My Top Ten Paranormal YA Fiction Cliches

16 Dec

I’m currently reading Tangled by Emma Chase but that’s not what this post is about. A review of that sizzling book shall come later. Well, if I’m being honest, it’s going to be as soon as I can put up posts with Images.
There is a problem with my WordPress Image uploader which is preventing me from uploading images. It sucks, I tell you and it’s been pissing me off more than I can explain (Mostly because my vocabulary is limited 😀 )

So, no attractive picture to accompany all these words 😦

Anyway this blog is about more than just reviews, so, I’ve decided to have a totally new segment called “Top Ten Tuesdays”. This is where I’ll be blogging about top ten anything…as long as it is book related of course. 

So, I’m taking a break from reviewing for now to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while now after the many Young Adult books I’ve read. 

Clichés. Clichés. Clichés.

Looking at the fact that YA novels sell like hot cakes once they are released, I imagine this means that readers love all the expected clichés and sometimes cringe-fest moments that come with most novels these days. I have to admit, I love a good cliché every once in a while but when you have 5 books to read and each one is following almost the exact same formula, you tend to get a bit bored and reserved about continuing.

This post will just highlight some of the Clichés that I feel have been done to death. It’s like they got the sacred Plot Fruit, squeezed out all the juices and decided to only use the same ideas over and over again…leaving everything else to just disappear off into oblivion, never to be written about. It’s kind of sad actually if you think about it. (Okay, I admit in the stories I’ve attempted to write, I’ve also stuffed most of them in…hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right? :D)

So, without any more delay, here’s my list. If you agree, do leave me a comment and tell me which of them you could do without in the next book you pick up.

  1. Love Triangles

  2. This one is by far the most common one. There is the incredibly hot douchebag of a man and the good, reliable and sometimes plain best friend. We saw it in Twilight, we saw it in The Hunger Games and now even Kresley Cole introduced it in her Arcana Chronicles Series (Which reminds me, I still have to post a review of Book 2). Why, oh why do we always have to be involved in #TeamGale vs #TeamPeeta battles? I get that drama and conflict is great but why can’t the female protagonist just have one love interest? 

  3. Beyond Attractive Bad Boy

  4. Blue or green eyes, broad and toned chest with a face that just leaves the heroine open-mouthed and drooling like a total nut. This is a key ingredient in YA fiction. It works and it definitely sells. Admit it.

    As if the main guy’s jaw-dropping, drool-worthy exterior isn’t overused enough, you add in a hint of the brooding “Stay away from me” factor and you have yourself a winning recipe and a cliché that most avid readers are getting tired of. The main love interest is mostly the bad boy that the female always manages to change. Forgetting the fact that, unless he wears diapers, a man really cannot be changed, should the main guy always be a black clad smartass? 

    I will confess again, I almost always make my main guy a black-leather jacket wearing bad boy? Cliché much 😀

  5. Trilogies

  6. Say goodbye to stand alone novels as they experience a low and imminent death and welcome trilogies. It’s now a well-accepted trend that a YA novel has to come in a three book series. Would a two book series be a flop or a four book series be too much? I don’t even know anymore.

    You know what the worst part is about it all? It’s the fact that I’m complaining about this but will still be one of the people anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to be out. There is one book that definitely deserved a book two and that’s Cursed by Jennifer. L. Armentrout. I know I gave it a 5 star rating but when I went back to it recently, I felt like it at least required the story to be concluded better.

  7. First Person Point-Of-View

  8. Is this one like a requirement for Young Adult fiction? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it. I just find it funny that almost every author has to write the story from the first person view. I enjoyed how Laini Taylor wrote her daughter of Smoke and Bone series. It was so beautifully written and she didn’t even go for the commons first person POV. 

    Would female readers buy books if they were written from a guy’s POV? I wonder about that.

  9. The Training Sequence
  10.  
    So, the female lead is suddenly thrust into this magical and sometimes scientific world and obviously they were just some Plain Jane in the crowd a few weeks ago. What happens next? You guessed it…it’s badass-fighting 101 time. The girl is gonna get schooled. 

