Welcome back readers, to another exploration of literary tropes in Young Adult fiction. We have covered a lot of ground in our examination of common recurring themes including; The Old Clunker I Drive, The I Already Know you Introduction, The I Have to Take Care of my Parent(s), The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (and Boy), the A-Hole Friends, and the Awesome Outfit. Now let’s have some fun with some repressed protagonists. Here are some main characters that do not know how to have fun, are too afraid to try anything new, or need to come out of their shells.
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2002 Best Books forYoung Adults, 2002 Top Ten Books for Young Adults, 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Teen’s Top Ten: 2003 & 2005) by Ann Brashares: Lena. Brashares does a suburb job of fully developing all four of the girls who wear the magic pants. No girl is an afterthought, no girl is a clone, and no girl is without her issues. Lena’s deal is that she is repressed. All of her friends describe Lena as beautiful but withdrawn. Lena’s reluctance to go anywhere new is first challenged when she is forced to spend the summer in Greece with her grandparents. One repressed protagonist plus a cute Greek guy plus a pair of magic jeans equals… lots of personal growth for Lena!