Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (9) - Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit!

Top Ten Tuesday is a an original feature/ weekly meme that was created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is presented and this week's is:

Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit

To be more specific, it'll be the

Top Ten YA Tropes I Don't Want to Read Anymore

(in no specific order)
I've read many books in the almost twenty years I've been alive. I was in a bit of a book slump during high school, but I noticed, when I picked up books again this year, that there are some things that never change in books. For instance, the many tropes I can't seem to get enough of in YA. They're predictable, sort of annoying, but they're in YA for a reason, amirite? And I've been saying for awhile I wanted to make a list of all the tropes I can't stand in a book. So, without further ado, here is my list. 

(Note - I couldn't reach 10 tropes by myself, so Yiling and Sarah have shared their ideas!) 

1. Perfect Male Protagonist. 

When you start a book with your female character immediately having insta-sparks of attraction to this mysterious new guy, you know you're in for a hell of a ride. Especially with the male protagonist. He's got everything. He has the brooding, dark, bad boy persona that no one, not even our goody-two shoes heroine can resist. He has smoldering long eyelashes and really kissable lips. The lips are really kissable (you see what I'm going for here?). To further emphasize his attractive features, his physical appearance is remarked upon every single time they meet. So basically every chapter, you'll get a great, long winded description of this gorgeous (and this is the key word here!) beauty, which means you'll be unlikely to forget him as you read along. You'll only remember him for his looks, and his brooding/grunting, because really, who said your male protagonist needed to have personality?

2. Insta-Romance

Speaking of the powers of attraction, your male protagonist's beauty will cause anyone, but especially the heroine of our story, to fall weak in the knees! In the first few chapters, they're already clearly madly in love, but have not confessed their feelings. Give it a few more chapters, and we've already moved into the boyfriend/girlfriend territory. But hold onto your horses, because I'm pretty sure they're planning on running off to elope in the wilderness where no one can disrupt their happiness. If you're lucky, you'll even hear of how many children they're planning to have before the sequel.

Example: Awake

3. Love Triangles/Other Geometric Figures

The only way for above insta-romance to be ruined is with another equally perfect guy (or girl, but usually a guy), who wants to steal the stage for himself (or herself!) That girl/guy clearly deserves him/her! I'm so much better than his/her current love interest, and I'm going to prove it by creating unnecessary tension and dragging out the book longer than it needs to be. The book will be even longer if said guy/girl they're vying for can't simply make up their mind.

Example: Twilight

4. Imperfections are Actually Perfections 
I've been reading a lot of these recently. The protagonist is the only one in her family with black hair, compared to their dominant red hair, but she's the most beautiful one of all. The protagonist has eyes that sparkle like the deep blue sea (is that even possible)? The protagonist is a plain-Jane and is unnoticeable to the general public, but one lucky male protagonist will take interest in her.
Example: Ruby Red (I actually liked this book, just not the constant mentions of her beauty)

5. Vampires vs. Werewolves 
Many of us have read Twilight, right? (I'm in the minority here, and my only knowledge of Twilight is Cinema Sins). Upon further research (and I did do my research) - Twilight did not create the trope. See Dracula, Ghostbusters, etc. But what makes a Vampire vs. Werewolves even better is a love triangle plot. Imagine, a super attractive vampire and an equally attractive (more or less, depending on your preference), werewolf, fighting for a human girl's affections? The vampires and werewolves are no longer grotesque and scary, but sparkling beautiful beings! They have the magnetic force to attract everyone.

Also, there are other mythical beings that need some more representation. Er-hem, banshees or wraiths anyone?

The obvious example - Twilight

6. Bad Boy with the Troubled Past 
We're so drawn to this character, and to expand upon the perfect male character trope (1), he runs from a past that haunts him. Did he murder anyone? Did he steal from the poor? Did he abandon his brother? Whatever is behind that guilty conscience, he'll be automatically forgiven by his female love interest, and they're drawn closer together.

Example: Abandon

7. Perfect Girl, Perfect Life, Cue Mysterious Boy
So there's all this talk about novel and their cliches regarding guys, but there are a ton of Mary-Sues out there too. This girl has everything, let me tell you. She has a boyfriend, a penthouse in the Upper East Side, a pet poodle, the best grades, everything. But yet... something is incomplete! Her suddenly perfect boyfriend isn't enough. All the apparent imperfections are pointed out when mysterious boy walks into town!

Example: Reawakened
8. Love at First Sight
Does that even exist? According to some (many) books, it does! And let me tell you, it falls under the same formulaic style of purple prose writing. Here are some examples.

The moment our eyes met, I couldn't see anyone else but him. It was like we were destined to be. 

His hand lightly grazed mine, and in the millisecond we touched, I felt the sparks between us. 

She stared straight into my eyes, into my very soul. My heart stopped, and only a kiss upon her lips would be able to start it again.

Honestly, if sparks were meant to be taken literally, I'd be electrocuted by the time I finished reading said purple prose literature.

Example: Remembrance

9. Everyone is awful and I'm perfect AKA the Whiners 
Why is everyone so mean? Why won't he fall in love with me? Why is the sky blue? I'm not sure, whiny protagonist. I'm really not sure. If you're complaining about everyone else, there isn't anything wrong with you, right? Note: These protagonist spend most of the novel complaining, and not actually doing anything.

Example: Spellbound

We all had similar ideas on what tropes we disliked... But one common ground we share is -
10. Lack of Diversity 
Your white straight female meets your white straight male. They fall in love. They encounter obstacles to their love. Love prevails. The end. 
That's the plot of many books, folks. 'But... not everyone is straight, and not everyone is white...?' You say. 
Well, that's why we need more diversity in books! 

So, did you agree or disagree with this list? Agree/Disagree with the examples? Think we're missing a couple of tropes here and there? Have any examples? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Great list!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/top-ten-tuesday-25/