    Expect that chapter where they are asked to wear combat boots and a tank-top so they can fool around in the dirt and take on the love interest in a “training” session. Of course this is what I always call the “throw-a-few-kicks-and-punches-and-then-fall-with-the-smexy-love-interest-on-top-of-you-so-you-can-kiss-and-make-out-like-bunnies-in-the-dirt” session. Seems fitting because almost half the time, while our heroine is being trained, she is busy fantasizing about how hot he looks in training gear. 

  11. “Oblivious to how beautiful she is’ Main Female Character

  12. When was the last time you read a novel which didn’t have a main female character that didn’t think she was plain, ugly, clumsy, nerdy and boring? I think I can’t remember: D Everybody in town thinks she is gorgeous and all the hot guys want her. She even manages to hook up with Mr-incredibly-sexy-Greek-god main guy, who would destroy the world for her, but she still thinks she looks like a toad’s butt? Umm, yeah sure.

    I imagine writers do this one to stop us from hating her. Like if she referred to herself as a Victoria’s secret Model look-alive or something. But seriously, her being so clueless and naïve kind of also has the same effect, don’t you agree?

  13. Orphaned Main Character or Parents Separated
  14.  
    The supporting characters almost always come from happy stable homes where they are pampered and spoiled and loved like its heaven or something but our lead never gets that privilege. Why is the main character always an orphan or comes from a home where the dad is absent or the mother has met a new man who she ran off with? Does this mean people from happy homes will never have magical things happen to them?

    I think this is somehow just a plot-convenient maneuver that authors use to avoid parents having any influence over the main characters movements or decisions. And sometimes even if they have both parents alive and well (which is rare), the parents turn out to be neglectful and such dicks that the main always grumbles about how they are never cared for.

  15. Dystopia

  16. Hunger games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Maze runner by James Dashner, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The giver (It’s older I know) by Lois Lowry, Matched by Ally Condie, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi …need I say more? I think not.

  17. “I Let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding”

  18. This phrase is to most YA fiction like a pregnant woman is to a maternity wing…you just can’t avoid running into it. Okay, so maybe it’s just some way of expressing oneself but do all writers have to use it? I’m a Jennifer Armentrout fan, like major, and I always see this one making an appearance.

    I was reading through a story I am currently writing on FanFiction dot net and I smiled to myself when I read this line. Like I said, we are all weak when it comes to writing and working with overused ideas.

    I can’t really say if it’s a cliché or not but you have to admit this line somehow always makes its way in some of our favourite YA books. 

  19. Petite Females

  20. I’m one tall female and whenever I read YA books, the heroine is always super short and petite that I start to think that maybe I’m a freak of nature for the way I look. All tall and skinny. Even when I was in high school, I was one tall girl. So it would be right for me to at least come across a book that has a female who is tall right? 

    Why are they always short? Is it a way for the writer to use lines like “she looked up at him and met his deep green eyes in a stare that warmed up their bodies” or “resting her petite frame against his herculean one, she felt and heard the beating of his heart”?

    Come on, us tall people want to be written about too. It’s just right. Where is the fairness writers?

So dear readers, that’s it for my Top Ten for this week…well my first week, if you want to be technical about it 🙂
Tell me what you think of my list and if you agree or not. I do love interacting with my readers.

-Dee

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2 Responses to “My Top Ten Paranormal YA Fiction Cliches”

  1. triSARAHtops December 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Yes!
    Ok, the “hot girl doesn’t know she’s hot” trope drives me mental! And the “bad boy with the heart of gold that only you can access” is almost damaging to readers, giving young girls an idea that you can (or even that you should try) to change people.

    Sorry, rant over.
    Thank you for this list! It’s always good to remind oneself of these things especially as they start to crop up in one’s own writing (I have definitely been guilty of the breath holding sentence …).

    • Dee December 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Oh my gosh, so glad you agree. Each time, I read a novel with the seemingly clumsy girl who doesn’t know she is hot, I just hiss out “hello, use a mirror or something.” So overused.

      Lol, the ‘breath holding’ sentence is one we are all guilty of trying out haha.
      It just sounds so good…and poetic, I think 🙂

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