This page is meant to provide more information about Choices. Ranging from tropes used in books and some facts about them, to some interesting facts about the app itself and its community, this page will provide you with everything you need to know about Choices and more. If you are looking for interesting details, you can find them here.
NOTE: All of the information that is gathered in this page is from TVTropes' page on Choices and its content. If you want to check more, please follow this link to the original source.
Book Facts & Tropes
This section is dedicated to the popular tropes the writers use in the books. In addition, you can find some facts related to the universe of a series/book or the characters.
The Freshman Series
- Regardless of players' opinions, it's the most popular and profitable Choices story to date (even overall from Pixelberry Studios' projects). The Freshman alone has 4 books, 3 premium specials (a date with either Chris, Kaitlyn or James), 2 Halloween specials, and 1 Valentine special. It gets to the point that it has sequels titled The Sophomore, The Junior, and The Senior.
- When The Junior was first released, there was a Book 1 next to it, implying that it was intended to span more than one book. However, fan backlash over its quality prompted the developers to wrap everything up into one book.
- In October 2017, James's portrait was changed. Fans were not pleased. Many who had been dating him wanted to break up with him and even complained that Pixelberry should refund any diamonds that were spent on him.
- Even Your Character gets this. While she's intended for fans to "self-insert" through her, the ones who treat her as her own character consider her a "Black Hole Sue" because the story always paints her as a nosy Control Freak obsessed with having a boyfriend and meddling in her friends' problems and she's never wrong in the conflicts. On the other hand, other fans love her because she is always a Nice Girl who is always trying to help her friends with their problems.
- Many find Kaitlyn a great option for the romantic interest while others feel she is better suited to simply being MC's BFF, while others find her too toxic to be either one, considering her an annoying selfish girl who doesn't think about consequences. In Book 3, she also gained more haters during her arc, painting her as a Creator's Pet when the story still makes Emily and her friends help save her grades without any other option. It doesn't help that she has committed several misdemeanours throughout the series such as underage drinking, breaking and entering, trespassing, an attempt at slander, vandalism, and fleeing the scene, yet got away with them.
- After Kaitlyn's attitude in Book 3 turned off many readers, a good portion of her fans began shipping MC and Becca as soon as the latter became available as a Love Interest.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits Trope:
- We have the Average Girl (Emily/MC), the Lovable Jock (Chris), the Party Girl (Kaitlyn), the Overemotional Artist (Abbie), the Asian and Nerdy guy (Tyler) and the Gay Best Friend (Zack). Later join the Non-Idle Rich Writer (James) and The Bad Boy with a Heart (Zig).
- The new house in Sophomore has Author Avatar Emily/MC, Lovable Jock Student Council President Chris, Punk Lipstick Lesbian Kaitlyn, Quirky Camp Gay Friend Zack, and later Fallen Princess Becca moves in.
The Crown & The Flame Series
A Broken Base:
- The change in the score system from Prestige and Power score in Books 1 and 2 to Legend score in Book 3 is either seen as a chance for more viewpoint characters to contribute meaningfully to the story and more streamlined gameplay or a needless change that reduces replayability. Fans of Dom are particularly displeased since the new score system is more influenced by Kenna's actions than his compared to the first two books, and vice versa.
- Since Dom was hinted to be bisexual and that he would have a male love interest, some fans are fine with Jackson's promotion to love interest status because it was unexpected and provides more characterization for Jackson, and others not so much because of the lack of build up and previous interactions between them. And also there's a portion of fans (mostly female) who think that Dom should be strictly straight.
Most Wanted Series
- Despite being a major fan favorite in the fandom, Most Wanted is stated to be the least financially successful out of the three initial books.
- The book is a spiritual sequel to Cause of Death, another game developed by Pixelberry when they used to work under EA Mobile and published on iOS.
- The story has been in development hell for over 4 years since its release back in 2016. The writers promised a sequel that yet has to see the light of day. This garnered the attention of the fans who still until now voice their concern and anger every possible time. It got to the point that many players weren't surprised when the announcement came that Book 2 was canceled.
- Sam/Dave is the most popular couple among the fanbase despite the fact that Sam got 4 romantic options in the game.
