Pairing my favorite tropes with YA books, part I: settings, characters, stories

Hi friends! I’m really excited to present today’s post to you and hope you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do…. especially since it took me way too many hours to put it together.

I have decided to divide this post in two parts, both for your sake and mine and because there are just TOO MANY BOOKS OKAY.

In case you missed it in the title, I’m going to talk about TROPES today. Tropes are, if you look up their definition, basically:

recurring themes, motifs or clichΓ©s in creative works.

I’m just going to talk about that. The recurring themes I can never get enough of.

Today’s all about the settings, the characters, the stories and themes I enjoy reading about.

Next week, you’ll get all of the romance tropes, which sounds perfect because it falls on Valentine’s Day, too, yay! (This is a very non-enthusiastic yay, though. I mean, I personally don’t care about Valentine’s Day, but I care about all the FLUFF. ANYWAY moving on)

Let’s get started with this very long post, I hope you’ll enjoy it!

🏠 Favorite Settings

πŸ“š Bookish settings: bookshops, libraries…

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I’m a book lover so… what did you expect? Any books with libraries settings, book lovers as main characters, or books playing a small or bigger part in the story, makes me HAPPY.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS: A little gem of a debut with a really bookish main character working in a library and in love with words. With a slow-burning romance, complex mother daughter relationship and ALL the books.πŸ“– read my full review
  • WORDS IN DEEP BLUE: The childhood friends trope, a bookstore where people leave notes in books, this story is an incredibly beautiful and underrated contemporary.
  • THE READER: An excellent fantasy series with books and reading and knowledge at its heart with stunning world-building and writing. READ THIS. πŸ“– read my full review

🏘 Books set in small towns, sea side towns…

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I’m not sure why, but I really love small town settings. There’s something about these places where people know each other, can travel by bike to go anywhere, I just love it.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”ŽΒ 

  • SMALL TOWN HEARTS: One of the softest books ever set in a small seaside town, with adorable romance, complex friendships and loads of cakes. What more do you need? πŸ“– read my full review
  • FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN: A wonderful group of friends and a very relatable main character and small town wonderfulness.
  • I’LL MEET YOU THERE: WAY TOO GOOD and way too underrated, with a story that will break your heart and I love this book.

πŸ““ Books set in college

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I’m always looking forward to reading more books set in college, because I feel like SO much is happening in college and…. well I just need recommendations??

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • FANGIRL: one of my favorite books of all times, set in college, with siblings vibes and anxiety rep and wonderful romance, too.
  • 180 SECONDS: just make sure you have tissues ready for this one because it will make you a sobbing mess. 200% recommend it. (I’m weird, I know)

🌍 Books with traveling or road trips

Why I love it πŸ”Ž You know me, I love traveling as much as I love reading, so books with traveling or characters on road trips or such make me SO happy. I love the adventure and the relationships that grow in these kind of situations.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE: A very underrated, very incredible contemporary with a ballerina, a road trip, an ex-best friend living next door and feelings. It’s AMAZING. πŸ“– read my full review
  • AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR: One of my favorite reads, featuring a road trip across America and wonderful characters.
  • POINTS OF DEPARTURE: A group of friends heading off to Europe -from Australia!-, the premise for adventures and fights and romance and more.

πŸ‚ Favorite kind of characters

πŸ’‹ Rich, famous and dramatic: royalty, celebrities, bands…

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I’m fascinated by the rich and famous okay and the bands and all that life-behind-the-curtains kind of thing.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • I WAS BORN FOR THIS: I’m a boys-band fan and this book has a very popular boys band, a very enthusiastic fangirl, anxiety rep and what it’s like to have your life in the spotlight. I love it. πŸ“– read my full review
  • PERMANENT RECORD: University drop-out finds himself dating pop-star. Messy, realistic characters and Mary H. K. Choi just knows how to write realistic characters. πŸ“– read my full review
  • GOING OFF SCRIPT: ON the set of a famous TV show! Jen Wilde writes books you can binge in a couple hours that make you smile and want to stand up and fight. πŸ“– read my full review
  • AMERICAN ROYALS: It says it all in the title and it has Katharine McGee’ signature drama and characters. Love it. πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ₯° Sassy, unapologetic and overall amazing main characters

Why I love it πŸ”Ž These characters are, like, everything I’m not and maybe that’s why I love them, I aspire to be a little more like them. Also they’re SO much fun to read about.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • IF I’M BEING HONEST & ALWAYS NEVER YOURS: These authors are the BEST at writing these unapologetic, awesome characters that end up being my favorites. READ THESE BOOKS.
  • CINDER: Iko is one of the best characters in the series. That’s it.
  • TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE: Kitty. That’s all.


