There are just some specific that I love in a book. I’ve always wanted to write a post in which I talked about my favourite things in YA fiction. I feel like I like a lot of things as the rest of the book blogging community, but I also have some other
weird unpopular opinions. I’ve not listed the tropes in order, but this is just a list of what tropes I like in the books I read. Okay, enough of my rambling and onto the actual post >>
Enemies-to-lovers or enemies-to-friends relationships
I love love love love love this trope with literally all of my heart. It’s been so sad to see books in which the author has only incorporated this trope to jump on the hype train, or hasn’t executed the enemies-to-lovers or enemies-to-friends trope properly!! I just love seeing them evolve from 2 people who hate each other, who slowly start acknowledging each others existence, and then finally confess they’re in love!! In her post, Allison mentions how she saw this really good Twitter post by @galacticidiots the other day saying “Enemies to ‘I’m only saving your life because it benefits me’ to ‘we actually work pretty well together but don’t read too much into it’ to ‘I’ll kill anyone who lays a finger on you’ to ‘I would literally die for you’ to Lovers”. That is like EXACTLY what I need and adore in my novels!!
Recs for the enemies-to-lovers // enemies-to-friends trope: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, The Princess Knight by G.A. Aiken, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I ADORE this trope!! There’s always something so special about people finding out about family they never knew they had, and figuring out how to interact with them!! Found family doesn’t always have to mean a scenario similar to the Parent Trap, but could also just mean finding family inside of a friend group.
Recs for the found family trope: You Have a Match by Emma Lord, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Sibling, or family relationships
I love the way YA novels portray strong sibling, or strong family relationships, because those are always special. As someone who’s really close to their family, I love reading about how family will always be there for you, and this trope never fails to get me emotional 🥺😭 Reading about bonds between families (especially siblings) is always so special, and are all the more meaningful, and relatable if you have a sibling yourself.
Recs for books with strong family relationships: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Morally grey characters
I love morally grey characters for so many reasons!! It’s just so interesting to learn about their backstories, or reasons behind doing
evil questionable things. I love the way that authors explore these characters minds, because they work in such clever ways. Also, reading about villains, or morally grey characters is just so much more fun than reading about characters who are perfect in every way, and don’t do morally questionable things.
Recs for books with morally grey characters: The Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Badass female characters
I love this trope with all of my heart! I love reading about female characters who aren’t afraid to do stuff just because they’re female. I think you’ll find that even in my Goodreads profile that my favourite books are listed as those featuring female assassins, because, well, reading about them is always so fun and thrilling!!
Recs for books with badass female characters: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
Characters who act like they don’t care but are actually softies
I think I might be in love with characters who act grumpy, and like they don’t care about what’s happening, but actually do – sometimes more than others. It’s always so captivating to learn about why they act like they don’t care, because they almost always have a really interesting reason. It’s like they’re hiding who they really are behind this mask of literally nothing-ness, and I always reduce to a puddle of ugly tears when they reveal how much they really care 😭💛
Recs for books with characters who act like they don’t care, but actually do: The Fever King by Victoria Lee, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I feel like most teens love reading about strong friendships almost as much as, or even more, than they like reading about romance. I think showing good bonds between a group of friends is always such a needed thing in a book, because it always gives us something to relate to, and they’re always so so fun to read about! I know that everyone can say that they have a few friends who’ve stuck along through everything, and seeing that reflected in books is always so special to read about!
Recs for books with strong friendships: Holes by Louis Sachar, Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Playful fights // banter // casual teasing
Don’t we all love this trope? I think we can all relate to laughing till we cry while teasing or arguing with friends, whether over text, or in person. Seeing the same thing reflected in books is always amazing, because it always makes me crack-up, and just adds so much more fun, and entertainment to the story!! It doesn’t necessarily have to be banter, or fighting, but could just be an exchange of jokes, or humor!! I love this trope, and these days, a ton of authors are doing it well, and making it so relatable, because all young people/teens like to have fun, and make jokes, so making the writing feel authentic is no problem! It also helps add a whole new layer to relationships, and make the two people having this banter seem closer, and have a more genuine relationship.
Recs for books with playful fights // banter // casual teasing: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I adore a good heist. I love books with a good, well-planned heist, because the amount of meticulous planning behind each and every second of it, is so inspiring to look at. The ingenious ideas these guys have are seriously unbelievable, and sadly I haven’t been able to absorb any of their quick-witted minds through idolizing each and every of their ideas.
But one can hope.
Recs for books with a good heist: Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas, Heist Society by Ally Carter, The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Clever plots with unexpected twists
I am trying so hard to refrain from recommending Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom for *almost* all of these prompts!! However, if I had to explain a clever plot with lots of unexpected twists, I would definitely go for those 2 books! There are so many cleverly placed twists in the story, that you never know what to expect, and I think that’s what made it one of my favourite reads of 2020! I have zero idea of any books with twists as great, so if you have any recs, please tell me!!
Villain POVs // villain origin stories
I always feel it’s so interesting to learn about why a villain made the choices they did, or why they’ve chosen to murder 302 people an hour, because those reason are always so fascinating. I feel like a ton of these “villain origin stories” are always emotional, and heartbreaking, because it’s *almost* always a traumatic experience that’s made the villain act the way they have. All these villains are also somehow diabolical masterminds, so the way their minds work just stun me.
Recs for books with Villain POVs // origin stories: The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story by Leigh Bardugo, Vicious by V.E. Schwab, Circe by Madeline Miller