- While The Freshman is considered to be Pixelberry having a stubble over their last products, Most Wanted and The Crown & the Flame are the books that proved to the audience the company can write a novel that isn't focused on romance and having solid ongoing plots.
- Decoy Protagonist Trope: One of these is at the start of the game just to teach new players the app's gameplay mechanics. An update allows you to choose who the unlucky character is (unlucky because whoever you choose dies while the other survives).
- In-Universe, Reza is a moderator on a forum for The Crown & the Flame.
- Early on, "Rise of the Maskmaker," a fictional movie about the events that took place in the first volume of Cause of Death, and "San Trobida", a fictional location appearing in Cause of Death, are mentioned.
A Broken Base:
- There is a large group of players who have become increasingly frustrated with Pixelberry's excuses to not work on a sequel, believing that they are owed a second book after more than two years have passed. There is another group who believes that the story wasn't that good to begin with, believe it was a poor move to reveal one of the main villains (John Tull) in the very first chapter and make it obvious he was a bad guy, and have stated they will be fine if the story never returns.
Endless Summer Series
- Many fans complained that the showdown against Rourke in Book 3 Chapter 11 is this despite the very high threat Rourke poses. Especially since he had the Omega Mech, which he could've used on the Catalysts except Estela.
- While Most Watnted is still on hiatus and The Crown & the Flame ended, many Choices fans consider it to be one of the best non-romance books the app currently has.
- Book 3 is considered by many to be a low point in the series. Major complaints include the uneven pacing of the storyline, the introduction of unnecessary plot threads that were either dropped or quickly wrapped up with very little payoff, and the anticlimactic showdown against Rourke.
- Most of the group has been involved in first-hand action through the forest, cave, against wild prehistoric creatures, and even to an active volcano.
- While you can gain points with characters across chapters, certain chapters, especially with premium choices, are made specifically for gaining points with specific characters. For example, Chapter 7 gets you points with Craig and Zahra and Chapter 9 has a big chance to get points with Estela.
- Book 2 has these in the catalyst idols that correspond to each of the party.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits Trope:
- We have The Audience Surrogate (The Main Character/You), the Token Best Friend (Diego), the Lovable Jock (Sean), the Dumb Jock/Jerk Jock (Craig), the Deadpan Snarker Military Brat (Jake), the Nice Ill Girl (Quinn), the Alpha Bitch (Michelle), The Big Fun (Raj), the Meganekko (Grace), the Insufferable Genius Snob (Aleister), the Delinquent (Zahra), the Genki Girl (Lila) and the Mysterious Woman (Estela). Chapter 6 implies in a stack of profiles that they were gathered to the island on purpose.
- Jake: Funny, handsome and a dream of a guy, while others consider him an overrated smartass who can't keep a stable opinion.
- Sean: "Lovable Jock" and a perfect and noble guy or a "Glory Hound" with a Hero complex.
- Quinn: Either a sweet "Genki Girl" who is always supportive and optimistic, or a "Damsel Scrappy" who has contributed little to the group and only provides fanservice.
- Estela: Awesome "Action Girl" with a sympathetic backstory or a "Wangsty" jerk whose "I Work Alone" philosophy brings more harm than good to the group. The fact that she is significantly out of focus compared to the other love interests and the game's emphasis on "The Power of Friendship" comes to a screeching halt during her "A Day in the Limelight" episode doesn't help the matter.
- Michelle: Is she a clingy "Alpha Bitch" or a more in depth smart girl who is too ambitious for her own good?
- Aleister: His actions in Book 2, Chapter 14 have divided the fandoom: some fans support Aleister's decision to betray you, stating he's looking at the bigger picture, while other fans are as furious with him as the rest of the group, stating the crimes he's committed are unjustifiable, and since he was the most intelligent, he should've known his father was manipulating him.
- Most of the players who found out about Craig and Zahra's past are hoping they will get back together. They can be together as premium scenes.