πŸ‚ Favorite Kinds of Relationships (other than romance)

πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ Books with strong siblings relationships

Why I love it πŸ”Ž My sister is my best friend in the entire world and I love siblings relationships in books so much and I’m always looking forward to reading these kind of relationships, too.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • SUMMER OF SALT: A wonderful, magical and very atmospheric read with siblings that will protect each other through it all. πŸ“– read my full review
  • I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN: One of my favorite reads with twin siblings at its heart, it’s so beautifully written and I love it.
  • FAR FROM THE TREE: This book made me sob and I love it. It’s about siblings finding each other again and it’s beautiful and complex and just made me sob and read this book okay. πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ’ž Books with the found family trope

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I just love the found family trope SO very much. This group of people that finds each other, they’re not perfect, they’re fighting but well, they make so much sense together as a group.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • THE GILDED WOLVES: Set in Paris in the 1890s, The Gilded Wolves is a wonderful book that gave me the thrill of a National Treasure quest movie and warmed my heart with its wonderful characters and their relationships. πŸ“– read my full review
  • THE BLACK VEINS: In a world filled with magic and unsuspected dangers, Blythe embarks on a road trip to save her real family with the help of people she doesn’t know that will become her family, too. ❀ πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ’› Books based on friendships

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I feel like we need way more stories with friendship as a focus, instead of a side-line story. Friendships are so important and SO central to our lives, we need to read more about them okay.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • WE USED TO BE FRIENDS: Beautiful, heartbreaking story about friendship, growing up and growing apart. I love this. πŸ“– read my full review
  • WE SPEAK IN STORMS: A very atmospherical kind of read, with ghosts and secrets in a small town in the middle of nowhere and unlikely friendships blooming in the middle of it all. πŸ“– read my full review


πŸ‚ Favorite Kind of Stories & Storytelling

βŒ›οΈ Books playing with timelines or flashbacks

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I think stories told in flashbacks or dealing with different timelines are some of my ultimate favorites. They’re SO hard to write and they keep me guessing and, I don’t know, I’m such a fan.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • NOTHING LEFT TO BURN: I don’t know how to talk about this book without screaming. It’s about a toxic relationship, it’s told back and forth with the tension of fires, both real and metaphorical, threatening the main character and her world. It’s STUNNING. πŸ“– read my full review
  • IN SEARCH OF US: A multigenerational story, told both from the mother when she’s young and the daughter’s POV, as one seeks for her father and the other one relives their meeting. It’s heartbreaking and stunning. πŸ“– read my full review
  • OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS: A tragic love story that Jack lives and relives again, in the hopes of finally finding a way to save his lover. A witty, both fun and heartbreaking read. πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ“± Books dealing with social media, blogging, internet…

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I guess because it’s such a gigantic part of our lives now? Also, I crave books dealing with the complexities of having an online “persona”, finding yourself online and offline, handling blogging, internet fame and things like that. I love these stories.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • JUST FOR CLICKS: A mom blogger and her siblings daughters becoming social media stars because of her. Complex siblings and family relationships, slow burning romance and social media personas vs. real life people. Loved this one. πŸ“– read my full review
  • AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING: A random New York City girl becomes an overnight sensation by filming something weird on the street one day. Her growing celebrity turns her whole life upside down. An addictive read that made me gasp. Out Loud. πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ’„ Books with all the drama

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I’m just a sucker for all the drama kind of stories, okay. I love the twists and turns and backstabbing and little vicious dramas Γ  la Gossip Girl. They’re so entertaining to read.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR: Blurbed as a futuristic Gossip Girl, The Thousandth Floor has all the drama of that series and the intriguing new technologies of another world. If you’re looking for an addictive drama read, 200% recommend this.
  • LITTLE WHITE LIES: Debutantes in the high society, secrets and lies, Little White Lies has it all if you’re a fan of ALL the drama.

