7 Ways to Know You're Reading NA

1. The main female protagonist will be extremely shy. This can mean anything from not being comfortable approaching a guy, to preferring to stay in than go out and socialise. A social butterfly, she is definitely not!

2. She will have a somewhat tragic backstory. Are her mother and father dead? Was she raised by her grandparents? Was her father abusive? Was her mother a drug addict? If you answered yes to any of these, you've got the beginnings of an NA novel!

3. The love interest will be strangely overprotective. This love interest believes his girl can not protect herself at all! If a guy so much as looks at her his angry-glarey face comes out. If a guy dares to touch her? Doesn't even bare thinking about because that is when the fists will come busting out!

4. She will have an outgoing friend. Her best friend will have a bubbly personality and is ready to talk to anyone anywhere. Girls? She'll be your best friends in a second! Guys? You'll be drooling after her! Of course all she wants is to help her besty come out of her shell and she'll do this by dressing her up and encouraging her to talk to boys. She is the guru of social interactions!

5. There will be slut-shaming. There will be one or more characters who are completely comfortable with their sexuality and have no problems with going after the man they want! But of course our leading lady will feel nothing but contempt for these girls! Getting all dressed up and going to a bar to have sex with a guy? How dare they?!? Of course the distinction between the "sluts" looking to hook up with guys and the outgoing female friend looking to hook up with guys will never really be made.

6. No man will be able to resist our leading lady.... She may have no clue when it comes to boys, but everywhere she goes there will always be someone who is very into her. They're somehow just drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Hey wouldn't that be nice??

7. ... though she will repeatedly tell us she doesn't give a crap about her looks. The only time she'll look good is when her social butterfly friend decides she absolutely must dress her up. Our girl certainly doesn't care about her clothes or hair. How could she, she's smart! The only people who actually cared about how they look are those ditzes in the bar, those sluts!

All of the above points are simply my opinion and only for entertainment value. I enjoy NA but find some books contain these cliches constantly!


  1. Snort, this is sooo true lol. I've only read a handful of NA, and so far, I'm not impressed :p I have found a couple of gems, but most of the ones I've read have caused me to develop an eye twitch from all the eye-rolling!

  2. I think I just have the worst luck with picking NA books to read. I've read some really amazing ones, but the majority I've read seem to be unbelievably repetitive! I'm glad I'm not the only who thought so!

  3. Sort of? You should check out One & Only by Viv Daniels (aka Diana Peterfreund) - it's in line with these tropes, but it also takes some of them and turns them on their head a bit - especially with the slut-shaming. Here's my review in case you're interested (but I know you don't like reviews, so just trust me and read the book =P): http://mostlyyalit.blogspot.ca/2014/01/one-and-only-viv-daniels.html

  4. I haven't read much NA, but I have to say - most of these things are true of SO MANY YA protagonists as well. x_x

  5. So....it's Disney princesses, but with sex?

  6. I just laughed so hard, and you're completely right. I think everyone pretty much knows how much I love to love and love to hate NA and you've got these spot on. Number three in particular really bugs the hell out of me because for me it is promoting an unhealthy co-dependant relationship, it is okay that a guy is a little over protective of our leading ladies but when it is to the point they punch any guys that appears to look/hug/or tries to hit on our girls (even though she's quite comfortable letting down any man) just really irritates me, plus how are they never arrested?

  7. Hahaha, this was really funny. I don't have a lot of experience with NA because I've read so many bad things about it, but this seems to be very similar to what I've seen so far.

  8. This is so true, ahaha! I have read one w/ out the best friend though.