Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday Discussions: YA Cliches You Love

I read a lot of posts that talk about bad cliches in YA and why we don't like them. I always find these posts enlightening and absolutely love mining their info for my own work. What am I guilty of? And what sort of things do I dislike? But I always see a little note at the end stating that if those things are done well enough, the person doesn't usually mind them. So what I want to talk about today is which cliches I like in YA fiction.

Here's a quick list of things I like seeing:

1) Love triangles- I might be the only one here but I love a good love triangle. I think it comes from the desire to feel wanted. I might not want my love life that complicated but I love my fiction to be that way. I like trying to figure out which guy the heroine is going to choose out of two good choices. And often times, each guy represents a different live that she must choose from. In a lot of ways, love triangles are just a great metaphor for the hero/heroine choosing how they want to live their life.

2) Best friend love interest- I am always a sucker for this cliche. It's an oldie but a goodie. I was going to put "tale as old as time" here too which works perfectly since Belle and Beast become friends before they fall in love. Plus, these relationships are always so cute and healthy. They already know how to talk to each other so it's always great for them to find their happiness in the end.

3) Fiesty red headed heroine- I like my heroines with a little fire and if they are people that are willing to speak their mind. I also happen to love red-heads so this is a win-win for me.

4) Sexy supernaturals- I'm not saying I need my vampires to be gentle or my mermaids not to lead boats into rocks. I'm just saying I want them to be hot while doing it. I don't care if it's the main character that is something other or the love interest but I do like the supernatural to be a little mysterious and just a little bit up to no good.

5) Absent parents- I'm not picking up a YA to become parent of the year. I hate it when parents get all meddlesome and become an obstacle. I'm not saying that I don't want a family there at all. I'm just saying that I don't want Mom grounding heroine to become the main obstacle keeping the heroine from doing what she needs to save the world.

6) Forbidden love- I'm not just talking vampire and human either. I like forbidden love of any kind whether it be warring families, a 17-year-old falling for a college tutor or anything in between. There can be a zillion different spins on this and it still makes it exciting.

I'm sure there are plenty of other cliches that I really don't mind but these are a few off the top of my head. Not all cliches are a good thing but I'm a firm believer that there are cliches for a reason. I see them walking around in everyday life and sometimes I like to see that reflected in writing.

So what are your favorite cliches?


  1. I agree with most of your cliches. I LOVE reading about love triangles, as long as they are written well. I believe they also have to be written in a series, otherwise you don't really care as much about the characters and who the one caught in the middle will choose. I think absent parents work especially in paranormal novels, because often the absent/dead parent might BE dead/absent because of some related paranormal thing. Additionally, with the best friend love interest: it's only natural that if you have an opposite-sex best friend, you would, over time, become something more.

  2. Great Saturday discussion, Amber! I really enjoyed this one! I actually have a weakness for best friend love interest as well because they are actually quite easy to relate to! A lot of the times, cliches really do make a book, because honestly, that is what we like seeing.

    Just happened to stumble upon this lovely blog ^_^ New follower~

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  3. I love that you blogged about this! Sometimes I think to myself - it's not cliche, it's real life!!

  4. I always like the hate/love ones. Everytime. Lol

  5. I love, love, LOVE best friends to lovers stories, and I don't care how cliche they are! And I am so with mfay2 - hate/love are right up there as ones I love.

  6. I like a good fiery heroine. Love either a best friend love interest or a good love triangle.

    Amy @

  7. I'm with you on all of them except the forbidden love. That gets a little tiresome sometimes. But there have certainly been relationships like that that I loved, so...I guess maybe I don't hate it. ;)

  8. My problem with the whole forbidden love thing is that so often I don't buy the author's reason for why it Cannot Be, and I'm left saying, "But why? Because we Just Can't isn't a convincing arguement."
    I totally agree with the friends to lovers one as well, and I think you're so right - they're often a lot healthier and more rounded than when the hero and heroine fall instantly in love and don't really know each other for who they really are. After all, love's something you have to work at, and having that friendship behind you gives you a secure foundation to build on.


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