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Let’s Talk About These YA Tropes…

So something I’ve been wanting to write for a while now is a list of some tropes that I love and others…not so much. Because we see a lot of these so much in YA fiction, I feel like it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of what we see can sometimes be problematic. Because I didn’t want this post to just be complaining about tropes, I’ll also talk about tropes I love and just can’t get enough of.

Also, I want to give a little disclaimer. Just because a book may have a trope I don’t like, that doesn’t mean the whole book is bad! There are so many aspects that go into rating and reviewing so one thing doesn’t make or break a rating. In fact, some of my favorite books have tropes I didn’t like, but that’s okay! What works for one person may not work for another but that’s what makes reviews so interesting 🀎

Found Family

Don’t worry, this is a trope I love!! In fact, I’d go so far as to say it might be one of my favorites. There’s just something about a random group of friends coming together and becoming so close that they make up each other’s families that makes me smile whenever I read it. I live for the banter between these friends and if you have any recommendations for this trope please let me know πŸ₯Ί I love the fact that these books show that your family is made up the people who show up for you, love and understand you, and don’t need to be related to you by blood. If you’re interested in more books like this, here are some of my faves:
A List of Cages by Robin Roe, Renegades by Marissa Meyer, Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

“I’m Not Like Other Girls”

Image result for im not like other girls gif

Ugh. Is there anything worse than a character who acts like the epitome of “I’m not like other girls” ?! A few years ago, this trope was kind of hard to avoid to the point where it was starting to become normalized. And, I’ll admit it, for a while I embodied this in my personal life too. Yikes. Now, though, we as a society have grown past the need for these kind of characters. The first books I can think of with this trope are A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (*cough* Lila Bard *cough*) and The Selection by Kiera Cass. If you, like me, want to avoid this trope like the plague, then here are some books you can read instead! They all feature strong, independent women who don’t put down anyone else and are not okay with girl on girl hate 😀:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Friends to Lovers

Image result for rory and jess gif
Sorry I just *had* to include this gif πŸ₯Ί

I know that these days enemies to lovers is where it’s at, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good old fashioned friends to lovers romance. You know when the two characters already have a relationship where they joke around and banter and have good times but you, as the reader, can feel the underlying tension. So good. Sadly, I haven’t read a book with this trope in so long πŸ˜” BUT, here are a few recommendations if you are looking for a friends to lovers story.
On the Fence by Kasie West, Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

The Main Character Dies at the End

Okay, listen, I can understand when authors kill off a character because it would develop the plot or actually add something to the story. What I can’t get behind, though, is when suddenly at the end of the book, someone dies for literally no reason. Like, it was just straight-up unnecessary. There are a few popular series and books that have done this (if you know, you know πŸ‘€) and it just made me sad and confused. Obviously the author only did it to play with our emotions but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason unless you can find a way to work it into the plot. Actually me after reading the ending of a certain book which I won’t mention because spoilers:

Image result for why did you do that gif


This is, uhm, very vague. What I mean is that I loooove when books have some sort of race or competition that characters have to compete in. I live for the alliances, the backstabbing, the sabotage. There are way too many books on my tbr that I’ve heard involve competing of sorts, which I can’t recommend yet because I haven’t read them. These are the titles in case you’re interested, and maybe you can let me know how they are! Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, and The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes are just a few I can think of from the top of my head. Here are books I have read with games/competitions and would recommend to you:
Godsgrave (book #2) by Jay Kristoff, Warcross by Marie Lu, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Bad Boys

This trope is sooo common in YA Fiction, and I do think the right author can pull it off. But, having the love interest be one of those cliche”bad boys” who is ‘constantly brooding’ can be problematic if an author tries to romanticize things that just should not be. Not to mention very unrealistic for characters that are supposed to be in high school. Especially considering the fact that a lot of these books have a younger target audience, it’s just really important that if a book does have this trope, it’s portrayed as a healthy relationship and not the guy just being a jerk the whole time. To be fair, I don’t see this very much now in 2021 and the past few years. If you, like me, are tired of seeing this character in every book, check out some of these instead, where the love interest is actually super sweet:
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracy Garvis Graves, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

AND, that’s it for today’s post πŸ’–

What are some of your favorite and/or least favorite tropes? Do you have recommendations for books with any of my favorite tropes?


Author: Aarushi @ aarushireads

Hi friends! My name is Aarushi (she/her) and welcome to my blog πŸ’– I’m a 19 year old reader and decided to start this so I’d have a place where I could write down all my bookish rambles and thoughts! In addition to reading, I love to write in my free time and am currently working on my YA Fantasy WIP. Found family, rivals to lovers, and a historical backdrop are just a few tropes I've added in. I love interacting with other readers and writers so be sure to leave your comments so we can chat! Thanks for being here <33 All my socials are aarushireads :) *profile pic created by prequel

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About These YA Tropes…”

  1. Aarushi I loved this discussion! YES FOUND FAMILY SIX OF CROWS FOUND FAMILY I’m 100% with you on how endearing that trope is… thank you for the recs ahh and if you want one, a historical fiction with a heartwarming found family would be This Tender Land! And yes main characters dying unecessary is one of the worse tropes… even if executed well I still don’t like it, why make us journey so much with them only for it be to be cut off so abruptly? πŸ₯Ί Anyway, great post and thank you for sharing! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thanks so much, Cherelle!!

      SIX OF CROWS YES !! I can’t believe I forgot to include it in my list omg 🀧 I just looked up This Tender Land on Goodreads and it sounds so interesting, thanks for the rec πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

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