Overused Clichés in YA Fiction

As much as I love YA fiction some of it is just so repetitive and similar. It may be marketable for books to be this way but it just gets kind of annoying.

1) The love triangle. It’s just been overused and has become boring and off-putting for many readers. Nobody ever seems to do anything different with it and it’s got to the point where I just find it so irritating.

2) The nice girl falling for the idiot/jerk character. Really? Why would the MC even want to go out with this guy? It just doesn’t make any sense. Perhaps she considers him for a while but I can’t fathom why she would actually pick him to be with.

3) The character describing themselves in a mirror. Just no. Who walks up to a mirror and describes their appearance in detail? Unless it is character/plot relevant (e.g. they have bags under their eyes from lack of sleep due to *insert life issue here* or their skin has turned pink overnight).

4) The main character is the chosen one. They have been picked out by a higher force and there’s some kind of prophecy involved. See Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Matrix, Star Wars, Terminator, and the list could go on…

5) Dead or non-present parents. Unless it is plot relevant or plays some MAJOR role in the arc of the main character why are there never parents around? And if they are around they’re always really stereotypical and 2D. This is especially in realistic teen fiction stories because the most likely scenario is their parents are going to be around ignoring them for convenience just annoys me.

6) Good vs. Evil. Now, I’m not saying we should ditch this completely. Sometimes it’s nice to just read a simple good vs. evil story.

7) Insta-Love. For a start love at first sight is not biologically possible, only attraction at first sight. You love someone when you have got to know someone and they have got to know you and you understand each other. You can’t know that from the first moment you see them. Insta-attraction is, however, definitely possible.

8) The “strong” female character. A strong heroine does not constitute making a girl do man stuff. What makes a strong character is the same for male and female characters. They have to be rounded, believable, have back story, have a character arc etc. Just making a warrior of the female gender does not make that character a strong female character.

9) The girl who is super pretty but believes she is ugly. To some extent this is kind of realistic for many people. But it has just been overdone in fiction now.

10) Everyone is super attractive. Not everybody is super hot and looking like a model. Yes, some characters may be pretty/handsome, but that’s not everyone in the world! One of the things I love about Jane Eyre is that emphasis is put on how neither Jane or Rochester are at all conventionally attractive and that they fall in love because of their personalities.

These are just some things that annoy me whenever they crop up. Do something new people! /rant over

2 thoughts on “Overused Clichés in YA Fiction

  1. love this post. and agree with it.

    i’m sick of love triangles, squares, and pentagons. but i must admit that in The Naturals by J. Barnes that the love triangle wasn’t prominent in the story line. their feelings pushed them act in both book one and two, which actually resolved the triangle faster.

    i’m sooo guilty of number 4. heh heh. and 7, but i had a species plot excuse for this one.

    • Yeah I don’t mind it when people do love triangles really well or do something different with it. It’s just so rare to find a really good one.
      I’m guilty of some of those too haha, it’s just kind of tempting isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s