TAG #45: The Tropes Book Tag

Tropes

Hello friends!

I’m finally getting around to catching up on tags I’ve been tagged to do…uh….a long time ago. Is it just me or are tags not as popular as they used to be? I feel like I haven’t been seeing them around much. BUT ANYWAY, for today’s post I’m gonna be doing the Tropes Book Tag that was created by Jes @ Jes Reads Books on Youtube and for which I was tagged by Romie @ Romie we Deserve Love. This looks like a blast because it’s either just subverting a bunch of outdated tropes or reinforcing good ones and I’m here for it! Continue reading

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Fœtus Fadwa’s opinions: Where I stand on tropes I used to love/hate

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Hello friends!

In today’s post I have decided to embarass myself by willingly referencing posts of mine that are over two years old. I thought it was a good idea to check back on opinions I had back then and see if I felt the same way…that until I actually reread the posts and cringed so hard, my teeth were grinding. I’m still going through with this because I love pain and I’M NOT A CHICKEN. So what I’m basically going through two posts, one of the tropes I love, one of thoses I hate and see if I still feel the same. So this should be…interesting. I strongly urge you to read those posts first, they’re fairly short…compared to the ones I write now I mean. Continue reading

Where are the Positive Female Friendships in YA?

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Hello guys !

Here’s the thing, I was a blissfully naive child (I was never that but let’s pretend) who read MG books with friendships taking front center, where girls kick ass together, have sleepovers and watch out for each other. And then I switched to YA, and I want to ask what happened to that? It just disappeared. Since I started reading YA so much and looking at it from a critical eyes, I started noticing this very -unsettling- pattern. Good, sturdy, girl friendships are so very rare in that age group and it’s REALLY weird because I was a teenager not so long ago and I remember my friends being such a big part of my daily life that I couldn’t wrap my head around this “trend” of making friendships either inexistant, superficial or straight up toxic. What’s up with that?

So I started paying closer attention with each and every book, analyzing how those friendships really worked, hoping that things would get better and… I didn’t like what my conclusions were because:

  1. Things didn’t get better.
  2. I don’t really understand why it is so common to rally girls against each other.
  3. I understand now why so many girls think it’s okay to tear each other down.

All of this being said, I did gather a pattern, the things that are common among those books. So in this post, I’ll talk about those, their impact (because, again they aren’t “just books” and they actually influence people especially children and teenagers), then I’ll get into what I want to see and recommendations to finish it off.

I’m obviously not saying all books have horrid friendships in them, but the ones that have them are one too many, and the books that actually do it right should be boosted, so stay until the end for the recommendations.

1

Girl-on-girl hate

We’re in 2017, why is this even still a thing? Boom, done. No further arguments needed.

Okay, I’m kidding, come back. This is seriously so harmful especially when there is no basis for it and even worse when the basis is a guy. I’m aware that this is very heteronormative but it’s for a reason, I’ve never seen a book with a same gender romance or with non-binary folks have this pattern in them. Never. Anyway, back to our main subject. 65% of the time girls hate each other because of a guy that they both like, because that’s obviously more important than being a decent human-being. 25% of the time they hate each other just because (one of them is usually Queen-bee of the high school) and 10% it’s because of some ridiculous drama that could be worked out with a two sentence conversation.

I don’t think I need to explain why this is harmful but let’s do it anyway. How can we center useless hate in books for teens (not that it’s okay to do it in books for other age groups) and expect these girls to not pick up a thing or two – don’t argue with me on this, we may not realize it but our subconscious has its own schedule. How can a girl calling another girl a “bitch” among other names, slut shaming and othering ever be okay? When and who decided this would be a good idea? Because I’d like to have a nice chat about responsibility to readers and setting a good example.

In this category, you can also insert the main snowflake who doesn’t have girl friends because she’s special and not like other girls so she doesn’t get along with them. Spare me that nonsense.

Superficial or unexplored friendships

I have two scenarios here. Let’s start with the superficial friendship, the one where the girls bond over boys and practically never talk about anything else, the friendship is only used to explore things related to the romance which 1/ is ridiculous because we have a lot more to talk about and 2/ this furthers the stereotype of shallow girls that have nothing else to do but obsess over guys. Why would you do that? This is such an unrealistic portrayal and it also erases a lot of girl who are either, not interest in guys, or, OR, not interested in anyone really. This is how you perpetuate the false-normalcy of what “teenage girls should be like” at that age. And it’s a low blow.

Now with the unexplored friendship, this one is theoritically a good one. With emphasize on the theory part because we never get to see it. The MC supposedly has this best friend who loves her, supports her and everything but is she ever on page? No, or maybe rarely, even if they go to the same damn school. Which is unbelievable because how can you be friends with someone and they don’t show up for THE ENTIRE BOOK. That friendship is usually there as a page filler, nothing comes of it, it’s like the story is a few seconds late, like “the friend was here”. And I don’t like that. I want deep conversations and sleepovers and girl-days.

