Posted in Reading/Books

YA Book Tropes I LOVE // ft. me exposing myself for the true sap I am

Hello, people of the internet!

I’m a huge sap. (Shocker!!) Side effects of being a sap: there are some cliches or tropes that I will see in books over and over again, but NEVER get tired of seeing them. A while back, I actually talked about some of the cliches I hate – so I decided to be fair and write something about the tropes I love. (and expose myself for huge marshmallow I actually am.)

Ooh, and I’ll also mention some of my favourite books which have these tropes! I MUST FORCE EVERYONE TO READ THESE BOOKS. 

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enemies to lovers

We’re starting with the most cliche of them all! Seriously though, there’s nothing like a good hate-love relationship. Because you’ll stan them from day one, every single interaction between them will get you squealing for joy. (based on personal experience.) Also, I’m one of those strange people who likes angst more than fluff?? DON’T GET ME WRONG I LOVE FLUFF. But sometimes you just want a good cry. And angsty relationships are my jam

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I will never tire of seeing two characters go from hating each other, to tentatively feeling out a friendship, to slowly developing feelings for each other and then falling in love. It’s painfully cliche and I want to see it everywhere.

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Books I’d recommend:

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  • All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic: NO SPOILERS but there is a enemies to friends to lovers romance arc later on in the series and I just,,, wow. It’s so beautiful I die.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: popularly known as gay Harry Potter, this book will 100% change your life. I stan snowbaz more than I stan anything in Harry Potter.
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: I JUST STARTED READING THIS and while the romance annoys me, I can see the beginnings of a hate-love relationship?? so check it out I guess.



Kind of vague, but I love it when a character has to pretend to be something they’re not in order to get something. Does that make sense? It probably doesn’t?? Okay let’s try again. You know how in most historic/steampunk YA, the female lead has to dress up as someone else to be allowed to do a particular task? That’s one of my favourite tropes. Not because of how sexist the whole thing is; but because of how the sexism is tackled.

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yes. exactly what i meant

And usually this is followed by a love interest who doesn’t actually know that the person is in disguise?? We all love the ship anyway. (This, kids, is known as the Mulan effect.)

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Books I’d recommend:

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  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: YES THIS COUNTS OK. Lila was dressed up as a man most of the time while she was robbing London dry and doing some other stuff which I won’t mention because #spoilers
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley: just. take a moment to appreciate the cover. *waits* cool. Grace is awesome!! She has to dress up as a man to enter the Oxford library and the whole book is amazing read it.
  • Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger: a.k.a. the book that got me into steampunk and historical fiction. YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK IS SO UNDERRATED. Sidheag (one of the side characters) has to dress up as a man loads of times to do ~stuff~ that I will not disclose.

y’know, I just realised that all of these were historical fiction. heh.


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There’s nothing like a cute, embarassing situation that forces your OTP into a fake relationship to have them finally realize their true feelings for each other – AND I AM AN ABSOLUTE SUCKER FOR WHENEVER THIS TROPE OCCURS. Everything is just so cute and fluffy and mutual pining and I mean, yeah, angst, but whatever. The road to happiness is a hard one.

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To be honest this is way more prevalent in fanfiction?? WHO CARES. I LOVE IT EITHER WAY. gimme all the fake dating YA novels now pls.

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Books I’d recommend:

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  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: SKSSK THIS BOOK. IT’S SO ADORABLE AND SWEET AND THE FLUFF. I would die for this, no joke. read it.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: shut up yes this counts. Katniss and Peeta were practically propositioned into a relationship. And while this isn’t my favourite series, the first was actually pretty good??
  • i don’t have another book rec pls help.




So we see this in almost every YA book ever – the main character has a group of friends whom they love to be around and they all have amazingly witty conversations. Cliched, yes, but absolutely freaking lovely. Just seeing the amount of love pour out from each one of them, and seeing them hold each other up, and seeing platonic relationships that are so so much stronger than romantic ones – it all makes me really happy ❤

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(Also it makes up for the fact that I actually do not have a squad irl. ah, well.)

