Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Liked with Tropes I Hate

This top five was hard for me. Not because I don’t read books with tropes, but because I don’t usually mind tropes. After all Harry Potter has about every trope known to man involved and it was maybe the best series of books ever. So after much brainstorming here are five books that have tropes that might make me roll my eyes.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Love at First Sight

[Contains spoilers that are inconsequential to overall plot] I’m currently in the middle of this book and am liking it more than I thought I would. It’s a nonfiction book, which I didn’t realize when I bought it, but it doesn’t read like nonfiction. I’m not sure if it’s the author’s writing style or if it’s a little embellished, but I am enjoying it. The trope comes into play in a single chapter that involves love at first sight, which is usually a trope I don’t like. I didn’t mind it here because that love doesn’t work out. In fact, it goes terribly wrong very quickly.

Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe

Four Girl Ensemble

This is a great series so far. I’ve read the first three volumes and am going to get more. This fantasy comic series follows a group of four girls. Hannah, the outgoing troublemaker, Violet, the tomboy, Betty the sweet but naive girl, and Dee, the smart one or mom of the group. This trope can be poorly done. If the characters aren’t well developed they can become walking stereotypes. It can also be the basis for a dynamic group if the characters are developed deeply enough, which I feel is the case in Rat Queens.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Dopey Sidekick

It’s odd to think about character stereotypes in nonfiction works, but they do happen. A walk in the woods follows Bryson and his old friend Katz as they attempt to through hike the Appalachian trail. Katz is characterized as being the dopey, somewhat useless sidekick. He’s woefully unprepared and has no idea what he’s getting into. In fiction this character would usually be inserted for comic relief. In nonfiction it’s possibly a result of not being able to portray a character deeply enough because you have limited point of view and can’t be inside their head.

Whiskey Words and a Shovel by R.H. Sin

Overdramatic Angst

This is an odd book for me. When I first finished it I gave it 4/5 on Goodreads. I love short poetry and I felt a lot of emotion behind the words here. Then I went back and read some of the reviews, and wow it gets a lot of hate! Mostly hate from people who take issue with how the author talks about women, or people who found it whiney and angsty. After reading those reviews I completely see their point. I didn’t change my rating because I try not to let time away from a book cloud what my gut feeling was when I finished it.

I Hate FairyLand by Skottie Young

Gore for the Sake of Gore

This entire comic series is gore for the sake of gore, but that’s okay because it’s the most adorable gore you’ve ever seen. I love the artwork in these comics. The story is good too, in the first volume at least. Gert got sucked into FairyLand when she was ten. She was given a (supposedly) easy quest to find a key to get home. Now 27 years later she’s a 37 year old stuck in a 10 year old’s body in FairyLand and boy is she pissed about it. This one probably isn’t for kids, even if the gore is adorable and the worst language you’ll see is a big “Fluff you!”

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