Topic: Books You Like With Tropes You Usually Hate
Does romance count as a trope? Because I’m totally doing romance for this post. (BTW this post is specifically for straight romances)
1. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I know romance was a smaller element of this book, but I really really liked it? I thought Vin and Elend were incredibly cute together. Vin is obviously great, but from the moment Elend was introduced, I loved his character. I suppose the reason why they work so well together is that while their original relationship is built on a lie (Vin’s only pretending to be a noble), they clearly respect one another in a way that I find really rare in a lot of YA or even adult romances. I’ve heard the dreaded love triangle comes into play in books 2 and 3, but since I’ve only read book 1 and so far, they definitely make the list.
2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Speaking of adult romances, here’s a book from a genre I NEVER read from. Me, reading a contemporary adult romance? What?? To be fair, I did only read this because of the movie and the all-Asian Hollywood movie hype, but it was also a really good book. Rachel and Nick have been together for two years when the book starts, so we don’t have to go through that phase of their relationship. Instead, we see them start as a couple that has their shit together and even through the dumpster fire that is their Singapore trip, they stay a support couple. When Rachel clearly needs space, Nick backs off and allows her to have it, trying to support her in the background instead. Rachel take’s Nick’s family situation much better than she has any right to. Really, the only thing wrong was Nick not explaining how much money he came from before their trip, but if that’d happened, well, the book wouldn’t exist.
3. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
I feel like I’m saying something heretical by putting this on the list, but I genuinely enjoyed Sabetha and Locke’s complicated relationship. Almost every time this book gets brought up, I feel like there’s always someone that starts talking about how much they hated Sabetha, but I liked her? I liked their banter in the present timeline and how even though they were partners at one point and could be again (?), Sabetha and Locke clearly have their own goals and they don’t let their past cloud their judgment. In the past timeline, they’re both awkward, they make mistakes, and they’re high strung about it because that’s basically how they’ve been raised. Overall, I think if they’d met in calmer times and just talked things out, they could be one very scary power couple.
4. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
I read this one a while ago, but this was one of my first adult fantasy romances I’ve ever read. I can’t remember much about the story itself but I remember really enjoying reading about the main couple. I thought the power dynamics between the main couple were really well played and overall the worldbuilding in this entire series was fascinating and unique.
5. Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
My first Star Wars book! I was quite surprised by this book, especially because this is a Star Wars book also marketed as romance. While I didn’t like the plot as much I would have, I was surprised by how much I loved their relationship. Ciena and Thane have a really great relationship at the beginning of the book. Even after they go their different paths between the Empire and the Resistance, they never really consider each other enemies. While I love the friends-to-enemies-friends/lovers (or any other combination) trope, I enjoyed this portrayal as well.