- After Diego hints that he is interested in one of the guys from the group, many fans started to either ship him with Raj or Craig. The fanbase migrated after Varyyn was introduced.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Most of Sean's storyline and character interaction is hidden behind Premium Choices, thus it makes the interaction with him much more shallow than the other Love Interest. Book 3 is the most blatant examples of this: He is the same person he was at the start of the series, is the only Love Interest whose secret wasn’t incorporated into the main plot and is the only character still struggling with the issues he came to the island with, in his Ember of Hope.
- The Oryctoraptor, Guardian of the Deep, only appears in one chapter and has almost zero storyline/backstory compared to the other Island Guardians.
High School Story Series
- Adaptation Expansion: The Choices version of High School Story provides the last names of all the characters, even the ones from the original game, as well as introducing Caleb as Ezra's younger brother, and Myra as Nishan’s cousin, who were never mentioned having other relatives in the original game.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The original MC transfers into the school as a sophomore but quickly gains a large circle of friends. The Class Act MC enters the school as a freshman with a few established connections but is more shy and awkward.
- Hero of Another Story: Characters from the original game (like Julian, Mia, Autumn, Wes, Ezra, Nishan, Payton, Sakura, Koh, etc.) don't get the focus here that they did in the original game. Instead the plot revolves around Jordan and his/her batchmates.
- Several players stopped pursuing Ajay after the events of Class Act, Book 1, Chapter 12, when he failed to stand up for MC amidst false accusations that they were responsible for the original MC's injury.
- Book 3 is considered by many as a low point in the series. Major complaints include excessive focus on prom in the story, melodramatic behavior of the characters, and lack of a centralized plot.
- Class Act Book 2 is also widely disliked for the school election drama, which many find boring, as well as the lack of focus on anything related to the theatre.
Demoted to Extra:
- All of the characters from the original trilogy have their roles reduced in Class Act. MC and Sydney become supporting characters, while the other characters, including all the love interests, are relegated to occasional cameos. The seniors (Julian, Wes, Autumn, etc.), who had already graduated, don't appear at all except in premium scenes. MC and the love interests do become more prominent in Book 3 when they all take part in the production of The Tempest but their role remains a secondary one.
- Danielle plays a major role in Book 1 of Class Act but has only a couple of brief appearances in Book 2, and her only appearances in Book 3 are two very quick cameos.
- Amber and her boyfriend Lorenzo have major roles in Books 1 and 2 of Class Act, but in Book 3, Lorenzo has only a couple of brief appearances while Amber is completely absent until prom.
- In Book 2 when you become official with someone, if you try to use the nickname Boy Scout or Princess, the game tells you this isn't Endless Summer. If you try to nickname Michael Boy Scout, he says: "No way are you calling me something that stupid."
- In Class Act Book 1, if you choose to play Corporation at the cast party, you get to choose the name of your company. If you choose Pixelberry, you get an achievement called "Nice Name", with the caption "I see what you did there."
- One of the original male MC's starting outfits has the default names of most main characters from other, earlier Choices stories.
- Some of the games featured in the story are inspired by real life games: Lookout is inspired by Overwatch, Legends of Clancraft is inspired by League of Legends and World of Warcraft, and The Limbs is inspired by The Sims.
- The title of Book 1, Chapter 11, "Berry's Seven", is a reference to Ocean's Eleven.
- If you choose the Happily Ever After theme for Homecoming, Emma will say she feels like a princess. Luis will ask if she means Kenna from The Crown & the Flame, but she's thinking more about “that girl who became princess of Cordonia”, aka the MC of The Royal Romance.
- The achievement for taking Dad's flashback episode in Book 3, Chapter 3 is “How I Met Emma's Mother”, which is a reference to the TV series How I Met Your Mother.
- Class Act Book 1, Chapter 2 has a premium scene of Rory offering Bailey a ride home from school. One of the options for names to give it is “Ember of the Road."
- In Class Act Book 1, Chapter 4, a premium scene has MC and Skye setting up Amber's stuffed dolls like a scene from the Cordonian court. Also in the same chapter, the achievement for taking the premium scene with Rory is "A Galaxy Far, Far Away."
- In Class Act Book 1, Chapter 7, the theater kids are playing “Would You Rather?” MC has the option of asking if Erin would rather date Matt Rodriguez or Victoria Fontaine.