Do you enjoy any of these tropes? Do you have any recommendations for me with these particular tropes?

What are some of your favorite settings, characters or types of stories? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

86 thoughts on “Pairing my favorite tropes with YA books, part I: settings, characters, stories

  1. This books look amazing then again i love Ya books so these books are already added into my tbr pile,Fangirl is my absolute favourite and To all the boys i loved series
    If you’re looking for small town books you should check out Small Town Rumours and one series by Susan Mallery I’ve forgotten the series name now but they’re all amazing books set in small towns


  2. Are we twins?! 😱

    Honestly though, I think you’ve just listed all of my favorite tropes. If a book has one of these in it, I’m pretty sure I’ll like it, if not love it.
    So yes, I did check if all these book were on my TBR, because if not it should be. πŸ˜…
    This was so fun to read, and to relate to. Thank you for sharing ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love talking about tropes so I am very excited about this post and about getting a part 2 as well!! 😍😍

    I really love books set in college too!! I think it opens up to an interesting environment with no adults. I wish I knew more books!!

    Haha I definitely love looking at famous characters too, it is just so interesting I can’t get enough πŸ˜‚

    Of course I love sass and sisters (these are two quality I hope to get into my own book πŸ˜‚)

    Found families are probably one of all time favourite tropes!! I will always be a sucker for it. But I need to read those two books actually but I’m excited 😍

    I definitely think books dealing with media are interesting and 100% relevant to now. I think more books will be published with media involved in the future!!

    I loved this post and thank you for all the recommendations πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Sophie, I’m so happy you enjoyed this post ❀ ❀
      I also wish I knew more books set in college, I'm certain there are more, I need to seek them out. I really love these kind of settings and so much happens in college, too!!

      OKAY SAME. I'm looking for all the sass and sisters in one of my WIP too, we should definitely talk about that together, we could boost each other for sure πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!!
        And same, Ninth House was set in college but that really was a different experience so I’m not sure it counts πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Yesss!!! That’s sounds great. And of course, feel free to message me at any time for encouragement for sassy sisters!! πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel like Ninth House would… terrify me, tbh, but I’m curious about it, too? I don’t know what to doπŸ˜‚
        thank you ahah I’ll do just that when I get back to working on that one πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha it is definitely dark (check trigger warnings) and the mystery isn’t flawless. Plus it quite slow but I love the way the magic and horror aspects was intertwined with university and societies. It felt so realistic. I didn’t find it scary like a horror personally but certain bits are really horrible. I don’t know if that helps πŸ™ˆ
        YAY!!! πŸ’›πŸ’›

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this idea for a post! I loved Far From the Tree too! I just finished a fabulous β€œbook about books” β€œbookshops” story that I think you’ll love even though it’s not YA. I’m writing a review for tomorrow! It’s The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay. It reminds me a lot of How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry which I also adored!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Carol, this makes me so happy ❀ and ohh thank you for the recommendation, I'll watch out for your review then! I read YA most of the time, but I've been wanting to read more of different genres, too, so that'd be perfect! Thank you πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this post!!! πŸ’žπŸ˜€
    I’m SO with you, I love reading about traveling in books, it gives me inspiration to travel and just makes me want to go on all sorts of adventures… so reading about them makes me live vicariously through the characters haha! I also enjoy books where people can ride their bike places! I think it’s because I have a bike and I aspire to be like them ha!
    Sibling relationships are the best! My brother is my best friend, so reading strong sibling relationships usually gives me all the feels!
    Lastly! I’ve put The Reader on my list at the library (I hope to get it before the weekend!) I can’t wait to read it even more knowing it’s on your list! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Meghan, so happy you liked it!! πŸ™‚
      RIGHT? I adore these kind of books, they give me all the wanderlust feels and I’m always here for this πŸ™‚
      I’m so, so happy you have The Reader waiting for you, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. It’s one of my favorites! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Every single one of these tropes is one that I like, so I added so many books to my TBR because of this! This was such a unique and fun post idea! I loved it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh, I definitely adore the bookish settings, small town settings, road trips, and books based on friendships tropes!! I’ve only read a couple of your recs, and the rest all sound so amazing… I’ll have to check them out. πŸ˜‰

