TTT: Bad Tropes Done Well

Gonna be real with you, some of these tropes are definitely not bad, they’re just overused, and they’ve gotten a kind of oh here we go again connotation in my head, so that’s why I’m attributing bad to it. I also love this week’s topic on Meeghan Reads for the month of tropes, too, because I am a huge fan of tropes, and I love seeing them celebrated. And because Meeghan only does five, I’m also only going to do five because there’s a lot of trope talk about to happen this month.

bad boy

Hello, yes, can I have more Kaz Brekkers in the world? There’s a difference between someone like Cardan, who is actively awful to literally everyone around him, and Kaz, who quietly gives loves to those he keeps close and just doesn’t interact with the rest of the world. I love a bad boy, someone who’s a little tormented, but doesn’t become an asshole because of it–or, at least, not an asshole the way Cardan is, where he just manipulates people and then goes oh but I had a bad childhood woe is me. I don’t want the Darkling, I want Darlington. I want someone who’s up to no good, probably a lot suave, and who you’d trust with your life even if you thought they might be the ones putting you in danger. Yes, and please.

love triangle

I realize belatedly that I already shouted about this one, so uhhhhh, hi, we’re here to talk about Queen of Air & Darkness by Cassandra Clare again and nothing else. I’m honestly never going to trust a book that says it has a love triangle ever again because Clare’s the only one that’s actually done a love triangle, and unless people are going to start getting on board with that, then I’m all set. I want Person A, B, and C to all be in love with each other, and then I am here for it.

a blank of blank and blank titles

This is less of a trope and more of a title formula that’s going to get me every time, but I feel like it’s everywhere in YA to the point that it’s become a trope. It’s like the first time I saw A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, I was like, “Ah, yes, this one will do just fine.” I barely read the summary because I knew I was almost guaranteed to like it, and that feels like a trope to me. Something that is so recognizable that it’s gotten to the point where we just accept and move on.


A heist can mean so many different things, but the first thing that comes to mind is Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody and Levi & Enne going up against the Shadow Game and just being like, “Dare you to bet against us.” I think, for me, a heist is more about the found family that comes together and does impossible things. I mean, just look at Army of the Dead. Zombies walled off in Las Vegas sounds like a stupid idea even before you add in we’re going to sneak past the walls to fight against intelligent zombies because there’s a safe full of a shit ton of money, BUT IT WORKS.

Don’t even come for me, Army of the Dead is fucking stellar, and I am so overhyped about Army of Thieves that I am going to Dieter scream my way straight into hell.

eight million supernatural creatures

This is another Shadowhunters moment for me, but I love them because they have eight million supernatural creatures. Is it a good choice? Probably not, but I’m here for it. The thing about all of these tropes is that they’re not necessarily good, whether because they’re overdone or because they’re just plain stupid to begin with, but there’s something about them, about celebrating the trope itself so loudly, that makes me just endlessly happy. I love Shadowhunters because it’s ridiculous. I love that Cassandra Clare just threw everything but the kitchen sink in her series because why the hell not? It’s a damn good time, and every time I hear of another mythical creature being introduced, I am so ready.

2 responses to “TTT: Bad Tropes Done Well”

  1. iconocat Avatar

    for an actual love triangle, try iron widow by xiran jay zhao!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary Drover Avatar

      I’ve been seeing that cover around lately, so the universe must be trying to get it into my hands!


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