I am sorry for my sudden disappearance off the face of the earth. I was sound asleep one winter eve when I was woken by bright strobe lights, a strange buzzing sound in my ears, and aliens flipping through my books like they were otherworldly features to them. Which, to aliens, they might very well be. Who knows, maybe aliens are so advanced that they download books straight to their USB-drive like brains.
As you can imagine, my trip to space didn’t end well, although I did come back with a whole new appreciation for cake: cake has never tasted so good. Aliens can’t bake. In a bake-off, even I could win, and I can’t cook without accidentally poisoning myself.
Anywho, today I bring you a discussion about cliches! After all, cliches are called cliches for a reason, and why shouldn’t we discuss the hows and whys of our dear sometime-friends?
Personally, I’m all for clichés. Sometimes, I prefer them to being surprised. There’s a certain comfort to knowing what is about to happen, and not being terrified that your feelings will explode everywhere like rogue, unicorn confetti. I think that’s why I take such comfort in rereads: because I know what’s going to happen and even though the feels (ahem, Ruin & Rising, I’m looking at you!) are all the same (most of the time) I don’t need to mentally prepare myself. You know?
I like love triangles, drama, even some insta-love when it’s done well. Actually, there’s a certain yumminess to love triangles that begin with insta-love. You thought you knew where this contemporary novel with a pretty pastel cover (a cliche all on its own!) was going, but BAM! What if the MC fell in love with this guy instead? How d’you like me now?!
But let’s talk about when some books just take it a little too far. As stated before, I like clichés, and yet. And yet. There is such a thing as over-icing the cake, and so there is such a thing as over-cliché-ing the cliché. Sometimes, if an author works it right, it doesn’t feel like you’re reading the same fantasy novel tropes that have been used and abused for centuries, but other times… it’s really obvious, and can make the novel difficult to read and take seriously.
If you’re wondering why this discussion post is suddenly so ranty, it’s because I’m facing a conundrum: currently, I am reading a novel slated to come out in January 2017. It’s severely hyped, written by an extremely popular author, and a piece of work I was so excited to read, but the clichés are almost too much. You have your Special Snowflake, insta-love, a possible love triangle, a sullen teen that is sickeningly talented, a dreadful past accident that set all the Special Snowflake-ness in motion… and well, is it too much?
What do you think about clichés? Do you like ’em? Hate ’em? Would you read a book knowing that it’s so steeped in clichés it’s practically swimming? Have I gone mad? Let me know in the comments below!