Rolling my Eyes to Tossing into the Bottom of the Ocean // Tropes & Bookish Plots I Just Can’t Stand

There are some things in books that are either A) Completely annoying or B) Really just trash. I don’t know if these things are tropes or just bookish plots? 

And today, I’m going to break down my thoughts about those things. Now, these are just my opinions. But I think, they’re right? If you disagree, I totally understand. 

Anyway, I see these plot points A LOT. And I either roll my eyes, or roast the book on Goodreads. I could actually make bonfires, or row out to the middle of the ocean and throw the book overboard, but roasting on Goodreads is just easier. Though, throwing books into the middle of the Atlantic might be a lot of fun. But  cluttering the ocean is a Bad Idea™ so I’ll settle for roasting them on my blog.

Oh, and I even put them in order!?! From mildly disliking to wanting to shred completely apart. 

The Weather Always Being Perfect

So, unless this book takes place under a bio-sphere, why is the weather nearly always perfect? because I can tell you from experience, the weather loves to argue. In fact, I just went to a gorgeous camp this week, but the weather totally pulled a trick, and POURED RAIN the ENTIRE TEAM.
Cue me running and screaming in the pouring rain.

I think the weather throwing a wrench in everyone’s plan needs to happen more often. Because that’s how real life works.

Lots of Years Without Any Change

Some things about the world never seem to change. (Ahem, racism. Time to die already) But other things change quite a bit. Technology, the roads. Political systems. Even languages.

But some books exist in these worlds that are supposedly years apart. But nothing really changes? The languages are basically the same, but just look at English. We talk very different than people did just 50 years ago. 

How do books act like time doesn’t really affect cultures and people? 

And a tiny side rant, but how do curse words stay the same in fantasy books? LANGUAGE CHANGES. It does not make sense that they use the same language as us today. 

It Never Takes Time to do, Anything?

Speaking of time, time works weird in A LOT of books. I know characters are doing things, reading, writing, taking a hike. But this just seems to happen, without taking actual time for life to work.

Especially homework. Any random day of the school week, I have at least 3 hours of homework. It takes a lot of time. But in most YA contemporaries, homework doens’t seem like that much of a big deal? 

Me, trying to do homework in my dorm. 

And this also works with love? People falling in love so quickly? And wanting to spend the rest of their lives together? And it’s just been a week? Three days? 

Casual Drinking is a Totally Normal Thing?

Something I don’t get is how drinking is suddenly a super popular thing with YA books. Especially YA books set in magical/fantasy cultures. Do these people just have higher alcohol tolerances? 

When I was writing one of my books, I had the villain drinking ALL the time. He’s walking around, casually holding this wine glass. That was his thing. It was a stupid thing. But I hoped people read him drinking, and went: ding, dong, there’s the villain drinking wine while people are dying! Also, he swirled his wine, which I thought was so villainy looking.

Me, to my villains

I know drinking isn’t necessarily taboo. But I think it should be treated a tad more carefully. And having characters drinking with breakfast, lunch, dinner and every afternoon get together makes them seem like borderline alcoholics.

So you want them to drink something cool? Whatever happened to sweet tea?

Completely Ignoring the “Adults”

When I’m reading some YA books, it feels like all teenagers have decided that adults are unnecessary. Now I know sometimes it’s super easy to disagree with your parents. But I think having the kids always be right and the adults wrong is just too tropey. 

And kids ignoring their parents, just because??? Now, even when I was mad at my parents, I had to make up with them. Because I lived with them. We ate together. They drove me places. I used my mom’s computer until I could buy my own. 

It just doesn’t vibe with me when I read characters who push their parents out. And it seems to happen a lot in books? 

Hundred Year Old Guys Falling for a Teenager

I absolutely don’t understand this idea at all? If you lived for 500 years, you never fell in love? Except when you run into a partner hundreds of years younger than you. Oh, by the way, you don’t look 500 years old. Just barely over 20. And of course, the girl you’re in love with is probably only 17. 

But somehow, she’s the absolute one. The only one. You two have always been meant for each other. 

Does this make any sense? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. 

I just have a few questions:

Was there literally no one else alive your entire hundreds of years you could have fallen for? 

Can you wait till the teenager is older? Or can you just not fall in love, please? 

How is this girl not running away from the very old guy? 

Who decided this was okay? Also, what makes two people the only ones meant for each other? 

So honestly, I wrote this entire post to rant about this trope. Because I keep seeing it? And it just makes me so mad. And it’s not just hundreds of years in age difference. Mature adults should not be falling for teenagers. That’s just weird and wrong. 

Ok, so this roast is officially coming to an end. I don’t think I’m attacking a specific book, author, or even a genre. Just being honest about some thoughts I’ve had while reading lately. 🙂 Especially about weird romance between old guys and teenagers. 

I do think you can take some of these ideas and tropes and make them readable. Or you can just enjoy these tropes and not be a critical roaster like me. 

lets chat

What tropes do you want to roast? How would you change a trope? 

Should villains drink wine? And swirl it around? Should drinking be written into YA books?

Do you think adults are ignored terribly in contemporary YA?  What weird things have you seen done with time in YA books? 

Does weird romance make you cringe and rant like me? 

What tropes make you gag?