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Books I’d recommend:

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  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: LOOK Y’ALL KNEW THIS WOULD BE HERE. do I even need to say anything. Really.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: JSHSJKA MY CHILDREN. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Simon, Leah, Nick, and Abby is the ultimate #squadgoals. fight me. (also i’m so excited for love, simon!! except it comes out in June for me yikes)
  • IT by Stephen King: listen,,, it may be horror but this book owns my ass. Well, the characters do, at least. Everyone in the losers club is just so freakin amazing I want to cry. (BEVERLY MY HEART.)



okay okay okay. this is probably the most overdone of them all. But there’s something so intriguing about it if done well???

This is mostly paired with the “chosen one” trope but tbh I’m kind of sick of that by now. What I’m talking about is when a character thinks they’re just an oddball, but then something happens and they find out that there’s a reason behind their weirdness – albeit a hard to believe one. My favourites are when the superpowers are related to magic somehow (genetic mutants are cool and all but,,, nah) because magic.

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look at my son. look at him. look how beautiful

The most obvious thing to come to mind is Harry Potter – but instead of that, I’m going to recommend three other books that have this trope and are also A+ because I want to expand your horizons 🙂

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  • any Percy Jackson book ever by Rick Riordan: look. Rick Riordan is,,, A LEGEND. there is no other author I stan as much as him. I buy everything he writes, no matter what. because it’s great. and they ALL have this trope. read.
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger: this isn’t that well-known?? (it’s also not YA but whatever.) I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! one of my favourite series. Sophie (the MC) finds out she’s an elf and she can read minds and other cool junk like that.
  • the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: another classic!! everyone knows about this book by now tbh and while the first few books do have a little too much hetero romance the series gets much much better as it goes on 🙂

shall we chat

what are some of your favourite cliches/tropes? will you go the ends of the earth to protect your OTP? Aren’t book squads just the epitome of friendship goals?? AND ARE YOU A HUGE SAP LIKE ME???

christmas sign off


hi i'm aris just your everyday trashcan who fangirls over everything • book blogger • reader • ravenclaw • indian • ambivert • i try to be cool but fail miserably

54 thoughts on “YA Book Tropes I LOVE // ft. me exposing myself for the true sap I am

  1. I actually love all of these tropes as well – fake dating less than others but it can be done well. I love the enemies to lovers trope when it’s done right – such as the relationship between Simon and Baz – I LOVED THAT SO MUCH. Although I don’t like the entire sexism thing behind the entire Mulan effect, I do love when characters have to disguise themselves and/or dress as the opposite gender.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love angst too. I need a tiny bit of fluff in books, but most I want my heart shoved through a wrangler and then stitched back up at the end-Like in A Court of Mist and Fury… love that novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sajkdsaldkasj this post is so important to me??????? WE LOVE ALL THE SAME THINGS platonic relationship and snowbaz and angst and i’m reading the foxhole court rn????? we are best friends OR the same person.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its like you read my mind! I love all these tropes too!! Of all the books you recomended I have only read Hunger Games and Percey Jackson, but a lot of the others are on my TBR.

    Because I am a such a sap too, here are the first books that come to mind for each trope:

    Enemies to Lovers – Pride and Prejudice (my all time fav book haha I believe it is the first time I experienced this trope!)

    Disguise – Girl In Blue (my fav is girls dressing up as guys … when I was younger Girl in Blue was one of my favorite books, its about a Girl who dresses up like boy to join the Civil War. I haven’t read it in probably 15 years so I wonder if I would still like it as much but I loved it then!)

    Squads – The Fire’s Stone (I just read this and absolutely LOVED it. Only time will tell but I am guessing it will remain in my top favorites even when the newness has worn off! The Squad is amazing and I want them to be my friends!)

    Secret Superpower – Heroine Complex (Its not magic, but this is one of my favorite books!)

    If you asked me yesterday what my favorite books are I would have listed Pride and Prejudice, The Fire’s Stone, Heroine Complex, Uprooted, and Princess Bride. I haven’t thought about Girl in Blue in a long time. But my fav books cover 3 of your 4 tropes 😂

    Great Post! Sorry for the long response!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love the enemies to lovers trope, and just about any book with a great group of friends! Other than those two, I honestly just feel kind of meh about these tropes… They’re great when done well, and I certainly don’t hate any of these ones, but they mostly aren’t favourites either.