Toxic friendships

You know the kind right? Manipulative, makes the MC doubt everything including herself, makes fun of the MC and then says “she can’t take a joke” when she is hurt and so on and so forth. I can go all day. And what’s worse is that it’s never called out as bad or hurtful, the book just goes with the flow as this horrendous person sets the example of a horrendous friendship that should burn in hell, but it somehow tries to makes you think that it’s okay? yeah, no. Again, be careful with the subconscious, we absorb way more than we think we do.

Okay I’m done with the rant, now onto the positive stuff that, even though exists, we need a lot more of.

2

There’s only one way it should be, really. The only acceptable way to portray female friendships in books is by it being a healthy, reciprocated love. Girls who lift each other up, see the best in each other, accept each other, flaws and all. Girls who have hours long conversations that can be deep, nonsensical (because we all have those moments) or just light hearted and fluffy. It can even be about boys, it just needs to be *among* other things. Girls who talk about science or art, even both, who go out on spontaneous adventures or just to the grocery store, who can cry on each other’s shoulders and laugh until their stomachs hurt, who can sit in comfortable silence too and can give each other space when needed. Oh, and girls who can call each other out on their questionnable behaviors, that’s important too.

I’m turning soft here but those are the things that actually happen and that need to be portrayed so that girls know what to expect out of a friendship, that they deserve to be treated well, that they can’t settle for less just because they’re scared of being alone if they leave a bad friendship.

Or. I wouldn’t mind it turning into a romance huhu. Being that bestfriends to lovers is my favorite trope and I yet have to see an F/F romance like that.

3

As I predicted, I haven’t read nearly enough books for this so I asked some friends for help on twitter and SO MANY came through, so thank you ❤

Title = Goodreads page


That’s it until next time.

What do you think of the lack of Positive Female Friendships in YA?

Do you have any other book recommendations?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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9 Bookish Tropes that I need as my Children

Hello Guys !

A while back, I posted a list of the book tropes that need to go away and I had so many people agreeing. I thought that since, last time, I ranted about things that infuriated me in books – and we all know how much I love doing that- it was only fair now that I show a little bit of love to those tropes that are doing it right and that would gladly raise as my own (legit !) and that we clearly DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH OF.

MY PERSONAL (8)

These are in no particular order.

1- Sibling-ships

Yeah, I know it’s not a word but I decided it was going to be one for this post’s sake. I love love LOVE stories about siblings, they are debatably my favorites to read. It may be because they’re rare or they may be because they last a whole lifetime. Proof of that is that I’ll Give You the Sun – aka one of my favorite books of all time – is about a set of twins.

2- Bestfriends to lovers

I’m a big romantic at heart even though I tend to deny it, so to me this evolution is the epitome of love. Knowing a person all too well and still loving them like that? Please GIMME ! They also tend to be the cutest and the most swoon-worthy, so excuse me if I do.

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3- Flawed Main Character

I can never stress this enough. STOP. MAKING. PERFECT. MCs. A flawed MC means that we can relate and that it is okay to have quirks and make mistakes, it doesn’t make you unworthy of what you strive for. Oh, and while we’re at it, please make girls have their periods, everyone knows they’re there so just acknowledge them for heaven’s sake.

4- Villain is a Villain for the heck of it

I love ruthless villains who are just crazy that way. Maybe I am crazy that way too for wanting this? But what I mean is, to be bad, a person doesn’t necessarily need to have a tragic past, or some tortured secret. Some people are bad JUST BECAUSE, and those are the best to read about, because there’s no pity and we love to hate them.

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5- Involved Parents

Imagine this scenario: A teenager running out the door at 2am to go save the world and then wild parent appears (If you get the reference HIGH FIVE) and stops them. Is it the end of the world? No. You just have to work around curfew my friend. This scenario is like a unicorn, everyone talks about it but no one has actually seen it.

6- Platonic Relationships

I know I said I like the bestfriends to lovers trope so this may seem to you as a bit of a contradiction but it is not. As much as I am a sucker for the bestfriend getting the girl/the boy, I also want said girl or boy to be friends with people they meet along the way, why does it always have to be “falling in love with the person you meet in the beginning of the journey” ?

7- The Anti-Hero

I always end up having a crush on this one. He’s morally ambiguous, mysterious and doesn’t always draw the line between right and wrong. Sounds bad? Yeah but it isn’t. Or is it? I don’t know anymore, all I know is that I want more of this, whatever this is.

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8- Unique character names

Is this considered a trope ? I don’t know but I’d like to think it is. I just love when authors put a lot of thought and effort into their character’s name, maybe even give it some bonus meaning or backstory, it adds a little “je ne sais quoi” that does the trick for me. The character has to be awesome too obviously.

9- Awkward First Interaction

Let’s see ! Does it seem real to you that when a person meets her love interest for the first time, talks to said potential lover and immediately feels the sexual tension and starts gushing? It doesn’t to me. I think that the more awkward it is the more hilarious it is the more I love it. I’m just putting it out there.

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That’s it until next time.

