Mary's Minute: YA tropes

This isn't a discussion so much as a survey (but feel free to chat too!). I'm working on a fun post, but I need your help: what are your favorite AND least favorite tropes in YA books? These can be plot points, character traits, or just descriptions. Here are a few of the ones I came up with, but please please please share your own as well! I'm looking to make a big list.
  • Hidden royalty
  • "Secret" family (think Mortal Instruments and all its "you're brother & sister...JK!")
  • Dead parent
  • Mentioning eye color
  • Being clumsy
  • Biting lips
  • Unisex names
  • Character with many names (Jonathan "Jace Wayland" Lightwood Herondale)
  • Nicknames
  • "Not like other girls"

Please let me know in the comments, and feel free to share why you love or hate certain tropes!

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult realistic fiction, contemporary
Format/Source: ARC, ARC tour hosted by Stefani Sloma
Status: standalone

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Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?

Blog Tour: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I am SO thrilled to be part of the Wintersong blog tour and especially excited to be the stop ON Wintersong's release day! So happy book birthday, JJ and Wintersong! Readers, keep scrolling for a fantastic guest post in which JJ talks about the music that keeps her inspired while she's writing.  

Pub Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher at ALA
Status: book 1 of the Wintersong companion series

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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. 

Blog Tour: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

LONG WAY HOME - Tour banner

Pub Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC, from the publisher
Status: Book 3 of the Thunder Road companion series

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Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Praise for the Thunder Road series: 
"An intoxicating and unforgettable story that kept me glued to the page."
—Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author

''McGarry...creates a story that readers will not want to put down...This novel will be enjoyed by teens looking for a romantic and thrilling escape.'' —School Library Journal

"Katie McGarry is a master of her craft!  Raw emotion, pure grit, I hang on every word.  Her characters are real people with real problems and I cheer them every step of the way." 
—Gena Showalter, bestselling author


“Your car’s broke.” Chevy glances in my direction again, and there’s a softness in his eyes that I hate and love. It’s the same unguarded look as when we whispered our most intimate thoughts into each other’s ears. 

I hold his gaze for as long as he can handle. “Thanks for the update, Captain Obvious.”

Chevy mimics tipping a hat that isn’t on his head. “My pleasure.”

The right side of my mouth edges up. Damn him for being so charming. 

“Stone,” Chevy says. “Have you made big plans for tomorrow?”


“Violet turns eighteen.”

Chevy and I had so many plans for eighteen. Spent too many nights in each other’s arms planning out how we were going to celebrate this year. Dinner out of Snowflake. Prom. Laughter with friends. Midnight and dancing on a blanket in our field.

“Mom’s mad at Violet and she said we might not do anything because of Violet’s attitude,” Brandon blurts out and he scratches his chin twice. “Violet cut class and the school called Mom to tell her. Mom’s really angry. She yelled. A lot. And Violet wouldn’t yell back. Violet always yells back, but not this time.”

Chevy’s adorable smile falls into a frown and it’s really a shame. Brandon looks over at me for confirmation that I’m not mad at him for spilling about my fight with Mom, because I’ve reminded him several times that personal conversations should stay personal, and I step toward him then briefly squeeze my fingers around his wrist. 

My brother isn’t trying to tattle, he’s nervous being out in the dark and upset over the fight Mom and I had before we left for the game. He has a problem with letting negative emotions go. They circle his brain like vultures do with roadkill.

Headlights shine in the distance, and my shoulders relax. Last thing I want to do is get into a discussion with Chevy as to why I didn’t tell Mom that I handed Chevy my note. This has been an awful day, and I’m ready to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for days, maybe weeks. 

I step out onto the road, and using the flashlight cell, wave to signal Mom. This isn’t the first time Dad’s car has broken down, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. Mom has passed us before. Though I’m not convinced those times were a mistake as much as Mom attempting to teach me another lesson of how unsafe I am in the world. 

Footsteps against the rocks and Chevy eases beside me. The car weaves in and out of the center lane, and my arm hesitates in the air as unease tiptoes through me. 

Chevy places his hand on my bicep and forces it down. “That’s not your mom’s car.”

It’s not. Mom would never drive like that and those aren’t the headlights of a minivan. Those belong to something with some muscle. A scary sixth sense creeps along my skin. 

Growling engines, then three single beams appear. Motorcycles. Those motorcycles aren’t chasing the car, they’re following. My stomach lurches as I stumble back. Chevy steps forward and he draws his knife out of the sheath. 

LONG WAY HOME - teaser 3 Fotolia update

Purchase Links:

Don't miss the first two books in the Thunder Road series! 

About the Author:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me On, Breaking the Limits, and Nowhere But Here and the e-novellas "Crossing the Line" and "Red at Night."

Her debut YA novel Pushing the Limits was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, an RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. Dare You To was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.
Author Links:

1 winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule: 
Check out all of the Long Way Home tour stops here!
January 23rd
Aaly and The Books – Review & Excerpt
Angel Reads – Review
Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Girl Plus Books – Review & Excerpt
Letter Shelves Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

January 24th
Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Ficwishes – Review
Lovin' Los Libros – Review
Mrs Leif's Two Fangs About It – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt
Whatever You Can Still Betray – Excerpt
Zach's YA Reviews – Review & Excerpt

January 25th
Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt
Bridget's Book Bungalow – Review & Excerpt
Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt
Mythical Books – Excerpt
Resch Reads and Reviews – Review
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

January 26th
A Bookish Escape – Review & Excerpt
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt
Guilty Indulgence Book Club – Review
SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews – Excerpt

January 27th
Bookshelf Adventures – Review & Excerpt
Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt
Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt
Random Book Muses – Review & Excerpt
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt
Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review & Excerpt

January 28th
Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews – Excerpt
Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt
Greyland Reviews – Excerpt
Brittany's Book Blog – Excerpt
Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review
Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

January 29th
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt
It's All About the Romance – Excerpt
Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt
Waiting For Wentworth – Excerpt

January 30th
Collector of book boyfriends – Review
Latte Nights Reviews – Review
Margie's Must Reads – Review & Excerpt
Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt
Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review & Excerpt
So Bookalicious – Review & Excerpt
Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Excerpt

January 31st
A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review
Chasing Faerytales – Review
Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt
What Is That Book About – Excerpt
With Love for Books – Review & Excerpt
The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt

February 1st
A Leisure Moment – Review
Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt
I Heart YA Books – Review & Excerpt
Never Judge a Book by its Cover – Review & Excerpt
Pages to Explore – Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – review & Excerpt
Stuck In Books – Review & Excerpt

February 2nd
Actin' Up with Books – Review & Excerpt
2 girls who love books – Excerpt
Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt
Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt
Go Read A Book – Review
The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt
The Heart of a Book Blogger – Review

February 3rd
A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt
Bookish Hollow – Review & Excerpt
G & T's Indie Café – Excerpt
Lovely Reads Publishing – Review & Excerpt
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Excerpt
Vera is Reading – Excerpt