These are a few of our favorite tropes

Kindergarten homework. The middle row would make me scream too. 

Us YA Highwayers have been talking tropes in YA literature, lately, and thought we'd share some of our favorites. 

Me (Stephanie Kuehn): Anything having to do with boarding school or summer camp. Bonus if it's funny. (True fact: I got my parents to send me to boarding school in part because I'd read Gordon Korman's Bruno and Boots series and thought my school would be just like MacDonald Hall.)

Lee Bross: Anything end-of-the-world. I can't get enough!

Kristin Otts: Reformed bad boys. Spooky southern-Gothic settings.

Phoebe North: Time-shifted romance. Angry girls. ALIENS. 

Kristin Halbrook: Drama queens. Feuds. The Cemetery. Masquerade Balls.

Sarah Enni:  Nerd boy love interests. Self-discovery via travel. Time travel. Turf wars.

Kate Hart: Redheads. Love interests forced together by school project.

Sumayyah Doud: Consort-kings. Evil ladies (with a twist). The whole witch/enchantress thing.

Kirsten Hubbard: Fierce, quirky girls. Slow-burn romance & almost-kisses. Intriguing loners. 

Veronica Roth: MC training to be a badass action figure. Mysterious loner dudes. Swordfighting. Forbidden smooches, especially at inopportune times. Brother/sister loyalty.

What about you? What do you love? Are there any tropes or storylines that you know you'll always enjoy?  





26 comments:

  1. Nerd boy love interest is my fav. sigh, the nerd boys! I married I kinda hot nerd boy. Hes still hot after ten years and four kids. Cant go wrong with the smarties!

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    1. Aww,I'm glad you found your real life nerd boy!

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  2. I love boarding school books! Grew up reading the Mallory Towers books by Enid Blyton (British series)- the stories of midnight feasts and pranks were great!

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    1. Boarding school and pranks just fit together so well.

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  3. The MC and his loveable rival having hilarious snark-laden arguments. Time travel. Magic, especially when it makes the protag's life harder. Dragons. Shapeshifters, be the the regular kind or some kind of were. The strong, dark loner with a soft center.

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    1. I hope these elements are all in a story you're writing! It all sounds amazing.

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    2. They're spread across three books, but yeah, each book has some of each. The strong, dark loner gets his own book. He's that awesome. :-) (The bounty hunter who carries the gun that was used to murder his fiance, and never shoots to kill.)

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  4. Forbiddan Romance, where the teacher falls in love with their student (bonus points if there's at least a seven year age gap. i.e. Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy). Strong family relationships. End of the World. Boarding School.

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    1. Oooh, I also hope you're writing this one....

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  5. Road trips, for one, and also specific settings or occupations/character types. Code Name Verity appealed to me to read about WWII women pilots and spys--great concept, especially for a YA targeted book. If I Lie for its tie with a soldier in Afghanistan. That unique hook is what draws me in.

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    1. Spies... can't believe I wrote spys. Also adding I Hunt Killers--a kid with a serial killer father? I read that just to see how the author pulled it off (and he does).

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    2. Have you read ROTTERS? That might be up your alley with the strange occupation.

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  6. love road trips!

    also, steph, can I just say how happy I am you included that picture.

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    1. And I'm happy that you're happy about the picture!

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  7. Meep! I love brother/sister loyalty stuff, and spooky gothic Southern settings, and witches and shape-shifters. They all showed up in my novel, haha. I also have this thing for tucked-away boarding schools. (Like Hogwarts! =D)

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    1. Secret boarding schools = extra special!

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  8. Love anything involving looong alone times together in any kind of transportation. And then of course, self-discovery through travel. And nerdy boys. Teen spies or when teens are better at government stuff than government people. Couples who bicker.

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    1. Oh, I love lovable bickering, too. That's a great one.

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  9. I'm totally with Lee on this one!! I can't get enough end of the world books/movies :-)

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    1. Those can definitely be fun (but also terrifying!).

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  10. The fantasy cycle--farm boy/girl meets magical destiny. Also, shy cute boys (especially if they're nerdy) and introverted female protagonists (also especially if they're nerdy.) :)

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    1. Yes, I love finding out what's going on in the minds of the shy and introverted. Good stuff.

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  11. End of the world! Bad boys! Sarcastic banter! And brother/sister loyalty is always a top winner when I'm looking for new reading material. :)

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  12. Teen-adult romance (like student-teacher relationships, but not necessarily a student and a teacher). Funny old people who love to bicker. Strong, possessive/territorial men. Battles of wit. Couples who meet in class (esp. science).

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  13. I love any book with a solid friend group. Especially when couples are etched in as well. And they have to be realistic, with inside jokes and fights and the just overall silliness that comes forth when you have great friends to experience the mundane with. When done right it can ground even the most fantastical story.

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  14. Travel! Boarding school! Summer camp! Yes to those. I was dying to do those things as a kid, and I finally managed the first one from the end of high school thru the end of college. Can't wait to do it again!

    I will always have a soft spot in my heart for diary-based epistolary novels, and I also love documentary/ephemera stuff like Kate Klise's MG novels, and I wish I saw more of them in YA.

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