Hey bookies! I am back with a new post and yes I know it has been two weeks since my last one… I’m REEEAAAALLY sorry!
I hope you guys can forgive me?
I have a really interesting topic to discuss today! It’s all about popular book tropes! You know which ones I’m talking about so I thought I would write a list talking about some of my favourite and least favourite young adult book tropes!
1. The bad boy is a really great guy trope
This is one that I actually really enjoy reading about. The typical bad boy is quiet, closed off, comes across as cold to everyone around them but to our main character is actually really sweet. I like to think that everyone with this outer persona is secretly that sweet and kind on the inside. Now, I understand that there are two sides to this trope as well. You have those bad boys who open up to the main character and then soon to the rest of the characters as well and he’s kind all around. But then you also have those Damon Salvatore types who are pretty much a **** to everyone except the main character… I can’t really decide which I like better.
2. Hate to Love Relationship Trope
This one is super common in all young adult genre types and usually runs something like this:
– Boy meets girl/boy meets girl
– Do not get along
– Take a (sometimes dangerous) journey together
– Bonds throughout the journey
– Fall in love.
I’ll admit, it is very cliché but I love it! I really enjoy seeing the relationship grow and develop and the little things that end up changing their views of one another.
Those are the two tropes that I could think of that I really do like however, you will see that there are way more tropes that I don’t like… let’s get started.
1. The girl doesn’t think she’s pretty trope
This trope is so overused and so ridiculous… why can’t people just admit if they’re good-looking without being conceited? I can maybe understand if self-esteem issues are a major part of their personality/character development but most of the time it isn’t and it takes their main love interest to tell them that they’re beautiful for them to see it… WHY? Why are writers giving male characters that kind of power over the female ones? The fact that they are or are not pretty doesn’t even have to be addressed but most of the time the main character will flat out say that she doesn’t think she’s pretty… (Imagine the eye-rolling emoji here). This will never be a good trope.
2. Love Triangle trope
We all knew this one would be on this list right? I don’t really get why authors are still writing this. Maybe because it provides drama and social intrigue along with testing the person’s morale and character by having them pick someone? Whatever the reason is, I am not a big fan and rarely (if ever) does the triangle even work. From early on, it becomes quite obvious who the main character will choose so why is that other person even there? (imagine the instrument triangle… you know how one side of the triangle doesn’t connect? Yeah, that’s the character that doesn’t get chosen. He/She might still be important to the MC or story as a whole, but ultimately doesn’t directly connect to the MC). [Here’s a reference picture:]
Do you see??
And the love triangles have also become VERY repetitive. Have you noticed that the one chosen is almost always the person they meet/date second? No? Here, let me show you:
Shatter Me: Juliette meets Adam first, she chooses Warner.
Twilight: Bella met Jacob when she was little, she chooses Edward.
City of Bones: Clary is friends with Simon first, she chooses Jace.
The Awakening: Chloe dates Simon first, she chooses Derek.
The Raven Boys: Physically meets Adam and dates him first, she chooses Gansey.
The Hunger Games: Katniss is friends with Gale first, she chooses Peeta.
Need I go on?
Also, who in real life has ever been a part of a legitimate love triangle? The answer is not many, so then why does it frequent YA literature?? Beats me!! Let’s move on…
3. Insta -Love trope
I don’t even think I need to talk about this one. It’s unnatural, unrealistic, cringe-worthy and overall does nothing for the arc of the characters. Why do we do this? Are we so desperate for romance that we result in instantly loving the first semi-attractive person we meet? I guess so…
4. Tragedy befalls the parents of MC trope
Is it just me or do parents just not exist anymore? This happens especially in fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian worlds where the main character goes through the entirety of the book (sometimes even the series) without any adult guidance. I’m sorry, but if we let 15-18 year old adolescents run amuck without any supervision, the world would be in utter chaos (no offence to anyone in that age group, I was there). The parents/family of the characters are either dead, seriously ill, disappeared or will die eventually in the story. Why do they all need to die? Even in war, I’m sure there were parents or family members of children who DIDN’T die! I guess I understand that it makes it more interesting if the author can stick to writing teenagers running around in the world but having them be dead? That seems like a cop out like they just didn’t feel like writing them in so they opted for them to be dead/missing instead.
5. “Nerdy girl” makeover trope
You guys are probably very familiar with this trope as it happens all the time in books and movies alike. The nerdy girl goes through some otherworldly, extravagant makeover that apparently changes her entire appearance and makes her “beautiful”. Let me just insert another eye roll right here:
Why can’t people just embrace themselves!? If you’re nerdy, BE NERDY. Honestly, I hate this trope because it’s telling girls that if you wear glasses, your hair is curly, you don’t wear expensive clothes, or you don’t wear makeup; then that inherently makes you ugly or “less beautiful” or that they’re squandering their potential to be beautiful and that is such ****… Be you, love yourself and don’t let other people bully you into changing. (Preaching is over)
Finally, there are some tropes that I don’t have a strong like or dislike for which include, “the chosen one” trope and the “best friend has a crush on MC” trope. I feel that the chosen one trope is one of those that kind of becomes necessary in YA fiction. That doesn’t mean that they need to be explicitly told that they are the chosen or possess some innate ability that only they can use to “win the war” but they take the responsibility in order to defeat the antagonist. For example, Katniss from The Hunger Games. There isn’t something specifically special about her. She’s just a girl from district 12 but her actions led her to become the face of the rebellion and she took it upon herself to defeat President Snow even though anyone could technically have done it. As for the best friend trope, I can kind of dismiss it because that does happen a lot in real life even though I don’t agree that male-female relationships always have a romantic underlying.
And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed my little rant about some of the tropes that I do and don’t like. I would love to know your thoughts on any of the ones I’ve mentioned and let me know if there are any major ones I missed, I’d love to know! Until next week,