This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Tropes We Want More/Less Of
01. More unapologetic heroines. Own your life! Dear heroines, own your sexuality and heck, your personality. Don’t let the hero or anyone walk over you. Don’t be afraid to use your middle finger when necessary!
Examples: Rose from VA and Renna from The Star Thief
02. More extroverts heroines. Yeah, yeah the misunderstood by the world with one friend only who happens to be the crazy fun one of duo is cool to read about. But I want more VARIETY. More socially outgoing heroines. Because these are people too and they deserve books and OH, they have problems. Just because someone is social does not mean they have the perfect life.
Examples: Chloe from Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe and Audrey from Audrey, Wait!
03. More NON snowflakes. You’ve never had a boyfriend. You’ve never kissed a boy. You’ve never even talked to a guy. Good for you! That’s cool. But can we have MORE variety? Plenty of teen girls have boyfriends and he doesn’t turn out to be secretly evil. Books that explore abuse are important and books that explore a girls’ first experince are also important but we also need VARIETY. When every teen heroine has NEGATIVE AMOUNT of experience, that sends the wrong message to girls. If you’re a pure untouched snowflake, you’ll have a story. If you’re not, you’re less worthy.
Now I know this is not the message these types of books are trying to send BUT when you read it over and over and over and over again in every book, readers can come to that conclusion. Besides, teen girls have boyfriends. It happens. No biggie. It doesn’t always need to involve sex. There are SO many different types of relationship and YA books should reflect that in more variety.
Perfect example: The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen. Emaline has an awesome boyfriend. He's awesome with no hidden evils but Emaline is still attracted to another guy. THIS HAPPENS.
04. More SPACE books. Epic Reads this handy dandy list of YA books set in space and I’ll certainly make my way through the ones I haven’t read but I want MOAR.
Favorite space books: Tin Star and The Star Thief
05. More married couples in romance. Not just in historical romance, but also contemporary. I don’t mean arranged marriages, but legitimate married couples who fell in love, hit a rut in their marriage and are falling back in love again. These stories are just SO touching and beautiful.
Example: Making it Last and Hydraulic Level Five
01. MORE Healthy Female Friendships! I feel like I almost never see a functional female friendship in YA books. A BFF is either nonexistent, their relationship is extremely dysfunctional, or the heroine and BFF have a giant and nonsensical fight that lasts until near the end of the book when they make up and everything's good. I'd really like to see MORE close, healthy relationships realistically portrayed. This applies to all genres to an extent, but mostly to YA.
Example: I just went through all the books I read in the past year, and I did not find a single example. Which only enhances my point. Though not exactly what I'd like (relationship established pre-book beginning), The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is a good example.
02. MORE Marriage of Convenience! Okay, so this is probably an unrealistic request, but these were all over the place in the 80s Harlequins I used to pilfer from my aunt's basement. Need a live-in nanny or an inheritance or just want to conduct a study on marriage? Find an amenable party and get hitched! I guess they're not so prevalent now since a) it's really a rather nonsensical arrangement and b) a lot of the stigma regarding living together without being married has faded. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and I want more of these. I miss them!
Example: Research into Marriage by Penny Jordan
03. MORE Books Set in College with LESS Tattooed Boy/Good Girl Pairings. I feel like since NA is finally growing as a category, it's going to expand beyond the confines within which the majority of current NA books seem to fall. And this makes me happy! I've been wanting books in this setting for years, and while I do like the basic plot a lot of these tend to utilize, I'd like some variety! College is such a great setting that abounds in fodder for great stories, and I'd like to see more authors take advantage of that and show a story that happens in typical college life.
Example: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
04. MORE Standalones in YA! Not technically a trope, but I'd like more stories that can be resolved in one book. I would read a long book! Honestly, I would! I know there are myriad reasons why trilogies especially are so prevalent, but I would really like to have to stop choosing between waiting until a series is complete or facing a crazy long wait after which I'll forget most of what happened anyway and maybe even stop caring. I'm also okay with CONNECTED/companion series wherein each book is complete in itself but the next book continues in the same world.
Example: His Fair Assassin Books by Robin LaFevers
05. LESS Magical Sex = Love. Ah, contemporary romance. It has its perks and is SO much fun! But it is by far the area where this trope abounds, and it drives me a little crazy. Chemistry is great! But I need to see that the couple can do more than set the sheets on fire to buy their happy ending. Talk! Laugh! Go on *gasp* a regular date. Best of all: communicate. I enjoy reading about couples I think could make it in the real world (if they were, you know, real).
Example: Vision in White by Nora Roberts