Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cilches That Still Sell Millions

Though it is a difficult thing to do, I try to at least check out and read the popular books in young adult fiction. Some books I read and love. Others, after I read the review, I say to myself, "Well, I'm not going to read that."

Nevertheless, I have read a good deal of popular fiction. While most of it I like, I have found a couple of clichés that are obvious, yet they're frequently used. In fact, some of these things were called to my attention recently. Now I've decided to finally rant about them.

1. Love Triangle.
Okay, this tops the list because everyone that this is in almost every hyped book in the teen section. Yet, more stories flood in that contain a love triangle. It might or might not be the main idea of the story, but it's there. Even if it's done well or not, it can get annoying after awhile. What's worse is that half of these love triangles are set up in basically the same way.

The female protagonist has a best friend whose a guy. She loves this boy. But a few chapters into it, bam! Another man comes in out of nowhere. At first, girl does not know what to do about him, out of loyalty for her male best friend. But the new guy interests here. It goes on. Eventually, it leads to the best friend getting jealous and the girl choosing the new dude.

It comes in different characters and settings, but 50% of the time, this is what happens. There's nothing wrong with this idea, but can we have a little variety here? In real life,  love triangles are rare. I think we can all agree that romance can be interesting and sweet without having three people involved.

2. Abusive, Dead, or Neglecting Parents
This only came to my attention recently, but I see how sad it is. Consider you're favorite secular teen fiction. This is mostly applied to science fiction, dystopian, and fantasy. Here's some of my favorite characters as an example.

Katniss Everdeen- Dead father and awkward relationship with mother.
Tobias Eaton-Abusive father and absent mother.
Percy Jackson- Absent father and nice mother, but she isn't around much in the stories.

I could go on and on. But do you see what I mean? Even in The Selection, America's relationship with her father is very nice and relatable to me. But he's not even in the series about 80% of the time! Even if the parent is actually good, the author stuffs them out, making them unimportant. These are still great stories, but this is a problem.

Yes, I completely aware that absent and abusive parents are real, But no matter what, parents are effective in a child's life. Can we please have a parent that's good to the child and involved in the story, instead of  a mean, violent adult who just causes problems for the poor kid?

3. Rebelling Against the Government
This is a extremely popular topic in dystopian. There's nothing wrong it. In fact, the rebellion is necessary.  Only, it gets a tad bit old after tons of teen fiction written about it.  Of course, the government always has something we disagree with, but do they always have to start a civil war?

4. Incomplete Last Sentences
Here's what that is. Someone is dying, either suddenly, or gradually. The protagonist leans down at his friend's dying face and screams her name. The life begins to leave this person and she whispers something, "Tell so-and-so I..."

That's it. Then she dies. It's cruel enough for a author to kill a well-loved character. They need to at least finish their last thought.

I could say a few more, but my time is limited. What are some annoying clichés you have found, in either books you hate or love? Comment and tell me about it. I'd love to hear it:)


  1. I really don't mind love triangles, but my word you got it perfect! Just once cant she like two boys and then decide to stick with her best guy friend? I'm all for a struggle between choosing, but they never go with their original love. Never!
    I agree on the parents too. It's hard to write stories with the parents actively involved, because even pathetic parents wont let their kids engage in 90% of what YA characters do. But authors should put forth a little creative effort on occasion.
    Hmmm...other clichés...Really those are about the only ones I can think of that give me problems. There's lots of clichés out there, but if they're done right I don't mind. If they're done poorly though I'll likely throw the book down my staircase.
    Oh! runaway abused orphans. I hate those kids XP They can be an orphan. Or they can be abused. And they can even run away. But do they have to do all three? Maybe the orphans master is nice, and the kid says, can I get my last paycheck and move on? and they're like "no problem. good luck with life" Just saying.

    1. Yes, I know! Though I've never had a love triangle not go my way, sometimes I'm like, "Why can't you go for the best friend? You've trusted him way longer than this other guy!" Parents in YA fiction are so weird. Yeah, the orphanage thing isn't very realistic. The same thing with me. Sometimes I don't mind clichés. It just depends on how clichés they seem, if that makes any sense. Haha:)

  2. Ughh!! When a character dies and doesn't get to finish what they're saying I get so annoyed!! Although I haven't really read that many books with that either. And I don't really mind love triangles, but most of them don't go the way you've described. Maybe we just read different books. The parental thing and the rebelling against the government thing really does happen in so many books that it gets kind of exhausting. Although now that I think about, if they're young adult books, having important parental characters is kind of annoying.

    The Life of Little Me

    1. I know! Good thing it isn't used often or I have a more frustrating time. Yeah, I guess we do read different books because half of the love triangles, at least for the very popular fiction, are set up that way. The government thing is overused, but I don't mind it as much. That's a good point about the parent thing though. Thanks for commenting!

  3. The incomplete sentence thing is an awful cliche! I understand why it works because you'd like to know how it continues, but honestly, it's just silly and overused. It especially annoys me because I am a total perfectionist: I call someone back if I hung up the phone too soon or if I forgot to say bye because I need that type of closure!! ;) Love triangles can be annoying if they become the main focus of the book, but otherwise I think they make a good 'extra' in the story. Anyway, isn't it always the way in real life, too?

    I have noticed the absent parents thing, but to me that's just because in a book, the main character can't lean on his/her parents forever as it would make it less interesting, and having them would be a bit annoying as they set further limitations etc.. I do agree, however, that parents and upbringing play a very important role in a person's life, and that it shouldn't be dismissed in novels as often as it is.

    Rebelling against the government is a cliche, but it's one I don't actually mind at all. <3 Great post!! Cloudy Dreams//my blog: I'd love it if you visited!

    1. It's so terrible! Because you know you're never going to hear what they were going to say. Yeah, that makes sense. It makes it more sad too. Love triangles can make a good extra, when done well, but it's tiring when it's the main plot. Yeah, it is hard, especially in science fiction, for parents to be involved. But parents are important though. Not a ton of people mind the government cliché. I don't much either, but I would like to see something new. Thanks for the comment and encouragement!

  4. I know what you mean! I actually have read hardly any of the popular teen stories, but I know a lot about them. All of these are things that seem to be in EVERY stinkin book that is popular!! lol The rebellion, the love triangles, the dying characters. I'm just waiting for it to come back around to books that are actually kind of realistic...And at least not set in the future. lol


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