    This post idea was so unique and I cannot wait for part 2!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is incredible! There’s so much information and so many new recommendations that I have to get my hands on πŸ˜€
    Out of all these tropes, I love bookish settings & all the relationships, in particular.
    One of my favourite books I read last year – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – fits in with two of these: books about friendships and blogging/the internet/social media, so I have to recommend that if you haven’t already read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Sabrina thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, this makes me so happy ❀
      AND AH I WANT TO SCREAM you love Radio Silence too?? this makes me SO happy, it's such an incredible read and definitely one of my ultimate favorites as well ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, so happy you enjoyed these! And right? The Thousandth Floor series is amazing and I loved all the drama so much ❀
      180 seconds is such a stunning, emotional read. I hope you'll enjoy it πŸ™‚


  9. I’m treating this post as a gigantic tbr list because I want to read all of these books please?? Especially American Royals and Small Town Hearts! In fact the only books I’ve read from this post are Fangirl and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (two of my faves for sure).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH YES this makes my entire day, thank you!! I’m so, so happy you enjoyed this and hope you’ll love all of these books so much. American Royals is filled with drama and so addictive and Small Town Hearts is such a soft, wonderful book ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ahhh I love this post! πŸ˜€ What a fun idea! I’m also a sucker for a bookshop/library setting (esp if it’s magical), and I’m always looking for more books with college settings. I also really like reading books about famous people…but only fictional famous people. I have basically no interest in celebrity memoirs/biographies. And let’s be real – the found family trope is THE BEST trope, in my humble opinion at least πŸ˜‰ I loved reading this post, and I can’t wait to see your romance trope recommendations! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Margaret, so happy you enjoyed it and I’m so happy we have some of the same taste in books πŸ˜€ YES, same here. I’m all for the fictional famous people, I don’t usually read celebrity memoirs… might make an exception for an ultimate favorite, but usually I don’t πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! ❀


  11. Ooh, you mentioned so many of my favorite tropes and books in this post! I adored 180 Second, I Wanna Be Where You Are, I’ll Meet You There, and Iko is one of my favorite characters of all time. I should really go back and reread The Lunar Chronicles, it’s such an entertaining series. You also mentioned many I want to read, most importantly Little White Lies and I Was Born For This – I’ve heard AMAZING things about both. Wonderful post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH I’m so happy we have the same preferences when it comes to tropes, yay! ❀ ❀ I loved these books so, so much and I really want to re-read The Lunar Chronicles someday, too ❀
      I can't wait for you to read I Was Born For This, it's one of my favorite books ever ❀
      Thank you so much, Veronika! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Okay, SOOO many of my favorite books and tropes are listed here!! Iko and Kitty are the best sassy characters though. And I love books set in college, but where are they allllll?? We need more!! I added 180 Seconds to my list because I didn’t know about it!! Also, I love the dramatic guilty pleasure books like the 1000th Floor. Great list, can’t wait to see the romantic tropes you pick!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH yay this makes me so happy! Thank you! ❀ I agree we need more books set in college, I need to find more of them! And I hope you'll enjoy 180 seconds, I loved this book so much, it's beautiful ❀
      Thank you so much, Michelle! πŸ™‚


  13. YES! I love this!! I’m always here for so many of these tropes. Like my heart has a very soft place for small seaside towns. And found-family and sibling-stories too 😍 I need to read Far From the Tree still!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is such a nice list! πŸ˜€ I can’t even remember if I’ve ever read a book set in a library?? Bookish characters, yeah, maybe, but a library, I don’t think so. I might have to look into that!! And books set in college are also nice to read, maybe because I’m in college so it’s nice to have someone to relate to! πŸ˜› But curiously I haven’t read many either, I’ll have to check that out! AND YES TO THE FAMOUS DRAMA, I’m serious/still/ obsessed with American Royals xD I’m looking forward to your romance tropes list! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Amazing list, Marie!! I have SO MANY of these books on my TBR and so many that I read and enjoyed. I agree with you on so many of the different tropes and characters too; especially the ones dealing with social media, blogging, and the internet. I can’t get enough of them and want to read them all haha. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. lmfaoo, so the truth of the matter is that almost every book on this list, i’ve either read it because of you, orrrr is on my TBR list because of you! It’s crazy, because the books that I have read, I’ve really enjoyed, and the ones I haven’t, I’m literally waiting til my spending ban is done (okay, and I get through my pile of unread books), so I can get my hands on some of them! Great post Marie xxx

