! πŸš‡

3. The Chosen One πŸ‘‰ Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

In The Chosen One trope, there’s a protagonist who’s destined for greatness, whether they like it or not. They often have to face seemingly insurmountable challenges, make tough choices, and sacrifice a lot along the way. The chosen one always has some sort of special ability, weapon, or power to help them in their quest. Maybe they’re a wizard, a superhero, or have some sort of divine intervention. Ultimately, the chosen one overcomes obstacles, defeats the villain, and saves the day. 

Children of Blood and Bone falls right under this trope. It’s a young adult fantasy novel that takes place in a world where magic has been stamped out by a cruel and oppressive king. But ZΓ©lie, our fierce and determined protagonist, refuses to give up hope. With her magical powers and her trusty band of misfits, she sets out on a dangerous quest to restore magic to her people and overthrow the tyrannical regime.

The heart-pumping chase scenes to epic battles will keep you on the edge of your seat. You need to read this book if you’re looking for one that will make you think, feel, and root for the underdog🩸

4. The Coming-of-Age Story πŸ‘‰ Circe by Madeline Miller

Coming-of-Age is a literary trope that’s all about growing up and discovering who you are. We follow a young protagonist as they face challenges and obstacles, from first love to family drama. But with support from friends, family, or mentors, they emerge as more mature and confident individuals. It’s a timeless tale of self-discovery and personal growth that we can all relate to.

Circe by Madeline Miller is one example of a story that falls under the Coming-of-Age literary trope. This enchanting novel is a retelling of the Greek myth of Circe, the witch who turned Odysseus’s men into pigs. But don’t let that fool you – this book is so much more than just a retelling. At its core, Circe is about a young woman who is underestimated and overlooked by those around her. She ultimately finds the strength within herself to become the powerful and formidable sorceress she was meant to be.

A truly beautifully written and crafted novel that will transport you to another world. If you’re a fan of mythology, coming-of-age stories, or just great literature in general, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this book 🌿

5. The Villain πŸ‘‰ Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Villain trope is the story of the beautiful baddie we all love to hate! They’re the antagonist that creates all kinds of obstacles the hero must overcome to achieve their goals. But don’t worry; they usually get what’s coming to them in the end, whether it be defeat or redemption. And sometimes, they have a complex backstory or motivation that makes them even more interesting.

Shadow and Bone is the perfect young adult fantasy novel that falls under the villain trope. The story follows Alina Starkov, a young girl who discovers she has a rare and powerful ability that could change the fate of her country.

The Darkling is an important character that serves as the primary antagonist to the protagonist, Alina. He is a powerful Grisha who possesses the ability to summon darkness and control shadows, making him a formidable opponent. The Darkling’s true intentions are gradually revealed, adding to the tension and intrigue of the story. If you’re into complex world-building novels, political intrigue, and well-developed characters, then this is your go-to choice 🦌

6. The Forbidden Love πŸ‘‰ Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

The Forbidden Love is one of the literary tropes that’s all about love that’s not supposed to happen. Two star-crossed lovers are drawn to each other despite all the odds stacked against them – think family drama, societal norms, or just plain bad timing. Of course, they face all sorts of challenges as they try to navigate their feelings, but the attraction is just too strong to ignore. 

Red, White & Royal Blue is a forbidden romance between a prince and the son of the first female president of the United States. Yes, you read that right. The perfect blend of political drama, royal intrigue, and heart-melting romance. At the heart of this novel are Alex and Henry, two young men who are from opposite sides of the political spectrum but who find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences.

Red, White & Royal Blue is a must-read for anyone who loves a good romance, a smart political drama, or just a good bookπŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘

7. The Fish out of Water πŸ‘‰ The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Fish Out of Water literary trope is about a character who’s in over their head. Think a big city slicker in a small town or a time traveler in a different era – they’re like a fish flapping around on dry land! It’s a classic tale of the underdog trying to fit in and figure things out. Sure, they might make some hilarious mistakes along the way, but ultimately, they learn and grow from their experiences.

If you wanna dive into the Fish out of Water trope, we recommend The Hating Game, a romantic comedy that is anything but predictable! Lucy and Joshua start off as enemies, but as they spend more time together, they start to see each other in a different light.

Lucy is a charming and hard-working assistant who is tired of being pushed around, and Joshua’s the uptight and rule-following executive who is also ridiculously handsome. Together, they make an unforgettable duo that will have you rooting for their love-hate relationship πŸ’ž

8. The Redemption Arc πŸ‘‰ A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The Redemption Arc trope is all about a character who starts off as a bit of a bad apple but ends up redeeming themselves through acts of heroism, kindness, and self-sacrifice. So, if you’re looking for a tale of personal growth and second chances, jump on the Redemption Arc train!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is a masterpiece of a novel that will take you on a journey through the lives of four friends, each struggling to find their way in the world. But it’s Jude’s story that will truly capture your heart.

