Top 10 Worst Young Adult Literature Cliches

I think (most of) authors should using less these cliches

The Top Ten Worst Young Adult Literature Cliches

1 Love triangles

It should be obvious why this is first on the list. Love triangles are always terrible in writing. ALWAYS! One thing that really bothers me is when the main character decides to cheat on their partner and start snogging some other person just because it's considered "interesting", and then they proceed to recognize what they did wrong and they CONTINUE TO CHEAT, LITERALLY WHY? The author barely makes the love triangle believable either. Why are two people in love with the same person? Is there a reason or is it just there for sexual tension? Are you just trying to make the story more dramatic? Or is your character just a self insert and this is just wish fulfillment? Characters need to have motivations and reasons for why they do the things they do, or why they feel the why they feel. Just because you feel like the plot calls for it or because you think it's hot doesn't mean it's a good idea for your book. Write your character's to be more interesting, write them so this sort of thing ...more - ThePancakeGod

These are really cliche, but not all of them are that horrible. In fact, it actually depends on how good of a writer the author is (A really good writer could pull off a love hexagon flawlessly).

The hg had a love triangle and it was a good book but it would have been better without it peeta AND Gale should of died so katniss could be a single lady.

I can't stand those. That's why I try to pick books that aren't based on romance - BlueDiamondFromNowhere

2 Love at first sight

Love should never be based on first sight. If you really derive an entire "true love" from just seeing someone, IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK. Love takes time, and this is just lazy authors skipping this element of life, and I don't care what excuse you make up for it; it's still a stupid cliche. - pandagirl

The only time I can tolerate this is in Disney Movies.

hi! I'm a character, I like that other character, oh you like me too? aww, yay! perfect couple!

that is not how life works,

"Oh, hello, it's nice to meet you! POINTLESS ROMANCE MONTAGE! " - Garythesnail

3 Bland and boring main characters

YES. I absolutely loathe Mary Sue's and Gary Stu's. They're just so flat and lifeless and ruin the book.

I went to a supermarket and covered up Dork Diaries (a book with shallow characters) with Max Einstein (a book with unique, interesting characters)
- TheDuttyGyal

It’s really hard to make a good main character in a book. I say that from personal experience. But geez why are 95% of book characters so BLAND?

Cliché au lait with a lot of lukewarm water:
We have the main female charakter, which is so special, that you became a headache. She always thinks of herself as an ugly person, but she is beautiful and forget I to mention, how incredible special she is?
At the same time, she is a whiny, bratty, selfabsorbed bitch, with no personality or other likeable characteristics.
Then the loveinterest. He is extremly handsome but a total jerk and treats the poor Mary Sue quite awfull.
She falls in love with him because, he is so extraodinary handsome and we all know, that every girl loves it, when guys manhandle them, it is the sign of true love.
You can pick every YA/NA book you want, its always the same und it freaks me out!

4 The story is always in first person (narrator)

This isn't a cliche. There are four ways you can tell a story: first person (I walked down the street), first person with changing perspectives (Chapter 1 told from Bob's mind, Chapter 2 from Charlie's), second person (You walk down the street), and third (Bob walked down the street). Authors pick whichever one works best for their story. - pandagirl

I don't mind it, but it kind of gets boring and also repetitive in some stories.

5 The ''boring characters that falls in love with the hot and perfect character'' type of story

Every Nicolas Sparks movie ever

6 Youths are always in danger while adults are rarely in danger

Yeah, example The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Selection e.t.c

7 Crazy adults that put teenagers in danger

The thing about this one is that it's never really explained why the adults do this. They're just evil for no reason, only there so the teens can go against the grain. Kinda plot devicey.

Examples: In ''The Maze Runner'', adults erase teenager's memory and drop them in a dangerous maze only to be observe them. In ''The Hunger Games'', adults take pleasure of seeing teens killing each others. In ''Matched'', people that aren't citizens (aberration or anomaly) are working in the Disposal Department where there are poisons and the life expectancy is low and strangely, most of them are TEENAGERS. - BlueDiamondFromNowhere

8 The love interest being a jerk

And people asks themselves why young women still end in toxic relationships, with these guys as models of "boyfriend to want".

This should be #1 in my opinion. - Lunala

I hate this. I'm a shy 5'0 girl and I am introverted and unpopular. People take these traits and add them to a Mary sue who falls in love with the "hot" guy who bullies her. LAME. I would NEVER date a guy who bullies me. And I am NOT and NEVER will be attracted to "bad boys". I also hate the stereotypical "hot" guy images. More like ugly nacho chin losers!

