Book Confessions: YA Tropes I Hate

Last month I did a post talking about the tropes I love, however, today I decided to talk about the YA tropes that I hate.

Tropes are something I find myself thinking about more and more these days. When I was younger I had no idea what trope even meant or which ones were present in my favourite stories. Now I’m pretty much still the same. Well, I know what a trope is, but I’m not always the best at spotting them. 

I want to add a huge disclaimer that just because a book is pictured here it does not mean that I hate it, just its tropes. Sometimes these tropes are only a small part of the story and they, therefore, do not affect the reading experience. 

The only trope mentioned that could be a cause for concern is the good girl, bad boy toxic relationship, however, I want to do a future post on this type of thing so I’m not going to deep on it here. Just know that I am aware that this can be a problematic trope.   

Good Girl, Bad Boy 

(Disclaimer: I haven’t read Shatter Me but I’ve heard it has this trope) 

For me, this trope is often cringeworthy and predictable. This is a trope that should be left solely for fan-fiction. Yes, I’m looking at you After

Your most common case of this being in a high school setting where the ‘bad-boy jock’ is failing a class and has to be tutored by the quiet nerdy girl. Spoiler alert! They somehow ‘fall in love’ even though they ‘have nothing in common’ and everyone will be against them going out. Fast forward a few chapters and the bad boy has done something horrific to the girl and like an idiot, she takes him back before the book ends. 

When I was a teen I ate that crap up. I loved these types of stories, especially when it came to a particular one about Harry Styles. Please don’t judge me. However, now I cannot stand this trope.

Please can we stop making potentially dangerous boys pray on the quiet unassuming girl? Thank you. 

Love Triangles 

Oh, the age-old tale of the love triangle. I definitely sit somewhere in the middle with this trope as sometimes I don’t mind it. But this is when it is not unnecessary (ahem Twilight, ahem The Hunger Games) and doesn’t overshadow the main plotline. 

The Hunger Games and Twilight are the best representatives for unnecessary love triangles. It’s obvious from book one who Bella and Katniss are going to end up with so stop the unnecessary drama. I just want to read about teenagers fighting tot he death and overthrowing the government!

I will give this trope a pass if it is literally the main point of the book. However, most of the time it’s just padding for a plot that would otherwise be lacking.

I can’t think of any love triangles off the top of my head that I actually like, so I’ll have to come back to you on that one. 

Not Like The Other Girls 

I absolutely hate when female characters claim to ‘not be like the other girls’ when in reality they are exactly the same. There is something so infuriating about this, especially when it used at the same time as the ‘plain jane’ trope. But I’m going to save that one for a future post.

My main issue with this trope is when the character is using it to seem superior to other people. Please can we stop pitting women against each other? Thanks. 

I am all for characters with interesting quirks and characteristics, however, make sure they are actually interesting before claiming they are ‘not like the other girls’. Also claiming ‘quirky’ as a personality trait does not count. 

I’d absolutely love a bad-ass female character to reclaim being ‘girly’ and show it in a positive way. More often than not the character this trope is based around is ‘different’ because she isn’t interested in having a boyfriend/girlfriend or ‘girly’ activities like shopping or using makeup. 

After finishing this post I realised that Twilight has all of these tropes and that made me laugh a little.
Do you agree with the YA tropes that I hate? Let me know which tropes (if any) that you hate!

Like this post? Why not read this one too? Book Review: Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney


  1. Great post! I’m not a big fan of the love triangles either unless they’re actually convincing! I absolutely hate the ‘not like other girls’ trope too…when I was a teen I found the ‘quirky, boho, super indie’ female character ‘type’ quite annoying…when really what I was allergic to was the ‘not like other girls’-ness that forms the essence of such character types. I haven’t read that many good girl-bad boy books, but I see what you mean. They’re not usually convincing romances, especially if you take away the whole physical attraction/adrenaline rush aspect.

    • Ah thank you! I find that the good girl, bad boy trope is definitely more of a teen trope rather than YA however it does pop up every now and again. Glad we’re on the same page with all of these tropes and that I’m not the only one who finds female characters who ‘aren’t like other girls’ annoying!

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