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YA tropes and cliches

50 YA fiction tropes and cliches we can’t get enough of!

There’s something about young adult fantasy romance books that just makes our hearts race. Maybe it’s the suspense of not knowing what will happen next, or the excitement of falling in love for the first time. Whatever it is, we can’t get enough of these books! In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the top 50 young adult fantasy romance book tropes.

PS. If you’re looking for a great read, then you’ll want to check out some of the featured books on our site!

1. The love triangle

One of the most popular tropes in young adult fantasy romance books is the love triangle. This is where two people are vying for the affections of one person, and it usually leads to a lot of drama and suspense. It’s a classic story of boy meets girl, but there’s always a third wheel who threatens to ruin everything. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

 

2. Forbidden love (star crossed lovers)

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is forbidden love. This is where two people from different worlds are attracted to each other, but they’re not supposed to be together for some reason. It could be because they’re from different social classes, or because one of them is betrothed to someone else. But of course, they end up falling in love anyway. Whatever the reason, it just makes the relationship all the more thrilling! 

Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. If you’re looking for a book that’s full of drama and passion, then you’ll want to check out one with forbidden love. These books are sure to keep you entertained!

 

3. Soulmates

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is soulmates. This is where two people are meant to be together and they have an undeniable connection. It’s often said that soulmates are two halves of the same whole, and when they’re together, they just feel right. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

If you’re looking for a book that’s full of romance and passion, then you’ll want to check out one with soulmates. These books are sure to make your heart race!

 

4. First love

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is first love. This is where two people fall in love for the first time and it’s always a special moment. First love is often filled with innocence and hope, and it’s something that we all remember fondly. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

If you’re looking for a book that’s sweet and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with first love. These books are sure to make your heart melt!

 

5. Love at first sight

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is love at first sight. This is where two people meet and they just know that they’re meant to be together. It’s a moment of pure magic and it’s something that we all dream of happening to us. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.

If you’re looking for a book that’s full of romance and magic, then you’ll want to check out one with love at first sight. These books are sure to make your heart flutter!

 

6. Love conquers all

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is love conquers all. This is where two people are meant to be together and they’ll do anything to make it work. No matter what obstacles they face, their love will always find a way to prevail. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

If you’re looking for a book that’s full of drama and suspense, then you’ll want to check out one with love conquers all. These books are sure to keep you on your toes!

 

7. The misunderstood bad boy

One of the most popular tropes in young adult fantasy romance books is the misunderstood bad boy. This is where the male lead is a bad boy and a bit of a rebel. You know the type: he’s got a rebellious streak, he doesn’t play by the rules, he’s probably got a motorcycle. And of course, he’s got a heart of gold underneath it all. Girls just can’t resist him, even though he’s clearly trouble. He’s got a rough exterior with a heart of gold. He may be rough around the edges, but deep down he’s a big ol’ softie. And of course, the heroine is the one who helps him realize this. He’s often misunderstood by society and he has to fight for the love of his life. This trope is so popular that it’s been recycled again and again, in books like The Outsiders, Twilight, and Pretty Little Liars.

 

8. The girl who doesn’t believe in love

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the girl who doesn’t believe in love. This is where the female lead is a skeptic when it comes to love. She doesn’t think that true love exists, but she’s soon proven wrong by the dashing male lead. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

If you’re looking for a book that’s both funny and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the girl who doesn’t believe in love. These books are sure to make you laugh and swoon!

 

9. The guy who’s been hurt before

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the guy who’s been hurt before. This is where the male lead is a little bit gun-shy when it comes to love. He’s been burned in the past and he’s not sure if he’s ready to open up again. 

If you’re looking for a book that’s both heartwarming and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the guy who’s been hurt before. These books are sure to make you feel all the feels!

 

10. The best friends turned lovers story 

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the best friends turned lovers story. This is where the male and female lead start out as best friends, but they eventually realize that they have feelings for each other. Our heroine starts out thinking her best friend is just a friend, but then she starts to see him in a whole new light. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

If you’re looking for a book that’s both sweet and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the best friends turned lovers story. These books are sure to make your heart melt!

 

11. The Amnesia Trope

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the amnesia trope. This is where the male or female lead forgets who they are and they have to be reminded by the other character. 

 

12. The mistaken identity trope

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the mistaken identity trope. This is where the male and female lead meet, but they don’t realize that they’re actually talking to each other. They think that the other person is someone else entirely. Some of the most popular examples of this trope include She’s the Man by Amanda Bynes and The Prince and Me by Julia Stiles.

If you’re looking for a book that’s both funny and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the mistaken identity trope. These books are sure to make you laugh and swoon!

 

13. The enemies to lovers trope

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the enemies to lovers trope. This is where the male and female lead start out as enemies, but they eventually realize that they have feelings for each other. What starts out as hate quickly turns to love when the protagonists are forced to work together (or compete against each other). Some of the most popular examples of this trope include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

If you’re looking for a book that’s both heartwarming and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the enemies to lovers trope. These books are sure to make you feel all the feels!

 

14. The one that got away

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the one that got away. This is where the male and female lead have a history together, but they’re not together anymore. They might have dated in the past or they might have been friends, but for whatever reason, they’re not together now. 

If you’re looking for a book that’s both heartwarming and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the one that got away. These books are sure to make you feel all the feels!,

15. Second chance romance

(coming soon)



16. “Save me” (girl saves boy)

Another popular trope in young adult fantasy romance books is the “save me” story. This is where the male lead is in some sort of trouble and the female lead comes to his rescue.

If you’re looking for a book that’s both heartwarming and romantic, then you’ll want to check out one with the “save me” story. These books are sure to make you feel all the feels!

