Welcome to a very special edition of Trope Tuesday. Today’s Trope Tuesday will be a little different from my regularly scheduled Trope Tuesdays as it has been specially curated for The Paths We Choose Blog Tour (You can check out the other stops on the Tour here). This edition of Trope Tuesday will only be focusing on the function of the trope “It’s Just a Hookup” in The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis which will be released on April 6th.
Even the most casual of New Adult readers will be familiar with It’s Just a Hookup. It’s Just a Hookup is a staple to the genre. If you’re reading a New Adult series, there’s a 100% chance this trope will be the focus of at least one of the books in the series. You might also known this trope as “”Friends with Benefits””. Personally, I despise the term and find it insufficient, hence why I refer to it as “It’s Just a Hookup”.
In It’s Just a Hookup, two characters either come to the agreement to have a hookup based relationship, or they just somehow keep falling into bed together. There are no feelings, just sex. Typically, one of the characters, or sometimes both, will be a commitment-phobe or emotionally distant which leads them to want to have sex without feelings. When they start getting feels for the other person, characters will tell themselves “It’s Just a Hookup” or “It’s Just Sex”. And we all know how that story ends.
The Paths We Choose is my favorite example of It’s Just a Hookup. Besides the couple, Lily and Mayte, being an F/F couple, there are a lot of aspects to Lily and Mayte’s relationship that distinguish it from your typical New Adult “Hookup to More” story.
At the opening of The Paths We Choose, Lily and Mayte have just slept together. Lily then makes her “Walk of Shame” exit. The two see each other again at a party. Neither are looking for a relationship, and with Mayte leaving soon for Flordia, they agree to have more casual sex.
Lily and Mayte set actual boundaries in their relationship and sexually. The New Adult genre is terrible with communication between couples. You would think that since in stories with It’s Just a Hookup, in which the character’s relationship revolves around sex, that they would make sexual boundaries but 99.99% of the time that isn’t the case. These conversation need to exist in New Adult, especially when the relationship revolves around sex. I was so pleased that The Paths We Choose had that.
One of my biggest criticisms of It’s Just a Hookup is that by the conclusion, the couple has a relationship so advanced to the point where they are shouting ‘I love you’ in public and making weddings plans. Relationships that start off without the promise of no emotions, usually don’t go from 0 to 100 over a short period of time. Often, I feel that romance writers are pressured to give the reader that 100%, ironclad confirmation that the couple is going to be together forever~. Lily and Mayte’s relationship was never forced into that ending like so many other stories are. The Paths We Choose executes an ending for a Hookup based relationship is believable.. The growth inLily and Mayte’s relationship was realistic. It made sense and felt organic. I loved the promise the ending held for Lily and Mayte’s future as a couple.
The Paths We Choose is a must read for trope fans. There are a plethora of other tropes including one of the single most iconic romance ending tropes ever. I never thought the world would be blessed with an F/F version of this trope. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. And you’ll love it.
About The Paths We Choose
Title: The Paths We Choose (Lillac Town #2)
Author: M. Hollis
Release Date: April 6th 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBT
Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.
Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.
About the Author
M. Hollis could never decide what to do with her life. From the time she was a child, she has changed her ideas for a career hundreds of times. After writing in hidden notebooks during classes and daydreaming during every spare moment of her day, she decided to fully dedicate herself to her stories. When she isn’t scrolling around her social media accounts or reading lots of femslash fanfiction, you’ll find her crying about female characters and baking cookies.