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Pet Peeves

Be honest, we all have them. Even if you’re as easy going as I am in your reading habits, there are some things that just get your goat. I have to say though I never really thought about it, until a friend and colleague of mine went on a (30 min) rant about how much ‘Instant soulmate’ annoyed her in fiction. You know the trope - ‘their eyes meet across the room and forever more are their lives entwined’. Or for example, a line from Twilight ‘His face was such a distraction that I tried not to look at it…’ As my friend’s rant continued, I had to agree that yes, the whole soulmate/obsession trope has been quite done to death (thank you Twilight for expanding it exponentially).

Then I realised that a massive bug bear for me is a continuation of this idea. Often found in a lot of dystopian young adult novels, this is when the protagonist is thinking - ‘Oh the world is ending! But is my crush looking at me? How’s my hair?’ Yes, because that’s what I’d be worried about when everyone around me is dying of a terrible disease or being eaten by zombies, my hair. A complete disregard for the actual plot line, but instead devolves into a teenage angsty romance. Please do not let this put you off Young Adult Dystopian Fiction though, there are some great ones that have everything you need. But some… some just don’t have anything you need because they get caught up in the whole ‘relationship/lack of relationship takes up all my head space’ thing.

So I had to agree with my ranting friend, turns out there are a couple of tropes that will make me put a book down if it contains this. I discovered my second one the other day when I was reading Kane & Abel by Jeffery Archer for the first time. Coincidence and obvious mis-communications between characters - if this is what your plot is hanging on, I’m leaving! I think people should be given more credit, particularly in this day and age of instant communication and more emotional openness. No one is going to be that bashful and not check with their Significant Other over important matters (at least without any good character driven reasons!).

So what gets in your craw? What trope can’t you stand? Let us know on the facebook post!

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