Week of Romance: Book Tropes

This is Our Genre, Tell Us Yours

Valentine’s Day is this week (in a couple of days, actually)! I’m not really a big fan of the holiday. I really don’t care too much about it. However, I do love the fact that chocolates are a little bit cheaper and come in cute packaging. Anyway, since I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day because I am sans boyfriend, I’ve decided to read a whole bunch of romance books (to see what I’m missing out on ha! jk.) In reality, I’m a huge sucker for love. I love love. I love reading about it, seeing it in movies, and listening to it in music. I love stories of people falling in love so that I can live vicariously through them because they’re just so freaking cute! It gives me those butterflies, all the feels, and pulls on my heart strings.

As terrible as it may be, a lot of the books I read need to have some kind of romance for me to really enjoy it. Fantasy, for example, is my favorite genre of all time. Wizards, witches, vampires, angels, fae, and all that sh*t is nothing if there’s no love going on. Okay, it’s not nothing but I really needs some romance as subplot. So since this week is Valentine’s Day, Love thy Shelf will be posting more romance related stuff. Tomorrow, Caro and I will be posting our top ten favorite romances in novels. The reviews I’ll be posting will also be romance novels (believe me, I need to catch up on so many romance book reviews). As for today, we will be talking about commonly found romance tropes!

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Romance Tropes

Tropes are basically overused plot devices, kind of like cliche. With millions of books and ideas out there, you know that there will be an overuse of plots. It’s really hard to avoid tropes. They become tropes/cliches because their formulas are pretty darn successful, so why not keep using it right? There are many kinds of tropes and everyone has a different opinion on them. There are some people who live for the love triangles, where others stay away from those kind of books. That doesn’t mean that tropes are a bad thing, it just means that everyone has a different taste. Having read more romance books in the past year, I’m becoming more and more familiar with tropes found in romance novels. Here are some of the tropes that I’ve seen:

  • Best Friend’s Sibling/Sibling’s Best Friend: The main character is in love with their best friend’s sibling or their sibling’s best friend (which apparently is a no-no and is very complicated).
  • Best Friends to Lovers: The characters are best friends but then grow into something more.
  • Class Warfare: There’s a gap between in their socioeconomic status (money, class, education, occupation).
  • Enemies to Lovers: The characters are enemies/rivals in some way, shape, or form but it grows into romance.
  • Fake Relationships: The characters enter into a fake relationship for whatever reason (ex: save face, make someone jealous) but end up falling for each other
  • Flings: What the characters think will only be a fling is actually the start of their relationship
  • Guardian/Protector: The main character needs protection or a bodyguard but they start falling in love
  • Love Triangle/Square: Or any shape really, when there is more than one contender for the main character’s love
  • Playboy: He’s a playboy and relationships aren’t his thing, that is until he meets the one that will end his playboy ways
  • Scars/Tortured Soul: The character lives with physical or psychological or emotional scars or are haunted by their *secret* past
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: (aka Forbidden Love) the main characters love each other but it’s “doomed to fail” kind of thing
  • Unrequited Love: The main character is in love with someone that does not love them back

While researching for this post, I found so many other kinds of tropes in existence. However, these are the ones I saw the most often in the books I read. Some of these tropes even overlap. For example, I often see unrequited love trope with the best friends to lovers trope. Don’t judge me but I honestly really enjoy all of these tropes haha. Later on this week, I will be posting about some of my favorite tropes and book recommendations for them. Keep an eye out!

How do you feel about romance tropes? (Or tropes in general?) What are some of the tropes that you’ve seen in romance novels? Which tropes are your favorites? Let me know below!

About Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

Hello there -- call me Anjie! I made this book blog where I can put down all my bookish ramblings and talk to those who have the same interests!
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