Had to get this off my chest. - Lunala

I agree with Lunala. I hate the “hot” boy images. I’d much rather listen to dancehall artists like Sean Pail sing in their beautiful Jamaican Patois! And I’d never fall in love with a jerk! My ex crush was one. I HATE him now!
Sweet guy with Jamaican Patois > Annoying “hot” jerk with American accent. I ❤️ 🇯🇲.
- TheDuttyGyal

9 Most of heroes being teenagers

Uh hello? It says "YOUNG ADULT" Not 30 years old protagonist?

Well, it IS supposed to be relatable. - Garythesnail

10 Girl falls in love with bad boy

I don't mind this on its own, but about 99-percent of the time the "bad boy" is borderline abusive (if not actually abusive) and the girl's attraction to him is completely unjustified, but they get together anyways. Most of the time this mixes with a ton of the other cliches on this list as well, especially "love at first sight". It CAN be done well, but it almost never is. - SquipCrow

Bad boy bullies new girl after they meet in the hallway after they "accidentally" collide into each other, Girl falls in love with the bad boy who tells her everything about his "tragic" past during the first few days they get to know each other.

What is the fascination with this cliche? If I was looking for a boyfriend, I would look for someone who actually cared about me and other people! Looks aren’t everything. And half the time, these “bad boys” are abusive to the protagonist.

My personality fits the "shy girl" trope. But I LOATHE! bad boys and I certainly loathe anyone who bullies me. I would prefer someone who has stuff in common with me, not just some ugly "bad" guy who is my exact opposite. And the "bad boy jock" is ALWAYS an ugly dorito chinned loser with ugly chicken drumstick arms. - Lunala

The Contenders

11 The main character having a bad childhood or a bad family

Predictable. When things go wrong, they use this as an excuse - Malkiboy

Harry Potter in a nutshell

12 The main character is perfect

Because everyone in the world is perfect so why not?

Mary Sue alert!

13 New student and hottest person in school fall in love

I have seen this same story line so many times. New girl in school falls in love with the hottest, most popular, football quarterback (its always the quarterback) who has a girlfriend he doesn't know is a mean bully. New girl manages to overthrow girlfriend and snag guy for herself by the end.

me caga

14 The quirky, can't-say-no-to best friend
15 Strong female character trope

You know, there are more ways to be a strong female without actually having to be a warrior or a kickass. Also, these women are usually defined by the trope, which means that they have no other personality traits besides. This is just a lazy excuse for a main character.

Strong females are good as long as they have other traits and aren't flat and annoying. - Lunala

I prefer strong female characters over have weak damsel characters, though.

16 “I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding.”

How are you not dead? And how do you not notice when you hold your breath? I always feel dizzy after so many seconds!

Yes, we get it, your unrealistically perfect boyfriend is utterly breathtaking. You totally haven't made that so obvious. But please stop with this line. Makes me cringe and wonder why I even thought this book "wouldn't be like other books".

It's so bad that it's a recognizable quote and appeared twice on this list

So bad it's on the list twice. It sounds like you are burping loudly after unknowigly holding it in for ages. - Lunala

17 Romance completely takes over plot. COMPLETELY.

That's what happened in the Divergent Series. First... It was good.. but then...

Romance is nice and all, but I hate it when the romance takes over everything in a story that was originally about adventure, family issues, a magical world, etc.

I hate this so’s like, I picked up a sci-fi novel! Not a romance! Can we please get back to saving the world? Please?

18 Dead parents

Hi people, I know you might hate me for this, but I have to say I disagree. What if someones parents actually did die. Would you consider THEIR LIFE boring? I'm writing a young adults novel about two orphans who live with their rich foster parents. But their abusive and discriminate them. And they try to get out and live with someone else. But read the whole thing to find out! :-) I'm at 253 pages out of at least 350 that I plan to do. by the way, I'm 12 years old. If anyone has any tips please tell me! --Junior writer

Why can't parents be alive for once? Oh, because they will get in the way of the hero/heroine's adventures. More people should work their way around this cliche.

Harry Potter has dead parents. - DynastiSugarPop

This is so common. Stop it! - Malkiboy

19 Dystopia/paranormal romance

I read dystopian novels because how dark and interesting they can get not for the romance that I never cared about.

