A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the plot coupon of The New Guy. This week, I want to talk about the other version, The New Girl. Special thank you to Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews for her comment about it, thus making my blogger mind go “Write it! Write it!”
You are Girl McAverageteen, and your family has just moved to a different city/state/region/continent/etc. You are clearly annoyed by this development, as you feel that you have left behind practically EVERYONE from your previous school and thus your life is RUINED. Skype? Facebook? Social media? You have no idea what that is, and resume your dramatic moaning about how your family is ruining your life, how everyone will forget you back home, how you’ll never see them again, etc.
As you walk into your new classroom, you feel all eyes on you. The phrase “NEW GIRL” might as well be flashing above your head in bright marquee letters, complete with confetti. Everyone is looking at you, and everyone notices you. But you’re just Girl McAverageteen! Why would they notice you?
Rules of plot, of course.
Then, you see them. The bubbly friendly classmate, the friendly guy who will not end up as your love interest, the bitchy mean girl, the broody hottie in the back who will so obviously become your love interest. You feel it, a tingle that something is about to happen.
You’re the new girl in town, and this is your story. Have fun!
Alright, raise your hand if you read a lot of YA and have not encountered this storyline before. If you haven’t, please recommend me some good books because your choices probably don’t have the tropes that I get tired of in usual YA books. Anyway, this plot coupon is something I’ve encountered fairly often.
Plot Coupon Characteristics:
- Main Character (MC) is the new kid, and since nothing seems to be more exciting than having a new kid in school, they clearly get all the attention from everyone. EVERYONE! Including people from different grades and classes! Really? I don’t know about you all, but I could never keep track of any of the new kids in my high school unless they were in my class.
- MC will probably make some mistakes, like sitting at the “wrong” lunch table and earning the ire of some clique. This mistake will either make her more endearing/cute to Potential Love Interest, or embarrass her and make her social status plunge.
- MC will end up becoming attached to Bubbly Friendly Girl and Friendly Guy because they’re here to show her the ropes! Through them, the reader gets all sorts of exposition. Who’s dating who, who the Bitchy Mean Girl is, and insider information on Potential Love Interest.
- Speaking of love, Potential Love Interest may be that untouchable hot guy who rejects everyone and doesn’t want romance. Until he meets MC, and he becomes automatically smitten with her! He doesn’t know why! Rules of plot, people! (Thank you to Angie for bringing up this point.)
- Friendly Guy may end up developing a crush on MC, and despite the fact he has been so helpful and kind to her, MC will end up pursuing the unfriendly but hot Potential Love Interest. Really? Really.
- If fantasy is involved, MC is special but she doesn’t know it yet. The school is probably under some curse or something, and only she can stop it! How did they deal with it before she came along? I don’t know, but now that she’s here, everything will be fine. … Right?
There are more characteristics of this plot, but I intend to cover those in further discussions about the other characters, like Bitchy Mean Girl. Look out for those in the coming weeks! 🙂
What I like about this Plot Coupon:
- It does hit the mark on some of the struggles of being the new kid. You don’t know the teachers, sometimes you have to run to catch up with the academic pace of things, and you don’t really know who’s a good person to hang out with or who will bitch about you behind your back.
- If the setting is in our world, sometimes the MC will experience a whole new culture that is absolutely fascinating to read about!
What I don’t like about this Plot Coupon:
- Dramavalanche. This is why I sometimes steer clear of YA books with a high school setting. Okay, it’s one thing if the MC and Bitchy Mean Girl have an argument and their social cliques are fighting. It’s another thing for it to escalate to the whole school, making MC a social pariah, and even turning her family against her!
- Insta-love potential. As the new girl in town, she and Potential Love Interest don’t have the benefit of having a history. Trying to bring these two together in the course of a short book can make the romance seem rushed, rather than growing naturally.
- MC leaving her new friends in favour of the hot guy. Sigh. If this happens, I shake my head and consider reading something else. This paints the MC as ungrateful to those who helped her out when she was new, and makes it seem like the only thing that matters is romance. Nope, sorry!
Some examples of books that use this Plot Coupon:
- Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)
- School Spirits (Rachel Hawkins)
- Ink (Amanda Sun)
- Twilight (Stephanie Meyer) (Angie’s example!)
I highly recommend the movie, Mean Girls, for those who want to see this plot coupon handled in a really funny way!
What about you, dear reader?
Have you encountered this Plot Coupon before? Tell me about your experience with it!
Let me know in the comments!