- In Class Act Book 2, Chapter 14, if you take the premium choice to play laser tag, you're placed in a virtual reality environment using the backgrounds from Across The Void, with everyone's avatar being a character from that novel.
- MC can choose between Rana, Gemma, and the Hostile Celd.
- Casey is Octan.
- Male Rory is Prince Barlow. Female Rory is Adara.
- Ajay is Corvus.
- Skye is Artemis.
- Erin is Janis.
- In Class Act Book 3, Chapter 9, if you take the premium option to go to the beach, Rory begins singing "Under the Sea" after being swallowed by a wave.
- Class Act Book 3, Chapter 12 is titled "The Heist, London", which is a reference to The Heist: Monaco.
- The achievement for recovering the prop staff is called "Ocean's Five".
- Even the original MC has become this. Some people liked him/her all the way through for his/her charisma, friendliness towards others, and standing up for the right thing. These are the main reasons why supporters believe he/she should have remained the protagonist instead of creating a new one for Class Act. Others argue that he/she stopped being likable after Book 2 and that his/her character got downgraded from someone who exposed the principal as a criminal to someone who let bullies walk all over him/her and acted melodramatic at times. Another group dislike the amounts of character shilling he/she gets in Class Act, described as the most popular person in school, always fixes everyone's lives and excels at any club they join, prompting many to regard him/her as a Mary Sue character.
- Emma: Fans either love her as the Girl Next Door love interest, only want her as the best friend, or consider her bland, weak and pointless in the story, since the only contribution she gives to the group is being The Heart.
- Caleb: Some fans love him for being a good person and a sensitive guy, while others consider him a bland rehash of Sean from Endless Summer, as well as feeling that he enables Brian's bad behavior by doing little to stand up to him.
- Aiden: Some find him a boring "Insufferable Genius" while others love him for being the most artistic and intellectual of the love interests.
- Michael: Some players view him as a "Jerk with a Heart of Gold" who had a difficult high school experience prior to transferring to Berry and someone who cares about his friends and school, while others view him as a poor rehash of Wes Porter and a stereotypical "bad boy" with a heart of gold.
- Principal Hughs: She’s either seen as a nice lady who serves as a good source of comic relief, even if a bit ditzy (like rollerskating in the hallways or treating high schoolers like kindergarten children), or a Womanchild completely unfit for a position of leadership. The base was divided between keeping her as comic relief as a Premium, or replace her with Principal Rivera, who is seen either as more competent, or too flat and uninteresting.
- Rory: He/She is either a confident and nice person to some players, or give the impression of being a boring Mary Sue with a lot of character shilling and a fanclub who has an unexplained crush on him/her, and find him/her bland in comparison to Ajay and Skye.
- Ajay: On one hand, there are players who like him for his wit, sarcasm, sass, and dedication to the theater. On the other hand, there are players who dislike him for being an "Insufferable Genius" who exaggerates his role as student director. The comparisons with Aiden, Terrence, and Thomas Hunt are polarizing as well, with people liking or hating him because of this. In Book 1 Chapter 12, he rubbed players the wrong way when he considered the possibility of MC sabotaging the original MC while officially declaring himself to be impartial, giving the impression that he believed it was true. Exacerbating matters is that after the truth is revealed, he tells MC that he's glad he/she was innocent, but never actually apologizes, prompting some players not to pick the premium option to give him a "Thank You" card.
- Skye: While there are many players who find her aloof personality mysterious and appealing, there are also a few players who are initially put off by this because they assume she represents the negative stereotype that goths are loners who hate everything and everyone. There’s another portion of fans who feel her characterization is inconsistent from the first two chapters, since at first she’s alone and a deadpan snarker, while Chapter 2 shows her as the “apathetic friend” who sits with the rest of the drama club despite presenting herself as a loner. In Book 2, her attitude toward the elections has also split people. While some find her determination to stay out of the drama an admirable and justifiable decision given the potentially destructive effect it could have on the friend group, others feel her apathy doesn't exactly help any matters, not to mention her original intention to vote for Morgan (a major Scrappy) before the latter dropped out of the race. However, in Chapter 11, she won back of a lot of fans for forcing Rory and Twin to put aside their differences and team up to beat Lorenzo.
