Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cringe Worthy YA Tropes

Thoughts for Thursday is a discussion post mainly about book related things. It isn't every week, but we try to do it as often as possible.

If you've read any YA book, you've probably come across some tropes. I feel like it's unavoidable, but some of them are so overused and quite frankly a pet peeve of mine. It's pretty safe to say that if a book has some of these tropes that make me cringe, it's not going to be a favorite. It's not always going to automatically make me dislike the book though, because there might be some saving grace to the story or character that makes me still really enjoy it.

"I'm not like other girls"

This one has to be one of my least favorite tropes and for some reason it's one that I run into way too often. Personally, I don't think authors should be sending the message that the only way a girl can be powerful, is if they hate on other girls and "girly" things like dresses and makeup. I can't count the number of times that a female main character that's portrayed as badass has looked down on another female character for wearing feminine clothes and makeup. You do not have to be more masculine to be badass! As a kid, because the books I read had characters that thought that, I refused to wear dresses and thought that girls who wear makeup are too girly because the characters I idolized were super ~special~ and not like other girls. Thank god I realized how wrong I was, but it just kind of cements the fact for me that this should never be a popular trope.

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The evil popular girl that's out to steal the main character's love interest and ruin her life

This is so popular in YA books and I just don't get it. Why does the popular girl have to be evil? Why does it have to be girls against girls? Why can't girls be friends in YA books? I just have so many questions about this. It's just such a stereotype that the popular girl is a stuck up bitch that's going to steal away a guy. I have never felt that this was a good plot because I don't really get how you can steal a person away like that if the person is actually into you. Maybe it's because I don't have experience with that happening, but like I don't get it.

Love triangles - a.k.a "I can't decide which guy is hotter, but will ultimately go for the guy that is dark and mysterious"

Awhile back I did a whole discussion on love triangles. Sometimes I don't mind them, but most of the time they're just frustrating and completely unnecessary. A lot of the time they're thrown in to add some drama to the relationship and make it seem like the main character doesn't know what he or she wants. It's so over done and not done well enough for me to actually like it most of the time, so this is definitely going to be something that makes me cringe.

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Trying to be "hip" with stuff like: lol teens rlly txt like this

I don't see this very often (thank god), but when I do it just confuses me so much, especially when I was a teenager. I never texted like this, my friends never texted like this, maybe like one person, but none of us liked it. Sure there's certain things I'll abbreviate like omg or lol, but that's pretty much it. I don't get why authors think teens text like they don't know how to write. It's just kind of annoying.

"I just met you and I'm in love"

I honestly find insta love way more annoying than love triangles. I can't get invested in a couple if there isn't a build up the relationship. Why would I want to root for a couple that doesn't have a believable romance? It just feels like they're in lust or something, but love always gets thrown around when it should really just be like a crush or they're in like (is that a thing?). I don't know about you, but if I'm dating someone I'm not in love with them before I start dating them, I just really like them.

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No female friends a.k.a "I'm so much better than other girls part 2"

This goes along with the "I'm not like other girls" and also with some of the stuff I was saying for the evil popular girl trope. I find it incredibly weird that most books don't have any female friendships. The female main character almost always has male friends, but no close female friendships and they're usually not very kind to other girls. Why? What is the reasoning for this? I DON'T GET IT! I feel like it's really important to show close female friendships because girls should be supporting girls, not tearing them down.

What are some tropes in YA that you hate?

This is definitely not all the cringe worthy tropes I can think of, so there might be a part 2 coming soon!


  1. Ugh yes to all of these! When I read the first one, the MC not 'being like other girls' I thought of the song by Hailee Steinfeld called Most Girls. It's such a good song and speaks to that exact assertion which I think is so wonderful! It's my new favorite song :) Great topic, Erika!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  2. YES TO ALL OF THESE HORRIBLE TROPES! THE CAN ALL GO TO UNDERWORLD FOR ALL I CARE! So sick of "not like other girls" sick of the hero telling the MC, "you're not like other girls I've met" and the MC blushing :/ When a hero says that, I want the female MC to slap him and walk off :P Wonderful topic chica!

  3. Oh my gosh! YES! I read a lot of YA and you know, there's good reason for a lot of the tropes we see - when done well they can work! But a lot are so overused.

    Gosh - I agree with ALL THE THINGS but especially love triangles (oh how I hate those!!!!). Instalove is a tough one because sometimes people are crying Instalove and I'm like - it's not that instant and it's kinda credible considering the age group. Teens tend to fall hard and fast and again - it's all about how it's implemented. A lot can be put into a couple of weeks in a book and I can find myself shipping it.

    I also HATE when there are no supportive female friends for females. That's so wrong. GIRL POWER! We need to be there to lift each other up!

    There's so many of these and I even have a draft post in my blog with a bunch too! YA tends to have a lot of cringe worthy ones. Goes with the territory I guess?

    Hope you've been well and that you've had a great week! Great topic!


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