 

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17 Comments

  1. May 21, 2018 / 11:50 am

    About the “casual drinking” in fantasy novels…

    I feel like it may be running things along the lines of medieval Europe, where it was much more common to drink beer and wine, etc., than water or anything else, because the water was most likely carrying the plague. People drank what was available to them at the time. I don’t think it’s necessarily because they’re borderline alcoholics but rather because there really isn’t much else to drink. Sodas aren’t invented yet, water is probably toxic, and milk is probably just available to those who have cows behind their houses. There might be juice of some sort, yes, but most likely it’s been fermented.

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      I totally understand drinking wine instead of water for health reasons. But in most fantasy books, they chat about how fantastic the food is. And medieval Europe had awful food. I worked at a historic reenactment place and cooking before the 1900s was def not about taste. So if the food is great, the water and other drinks are probably ok to drink. And people, at least post 1600, drank coffee and tea, as well as alcoholic beverages, since water wasn’t a good idea.

      Anyway, I think it should be better written! Because drinking all the time, especially outside of meals, is just not realistic 😊

      Thanks for commenting! It’s a pretty great discussion.

      • May 22, 2018 / 5:24 pm

        I guess I don’t really pay attention to the way they describe food lol but you’re right. Most medieval food was meat, scorched over a fire, and maybe a vegetable if you were poor and found something in the road.

        It all depends on what era those fantasy books are set. I know there are ones that reference tea and such, too, and that’s possibly using the water that might not be all that safe either.

        Agreed, though. There should be better writing.

  2. May 21, 2018 / 11:53 am

    I always think it’s funny how characters never seem to go to the bathroom! 😛

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      So true! I think it’s just not something writers really think about 😂

  3. May 21, 2018 / 11:54 am

    The thing with them skipping HW is that it would be very boring to read about someone doing their HW. But you are right, they should at least mention it!! The language one doesn’t bother me so much, but you are right about the old guy falls in love with teenager is kind of creepy but I hadn’t noticed it before.

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:21 pm

      It could be boring to read just HW! But HW isn’t just writing, sometimes. Like, as a journalism major, I had to track down news stories and carry around a 20lb camera. Now, I know not everyone has a lot of interesting hw. But it could be!

  4. May 21, 2018 / 11:56 am

    My goodness. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Those are all pretty awful. I also don’t like it when the hero is supposedly super awesome. Whether they actually are super awesome, or they’re just supposed to be but then have a hard time dealing with problems–either way it annoys me. I’ve just read too many books recently where it’s like, “Mr./Ms. Hero is super awesome. S/He’s the best. S/He went to the school for all the best people, and was the best at the school.”
    No thanks.

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:23 pm

      So true! I like to see a main character struggle and be rather normal. More like how Ron and Harry worked through Hogwarts, especially Ron.

      • May 23, 2018 / 9:44 am

        Although it wouldn’t have hurt Ron to be just a teeny bit smarter, haha! But that’s a great example.

  5. May 21, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    Yes yes yes! I love how it’s always perfect weather conditions in books which is totally unrealistic. And although I haven’t read too many books with casual drinking, I have to agree that isn’t realistic at all. Everyone has a limit even in the book world, so don’t make it seem as if everyone can drink with every meal and be perfectly fine. Great rants!

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:24 pm

      YAS! And it’s not just drinking with meals? But throwing out afternoon tea type drinks for straight up wine. And I’m just agog at that!

  6. May 22, 2018 / 10:57 am

    I agree about the swearing being the same, especially with fantasy vs. contemporary? Because your fantasy world.might not have a “hell” but yet somehoe that’s still a saying? And that just doesn’t make sense to me. The only word that I think you can maybe get away with is damn, maybe used in a different way, but that might just be a personal preference.

    And thank you for mentioning the drinking! This doesn’t always bother me in fantasy, because I never really see it and also it’s a different world with different rules and social constraints. But I HATE seeing it in contemporary. Because theses teens drink and never get punished for it? And sometimes they drink to forget their problems and that just doesntd make sense to me. Plus, I know no teens who actually do this?

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:25 pm

      Exactly! And when people swear using the same deity? I am so confused. 😂
      And I definitely think if you show people drinking ti should be done in a healthy way. Teens drinking is not a good idea.

  7. emmareadstoomuch
    May 22, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    YESSSSS. the time thing especially bugs me SO. MUCH. and the adults thing?? YA contemporary especially, i find, is so illogical. if you want characters who don’t have to deal with homework responsibilities and parental restrictions and adults telling them what to do, don’t make them high school-aged!!! i lovelovelove this post.

    • May 22, 2018 / 5:26 pm

      So true! If you’re not going to show people dealing well with the logical stage of life they’re in, don’t write it!

  8. May 25, 2018 / 10:05 am

    Oooooh my god the old guy who’s over a hundred years old falling in love with a teenage girl is so sdnbg I mean if he looked his age NO one would think this was okay. but because he’s ~young~ and ~handsome~ no one bats an eye and even want a relationship like that of their own. Like okay they PHYSICALLY stopped aging but?? On the inside they’re very old? When I was 19 I couldn’t even imagine dating a 17-year old because I felt that age gap, yet these guys in their 100s?? Why
    ALSO WHY INDEED DOES TIME PASS SO QUICKLY WHAT EVEN IS TIME IN A YA NOVEL

Drop some knowledge!