Terrific and Tired Trends and Tropes in Fiction (pt 2.)
Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 12:00 am |

trendsandtropes

I was inspired by Brie’s Christmas List of Stories, Tropes, and Characters and want to discuss all the trends and tropes I’ve noticed in fiction this year that I NEVER want to see again, and those that I would LOVE to see more of.

Last week I discussed all the trends and tropes I was TIRED of. This week I’d like to go over the ones that I so want to see MORE of so I can end this series on a positive note!  So without further ado, I present to you:

Trends and Tropes that need to Continue

The Tough Stuff:

ifistay-gfAlthough I admit to sometimes actually having to be in the mood to read about the tough situations that will draw on my emotions, sometimes an author’s writing is so excellent, that I’m drawn no matter my mood.  If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman are excellent examples of this.  Exploring themes of monumental loss, first loves, depression, anxiety, and making decisions that will determine the course of the rest of your life, these novels pack an emotional punch.  I loved that the characters had such big events happen to them, and forced them to choose and to grow from their choices and decisions.  But most of all I loved that even through all the tough stuff going on, there was still an air of inspiration fused into the stories.  The tough stuff done right is a great way to fill readers with hope and imagination.

Examples: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman.

The Loving and Present Parents:

knockedoutbymynunganungas-lrI understand why many books kill off parents.  It does allow for the protagonist, especially if they aren’t adults, to go and do as they please without anybody really checking up on them or monitoring their actions.  But I really love it when the YA books I read have parents who are loving (because there are also parents who don’t give a crap) and are present in their teens lives.  For me it gives me another aspect of their lives to look at and help determine who the characters are, and how they’re parents have helped to shape who they are and will become.  And it’s fun to see them interacting with their parents.  I know not everybody does, but I grew up in a loving two-parent household, and I’m thankful to God for such a blessing everyday.  I understand not everyone is so fortunate.  And I was always a big fan of the family shows (ie: The Cosby Show), so I guess it’s no wonder that I’m a fan of parents being alive and present in their kids lives in books.

Examples: Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison and  If I Stay by Gayle Foreman.

The Kick-Ass Heroine:

graceling-kcWhile there is an abundance of beautiful guys saving the day, I think a kick-ass heroine who can take care if herself and others ROCKS!  I find that I tire VERY quickly of those pathetic, mealy girls who always needs someone to save her.  The world seems to get crueler by the day, so if you have no inclination on how to take care of yourself, you’re going to have a really rough time in it.  I’m in love with these authors who are creating tough ladies who know how to take matters into their own hands and get things done.  And if they happen to fall in love with a nice cool guy, who is just as awesome, then hi-five to them.  As it stands in the world today, women have to be stronger, more resilient, and more reliant on themselves.  And I think that reality should definitely be reflected more in fiction.

Examples: Calla from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and Nix from Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

Awesome World Building:

gameofthrones-grmThough I read a few books this year with the laziest world building ever, I also got to read some books whose world building was EVERYTHING!  There is just something magical about reading a book whose world you can get totally lost in.  The author just creates this place that you have no questions and no doubts about.  A place that despite what’s going on (all the horrors!), you could be dropped right in the middle of it all and be happy and content.  It’s like the author just gets the atmosphere, the characters, and the setting absolutely right, which makes for such an enjoyable reading experience.  The politics, the nuances, and the feelings it all evokes is perfectly created, making the reader feel right at home.  There are actually a few authors I read mainly because the atmosphere they create is so real and so fun that I can’t get enough.  This needs to continue and it so needs to increase!

Examples: A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin and Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews.

 

Well ladies and gentlemen (of there are any reading this blog), that’s it for this year’s trends and tropes list.  I ‘d love to know what you all are loving and hating out there in fictionland.  You can leave that in the comments, or let me know if you decide to make you’re own post!

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Jade

Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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12 Responses to “Terrific and Tired Trends and Tropes in Fiction (pt 2.)”

  1. Amen! I love the awesome and present parents! *high five*
    It bugs me that how many kids books even have the parents either absent or dead. It’s like a cop out if you ask me.

  2. Yes! It is great to see parents make a meaningful appearance. Television is loaded with teens and mg’s that seem to have missing parents. Really, did you have your friends knock at your bedroom door and come and go as if you lived in your own studio apt. Crazy.
    I must confess that I love a story that covers heavy subject matter that pulls on my emotions. It is normally my favorite sort of read. It does need to be handled by the author in a certain way though.

    • Jade Jade says:

      You’re right. And it’s a bit disheartening to see that so much in entertainment. And stories with emotional content can be so good, but must be handled delicately to have an impact.

  3. Amber Elise says:

    I definitely agree about world building, that’s what makes a book excellent instead of good!

    And even though I appreciate the tough stuff genre, I can’t handle it! LoL I start crying whenever it gets too real!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  4. I love all the ones you mentioned ESPECIALLY loving and present parents. I’m listening to Graceling on audio right now!

    P.S. What’s this about you reading Feed and not reviewing it? I’m going to need to see a review. Is it something I can handle? Is it scary?

    • Jade Jade says:

      So glad you’re listening to Graceling. That is EASILY one of my favorite books for the year, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Yup I did read Feed. I actually started writing my review notes for it and never completed my thoughts the way I wanted to, so I just didn’t post. Maybe I’ll do it as a quickie review.

      And I think you can handle this one. It’s not really scary at all. But it’s a bit emotional towards the end with spurts of action here and there.

  5. I pretty much agree with your list to a T. I’d really like to see much more word building and nuanced societies in speculative fiction more than anything.

    I’ve been reading here and there that realistic teen fiction is making a comeback in 2013, so I think we will see more tough stuff.

  6. Yes, yes, and yes. AGREED.

  7. I loved reading Tennie just because there were two loving still married parents in the duaghters life. Have a great and Merry Christmas!

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