Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breakfast with the Bookie - When the Cliche is Taken Too Far

Breakfast with the Bookie is a weekly feature hosted here on Badass Bookie. Every Wednesday morning ( or night) depending on where in the world you are, I will be posting a discussion/issue post that you can read along with you morning cup of coffee ( or your dinner)!

Discussions can range anywhere from advice, pet peeves, Q&A's, movie castings, authors etc etc. Every Wednesday! Join in and let's discuss!

Last Week's Discussion - My Love- Hate Relationship with YA Contemporary

Today's Topic - When the Cliche is Taken Too Far

You may be wondering - How on Earth Bookie, can you take a cliche too far? Well, my dear readers, YA is a fairly 'cliched' genre. Some authors might argue with this point but when you write a book, you're writing what the audience wants to read. You're writing what you know they will like, what will sell, what will be read, what is cliched. Originality can only go so far, when you're playing safe.

Occasionally you find an author willing to throw everything in and write a book that's completely original. They're the ones that turn into International Bestsellers and make it to the sliver screen. Or they are the ones that never make it big. It's a gamble that not many authors are willing to take which is why originality can only go so far.

YA readers aren't very 'picky' with what they read in general. Most of us, follow mainstream - we read what everyone else reads, we read what's being publicised, we read books that make the New York Times, we read books that have been made into movies but most of all, we all read books that follow the success of another.

Bottom line? We read the books that have somehow made a cliche out of an 'original' idea but after being written in a gazillion books it's no longer original and is now classified as way. too. cliched. Perfect example? The Typical Love Triangle.

Sure, there were Love Triangles in YA books before Twilight but the number has increased greatly after the success of the international bestseller. The first few books that were published after Twilight with Love Triangles were still enjoyable, but soon it became a cliche and then it became a cliche that has been taken way too far.

Sure, the Love Triangle still sells. People still read the books but on a personal level ( or not so personal level as I have read posts from other bloggers) we, as YA readers are slowly getting sick of it. It's been used so many times, over and over again that we know what's going to happen even before we read past the fifth chapter.

Guy #1 meets Girl. Falls instantly in love with her. Girl loved Guy #1 but has undeniable feeling for Guy #2. Blah Blah Blah. Guy #1 and Girl live happily every after. Guy #2 is heartbrokened. THE END.

They are plenty of others that are just as cliched, and just as much used but the Love Triangle is the first that comes to mind. I personally hate how it's so cliched that the girl always ends up with guy #1 and how guy #2 never gets the perfect ending. IF ALL CHARACTERS CAN'T BE HAPPY DON'T INTRODUCE THEM!!!!

So what about you? Do you think that the Love Triangle has been taken too far? That some cliches have become too cliched that they have lost their meaning? Do you long to read something original? Do you think cliches can be taken too far?

Badass Bookie xx


  1. Yeah, I'm getting tired of the love triangles and I've read others say the same thing. It has to be really original since it's been done a lot. But some readers must still like them, because books with them in it are still getting published.

  2. I'm getting slowly exhausted by love triangles too! :/ They're always the same, and I'm also getting frustrated by instant love!
    Girl sees Guy in school/class and falls madly in love and obsessed without ever getting to know him. Guy is drawn to girl and girl finds out horrible secret about guy like he is a werewolf/vampire/fallen angel...I love my YA paranormal and my YA romance as well, but it's getting to be too much. Must everyone follow Twilight?
    What I'm getting worried about, is that with the popularity of The Hunger Games, tons of authors are out writing dystopias now! I hope I don't get sick of them!!

  3. The insta-love is definitely my pet peeve. And it seems like it's in everyyy book. The girl looks at the guy. Instant attraction. Deep feelings. Drawn to him. Ugh, it's like every female is under some sort of spell, and is about ready to claw into said male. Suddenly reminds me of Sex and the City except we're talking about 17 year olds for pete's sake. You'd think everyone would be in love and all over each other if it was like that in real life.
    And the love triangles have become so common/cliche that when I come upon a second male character in a book, I assume they'll become a love interest sooner or later. I don't want to, but I always think it!

  4. Depending on who you ask, it's been said that every story has already been written/told, and that writers are doomed to reinvent the wheel over and over again. Still, there's no law that says every romance has to be a triangle (or any other shape), and I do agree that things are getting a bit old. 9 times out of 10 it makes the girl seem weak-willed or overly indecisive, and in a genre that has already seen its fill of weak heroines (talk about an oxymoron), it's certainly disheartening.

    As for whether something is cliche or not, I think it has a lot to do with how and in what environment it's presented. With 9000 vampire novels coming out around the same time, blood-suckers have become a current cliche. However, the same could not be said 10 or 15 years ago... Of course the evil popular kids in high schools have been a cliche for nearly as long as there has been books about high school, but authors still try to add their own twists on the idea.

    So, sure, we may be rolling a bunch of wheels around, and a lot may have fangs in their spokes, but there are a few here and there with pretty gnarly thorns or flames... And that one there has some roses!

  5. I definitely think cliches can be taken too far, but I also think that cliches sell.

    I don't know about love triangles... I mean, I don't mind reading them as long as it isn't obvious right from the beginning who will end up with who. I don't think Girl necessarily always ends up with Boy 1, in fact, I can think of a lot of books where Girl ends up with Boy 2 (I'm not naming names though... that would be spoilery!)
    Nonetheless, I do think that it takes a bit of effort to find something totally original. Until I do, I can deal with the cliched, but only in moderation.