- Twin became divisive only two chapters into the story, and has remained so throughout the series. Some consider him/her adorable and funny for all the sibling teasing, and female Twin is admired for having been "out of the closet at six years of age". On the other hand, some find him/her annoying and self-absorbed, focusing on his/her own issues instead of helping MC when he/she needs it. He/she also gained both supporters and detractors in Chapter 1 of Book 2 by deciding to enter the election for class president. Some appreciate that they are trying to make a difference in the school and believe that the story will give his/her character more depth, while others deride him/her for the awkward position the decision puts MC in, given that Rory is also running, and campaigning for strengthening the school sports program despite sports already being the most heavily supported of the school's programs.
A Broken Base:
- Reactions from fans vary regarding Dad and Julia (Emma's mom). Regular readers ship them together, while some MC/Emma shippers consider it weird. The indifferent portion of the fandom only has an issue with having no option to not help Emma ship them.
- When Class Act was announced, a big debate ensued over whether or not the series needed to be rebooted. Some fans were upset by the news that the story would focus on a new main cast altogether and demote the original main cast and love interests to side characters. Other fans welcomed the change by stating that Book 3 of the series was inferior to the previous two installments and that all of the characters, even their love interests, seemed overly dramatic and unlikable.
- Players are split on what Pixelberry should do with HSS after Class Act ends. Some believe that they should go back to the original cast given that some love interests like Maria and Aiden are seniors at this point, and they've grown attached to the characters. Some believe Pixelberry shouldn't give in to the demands of people who prefer the original trilogy, given that they view the people who demand the original cast be brought back as entitled. Some believe that this matter is ultimately for Pixelberry to decide. Others believe that the series should just end.
- The decision of whether to forgive Danielle in Book 1 of Class Act splits a lot of people. Many people appreciate that she is genuinely regretful of her actions and shows a sincere desire to become a better person, such as persuading Amber to send a ten thousand dollar check for the play. However, many feel she doesn't deserve forgiveness since the only thing she expresses regret over is potentially ruining the play just because it concerns Rory's mother; she never expresses remorse for breaking Jordan's leg or harassing Bailey.
- The introduction of Graham as Clint's love interest. Some people consider it a No Yay when it's implied that Clint has feelings for Graham because of the latter's scrappy status in Book 1. Others agree that Clint having a new boyfriend is a way to make him grow out of being Rory's groupie, or to give him a taste of how it feels to be stalked if Graham turns out to be crazy too. When Book 2 ended, a number of fans indicated that while they have no problem with the couple themselves, they resent the fact that the two can be brought together without diamonds (which is possible if the player takes advantage of all the free opportunities to encourage their relationship) while Erin and Twin cannot.
- People are split on who to support in the Student President elections. Some people support Twin in favor of MC’s family while others support Rory for a variety of reasons, such as Rory being their love interest, feeling the arts are underappreciated in high schools, finding Twin annoying, or feeling that Rory is simply the most dedicated to the position and has the clearest plan for making the school better. A few people have voiced their support for Myra and felt disappointed that she drops out no matter what. Almost no one has voiced support for Lorenzo or Morgan due to the former’s dumb jock persona and the latter’s scrappy status.
Some Anvils Need to be Dropped:
- In Book 3, contrasting to all the romantic public promposals, Myra gets harassed by Brian for months until she bluntly rejects him. Fans felt necessary to address the topic of harassment through Brian, who kept trying to pursue and guilt her into accepting his advances, later placing the blame on her and even attempting to attack her physically after she didn’t oblige.
- Class Act features a subplot that revolves around Skye being verbally and emotionally abused by her parents. Several players have applauded this storyline for showing potential younger Choices fans that they could have a friend who is being abused in their home and how to look for signs of it.
