Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten YA Tropes That I Want To Read Less Of

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


1 – Too much romance not enough plot

More and more YA books these days focus so much on the romance that there is barely any plot. The story hinges around the love between two or more characters and nothing else. I hate romance more than most. I’d rather have a solid, twisty plot.

2 – Too much teen angst and talking about feelings (in the first person present tense)

What happened to good old third person past tense, or first person past tense? I’m a fan of first person present when it’s done right–it can pull you into the action. But sometimes it doesn’t work. And a lot of YA books these days are first person, and the main character talks too much about their feelings, and worries too much: Divergent, Red Queen.

3 – A corrupt government

Since The Hunger Games, a lot of YA books have the government or whoever is in charge as corrupt. It would be interesting to see a YA novel where the government are the good guys.

4 – A rebel or resistance force

Like the corrupt government, there is often a rebel force fighting against them.

5 – Love Triangles

I don’t like romance, don’t like love triangle either. They bog down the plot.

6 – A dystopian world

There are so many dystopian worlds that it’s hard to write an original one now, so most of the time they have something, or several things, in common with a world from another book. No water, no trees, desert, flooded etc.

7 – A main character made to be the face of a resistance (links to #4)

A lot of YA books, too many, have main characters like Katniss Everdeen, an unsuspecting hero/heroine who is forced into being the face of the resistance and fight against the corrupt government.

8 – The main character has memory loss

A lot of main characters wake up at the beginning of the book with no or few memories (Maze Runner).

9 – The main character is an assassin

Since Throne of Glass, a lot of books recently released, or being released soon have female assassins out for revenge as the main character.

10 – The main character has lost their parents, family etc.

It worked in the Potter books, because Harry was fueled by those he lost, but it gets old if almost every character in YA fiction is orphaned or separated from their family or their family is murdered.


Is anyone else tired of any of the tropes above, or have any other tropes they want to see less of, or even more of, in YA fiction? Feel free to leave a comment and a link to your TTT if you have one…

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About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 10/06/2015, in books, reading, top ten tuesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I am tired of quite a few of these too. >_< I mean, I think I'll always be onboard for the assassin?! BECAUSE THEY'RE EPIC. But I'm really tired of the assassins who don't do any assassinating. So many books seem to TELL me they're all evil and dark but I never see any of it for real. Very very frustrating. I also am so tired of love triangles! There’s like 2 or 3 that I enjoyed but OMG PLS AUTHORS, JUST STAHP.

    • Assassins are epic if they’re done right. The more violent the better. You should give Prince of Thrones a shot. The main character is an anti-hero. Great read.

  2. Yes to all of them!
    I do like dystopian novels and assassins but the problem for me is, that there is just too much of it. There is this trend and everyone is suddenly doing it, regardless of if they can write about this theme or not. I don’t want to read “the next Hunger Games!”…

  3. I agree to them all!!! I actually abandoned YA dystopia novels for good, especially those with sequels. They are all tiring and a bit redundant.

    By the way here’s mine: http://wp.me/p4ZhSl-hJ. 🙂

  4. I’ve read a lot of high-fantasy recently. Reading A Clash of Kings (Song of Ice and Fire 2) now and it’s awesome.

  5. I can totally agree with many of these. But then a book comes along and blows one of the tropes out of the water and I want to read more like them all over again. Cat Clarke is absolutely brilliant for loss of family/friends. Each time is a completely different and powerful emotional rollercoaster. I adore Undone and I have just finished The Lost and the Found. She breaks these tropes and I love her for it.

    • I’m not against these tropes. I enjoy books that have a lot of them. And it’s tough these days to write something completely original–I know from experience.

  6. I love assassin books! I’ll never get tired of them! Maybe it’s because Throne of Glass is just the latest one I’ve read. There’s so many other good ones! Nice list 🙂

    • I prefer the later Throne of Glass books, when the series get more like Game of Thrones–but for an assassin, Celaena doesn’t do much assassinating.
      Thanks.

      • No not at the start that’s for sure. I don’t really consider her much of an assassin.

  7. #10 is a major trope in children’s fiction for getting the parents safely out of the way. Okay, normally parents protect kids from adventures, we get it — but can’t we have some parents who get dragged along too? So agreed.

  8. I agree with you on #6 and #9. The dystopian worlds seem the same, at least they have a lot of things in common. And that can get boring. I also hate it when a book is about assassins and they don’t assassinate people. I mean really, what was the point in them being assassins then?

    • The main character in the Throne of Glass series doesn’t do enough assassinating. But at least the series is getting more like Game of Thrones, which is cool.

  9. Definitely with you on the romance! I can definitely do without it and tend not to read anything specifically marketed as a romance! My TTT

    • Romance always seems to take away from the plot and the action. Cool list. I ran out of bookshelf space a long time ago, and a lot of my books are stacked against walls.

  10. I could do without the love triangles as well. Totally with you on that one!

  11. Totally agree! Books with unnecessary romance, plus a love triangle? No thank you. Here’s my TTT: http://wp.me/p6Erc0-2M

  12. I am all dystopia-d out for now, that’s for sure! But I’m sure that in the future there will be one that comes around that has something new to offer and pulls me in – that trope has been around for eons and is just going to keep coming back. Publishers are to blame for these ‘trends’ – ‘oh, that book sold well so let’s jump on the back of that success with this one, and this one, and this one….’ Which is why it’s always nice when someone takes a risk on a story that is brave and unique. Those are always the most memorable reads for me.

  13. Uh oh. My current work-in-progress features a female assassin as the main character. Feel free to not read it when it comes out, Sam!

  14. I did the same topic this week and a few of these were on my list as well!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/top-ten-tuesday-25/

  15. SO tired of love triangles! My TTT

  16. So many characters in YA novels just have no parents or ones that are barely present! I think I mentioned that in one of my posts at some point and it’s just so weird!
    Then again, a lot of the characters probably wouldn’t have been able to go on proper adventures if they had actual parents that paid attention …

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