Showing posts with label love triangles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love triangles. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top 10 Current YA Tropes that Will Make Me NOT Want to Read a Book

I've done a couple variations of this post over the years, but it's definitely time for more up-to-date refresher for Top Ten Tuesday.

Examining Racism - Without POC.
I don't know where this trend started, but I absolutely deeply, deeply dislike any book that uses fictional races (elves, dragons, werewolves etc.) instead of people of color and tries to make them oppressed to illustrate how bad racism is.
(Spoiler alert: Anyone who isn't white knows this already. You don't have to teach us, oh my god.) Even worse when it's written by a white author who lacks the nuance and skill to execute this well.

The Alpha Male Douchebag.
I hate them. I've always hated them. The love interests who are bulky, muscly, super attractive and absolute shitheads to their girlfriends. I DNF anything with that instantly, I have no time for this. Knock knock! It's 1950, it wants their mentality back.

Voiceless, shy, and "bland" heroine.
I think all readers of YA are collectively tired of this. If I read about another girl that's bland with brown hair, brown eyes, and no personality, but yet thinks she's not like other girls? Well, I'm literally going to throw that book into my fireplace. No time for this.

In a world where the rich green-blooded people oppress the lower class because of their purple blood and inferior silver eyes and golden hair...
There are approximately 327836273 books about this. I am SO over this overdone and unimaginative premise of rich superior genetics people versus poor inferior (but still conventionally attractive) genetics people. Even worse when one of the poor ones manages to infiltrate the higher ups and it actually turns out they're also green-blooded/have ominous super powers/have an inexplicable asset they need. I just described probably 40% of the latest high fantasy releases. Please stop.

A girl with inexplicable powers and two boys who love her - one good and innocent, and one evil and mysterious. Who will she choose?
At this point nobody will take any book seriously that makes use of this. It's so overdone, it's not even funny anymore. And it's also really annoying that you always know that she's going to choose the bad boy every single time. I'm not bitter or anything.

Contemporary m/f romances that have no other premise than "he was a boy, she was a girl".
Compulsory heteronormativity is real and I'm not letting it on my shelves. I don't pick up any contemporary romance at all unless it goes more into the contemporary direction than the romance direction and has a super unique premise. If it's f/f or otherwise LGBTQ*, all bets are off though, I'm buying anything you have.

Whitewashing.
Don't think we don't notice and we don't see you. We see you whitewashing common and well-known mythology and cultures. We see you. Stop it.

One girl, destined for greatness by the ancient prophecy, rises up to lead a rebellion...
How has nobody deleted this trope completely yet? I can't see it anymore. I want to see no more teenage rebellions. Please god no. Who'd follow a teenager into war anyway? Maybe I'm just outgrowing this trope, I don't know if actual teenagers still enjoy this. I'm feeling old.

Fictional Oppression or Slavery.
You guys know how I feel about this, so yeah, no need to repeat it. Thanks, but no thanks.

Problematic Comparison Titles.
If it says for fans of [insert any known super ableist/racist/homophobic book], I am out. This is actually a really great method that has proved to be always pretty successful. Weed out the weak by watching what books get compared to. Will save you a lot of time.



What are some tropes that make you not want to read a book?


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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Always the Same Love Interests? | YA Talk





If you read a lot of YA, you've probably also noticed that there's a trend in characters.

Meet Love Interest 1:
He's characterized through being
  • the epitome of the nice guy
  • probably has been friends with the heroine forever/ they're maybe even neighbors/ definitely know each other longer than love interest 2 and the heroine
  • always there for the heroine
  • they might have been in love at some point and/or are dating
  • either will mess up eventually or just flat out get ignored when the second love interest comes along
EXAMPLES:
Adam Kent from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Simon Lewis from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Mathias from ZODIAC by Romina Russell


Meet Love Interest 2:
He's characterized through being
  • the new guy!
  • suddenly comes into the heroines life 
  • smirks a lot
  • is sarcastic and ridiculously good-looking
  • not ashamed to hit on her 24/7
  • morally grey ... redeems himself at the end of the trilogy
  • almost always "gets the girl"
EXAMPLES:
Aaron Warner from from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Jace Wayland from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Hysan from ZODIAC by Romina Russell

Why I think it's unnecessary

  • You always know who's going to get the girl. SPOILER: It's always the bad guy after the redemption ARC
  • It's lazy: Seriously, at this point it's almost a stock character kinda situation. If you have to write a love triangle, please try to make it at least a little original. Like this it just seems like I'm reading fan fictions of the same characters over and over again.
  • It's boring and predictable
  • It's so easy to fix: Just throw in a little variation, kill one of them, make one of them unredeemable, honestly, at this point I'm so desperate for decent love triangles that I'd take anything that's even a little different.

What do you think of love triangles with the same characters over and over again?




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Sunday, June 21, 2015

I Hate Love Triangles | YA Talk


Either you love them or you hate them.
Eventually every reader of YA will come across them. Love triangles seem to be trend that just won't get out of style.

What's a Love Triangle?
Love triangle commonly refers to the situation a protagonist of a novel finds themselves in when two different people are interested in them romantically.

Usually, the protagonist requites their affection or is in the process of learning to love them, hence leaving both love interest in competition with each other.

Some may say "Twilight" started it all, but I think we need to stop blaming Stephenie Meyer for everything that's going wrong in recent YA.

Popular Books about love triangles include
- "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver
- "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare
- "The Selection" by Kiera Cass
- "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

Books with love triangles usually play with the "bad boy" character and the "guy next door". I've noticed that more often than I'd like to admit, at least one of them is a super problematic villain. Not sure how that makes any guy attractive though.

Here's What Bugs Me

Love triangles in theory are absolutely fine. If you're looking for them. If you love reading about them, great, but I'm just not. The market these days is FLOODED with hidden love triangles. Most of the times you can't even tell from the blurbs whether the books are all about the romance and only feature the actual topic of the book on the side.
which I am absolutely not. Love triangles never have and probably never will be something that I'm personally interested in.

I've encountered it numerous that I've tried to read a book, let's say, about angels descending their heavenly wrath on the Earth, only to find out that the novel is actually about a teenage girl falling in love with an angel and a demon (any relations to existing books are just coincidental).

This has ruined the reading experience for me so many times. Had I gone on looking for a love triangle and a girl stuck between the evil overlord and the brave hero, I would have bought a novel about that.

Every popular YA novel these days features a love triangle.

Realism? What is Realism?

If you'd live in a dystopian society where every day is a struggle for survival, your number one concern would probably not be which one of the super hot two guys you should choose. I mean, these days it's a miracle if you find a guy that's attractive, smart and respects you, let alone two! If you're seventeen, cut the odds in half.

Here's What I Demand!

There should be something like ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings for book romance like:
- N for no romance
- E for established romance
- X for multiple love interests
While I'm at it, there should be a rating for instant love, but I guess we can't have it all at once. I just want to be warned before I get invested in a book and then get drowned in love triangles. I actually did encounter novels with multiple love triangles, god knows why.

Do you like love triangles? 
Which novel do you think has portrayed them the best so far?


More YA Talk:
15-year-old Protagonists Confuse Me 
Mary Sues and Why We Need More of Them 
Instant Love and Why It Ruins Everything 
Hey Authors, Why Is LGBTQ Representation So Hard? 
I Fall For Problematic Love Interests 
Are Diverse Characters and Representation Unnecessary?

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