What are some other book tropes that you think the world need more of?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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12 Bookish Tropes that Need to Go Away

Hello guys !

You know sometimes when you’re reading a book and something happens that makes you want to throw it out the window into the other side of earth? Yeah… That’s me right now. I’m reading this book, and I think that I’m doing a whole lot more cringing than reading. But no worries, I got a positive outcome out of this traumatic experience: This post.

MY PERSONAL (7)

I gathered for you, out of the infinite sea of book tropes, 12 that need to die right now. Or else, I AM the one who’s going to die from the amount of eye rolling these situations induce. Okay, I must admit that I’m being a little dramatic but you get the picture. Let’s get on with the list then:

These are in no particular order.

1. Insta-love

So, you want to make me believe that girl sees boy, girl drowns in the beauty of his eyes, gets butterflies in her stomach and they live happily ever after ? HELLTOTHEFREAKINGNO. You want to know what happens when I look at a boy? Yeah, nothing, I look the other way, I even get suspicious when he’s THAT good looking. So, please give me more than good looks and a two sentences interaction to make me swoon.aaaaaa

2. Love Geometrics Shapes

Yes, all of them. Triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons… Just stop with them for heaven’s sake because I don’t see it happening to me or to anyone in real life any time soon. And it’s over-used. And it is often totally unnecessary. AND it is badly done most of the time. (Exception: The Infernal Devices. That love-triangle is BRILLIANT.)Red_Ugh_Gif.gif

3. Female saved by male

HAHAHAH. Stop. Okay? I don’t need no man! And is it really the image we want to convey to young girls nowadays? That when their lives are crappy they just have to wait for a man to come around and save them and everything will be sunny and beautiful? Please show me girls shining through on their own, finding their own paths, motivations and ambitions.anigif_enhanced-9360-1445877130-10.gif

4. Girl-hate

This is probably my most hated one. It is just not okay. Why can’t we promote Girl-love instead? We’re NOT supposed to fight each other and bring each other down. It happens a LOT in real life so why not set the right exemple in books? It can’t be that hard!18310434.gif

5. Unnecessary Drama

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some drama in my books, I just like it to be well placed and not over dumb things, I want to actually BELIEVE that there is drama. Don’t give me some stupid reason, or something that could be resolved just by a little communication. GIMME THE REAL DEAL or not at all. giphyn,,;.gif

6. Absent Families

Why God? OH WHY? I want a loving and caring set of parents that knows how to set boundaries for the kids. I can’t have a bunch of 16 year olds running around town at 2am, or even some random friend knocking at the door and they just spontaneously go out without even a word to the parents. And don’t even get me started on single parents, parents with addiction problems, over-working parents, etc. I’m well aware that these are real life occurrences but I’m talking here about almost every single YA book ever.How-i-met-your-mother-barney-why.gif

7. Betraying Bestfriend

Read: Bestfriend sleeps with MC’s boy/girlfriend – Bestfriend allying with MC’s “worst enemy” – Bestfriend turns back on MC because of something that happened to them. First of all, that’s not what bestfriends are supposed to be, they’re supposed to have each other’s backs no matter what and that’s what should be encouraged in books. I know for a fact that my bestfriend is the Alec to my Jace. And YES! I am the sarcastic, douchy one. GERr8KH.gif

8. MC is a jerk but internally a sweetheart

Want an exemple? Jace from The Mortal Instruments, Deamon from The Lux Series, Will from The Infernal Devices (Though this one couldn’t do otherwise). WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME? Don’t you want me to fall in love and find myself some new boyfriends? anigif_enhanced-buzz-13500-1376578268-5.gif

9. Safe girl meets reckless boy

We have two possibilities here: It’s either the girl goes total bonkers and does some stupid shit, or the boy is tamed. I like neither. You have a personality? KEEP IT. giphy-73.gif

10. Pretty girl who thinks she’s worthless

God, no! “I have perky boobs, I wish they were a little smaller and my eyes are this dull blue, and my hair is a sandy blond and…” What the hell? Dear authors, do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? Oh, and to top it all off, here comes a boy who tells her she’s the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen and she suddenly starts seeing what he sees in her.8-ways-to-keep-your-anger-in-check__700.gif

11. Lack of platonic relationships

Where are my friendships? Okay, I must admit that I love swooning over love (That sentence is absolutely not redundant) , and reading some sexy hot scenes, and romantic gestures, etc… But I also love reading some heartwarming platonic friendships without fearing that it would turn into more.anigif_enhanced-buzz-21628-1376530986-13.gif

12. Mental Illness magically cured by Love

Fuck no! This is actually the reason for me staying away from novels with mental illnesses in them, I just can’t deal with a real, actual issue romanticized. Let me break it to you: Mental illness CANNOT be cured by a romantic interest, it can only be treated with the appropriate treatment. So, cut the bullshit please. (This one makes me really mad so yeah!)asdvbh.png


That’s it until next time.

What are some other book tropes that you think need to stop ?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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