This is a constantly growing list of book tropes that are commonly used plot devices or character attributes. Book tropes are often genre-specific, part of era-specific trends, and evolve over time.
Book tropes can range widely from the primary motivation for the protagonist to go on an adventure to the arc of a romantic interest. They can be very general such as the Chosen One trope which can be found throughout the majority of fantasy novels or very specific such as the There’s Only One Bed trope driving two characters closer in their romantic arc.
One of my personal favorites is the Enemies-to-Lovers trope that’s in a lot of recent fantasy books including Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash Series.
Some of the book tropes on this list have racist, ableist, or otherwise prejudiced origins but they are included on this list so that viewers can make their own educated decisions to avoid them and so that I can make more relevant commentary in my own book reviews.
Examples of this include fridging characters which are when a woman or a person of color is killed off to further the motivation of a man or a white person respectively or subjugated races which are often described as people of color or use rhetoric that was used in real life to justify slavery.
The way that I advise using this feature is to use the filter option without looking at the “Book Tropes” column which is to the far right of the database. Instead, stay to the far left where the “Title” and “Author” are and use the “Filter” feature at the top of the page. When you add a filter the listings will change based on your criteria and so all of the titles will have the book trope that you’re looking for without you seeing all of the other tropes that each of those books engages in and spoiling the story.
If you’re looking for a specific trope (or more than one) then go to “Filter” then select “Add Condition”. From there you’ll select “Book Tropes” from the list of information and “Has All Of” and then select all of the book tropes that you want a book to have. This option is for books that have all of the book tropes that you select whereas “Has Any Of” will provide books that have one or more of the book tropes that you select.
If you’re looking to not see a specific trope then follow the steps above except select “Has None Of” in order to rule the disliked content out of the selection.
You can add multiple filters until you find a book that you’ll love!
Below you will also find a list of all of the Book Tropes I have included in my Airtable database broken down into book tropes based on Characters, Setting, and Plot. Keep in mind that this list is not comprehensive given that there are literally thousands of different tropes in media but I have done my best to include many of the ones I either see or talk about often!
These tropes are based on character attributes or personality.