    Melina |

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Found families & sibling relationships are my favorite!! Far From the Tree is one of my favorite sibling books ever 😍😍 I also loved Opposite of Always, even though I can’t stand time travel πŸ˜‚ The friendships in that book were amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ahhhh, I love this idea as a theme for blog posts!! And we love so many of the same tropes, so my TBR list has multiplied. xD I can’t wait to see part two!! I definitely need more stories set in bookstores in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, so, so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed this and so happy we share some of the same favorites! I can’t wait for you to read these books, I hope you’ll love them πŸ™‚
      and right? we need way more book set in bookstores πŸ™‚


  19. i absolutely LOVE this post, marie! you inspired me so much to talk about tropes. even though that’s one of my favorite things to talk about, i struggle to find creative ways to do so, but i was really inspired by the way you did it.
    i really wish we had more books set in college too! i think we have such few titles because it would technically fall in the β€œnew adult” category, but unfortunately new adult is mostly focused on the romance. i would have loved to see more of that setting, especially because everyone’s college experiences are so distinct! i know american panda and emergency contact are both set in college too and i think they both did it very well. even though it wasn’t the main focus of the story, as in fangirl for example, it was still interesting seeing the characters going to classes, sharing dorms, studying in the library, etc.
    reading about celebrities is definitely a fav of mine too, especially musicians. i recently read you’d be mine and i enjoyed it soooo much!
    i feel like in 2020 there will be quite a couple releases centered in friendships. i heard about we used to be friends and when you were everything, by ashley woodfolk. i’m really excited to see that, because i think friendships are so important and friend breakups are really relatable.
    i really wish we had more books discussing online life! even though it’s such a big part of our lives and we can get so much from it, i still feel like there are such few books that discuss it deeply, showing both the positives and the negatives.
    again, i loved this post a lot! thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh thank you, Lais, this makes me so happy that I could inspire you. Tropes are so much fun and I’ve been wondering how to talk about them for so long before drafting this post haha.

      I SO agree with you on that…. to be honest that’s probably why I’m writing stories set in college or with college aged characters right now πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I just need and love these kind of stories so much.

      YES YES! I’m so excited we’re getting some great releases focusing on friendships and hope this trend continues. And a big YES about online life, too. I’m craving these kind of complex stories about social media and its influences, bloggers and everything else.

      THANK YOU so much, ahh I’m just so happy you enjoyed this post ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Eeeek! I love, love, love this post so much ❀

    We have such similiar tastes (what’s new) and there are so many books on here that I’ve loved and so many that I have yet to read! Words In Deep Blue was one of my favourite books of last year and I’m definitely adding the other two “library” books to my TBR. I love small towns and Famous In A Small Town and Small Town Hearts are both already on my TBR.

    I loved, loved, loved Permanet Record (also one of my faves of last year) and looking forward to reading I Was Born For This and American Royals. Summer of Salt also look great and you know I love great sibling relationships.

    I absolutely love this post and can’t wait to read the next one in the series xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhhh this makes me so happy, Michelle thank you so much!! ❀ ❀
      I can't wait for you to read more of these books and I hope you'll love them! I'm so impatient for you to read them, especially I was Born for this, American Royals and Small Town Hearts, they're some of my ultimate favorites ❀
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  21. All of these tropes are SO GOOD!!! I’m a little obsessed with the road trip trope, American Road Trip is a good one from that trope. I just started If I’m Being Honest last week, and I’m already loving how brutally honest Cameron is!

    The celebrity/rich characters are also my favorite! I love how *dramatic* they all are, literally all the ones you listed are ones that I love πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    This was so much fun to read Marie!! ❀❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Chana, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! AND YES YES AH I AM SO HAPPY you love Cameron, she’s one of my favorite book characters EVER I adore her so much. I hope you’ll love the book πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much!! ❀ ❀


  22. So many amazing books included in your post! Definitely agree with a lot of the settings and tropes you mentioned.
    I am such a sucker for the road trip/travel trope and library or bookshop settings. One of my favorite library setting books are Brenda Drake’s Library Jumpers trilogy.

    This is such a fun post filled with amazing recommendations, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

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