He’s a complex and layered character who has been through so much trauma that it’s hard not to feel your heart break for him. However, it’s not just a story of sadness and pain. It’s a story of hope, healing, and redemption as Jude learns to trust those around him and allow himself to love and be loved in return in the city that never sleeps πŸ—½

9. The Time Travel πŸ‘‰ The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Travel literary trope is about characters who can travel through time, whether on purpose or by accident. They might use a time machine, portal, or magic to travel to different eras and events. But, messing with the space-time fabric can have serious consequences, and heroes usually face challenges, like fixing past mistakes or battling enemies.

Get ready to take a wild ride through time with The Time Traveler’s Wife! Henry, the charming but complicated protagonist, suffers from a rare genetic disorder that involuntarily causes him to travel through time. But don’t worry, this isn’t your average time travel story filled with paradoxes and complicated scientific theories. Instead, it’s a heartwarming romance between Henry and his wife, Clare, exploring the power of love and the lengths people will go to for each other βŒ›

10. The Battle of Good vs. Evil πŸ‘‰ The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Battle of Good vs. Evil trope is a classic showdown between our hero – the Good guy – and the villain – the Bad guy. Whether they’re fighting for their loved ones or the fate of the world, the stakes are always high, and the tension is always electric.

If you wanna explore The Battle of Good vs. Evil trope even more, we recommend The Name of the Wind. Join Kvothe, a fascinating character whose past is shrouded in secrecy, on a journey through his extraordinary life. From his humble beginnings as a traveling performer to his time as a student at a prestigious university, Kvothe’s story is full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This isn’t just a story of Good vs. Evil – it’s a tale of the inner turmoil and personal battles that Kvothe must overcome in order to achieve his goals. You’ll be rooting for Kvothe every step of the way as he faces both external threats and the demons within himselfπŸƒ

And so, dear readers, we have come to the end of our journey through the wonderful world of literary tropes. We’ve explored the highs and lows of love triangles, the thrill of the chosen one, the heart-wrenching tragedy of the sacrificial hero, and the battle between good vs. evil.

11. Enemies to Lovers πŸ‘‰ The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Enemies to lovers is one of the most popular literary tropes in romance or romantasy books and our personal favorite. It involves two characters who hate each other, but because they are forced to interact, they discover the other is not as bad as they initially thought, and they end up falling in love πŸ’ž

Plenty of popular books approach this plot, but we recommend you check out The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. The story follows the protagonist, Jude Duarte, who, along with her twin sister Taryn and older sister Vivi, is taken to live in the realm of Elfhame after her parents are murdered. Elfhame is a world of political intrigue, power struggles, and magical creatures, including fairies.

Jude finds herself entangled in a complex and often antagonistic relationship with Cardan, a prince of the faerie realm. Their interactions are initially marked by distrust, rivalry, and power struggles within the treacherous faerie court. The title “The Cruel Prince” itself hints at the contentious nature of Cardan’s character. However, as the story unfolds, the dynamics between Jude and Cardan undergo a transformation. The narrative explores the complexities of their relationship, revealing hidden depths, vulnerabilities, and unexpected connections.

12. Unreliable Narrator πŸ‘‰ You by Caroline Kepnes

This trope is usually used in mystery and thriller novels because the story is being told from someone’s perspective that you can’t entirely trust. This adds suspense as the reader doesn’t know whether the story is an accurate recount of the events or not.

For this trope, we recommend Caroline Kepnes’ psychological thriller novel. The story is told from the perspective of Joe Goldberg, a seemingly charming and intelligent bookstore manager. However, beneath his affable exterior, Joe harbors a dangerous obsession with a woman named Guinevere Beck, whom he meets when she enters his bookstore (not gonna lie; we’ve avoided bookstores for a few weeks after reading this 😰). Using his knowledge of social media and technology, Joe begins to stalk Beck both online and offline, gradually inserting himself into her life in disturbing ways.

The unreliability of Joe’s perspective adds a layer of suspense and complexity to the novel. Readers are constantly challenged to discern between Joe’s version of events and the potential reality of the situations he describes. This narrative technique creates tension and invites readers to question the motives and morality of the protagonist, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

Before we say goodbye, let us know which literary trope is your favorite 😍

Do you need some literary fuel to add to your reading fire? Fear not, my friend, for we’ve got the goods! Whether you’re trying to escape a reading slump or trying to spice up your shelf, you can always count on Bloo, your trusty reading companion, to have your back. So keep exploring, keep devouring those pages, and let Bloo guide you on your next reading adventure! πŸ’™

Download Bookly for iOSΒ  πŸ‘‰ Β  https://bookly.app.link/nAH81rtpg9

Download Bookly for Android  πŸ‘‰  https://bookly.app.link/4TMM20xpg9

Write A Comment