Ah, romance in YA. I’ve got a serious love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, all of the cute moments in YA romance that send me squealing into a pillow have me hungry for more. But on the other hand, one of the things that drives me crazy about YA romance is the sheer number of clichés I’ve read. Some of the clichés drive me crazier than others, and yet some I find myself asking for more of.*
Without further ado, here are three romance clichés that drive me crazy.

*I would like to note that I have seen instances in which these clichés were “freshened up” rather beautifully, but these cases are very rare for me personally. 
Insta-Love ❤

“And then their eyes met from across the room and they just knew that they were meant for each other…” It wouldn’t be entirely untruthful to nickname the cliché of “insta-love” as “Disney-love.” After all, nearly every Disney princess movie has moments of insta-love (although in Frozen, this cliché is flipped beautifully). 

Yes, attraction happens, but falling in love with someone in a matter of minutes is utterly ridiculous. 

This idea of “love at first sight” is not only unrealistic, but it also is super shallow (and not the smartest thing in real life, if you know what I mean). Who falls in love with someone after a glance from across a coffee shop or a quick conversation about the book you’re reading? How can you know it’s really love if all you know about the guy is that he has icy blue eyes and a baseball cap? 
Love Triangles ❤

Newsflash: LOVE TRIANGLES ARE KINDA DONE. If I have to pick up another book with a love triangle in it, I might cry. Yes, love triangles can be done well (it’s possible!), but honestly, we’ve seen it a thousand times before. Nothing seems to have changed. It’s so easy to figure out which guy the girl is going to pick! 
Not only are love triangles super predictable, but they add weak (unneeded!) tension to the plot. 
There have been books I’ve read that have love triangles in them just to have love triangles. The love triangle adds nothing substantial to the plot. In some cases, all of that unneeded baggage about which boy the main character is going to the dance with can take away from the story. I don’t want to know about Suzy’s inner turmoil about Eddie and Bob. I want to care about something more than the love triangle in a book and see something more original, something more real. 
Insecure Girl Meets Gorgeous Boy ❤

This cliché is so common it’s not even funny. We go from a main character thinking that nobody loves them to suddenly meeting their “true love” and then suddenly having extremely high self-esteem levels. In this cliché, characters feel worthless without their love interest. But when Prince Charming comes along, the mirror is no longer as harsh. The critics’ voices become muted. They’re happier. They’re content. They feel worth something, now that someone so wonderful loves them. 
This is cute, but isn’t this cliché teaching readers to find their worth in what others think of them? 

Instead of encouraging readers to find their worth in what the Lord thinks of them and the beautiful people He made them to be, this cliché teaches readers that their worth comes from having a Prince Charming to tell them how lovely they are. Truthfully, our worth comes from the God who created us and loves us more than we can imagine, not a tall, dark and handsome guy. 

What do you think? Do any of these clichés drive YOU crazy? Have you seen any examples of these three clichés that you liked? 


  1. I'm actually incorporating a love triangle into my WIP 🙂 🙂 but it's different, I think, from the kind that you don't like… and I definitely will want to incorporate it meaningfully into the plot. Another romantic cliche that I see a lot is strong, brave, brutal female meets shy guy, and she energizes him to be brave while he softens her heart. I don't particularly despise it, but I've just seen it a lot, and I don't really mind it as long as the guy proves himself to have some sort of depth of character. Great post!


  2. Thanks. =) Haha, it's true, although I really enjoy what Joanne Bischof writes! The third book in her Cadence of Grace series has a love triangle though, which I wasn't the biggest fan of but I felt that she handled it pretty well. Glad you enjoyed it! =)


  3. As I mentioned in a note in my above post, I have found a few rare instances in which I didn't mind the love triangle. If it's contributing to the plot, as you described yours as doing, then it can be done well. YES. With the "strong woman" movement going on in YA literature, this is getting quite popular (Katniss and Peeta, for example). I dislike the fact that that cliché reinforces the whole "strong woman" thing. Thank you! =) I appreciate your sharing your thoughts.


  4. Great post Micaiah!! I completely agree about Insta-love and love traingles…Plus, why are we being taught the lie that our worth comes from our significant others?? :DThanks for the post!!


  5. YES TO ALL THIS. I hate love triangles with a passion tbh XD Possibly bc once upon a time in my dark past I thought I had invented the trope *ahem* *cough cough* As for insta love YEAAAAAH IT IS A TERRIBLY UNREALISTIC CLICHE. I mean, I don't hate it too much cos it is done a lot in classic fairy tales and Shakespeare and Agatha Christie but I feel that modern authors should try to try something new XD THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT HI IT ACTUALLY TAKES A WHILE TO MAKE FRIENDS. srsly. Sure maybe you saw a person and thought WOW HE IS GOOD LOOKING but … he isn't gonna be your boyfriend by the end of the day. Chances are you will watch each other in silence for the next month before you dare to speak up lolAs for INSECURE GIRL AND GORGEOUS BOYFRIEND have you noticed how common the TALL AND HANDSOME AND CONSIDERATE AND FRIENDLY AND PRACTICALLY PERFECT BOYFRIEND TROPE is?? (Especially the tall part. Bother it. Not all guys are tall.) Ummm yeah. I recently realized I was so bored of this trope that I cannot even tell boyfriends apart 😛 no. Irl guys are actually way more multifaceted hahaOk ok enough ranting on my part but lol good post dear <33


  6. This is so great ❤ I hate romance cliches with a passion…I'm trying way too hard to avoid them, as my earliest drafts ALLLLL have love at first sight where the girl's like "ah look just another gorgeous boy look at his EYES!" and the boy is like "that's it. I'm going to turn around and completely change my life and become a different person because something about you COMPLETES ME!" My old writing makes me cringe so hard, sheesh. xD Great post!


  7. Haha, I always thought there had to be some sort of triangle going on when I was a young writer to make the romance more inserting BUT WAIT THERE DOESNT. xD I don't hate it in classics (Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm are off the hook in this post xD) but I agree that modern authors need to do something new. IT DOES TAKE A LONG TIME. EVERYTHING YOU SAID IS SO TRUE. xD YES THE PERFECT BOYFRIEND. Or even the perfect girlfriend. They all seem to bleed together in a perfect mass of uninteresting perfection. I agree with you! In real life, guys aren't always dark and brooding and handsome. They have so many personality quirks it's not even funny. THANK YOU FOR RANTING. I loved this comment and the thoughts you shared. ❤


  8. YES. xD That is insta-love at its finest, my friend. 😉 I look back on one of my first drafts and I find insta-love (my fictional couple fell in love after, like, ONE DAY) and I'm like WHY?!? Don't worry, I think for every writer, any old writing of theirs makes them want to hide under a rock. Trust me, I feel that way every time I open up and old story of mine. xDThanks! =)


  9. Insta-love…yeah, most of the time I hate it, but for some reason I adore it when it seems one-sided or unreciprocated and then at the end it works out. Does that make sense? It sounds kind of crazy. XD I actually don't mind love triangles if they're not the sole purpose of the story, or they go on too long, or they're overdone. Also, what's up with the gorgeous guy thing? It's pretty unrealistic by high school standards, unfortunately. XDI enjoyed reading this post! And the Stitch gif. That's adorable. XD


  10. yesss 100% this post. I'm actually okay with all of these if they're done well, but 99% of the time they're not done well. xD also Micaiah your blog is adorable and I love it wow <3Lilian –


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