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Literature / Stay Gold

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"Not for the first time, Jake thought about how terrible he had been so far at cleaning his life up..."

As it is, High School is difficult to survive. At Aviston High School, it's a minefield. If you're not being shaken down by one of the many bullies, you're probably falling victim to Morgan Bellamy's scheming. Still, the kids try to get by as best they can, navigating their way through life's crazy schemes, rousing triumphs and sobering tribulations over the course of a Wattpad-based slice-of-life serial that draws inspiration from everything from sitcoms to soap operas to webcomics.


As of now, Stay Gold focuses primarily on the lives of a gang of lower and lower-middle class teenagers, ranging from class warfare to romantic drama and harebrained schemes. Despite the name being a Shout-Out to The Outsiders, the two aren't connected in any way, shape or form. You can currently find the story on

Tropes include:

  • Action Girl: Ale qualifies, being Van's right-hand woman. She's trusted just as often with physically difficult tasks as Logan or Jake.
  • Alpha Bitch: Morgan, who makes a point of being in charge of as many different things as she can possibly manage to be and is easily the bitchiest character in the whole book.
  • Anything That Moves: Court doesn't have particularly discriminating taste when it comes to her sexual exploits, to put it simply.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Morgan and Van have a lot of this.
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  • Berserk Button: Jake REALLY doesn't like being touched. Shove him, and he's likely to come out swinging.
  • Betty and Veronica: The straightest example, Morgan is the Archie to Hunter's Betty and Van's Veronica.
    • Jake is obviously the Archie in his own triangle, though it's somewhat ambiguous as to which is the Betty or the Veronica between Jane and Elizabeth.
  • Breakout Character: So far, Ale definitely qualifies as this among the readers.
    • Julie as well, to a smaller extent.
    • Jane got a perspective chapter because of a couple different people mentioning her being their favorite character.
  • Broken Ace: Morgan Bellamy. She's rich, a great student, in charge of almost every club and team she's a member of, one of the most popular girls in school, hasn't had a dateless weekend since middle school... as well as pathologically manipulative, obsessed with "winning", and seemingly incapable of forming healthy relationships.
  • Bromantic Foil: Jake and Van. One is a brooding, snarky introvert. The other is a boisterous, uninhibited extrovert. They've continued to be friends even after Jake deciding to try and get clean.
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  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Jake is a magnet for this kind of dynamic, both with love interests and friends.
  • Byronic Hero: Van either qualifies as this, or a Tragic Villain depending on your opinion of him. Attractive? Check. Intelligent and cunning? Check. Hot-headed and passionate? Check. Self-centred? Big check.
    • Of course, by the same standards, Morgan is arguably just as straight an example as Van is- Somewhat fitting, since her major draw for him is that she's very much his equal.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Somewhat rare for a book without pictures, but if the cast on the right-hand side of the story is anything to go by, Stay Gold definitely qualifies, from Pretty Boy High School Hustler Van to the more conventionally hunky Jake or Logan; Even Hollywood Nerd Andy isn't too hard on the eyes.
    • Not that the girls are exactly slouches in the looks department, either. It's essentially a world of pretty.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Several characters, but Van most obviously makes a habit of it.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jake and Jane have never met their father, because he left town a few months before they were born.
  • Dramedy
  • Dumb Jock: Logan Richardson. He's been the butt of several jokes in regards to his intelligence, and it's been suggested that he's functionally illiterate. He's also the quarterback of the football team.
  • Easily Forgiven: Jake has now assaulted two very important people in Elizabeth's life, and yet she doesn't seem to hold him accountable for any of it beyond the occasional half-hearted suggestion that he apologize.
  • Five-Man Band:
The LeaderVan
The LancerJake
The Big GuyLogan
The Smart GirlJane
The ChickAle
  • The Gadfly: Kaitlyn Richardson seems to be shaping up as one. If her first couple appearances are anything to go by, most of what she does is purely for the sake of cheap laughs, but no real malice.
  • High School Hustler: Being a drug dealer and habitual schemer, Van definitely qualifies.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Both Sarah and Andy are pretty straight examples.
  • The Ingenue: Julie could currently be described as one.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Hunter and Morgan are interrupted when Van and Jake are attempting to deliver pot the the janitor in his office.
  • Just Friends: Elizabeth explains her relationship with Jake as this to Peyton, word for word.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Van's entire selling point for fight club is pretty much that the rich kids are getting a chance to tee off on Jake after what he did to Ethan at Morgan's party. Jake's not having it.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Jake was formerly one of these, a past that he's noticeably ashamed of and is trying to move away from.
    • Van is a much straighter, albeit more intelligent than average example.