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  6. !!!!!!!!! GIVE ME UPDATES ON HOW TFC IS GOING idk how figure out a method of communication aND WHY CAN’T WE BE BEST FRIENDS AND THE SAME PERSON AT THE SAME TIME *side eye emoji that i can’t insert because i’m on my laptop*

    Liked by 1 person


    sksjssh i haven’t read pride and prejudice yet :// I KNOW I KNOW I REALLY SHOULD. and i will. as soon as i get the time.

    oooh i’ve actually heard of this one!! my mom told me it was pretty good and i’ve been meaning to check it out 🙂


    oh i’ve never heard of that?? but i just searched it up and it sounds p cool!!!

    !!! THE PRINCESS BRIDE IS AMAZING!! i haven’t actually read any of the other books you mentioned but i really really want to 😀 ahahah these tropes are great 😉

    thank you!! ❤ and don't worry about it, seriously! i love that you took out the time to type out this comment 😀

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  8. *is happy* I willl bc we r now best friendddds & the same person ❤ c: ❤ i'm 43% done already bc THE DRAMA????? POOR NEIL THAT ANGEL??? i have never met characters so damaged but also sweet as leetle dears, oh my goshhhh andrew being protective over kevin dkljfdksfs

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE ALL THESE TROPES! the enemies to lovers never disappoints me! i just squeaks whenever the admit they have feelings for each other! the squad trope though is one of the best! and i appreciate book who have this kind of friendship.

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  10. I love love/hate relationships, they usually have a lot of sass and wit and sarcasm, don’t they? It makes for very engaging reading! Also, yessss, disguises! They’re always fun and intriguing. It’s awesome that you linked recommendations.

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  11. Squads are my new favorite. I guess I didn’t read too many books with squads as a kid, but I LOVE them now. I’m currently reading the Heroes of Olympus and I love all the squad feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. *flails forever because of all these good books* Like I can’t even. SIMON! And SHADOWHUNTERS!! And SIX OF CROWS! And FOXHOLE COURT!! Ahhhh ❤ I so so love the Foxhole Court too😍and the tropes in there are wild but also really well done so yes. 😂I also live for squads of thieves. I want them all. And fake-dating is really adorable, especially if it's Lara Jean eeeep. Also I don't know if this is a trope or not, but I LOVE wizards/magicians who are really bad at their powers.😂And they're just cute dorks but super powerful too?! It's such a fun trope haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah! I adore book squads (platonic relationships are totally my jam) and disguises and secret superpowers!!! Another trope I never seem to get tired of is the angsty father/son relationship where the dad doesn’t get his son and there is lots of yelling and/or silence and hearts get broken and it is beautiful. Also I kind of love villains turned heroes and heroes turned villains. Also orphans in cruel circumstances. I like to see people suffer so that I may weep for them.
    Fantastic post! Some things just don’t get old.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. AHH MOOD I LOVE ALL THESE BOOKS SO MUCH!! ❤ the foxhole court was a completely wild ride from start to finish but i love it anyway ahaha xD GIVE ME ALL THE THIEF SQUADS. WE NEED MOREEE. Lara Jean's fake dating was so so adorable omg!! 😍 ooh, that actually is pretty fun to read!! and so adorable ahaha i love cute dorks


  15. eep they’re all so amazing!! tbh they never get old. oooh that’s like every father/son relationship in a disney movie ever xD but yep it’s pretty amazing to read!! gotta love that angst 😉 HEROES TURNED VILLAINS IS MY JAM. my current wip is actually kinda sorta about that?? ahaha orphans are everywhere in YA i just want to protect them all ❤

    thank you!!! and honestly that's so true.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I LOVE fake dating to real love! It’s so cute when there’s that transition phase of them wondering if the other person actually likes them or is still faking it…and then they claim to be faking it when they were actually not…AND MY HEART.❤️I thought of another book that I really liked that used this! But I can’t think of the title. *five minutes of googling later* It’s called Catch A Falling Star, by Kim Culbertson, and I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Love everyone here. The posts and comments just made me today. I so relate with everything. You’re all my YA fiction guardian angels 👼. Thanks.


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