March #ShelfLove Challenge: Annoying Book Tropes



March topic: What is one book trope that gets on your nerves? 

When I saw the topic for this month's #ShelfLove challenge I didn't even need to think about it. I knew exactly what I would be choosing. Sure there are several tropes that I find annoying. The girl who describes herself as plain (or too skinny, or too curvy, or her hair frizzed that one time, whatever) but *every other character* describes her as beautiful. She's obviously runway-ready and could grace any magazine cover... but, golly gee,she just doesn't know it. Pardon me while I gag. Another would be the girl who every guy is in love with. I mean, every freaking male character in the book is fawning over her and declaring his love. Um, has this every happened to you? Does every guy you know put you on a pedestal and drool when you are near? Yeah, me either. (Side note to authors: this does not make your main character relatable or likable. Quit doing this!)

There are others, of course, but there is one... ONE that stands out above all others. One that I find so annoying that I get all ragey just thinking about it. 


There it is: The Big Misunderstanding. A character, usually the heroine, sees something or hears something, gets the wrong idea, and allows this to drive a wedge between her and the love interest. And this carries on for much of the book all while I become more and more annoyed. Why does this make me so ragey? Because 99.73548% of the time the entire misunderstanding, the thing upon which the entire plot is built, could be solved with one single conversation. Characters talk, problem solved, done. But that can't happen because otherwise all would be resolved by chapter three. Gah! Please, no more. Give me a book with a real conflict - not something that could be fixed if the characters had a two minute chat.

 Is there one book trope that annoys you beyond all others? 
Does it ruin a book for you?




26 comments

  1. I'm so glad you brought this up girl! There are so many tropes that annoy me, especially the one with the "misunderstanding" that HAD the two characters talked, things would have been healed a long time ago, but NO, they have to keep the drama going and going until i'm sick of it. But yet, I still keep reading anyway... huh. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Just talk, already! It's just such a pointless and unnecessary trope that it drives me crazy. Glad I'm not the only one!

      Delete
  2. Oh gosh, I totally agree about the big misunderstanding trope. I suppose in some special cases, it COULD work but for the most part, I just want people to talk to each other for once. But yeah, the first two you mentioned are also very very true and so so annoying. Gah!

    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right - in some cases it can work. There are rare times when the misunderstanding seems genuinely believable. But usually I just want to throttle the characters. LOL

      Delete
  3. Yeessss!! The misunderstanding gets me ragey too, Tanya. I get so irritated when drama and angst are caused by something that could be resolved IF ONLY the characters would actually communicate. *gasp* I know!
    I'm rather tired of the plain Jane syndrome as well...especially when every guy is fawning over her. You hit the nail on the head when you said characters like that are unrelatable and unlikable. Ugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Brandee. It's such a pointless trope that it smacks of laziness on the part of the author (to me, anyway). When your plot hinges on your MC's not having a simple conversation to resolve a misunderstand... come on. That's just weak. Ugh.

      Delete
  4. OMG the misunderstanding. I hate that too. Come on people, let's just TALK things through!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Having the MC's talk... what a novel idea. LOL

      Delete
  5. OOOH YESSSS! I totally agree with you on this one- I absolutely hate it when one tiny misunderstanding is warped and multiplied until it seems as though their worlds are falling apart. Like, seriously? Can't they just talk once and at least TRY to sort it out? It's funny how they almost ALWAYS forget that they can just talk to each other. Meh. So annoying. Loved this post, Tanya! :D

    My latest review

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! One small misunderstanding becomes this huge thing and rest of the book is all drama and angst because someone heard something wrong. Ridiculous! So glad I'm not the only one who feels this way, Ruzaika! :)

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness, I agree with you on this one SO MUCH!!!!!!! This is the absolute WORST! Especially when majority of book is one simple misunderstanding and the characters are pining away. HATE THIS! Also can't stand love triangles, at all -- sometimes you get both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! Someone else who hates the wretched misunderstand trope. OMG it annoys me to no end. The love triangle thing... eh, doesn't bother me so much. But apparently they're a deal breaker for you! LOL

      Delete
  7. I cracked up laughing at this one. I mean that first part is really annoying. But the second one is just like really? You ever heard of talking. Oh no, you have to wait until the very lst part of the book. My mistake. That is so annoying. I am with you girlfriend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! Someone else who thinks this is annoying as hell. LOL I mean, how hard is it to write a scene where your characters talk and clear things up? It's such a dumb premise and smacks of lazy writing to me. Ugh.

      Delete
  8. HAHA i can hear your rage through the keyboard Tanya LOL. yes the first one you mentioned with the girls who don't "know" how pretty/wonderful they are is quite annoying. I think to some extent we ALL underestimate ourselves because humans are self-deprecating by nature, but the books like this where they actually describe themselves as ugly or weird and then the rest of the world basically thinks they are a supermodel, THOSE books bother me.

    The big misunderstanding is hilarious because there's always some element of it in most books, but the more i thought about it everytime i get angry about it, the more i realize how little plot there would be without it!

    Emily @www.rabbitholereviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Was it that obvious? :) You're right in that there is often at least some small element of a misunderstanding in books. So true. And when it's a minor thing and resolved fairly quickly I'm okay. But it's when the entire plot is based around one misunderstand that I go off the rails. The fact that something so stupid is the basis for an entire book just sends me into fits. Like you said, there are times when without that misunderstanding there is no other plot! Gah!!!

      Delete
  9. OMGGG I HATE THIS TROPE So much yes I don't even know where to start! It makes me ragey as a reader (and this is also heavily used in TV and movies and I just want to scream) because it's just dragging shit out and I want to slap all the characters. Oh I could not agree with you more on this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I should have known we would think alike on this one. :) And with the same degree of rage. You are so right - it drags it all to an unbearable degree - and over something stupid like a misunderstanding. Spare me the inane plot devices!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Terri! Glad to know I'm not the only one! :)

      Delete
  11. OMG I totally agree. I am always like just talk it will be fine. But do they??? NO. They get all mad and ragey and it becomes this huge deal that is silly. Ugh. Great pick obviously :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, exactly! A huge deal - and an entire plot - built on something so ridiculous! Stop it, authors, just stop it.

      Delete
  12. Certainly there are a billion tropes that just piss me off these days. And most of them are romance centric because you know, that's all we girls read(need).
    The Misunderstanding is definitely one of the worst. I understand there would be plot without this misunderstanding. But when you're basing your book off of something so petty, immature and tripe as people not conversing with each other, well I got no time for that. Bye Felicia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Exactly. If that's all you have to offer - some flimsy as hell plot based on your characters oh I don't know not TALKING - then I am O-U-T. That was played out decades ago. Gimme something better than that.

      Delete
  13. Yess to both!! I can't stand the h who thinks she's a big bowl of plain oatmeal, but everyone else thinks she's sunshine and rainbows. I have no clue why authors would find it relatable. But the big "misunderstanding" thing makes me wanna inflict violence on someone (not like for real or anything lol), but it's soooooooooo ANNOYING!! I could literally go on and on about how annoying it is lol. I'm also not a fan of love triangles (they stress me out too much), cheating, or annoying whiny characters

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes to everything you said, Brittni! :) And I'm still laughing at "a big bowl of plain oatmeal." LOL

    ReplyDelete