  • Male Gaze: While Elizabeth is stretching for their dance lesson, Jake's eyes wind up drifting very briefly... downward.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Jake and Jane are Caucasian on their mother's side, but Mexican-American on their father's.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Logan very firmly believes this. Jake having previously betrayed his trust in this regard is a source of ongoing tension between them.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Well, Ale certainly seems to think that Sarah qualifies.
  • Nice Girl: Elizabeth. Jake beats the living shit out of her brother the night they met? No problem, she still sits and listens to his problems, and ultimately agrees to teach him how to dance for Julie. Morgan constantly ignores and talks over her? No matter, she's constantly on hand to help out.
  • Pretty Boy: Van is referred to as this by Ale, almost word for word.
Ale: "I mean, as the chicos go, he's a pretty one. Slap a pair of tetas on him and rearrange some downstairs stuff, I'd jump all over that."
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Jake is a slightly curious example, seeing as he's of average height and fairly stocky build, but Van and Logan absolutely tower over him. He also just so happens to be an extremely vicious Combat Pragmatist with plenty of well-concealed anger to unleash.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Van's choice of language isn't exactly what you would call... progressive, but it's more based in ignorance than any actual prejudices.
  • Proper Lady: Elizabeth has been raised to be one of these.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Elizabeth's attempt to get to know Jake during their dancing lesson winds up causing this. He admits that he only told her all of this to shut her up, after the fact.
  • Really Gets Around: Van has been mentioned to be pretty successful with the opposite sex, and not too huge on commitment.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Logan attempts to deliver one to Jake at Morgan's party, though it's not overly eloquent.
  • Romantic False Lead: Hunter Branson. Eventually invoked when Morgan begins to date him just to spite Van. Even Hunter suspects it, but he's too infatuated with Morgan to care.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Rarely do back-to-back chapters focus on the same character.
  • Ship Tease: Jake and Elizabeth have gotten some as of late, though it's not likely to go anywhere considering that she's engaged and he appears to be heading toward a relationship with Julie.
  • Shout-Out: To a Wattpad story called "End of the Road" by Natalie Chic, which Elizabeth references to reading on her kindle at one point.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Jake is the first, and so far only, person that Julie has ever been sexually interested in, an attraction that she doesn't exactly do much to hide.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The poor kids could all definitely come across as slobs, while the rich and popular kids are almost definitely snobs. Of course, there are subversions from each group and part of what makes it interesting is seeing the lines grow increasingly blurred.
  • Snark Knight: To varying degrees, both Jake and Morgan.
  • Stepford Smiler: Played with. Though Jake rarely actually 'smiles', much of his near-constant rage is always stuffed down below the surface and he's generally at least moderately sociable and polite, unless he's around someone he knows well enough to snark at or he's been put on the defensive.
    • Elizabeth is a much straighter Type A.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Jake and Jane Orsini.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Although she's been engaged for most of her life and has no actual romantic experience to draw from, Elizabeth is a massive fan of romance novels and tends to draw from them when offering up romantic advice.
  • Third-Person Person: Hunter Branson.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ale is the tough, chain-smoking, always-up-for-a-fight tomboy to Sarah's more traditionally feminine girly girl.
  • Transparent Closet: Sarah and Ethan both identify as straight in public, though almost nobody seems to be buying it. Ethan has come out to his sister prior to the beginning of the story, but Sarah is still in denial about it.
Ale: "I mean, she grabs me and kisses me- and I mean, I'm not the smartest unless I'm getting compared to you two or whatever- but I think that's pretty fucking... 'gay' of her, isn't it?"
  • Considering that Peyton had never even considered that Ethan might be gay until Courtney essentially screamed it at her, his closet is more translucent than transparent.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Neither Orsini sibling seems to be hurting for romantic interests, and they're both struggling with a Dark and Troubled Past .
  • True Companions: The gang. They might have their differences, and squabble a lot, but they're more like family to each other than a lot of their respective actual relatives are.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The gang plays this straight- Of the five of them, Jane and Ale are the only girls.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Hunter Branson and Logan Richardson are both painfully straight examples.
  • Valley Girl: Peyton tends to talk like one.
  • World of Snark: It's actually more difficult to pick out a character who doesn't have at least occasional Deadpan Snarker tendencies.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Julie is convinced that Jake is a "player" who just happens to act differently around her, purely because he's attractive and good at sports. There is absolutely nothing about that assumption that's based in reality.
  • Yandere: Court acts like this toward Van.

"When I throw the first balloon, we open fire, da?"

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