Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.
First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.
April’s Trope: New to Town
One of the lead characters has just moved to a new town where our second lead is currently residing.
- Mysterious Strangers
- Possibility for Forbidden Love
- Angsty Teens
- New Family Unit
- In Love with the Neighbour
- In Love with the Roommate
- Character “Soul Searching”
What I Love About The “New to Town” Trope:
I actually relate a lot to this trope as my family moved when I was a young kid to a completely new town. It’s an experience that truly defined who I am as a person and I learned a lot about myself from the whole ordeal as well.
Which is why I find it to be a fascinating trope to include in books. There’s a lot you can play with as it provides ample opportunity for character growth and self-discovery. But it also sets the stage for a sweet (or perhaps unknowingly forbidden?) romance to grow.
I think my favourite aspect is when it’s the entire family unit that has to move and the strain it can put on relationships. Not everyone is 100% on board with moving (I know I wasn’t) so it creates an interesting family dynamic.
What I Dislike About The “New to Town” Trope:
The somewhat sad memories it brings up for me?
No, in all seriousness, it’s hard to do this trope wrong. Most of the time it’s an introductory element that we slowly forget about as the story progresses. Obviously, sometimes the things I mentioned above aren’t capitalized upon but it just depends on the story and what it is trying to tell.
Books that Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:
HEAR ME OUT!
While the reader knows that Edward is a vampire, Bella doesn’t (and that’s just one of many things she doesn’t have a grasp on). Because Bella is new to town, Edward and the Cullens are these mysterious people to her. BUT, I enjoyed the anticipation of her finding out.
You can also throw in her relationship with her estranged dad too.
>>Series Review: Twilight
I picked this one because I think it really highlights the romance and family aspects of this trope. Strain has been placed on Layken’s family thanks to her dad’s sudden death and her mom’s decision to move them to a new town. It creates an interesting dynamic.
Add to that her new relationship with their neighbour and the consequences that follow and this is a great “New to Town” trope execution.
>>Series Review: Slammed
Books that Didn’t Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:
Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything! Usually books I dislike books with the trope for other reasons and not for the fact that they moved. But two of my lowest rated books with this trope are:
Anything by Minor by Kate Stewart (2 starts) & Just Breathe by Rachel Brookes (DNF’d)
Do you enjoy books with the “New to Town” Trope?