Cliches in YA books.

When looking for the next book to read i usually dig a little in the story just to make sure i won’t be finding some terrible and already boring cliches that seem to appear in every possible YA book. It feels as if those were the only ideas in the universe, and they aren’t so i always avoid them and try to find more creative authors.

To be honest, it’s difficult. Apparently there are very little kind of trouble a couple may have, loves triangles happen all the time (never saw one in real life actually), Romeo&Juliette are nothing but hipsters that did it before it was cool and so on..

I wonder, do they have no creative ideas because they tried but didn’t come up with anything or they aren’t even trying at all? Because it surely feels as if they were underestimating the readers sometimes…

I mean, am i the only one feeling like that’s the case? Some writers seem to be making easy money on us, while some incredible fanfiction writers create better stories for borrowed characters than the original ones they come from.

And the thing is, while i do see people complain about cliches, many of them seem to miss the cliches in the books they actually like, and to be honest i may be missing the hints myself, which feels ridiculous, i mean, how come we don’t see the cliches when we like something but see them when we don’t? The brain is a weird thing…(says my own brain…).

So, let’s talk a bit about these cliches …

  1. New girl in town falls for the oh-so-cool guy that everyone loves but is a loner even thou he is so popular. I mean, really? that’s the only way people may fall for one another? Not even by coincidence that this year they just have biology together and for the first time talk to each other even thou they have been in the same school since kindergarten? And why is the guy so many times something special? why can’t he be just plain human? Please, if this ever happened to you, and now you are dating your werewolf soulmate, let me know.
  2. Love Triangles. Everyone loves the girl, who actually is the dullest dull to ever dull and i totally can’t understand why is everyone so obsessed with her. As she is the narrator of the story most of the time, we know she is dull and mostly boring, yet boys seem to be fascinated by her. Yes, sometimes she is a little more than just dull, and yet, do everyone have to be in love with her? Why is everyone loving one girl? is she the only girl there? Also, please at least if they love her, make them interact and fall for her not insta-love(i’ll talk about it later).
  3. Marys and Garys Stu. It doesn’t matter if they have been living in the world all their lives or they just discovered it, apparently there’s always one character (at least) that can do EVERYTHING perfectly.  They are incredible fighters, wizards, talented killers, great cooks, the town’s best athletes, Valedictorians, the most avid readers out there, the best cast spellers, and also inhumanly beautiful. Seriously? They don’t have flows, and many people seem to not see it. I don’t wanna give names of characters here, but we all can think of one or two (or twenty).
  4. Prophecies and Chosen Ones. Yes, the first few times i read those i enjoyed it, but after a while, it becomes really dull. I mean, isn’t there any other way people can become something? Are we all just subject to fate, no one is to decide his destiny, is it all already written? Well, at least now i don’t have to care or make any important choices, everything is already decided before hand.
  5. Everything is an experiment. Whenever someone has a great idea for the first book but doesn’t know how to explain it, it’s always a great solution to make it all an experiment. Yes, i don’t know why, but that’s how it looks like there was a good idea, but no probable way to fully develop it, so they just throw the experiment thing out there and it just explains everything. Why does the sun rise every morning? Because of an experiment we made. Yeah, right.
  6. The orphan or parents that aren’t there. For some reason, there’s something about parents being dead or not giving a damn about their children in YA books. Most of the time they aren’t there, why? This also happens in ‘YA movies’ even in the ones not adapted from books. I don’t have a dad, and i know a lot of people lacking, at least, one parent and still it feels way too frequent in books. Also, why is always a not caring parent the one to blame about all the protagonist’s problems? sometimes people are just messed up even when their family loves them.
  7. The end of life as we knew it. Please don’t get me wrong.  I love dystopian worlds, but at some point, i have to stop reading them because they start to all look the same. I come back after a while and then again, they start all looking the same. Most aliens aren’t nice, civilizations go to hell, WW IV destroyed every country and there are only little communities alive, blah, blah, blah and also, experiments (see point 5).
  8. Unnecessary sequels and fillers. Because sometimes stories and good and deserve sequels, but sometimes the writer is just wanting to make more money. Bonus: splitting books into two movies, once again just to make more money… can’t wait to watch Star Wars episode IX and a  I/II.
  9. Instalove. Because who needs to actually get to know someone these days before falling for them? And it’s not like they develop a crush it’s actually soulmates love that will last forever and ever, even when they try to stop themselves or people don’t want them to be together.
  10. Bookish characters and other geeky stuff. I’ve always found this to be a little condescending, although i’m not sure if the writers are trying to make us relate to the characters because we like reading too (obviously, otherwise i wouldn’t be reading the book) or because they want us to know how much of pop culture they know. Also, using old geeky stuff to try and lure us or somethign, i don’t know i just find them annoying. Please just stop talking abouot Dickens’ books in your book, it’s just pretentious.

There you have it, a list of annoying (to me) cliches, obviously there are a bunch more, but these are the ones that i could think of at this moment.

Bonus Cliche (and a favorite of mine) – Discovering a new ‘world’. I do love the books where the protagonist discovers a different ‘world’ and finds out he/she actually belongs to  it instead of our regular and boring world or just now because of knowing it exists he/she becomes part of it.


  • Harry Potter
  • The Castor Chronicles
  • The Magicians
  • The Mortal Instruments

Okay, so these books may have other cliches i commented on before…it’s almost impossible to find a completely original book, but if you do know about some, please let me know i’ll be more than happy to find and read some fresh and original stuff!

‘Til Next Time 😉




3 thoughts on “Cliches in YA books.

  1. I completely agree! Cliches are taking over the YA universe. I actually don’t mind cliches as long as they are done nicely and the author makes it into his/her own thing. But I think it’s not that easy to find a book with a nicely done cliche. Maybe that’s why I find myself in reading slumps so many times :D. Great post!

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