- Book 2 of Class Act shows Ajay struggling with his parents' divorce after their constant arguments, which players generally accept as a necessity to show how arguing couples and divorces put huge mental strains on children. The scene where Ajay visits a support group for children of divorced parents is applauded for showing teens that there are resources to help them deal with parental divorce.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Despite having a very minor role, Coach Andrew Isa is a pretty worthless character, since he is incompetent at his job and doesn't do anything relevant in the story, as one can easily erase him from the plot and nothing would change. The fact that he's also revealed to have a fake identity along with his sister is seen as a wasted opportunity to have him do something interesting during the climax, or even have him show his true colors instead of having his background exposed in Isa's emails. Instead, he has weak motivations (he only blackmailed Isa to join the charade at school just because he wanted to be a sports coach, despite knowing nothing about the job) and doesn't provide any type of challenge during the climax.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- Several players feel that Class Act should have been set in Hearst instead of Berry. The main reasoning is that the nice Hearst students would feel inspired to overthrow Principal Warren for fostering a toxic environment rife with bullying after hearing of Principal Isa's overthrow. It also helps that Max and Kara have graduated, Zoe has turned over a new leaf, and Brian was put in his place by Zoe. Moreover, doing so would make Skye's story darker but more compelling.
- Several fans are furious that some of the theatre kids in Class Act (Trevor, Clint, Natalie, and Ajay) never officially apologized to MC for incorrectly accusing them of sabotaging the original MC's theatre audition.
General Facts (About the app and/or the community)
This section is meant to give more facts about the app itself and/or the community.
- Several books were greeted with little enthusiasm upon their announcement but ended up being quite popular, the most prominent examples being Bloodbound, Desire And Decorum, and Ride Or Die: A Bad Boy Romance. Inverted with Across The Void, which the fans eagerly anticipated but ended up being disappointed by.
- After complaints that all the playable characters are law-abiding, The Heist: Monaco and Ride Or Die A Bad Boy Romance allow players to play as criminals (albeit of the lovable type), which was welcomed by players. Pixelberry also confirmed there will be a story released in 2019 in which the protagonist is a fugitive.
- A Broken Base:
- While some players agree that some content requires Diamonds, they are undecided where to draw a line to it. Also, there is a heated debate in the base on which story and content should be a Female Lead only and which one should be a Gender of Choice Lead story. Ironically, the majority of the fans agree that some of the best LIs and Romance options can be found in the Gender of Choice books.
- There are two distinguished groups in the base: Romance Fans & Non-Romance Fans. Romance Fans claim that the app should only focus on Romance and the other books in different genres such as Mystery, Horror, Fantasy... etc don't leave too much room for character and relationship development. On the other hand, the Non-Romance Fans complain that focusing too much on relationships and love interests will not allow the story to progress and that Pixelberry should expand the available content and experiment with other genres. Ironically, the two agree that there are some exceptions to this such as Open Heart, Bloodbound because the two books have a good story progression supported by a well developed and fledged cast of LIs and characters but they are not the only ones.
- The customization of the player character has sparked some debate. There are some players who find it unrealistic that all the female player character models are skinny and all the male player character models are muscular with bare chests and believe that there should be more body representation in Choices. Another group believes that there should be options for facial accessories such as glasses, earrings, or facial hair. The limited age range of player characters is also widely criticized, with almost all of them falling between high school age and young adult; a few are more ambiguous, but there are none who are clearly middle-aged or elderly.
- The controversial tweet posted by Pixelberry writer Luke Georgette, which he ended up deleting. In the said tweet, he expresses discontent with people who automatically labelled Ride or Die: A Bad Boy Romance as terrible before it was even released. Some players have voiced their support for Luke, given that the fandom has a tendency to label a story as good or bad based on its title or premise alone. On the other hand, some players have voiced their anger towards Luke and have stated that what he did was very unprofessional and that it damages Pixelberry's reputation.
- Pixelberry's favoritism towards certain love interests has sparked some debate. There are several instances in which a love interest, usually a white guy (e.g. Sawyer Oakley and Beckett Harrington), receives much more screen time than other love interests, with one of them, usually a girl (e.g. Asha Roanhorse and Aster D'Yew), often getting sidelined. Those who like those love interests justify it as proof that the app's target demographic will always be straight girls or women. On the other hand, others have grown to hate those characters for being "creator's pets" who take up too much screen time at the cost of other love interests, especially if they aren't dating said forced love interests.
