Everyone has tropes they love seeing in books, and everyone has tropes they hate seeing in books. However whether you love them or hate them you see them everywhere, especially it seems in YA fiction (although this could be something I notice more in YA books because I read more YA books).
Now don’t get me wrong they’re tropes for a reason, and they’re in so many books because they work to help move a story along. But when you’re looking at the books you own that rely on tropes to tell a story doesn’t it get a bit tired essentially reading the same story over and over again, just with different names?
Tropes in YA Fiction.
When it comes to tropes in books the one I usually hate reading more than any other are love triangles, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. Granted there are exceptions to this rule. Sarah J Maas is one such exception and despite the fact that both her series contain love triangles, of a sort, they are two of my favourite series, simply because of how they’re written. Celaena and Feyre aren’t stuck trying to choose between two guys like Bella was in Twilight. Instead as their development moves them forwards, and the events that happen in the books change them, they realise they no longer fit with whoever they were previously in love with.
I used to skip past every book that had a love triangle in, the second I saw even a hint of one reference in the blurb I’d put the book down and move onto something else, and while I don’t do that anymore I do find more evidence of books where love triangles are simply used to add tension into the plot rather than for a valid reason.
Romance tropes seem to be what I see most in YA fiction. Alongside the love triangle trope there’s insta-love, but should this really be called a trope or is it evidence of where there hasn’t been enough development of their characters and their relationship for their feelings to feel real to us as readers.
Another trope that I’ve recently started getting tired of seeing is the ‘Chosen One’ trope. This worked well in Harry Potter yes, but now I find myself wishing there were less characters chosen because of a prophecy, or a vision, or because something about them makes them so much more special than all the other characters out there. Instead I want to see more characters like Paige from The Bone Season series, Penryn from Penryn and the End of Days, Bailey from The Night Circus. Characters who just happened to be in the right place (or the wrong on depending on how you look at the situation) at the right time and had no choice but to step into the role of hero.
“You are not destined or chosen. I wish I could tell you that you were if that would make it easier, but it is not true. You are in the right place, at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that is enough.”
This could just be my reading tastes changing as I grow older, and as much as I sometimes hate certain tropes without them we wouldn’t have the books that turn clichés on their heads to create new, fresh stories. There’s a reason The Love Interest is currently at the top of my most-anticipated releases list despite it containing a love triangle.
Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:
Have you read many YA books that rely on tropes to carry the story forwards? Do you think tropes are something you see more in YA than any other genre?
What are your opinions on the love triangle and ‘Chosen One’ tropes? Are there any other tropes you either can’t stand or love to read?
Are there any books you can recommend that turn classic tropes/clichés on their heads?
Let me know in the comments below.