When “The Hunger Games” burst onto movie the scene back in 2012, it instantly became a pop culture phenomenon. And whenever something captures the imagination of the people, it doesn”t take long for other creators to jump on the bandwagon. From “Divergent” and “The Mortal Instruments” to “The 5th Wave” and the upcoming “Fallen,” female teen heroes are all the rage.
But now this Young Adult dystopian zeitgeist is beginning to feel like “Groundhog”s Day.” Each new universe feels like we”ve traveled down this road before. Earlier this year, I created a Mad Libs with which readers could create their OWN YA world.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a girl named _______ lived with her family. They made the best of a bad situation by loving each other unconditionally. Then one day [catalyst] happened and [closest family member] was lost/in danger. Only the girl named _______ with her luscious hair and [unique color] eyes could rescue them. Taking only [sentimental object] as a remembrance, the girl vowed to train for her new life and survive [catalyst]. But then boys happened. Specifically [Boy A] and [Boy B]. While complete opposites, the girl was attracted to both. Though not equally attracted, with preference usually given to [Boy A]. Insert 200 pages of angst over choosing a boy, becoming hyper-competent at [skill of choice], and saving [most important family member]. In the end, [closest family member] comes to irreparable harm for “realism.” The girl and [boy of choice] wander into dystopian sunset. PTSD optional.
Yet that only scratched the surface of the similarities between all these series. After the jump, HitFix Harpy collected nine of the most egregious tropes that should be stricken from all future Young Adult fiction.