So, this month I’ve delved into a few titles that I wouldn’t usually explore, such as Women’s Literature and Chick Lit, which has opened a few doors to me about tropes that are popular within those genres. As someone who has been in love with the Young Adult genre from a young age, I’ve discovered a lot about what’s popular and not within the genre and so I thought I’d compose a post about some of my favourite tropes within YA.
The Love Triangle
Okay, so this first one may seem a little weird, knowing exactly why people aren’t exactly keen on Love Triangles; they have become a much hated cliche amongst readers. However, personally, I love them. If done well, with the perfect amount of yearning and mystery then they can be extremely entertaining, otherwise the love story can kinda fall flat and the story will be ruined. If the love triangle is done right, then it gives the reader someone to route for and can add more depth to the story.
Books which feature Love Triangles: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
The Strong Female Character
Although, it may seem that a lot of popular YA novels feature a token strong female character, or one who may appear weak at first but then gradually become a total badass, its become more well-known nowadays for Young Adult novels to feature incredibly strong female characters from the get-go, which I absolutely adore. It gives something for someone to be inspired by and admire, which I love about literature, and can really influence a person.
Books which feature Strong Female Characters: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Enemies to Lovers
This one is definitely my favourite trope of them all, there is just so much tension in this trope that really powers the plot and grips the reader into the story. I’ll read literally anything if a potential couple start off as enemies before gradually realising their feelings for one another. It’s a brilliant plot point and really guides you through the realisation and acceptance of their emotions before the expression at the end of the novel. It’s a beautiful trope and I really wish more novels favoured it.
Books with Enemies to Lovers: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Within Young Adult Literature, there’s always that one character that is universally adored because of their dark broodiness and badassery, and that is known as the Anti-Hero. They’re quite often male, undefeated, and capable of making anyone swoon with their dialogue and mannerisms… myself included. It’s impossible not to absolutely love the Anti-Hero, who mistakenly saves the world whilst going after their own gain and I adore that about them. They’re typically selfish, yet as the story progresses, they find they go after something for something more. It’s beautiful character development.
Books featuring Anti-Heroes: Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Renegades by Marissa Meyer, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Now, as a writer myself, one of my all-time favourite things to do is to develop a backstory for a character I’ve created, and that goes for the same in my reading also; I absolutely love a tragic backstory. Majority of the time within popular YA novels, there’s always that character who is broody and withdrawn until their backstory is revealed and their behaviour makes more sense to the reader. I absolutely love that, its a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ll always be the first to jump in and write my own characters with their tragic histories. However, the development that comes with this trope is beautiful, watching the characters grow and move on from their past is always inspiring to read about.
Books featuring Tragic Backstories: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Raven boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya