Kiss or Diss - Popular YA Tropes

I love YA, but sometimes, it can get so repetitive and cliche. Here are some of the tropes I've encountered most often in YA and what I think of them. 

The insta-love (or insta-attraction).

This is probably the trope that I hate the most in YA. Big, big DISS for it. It's so unrealistic and just lazy writing. There is no such thing as love at first sight and I want to see the characters grow together and fall in love. Don't try to cheat me of that! Okay, I get the insta-attraction, but (and this is a bigger problem in NA or adult books than in YA) there is a difference between being attracted to someone the first time you see them, and throwing yourself at them like they're the last piece of ass on earth and you will die unless you get them NOW. I can't get behind that. And I also can't really get behind such intense instant attraction that the world spins and the stars collide. 

The love triangle

Another one that I don't like. I don't hate it as much as insta-love. Insta-love is NEVER okay. Love triangles have some potential if they're done well, but they rarely are. The whole "but who shall I choose" thing annoys me. Cassandra Clare does decent love triangles. In fact, the only triangle I've ever loved was Will/Jem/Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Still, one flower does not a garden make, so I have to DISS this one as well. 

The "Chosen One"

This is probably one of the most overused tropes out there. We've got Harry - The Boy Who Lived, we've got Katniss - The Mockingjay, Tris - Divergent, Percy - The Son of Poseidon. Need I go on? Although I really enjoy books where there is no chosen one, I can't deny that there is something appealing about the idea of a character destined for something. So KISS for this one. Sorry, chose ones. I know it's a lot of pressure. 

The "New Kid In School" 

You know how it goes. Something happens, the MC has to move and now they're the new kid in a small town school. A good example of this is Twilight. I absolutely hate this one. It frustrates me and annoys me and I think it's just lazy writing. Because it just allows the author to not think of a good way for their characters to meet. They just conveniently have English class together and they also happen to sit at the same desk. Big DISS.

The "Bad Boy" with a tortured past

This one is a guilty pleasure for me. I just really enjoy this trope. Of course, it can be very eye-roll worthy, but most of the time, I really enjoy the bad boys. I think it stems from my love of antiheroes. I've always loved those morally ambiguous characters who have their own agenda. I don't know what that says about me, but KISS.

Female protagonists

Especially strong female protagonists. I get where this tendency comes from. For one, a great majority of YA authors are female, so it's probably easier for them to write a female protagonist. But it's more than that. It probably stems in the idea that strong females need representation. Because people need to realize that women can kick ass. Probably the same reason more and more gay characters are showing up in books these days. Of course, there is such thing as too much and I love male POVs, but I still love badass ladies, so KISS.

Missing parents

Not to be confused with the orphan trope. I'm referring to characters who do have parents, but they're just not really there and the MC does whatever they like without the parents noticing or apparently, caring very much. Which is another one of those tropes that irks me, because it's so unrealistic. DISS

The tortured hero

This one is closely related to the "bad boy" with a tortured past trope. And I love this one as well. I enjoy the inner conflict that it creates. I love the angst. I'll admit that I'm a bit of an angst junkie. KISS 

The broken world that needs to be fixed

Dystopia was the cheese for a few of years. More recently, I've noticed a shift in trend towards fairytale retellings. But even in fantasy, there is an element of corrupt government that the MC is trying to overthrow or subvert or expose in some way. I don't really mind this. It works, it's a good way to create conflict and as long as the way in which the world sucks is different or interesting, I enjoy it. KISS 

The boarding school/camp

Another one of those that can go either way. I don't mind it as a trope, but it has to be done well. It has to have something that is unique to it. I mean, I love Hogwarts, but I don't want to read about Hogwarts in every single book I read. There should be something between kiss and diss, but I guess that's not the point of the game. So I'll say KISS for this one as well.

These are 10 of the tropes I have most commonly come across in YA. Which tropes do you hate and which do you enjoy? 


Published by Romana Pop


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