 

17. The “other woman” story

It seems like every other young adult fiction book these days has the same tired old story line: girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, girl discovers that boy is already in a relationship with another girl. This “other woman” trope has been done to death, and it’s time for something new. Why can’t the girl just meet a single, available boy? Or better yet, why can’t she be the one who’s already in a relationship? It’s time for some fresh ideas in young adult fiction. Otherwise, we’re just going to keep seeing the same old stories recycled over and over again.

18. The arranged marriage story

In many young adult novels, there is a character who is arranged to be married by their parents. This often comes as a surprise to the character, who may have been planning on marrying someone else. In some cases, the character decides to go through with the arranged marriage, while in others they rebel and run away. While this may seem like a clichéd plot device, it can actually be a very effective way of exploring the themes of family, duty, and self-discovery. In many cultures, arranged marriages are still commonplace, and so this trope can help to educate readers about a different way of life. At the same time, it can also prompt readers to think about their own values and what they would do in a similar situation. Whether you love or hate the arranged marriage trope, there’s no denying that it’s a popular device in young adult fiction.

 

19. The secret baby story

 The “secret baby story” is a trope that appears in a lot of young adult fiction. In this type of story, the protagonist discovers that they have a child that they didn’t know about. Often, the child is the result of a one night stand or a brief fling. The secret baby story usually involves the protagonist trying to figure out how to deal with their new responsibilities. In some cases, the story ends with the protagonist deciding to keep the child and raise them on their own. In other cases, the character decides to give the child up for adoption or put them up for sale. Whatever the outcome, the secret baby story is always full of drama and angst.

 

20. The meet-cute trope

The meet-cute is a time-honored trope in fiction, especially in young adult literature. For those who are unfamiliar, the meet-cute is a scene in which the two romantic leads first meet, and it often involves some sort of cute or funny mishap. While the meet-cute can be used in any genre, it is particularly common in romantic comedies. Some examples of famous meet-cutes include When Harry Met Sally, crossings paths in the rain, and an accidental kiss. The appeal of the meet-cute lies in its potential to bring two people together in a way that feels organic and natural. In a world where so much seems out of our control, the meet-cute offers a glimpse of hope that sometimes, things just work out the way they’re meant to.

 

21. Perfect boyfriend is a jerk

The perfect boyfriend who turns out to be a jerk. Seriously, what is it with these guys? They seem too good to be true, and that’s because they are. But don’t worry, our heroine will see the light just in time and dump his sorry ass.

22. The rich boy/girl

Wealth always seems to play a role in young adult romance, whether it’s the undoing of the relationship or the reason why the couple can never be together.

23. Secret relationships

whether it’s forbidden love or simply keeping the relationship a secret from nosy parents, there’s something exciting about having to keep your love under wraps.

 

24. The makeover montage:


usually used to indicate a character’s transformation from plain Jane to potential

 

26 Dystopian Cliches & Tropes

  1. Dystopian worlds are always dark and gritty and depressing
  2. The protagonist is always a misunderstood rebel
  3. Love triangles that result in love at first sight
  4. The ending is always bittersweet
  5. Characters are always morally ambiguous
  6. Society is always oppressive
  7. The protagonist is (often) young, white, and heterosexual
  8. The ending is always tragic
  9. Characters are often stereotypes or cliches
  10. Social commentary is heavy-handed and unsubtle
  11. All the characters are young and attractive
  12. The protagonist is always special and unique
  13. The ending is usually a cliffhanger
  14. There’s always a rebellion against the government
  15. Dystopian societies are always ruled by a totalitarian government
  16. The protagonist is always the “chosen one” who will save the world
  17. The protagonist is always fighting for survival
  18. Characters are often killed off for shock value
  19. A ragtag group of friends who come together to fight the evil empire/monster/alien invasion
  20. The villain who is always two steps ahead of the protagonist
  21. Betrayals by people you thought were your friends
  22. Special powers or abilities
  23. Protagonists who are inexplicably special and can do things no one else can
  24. Characters who are always wise beyond their years
  25. Rebellious teenagers who don’t conform to society’s rules
  26. A dystopian future where the world is on the brink of collapse

Some more fantasy cliches & tropes

(Some of these may be repeated from above)

  1. The chosen one
  2. The mentor
  3. The prophecy
  4. The dark lord
  5. The sidekick
  6. The love interest
  7. The magical object
  8. The quest
  9. The betrayal
  10. Innocence is lost
  11. Special powers or abilities
  12. Strong female characters 
  13. A ragtag group of heroes 
  14. Training montage
  15. Friendship is key
  16. The hidden world
  17. True love’s kiss

 

And finally, a simple YA romance story:

Fantasy stories often end with HEA – happily ever after; a lot of dystopian and contemporary YA novels actually end with one of them dying.

  1. Boy meets girl
  2. Boy and girl fall in love
  3. Boy and girl have obstacles to overcome
  4. Boy and girl overcome obstacles and live happily ever after
  5. The end

There’s something about a young adult romance that just hits all the right notes. Maybe it’s the promise of first love, or the excitement of being on the cusp of adulthood. Whatever the reason, these stories have a way of captivating readers. Unfortunately, they also often fall back on tired tropes and cliches. From the brooding bad boy to the always-in-trouble rebel, literature is full of repeated scenarios that feel anything but fresh. Luckily, there are also authors who are willing to subvert these tropes and give readers something new to enjoy. So if you’re tired of the same old love stories, be sure to seek out some fresh new voices in young adult fiction.

 

Ps – which of these are your favorites? Which ones are you tired of seeing? What tropes can’t you get enough of? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

    Title: Magic BitesAuthor: Ilona AndrewsSeries: Kate Daniels, #1Genre: Urban FantasyPublisher: Ace (Imprint ...

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