- Pixelberry writer Andrew Shvarts posted a series of tweets on the company struggling with limited time and resources, his experience with various titles, and the tough decisions gaming companies make when investing their resources. In response, some players agree with him and felt that each segment of the fandom should realize they don't make up the entire fandom. Others, however, disagreed and stated that he's missing the point of Pixelberry's problems, which they noted isn't limited time and resources, but wasting them on unnecessary things for the sake of making more money off of their target demographic at the expense of the rest of the fandom.
- Franchise Original Sin: Some of the most common criticisms for Choices books include:
- Having the third book in a romance series heavily based around a wedding, such as in Red Carpet Diaries, America's Most Eligible and Desire & Decorum. While the first instance dates back to Rules of Engagement, that series established from the start, as part of the premise, that this would be the case, and the plot involving the wedding was well developed. In the case of RCD, the wedding plot was seen as distracting (as you have a movie to make and a stalker to track down); as for D&D, even though it is also established from Book 1 that this would be the case, any significant decisions and planning scenes are paywalled.
- Reusing character designs for the main character, a trend which began as early as 2017, when The Royal Romance used the same faces as LoveHacks for the main character. While it was seen as a little bit lazy by some, it was nowhere near as bad as the surge of reused character designs in 2019, specifically with the female Open Heart faces, which were used in six other books within the same year. It has gotten to the point that whenever the faces from Open Heart are reused in a subsequent book, some fans immediately label the book as bad for this reason (such as Distant Shores).
- Requiring players to pay diamonds to save lives. While the first instance dates back to The Crown & the Flame, it was relatively rare, the characters in question were likable and related to the plot, and there was a valid in-universe reason available in case players choose not to do so. Fast forward to Across the Void, and you have to spend diamonds to save roughly half the main cast, with many of the characters in question being unlikable or irrelevant to the plot or both (worse, most of those who have to be saved are love interests), and only a few of these choices come with an in-universe justification; in many of the cases, not paying for the diamond scene results in the main character standing by as someone else dies when he/she could have easily been saved, and in some cases, survivors guilt-trip you for letting the victims die.
- Recently, whenever a book goes on hiatus, fans tend to panic and think the book is a standalone (or the last book in the series). This started with Across the Void, which was put on a months long hiatus and ended up being rewritten as a standalone (after is was originally intended to be a series). While understandable at the time due to its negative reception, several other books met the same fate, such as A Courtesan of Rome, Platinum, The Royal Masquerade and The Elementalists, Book 2, which were also put on hiatus so that the story could be wrapped up in the same book. It took until Blades of Light & Shadow for a book to go on hiatus and still get a second book.
- While none of the stories are outright ripoffs, several are clearly inspired by existing franchises:
- The Crown & the Flame: A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones
- #LoveHacks: Single-people-in-the-city sitcoms, particularly Friends
- Nightbound: Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals
- Hero: DC/Marvel series
- Endless Summer: Lost
- Bloodbound: The Vampire Diaries, True Blood
- Ride or Die: The Fast and the Furious
- The Heist: Monaco: Ocean's film franchise
- Desire & Decorum: Jane Austen works, particularly Pride and Prejudice
- Open Heart: Grey's Anatomy
- Across the Void: Mass Effect
- Bachelorette Party: The Hangover
- Mother of the Year: Gilmore Girls
- Blades of Light and Shadow: Fantasy role-playing games
- The Nanny Affair: The Parent Trap, Au Pair
- With Every Heartbeat: Five Feet Apart, The Fault in Our Stars
- Queen B: Pretty Little Liars, Mean Girls
- Throughout the stories, there are fictional counterparts to real-life products:
- Pictagram / Instattuned: Instagram (and probably Picasa for Pictagram)
- Facespace: Facebook and Myspace
- Fangbook: Facebook
- Starbeans / Novabucks: Starbucks
- Uskea: Ikea
- McDermot's: McDonald's
- Eternally 22: Forever 21
- Chirper: Twitter
- FlixTube: YouTube and Netflix