New Adult Fiction Tropes That Drive Me Crazy!

New Adult fiction has been my most read genre this year. I guess it’s because the majority of the time, NA is light-hearted and entertaining and this year was a stressful one! Since I’ve read a variety of NA titles, I’ve noticed a lot of tropes within the genre that have increasingly annoyed me the more I come across them. This isn’t a hate post – as I said, this is a genre I read a lot and clearly enjoy, but these specific things keep happening within the novels I’ve read, and I felt like writing a quick post on my thoughts since I haven’t written a book discussion post in a while.

These tropes are ones that I’ve found mainly in NA novels. That’s not to say that they don’t appear in other genres because I’m sure that they do. Also, I’m hoping to find book recommendations, so I’d love to hear some. Thanks guys!

1. Women hating women

Something I see a LOT of. It goes like this:

MC meets her male love interest.
The guy has a girlfriend, or is sleeping around with other women. (He’s a manwhore – another trope)
MC automatically hates the other women in male love interest’s life, and judges them despite knowing next-to-nothing about them (as a result, her judgements are solely on the other woman’s appearance)
In many cases, MC somehow turns out to be right about her prejudgements about these other women

Why does this continuously happen? I see this way too often and it drives me crazy! Don’t just hate a random woman because she’s somehow connected to the guy you’re hot for. Jealously is fine, understandable, but to stoop so low to verbally – sometimes even physically, in my reading experience – attack a random woman is crazy to me! And I’ve seen this behaviour a lot in fiction and I’m honestly confused as to why.

2. “I can’t have you, but no-one else can.”

This point can relate to point one, but I tend to see this type of behaviour from the men in NA novels: For whatever reason they cannot be with the female love interest, but they’re also super possessive and stop them from being with someone else…

It goes a little something like this:

“ugh, I can’t be with love interest because (insert reason)”
[vows that the love interest is off limits to him, then is unnecessarily jealous whenever anyone gets close to love interest]

Again, feeling envy/jealousy in a situation like this is perfectly understandable, but when male love interest starts acting out and making threats, that’s when I get annoyed. That type of behaviour is not okay to me!

3. Natural beauties

This is probably nit-picky, but it does slightly annoy me that so many women MCs just happen to be so naturally beautiful. That sounds weird but let me explain! These women are low-maintenance beauties who don’t need makeup, and they don’t exercise, but they eat whatever they want and they still have perfect skin, hair, and bodies…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we all personally know a woman like this, so it’s not like this type of woman doesn’t exist. But there’s always a superior air surrounding NA natural beauties, like the author thinks, “my female character is a natural beauty, and that somehow makes her better than the ‘slutty bitches’ who have cosmetic surgery (usually boob jobs), and wear too much makeup, and of course they are insanely jealous of the MC’s natural beauty.” Perhaps I’m simply projecting my own insecurities onto this – I wouldn’t be seen dead in public without makeup! –  but this makes me mad and I see this all the time in NA fiction. Gimme some imperfect-looking girls for once!

Book Recommendations:

Originally, I was going to mention novels that are guilty as sin for these offending tropes, but I think that would appear to be hateful and I’m not about that. So, I’m going to list a few NA novels that I liked and think avoid such trends – especially points 1 and 2:

Winston Brother Series – Penny Reid
Beautiful Player – Christina Lauren
Smut – Karina Halle
Clipped Wings Series – Helena Hunting
Hearts Trilogy – Claire Contreras
Sincerely Carter – Whitney G.
Big Rock – Lauren Blakely

Do you agree with my thoughts on m/f NA fiction? Read any NA that contains these offending tropes? Any other NA cliches to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time!

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20 thoughts on “New Adult Fiction Tropes That Drive Me Crazy!

  1. I love this post! So many of these things apply to other genres too (YA and general romance aren’t that far apart from it) and I agree so much with all the things you said. I really dislike that “natural beauty” is… championed, for lack of a better word, in general. I think it’s quite toxic that every MC/protagonist is usually conventionally attractive – kind of promotes the idea that only attractive people get dates, or something. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are all reasons why I tend to avoid NA. I feel like a lot of the relationships explored in them aren’t healthy either. I’m also aromantic so I find most of the scenes and situations uncomfortable too, haha. I would like to get into the genre though because it would be nice reading about characters the same age as me. I might have to check out some of the ones you rec’d though especially if they avoid the above tropes. A NA that I actually really want to read is Summer Skin by Kirsty Eager. I’m not sure if you know it, but I’ve heard heaps of great things about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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