Two different species, one a human and one a ghost/vampire/zombie/werewolf/demon/wendigo/etc fall in love...somehow. Why is this even a thing? Writing a story about someone falling in love with a Greek god makes more sense!

20 Mutually handsome boys instantly fall in love with the supposedly plain female protagonist and constantly fight over her even though she does not show any affection towards either of them. Sometimes two, sometimes six.

Just many Twilights can one world take? One was enough.

21 New school

In "The Catcher in the Rye", Holden was EXPELLED from his first school...

Or moving to another place

Ugh. Just ugh

22 "I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding in."

Can we just let this line die? It's really stupid.

Stupid, it sounds like you're doing a burp you were holding in! - Lunala

23 Protagonist (usually female) spends entire book pining over a love interest and surprise surprise, they end up together in the end

Every YA romance novel ever. This is why I prefer YA fantasy, it has romance, but it isn't the entire focus. But seriously YA authors, enough with characters being added just for romantic interests, especially when you drag it out over multiple books, I'm really sick of it. - Elric-san

24 Boy goes on quest with, elfs, dwarfs, etc to defeat a dark lord

This would still make a great fantasy novel...if writers would actually try to be creative and not just copy Tolkien again. There’s so much you can do with a young protagonist, a quest, a fantasy species and a different world. Use your imagination! That’s partially what writing fiction is all about.

Yer a wizard harry - Lunala

This is by far the most lazy story anyone can come up with, I've seen it in EVERYHTING and I am so sick of it!

25 Main character is 15-17 years old

I think that it's stupid when teenagers want to destroy the government because, if you listened in history class, you understand that there will anarchy after overthrowing the government, right?
*wink wink* Divergent

I understand this cliche for YA books. Since they're aimed for teenagers, they'll have the protagonist be a teen so they can relate to the target audience more.

Well these books ARE for TEENS.

I saw this so many times!

26 Parents are never home with their kids
27 Learns everything about a skill in a small, days or weeks, amount of time, or has special magic skill, because -special-

Oh my god, this trope.

Part of the reason TMI and clary made me want to set myself on fire

28 The main character is the chosen one
29 The character learns they are part of an old prophecy.

Harry Potter

30 All the main characters speak the same way.
31 Describing eyes as "orbs"
32 Teenagers doing drugs
33 Best friend with no personality

If you wanna add a best friend character, make them interesting. For example, Hassan in An Abundance of Katherines is supportive of Colin, but he still makes jokes about him, he's funny, and he can be vulnerable. He's realistic, which is what makes him a good character. - Elric-san

They are only there so the main character isn't a loner and remain stupidly loyal to the main character.

34 Female protagonist is skinny, has brown hair, dark eyes, says they are ugly but everyone else disagrees, has a weapon or power, etc.
35 The "Alarm Clock" Situation
36 Unnecessary Romance takes over the whole plot, even if the genre is supposed to be horror or fantasy

The tensions are high. The protagonist seems to be struggling against the whole world itself. The reader hangs onto every word, waiting to see what will happen...And then along comes Mr. Bad-Boy-Alpha McAttitude. The entire plot of the fantasy/thriller is completely thrown to the side as we wait for three to six chapters for the protagonist to dramatically realize that this dude is her soulmate and that he’s all that’s important anymore. Forget saving the world or surviving the zombie apocalypse! Love, relationship drama and romantic confusion are the new main plot now, despite the fact that this is not a darn romance novel...*sighs*

37 They go to a school to learn magic

Honestly, I've seen very few books with schools for magic, however, there are many about schools to learn...well...anything! A have heard of Monster High and Ever-After High books (which I only read one each of and were horrible, and Monster High was so forgettable I forgot what they were learning), where the characters learn to be princess and fictional characters, which were a bit much. It was acceptable for Harry Potter, but that's because it was written good.

The only books I have seen with this cliche is Harry Potter, Hex Hall, and Carry On. And Carry On was basically supposed to be like Harry Potter.

HP has a lot of cliches but is still a decent well written series. - Lunala


38 Damsels in distress

If done right they aren't too bad. If done wrong, they are AWFUL - Lunala

39 Main character describes their appearance while looking in a mirror
40 Mentor dies
41 'Group Project'

When there is suddenly a 'group project' or 'assignment' you have to do in pairs and somehow the girl ends up with the guy

42 Overuse of a word

It annoys me so much!

43 Best friends with an old rival

For some reason, the protagonist always ends up being friends with their original nemesis!

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