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This week I’ve chosen to write about trends in young adult lit that I’d like to see more or less of.
Trends I’d Like to See More Of
1. Subtle/Understated Plots–I feel like the bulk of YA lit is written around dramatic, in-your-face plots like the author is trying to make a movie instead of a book. My favorite books are those that have plots that more resemble real life, or that unravel more slowly. A plot that unravels more slowly also encourages more lyricism in the writing, thereby encouraging the author to actually use the craft of writing instead of relying solely on entertainment value and packing more of an emotional punch.
2. Realistic Romances—What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor gave me some hope that there are YA authors out there who know how to write real romances. I want more love stories with relationships that aren’t based around physical attraction or some mysterious magnetic force; relationships where actual emotions and friendship are involved, so teens have models of what a healthy relationship can be.
3. Books Featuring Minorities–Okay, so this really isn’t a current trend, but there always need to be more books featuring minority characters, whether they are a minority based on race, gender, ability (mental or physical), sexuality, or other aspects.
4. Ghost stories–After reading Long Lankin over the summer, I have been thirsting for some more ghost/creepy-type stories.
5. Angels–I realize when I talk about the angel trend in YA lit, most people will probably think of the Hush, Hush books by Becca Fitzpatrick, but the book that got me interested in this particular trend was Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly (I still have yet to read the sequel(s), but they’re on the list). I feel like authors can be a lot more original in stories about angels than say, vampires, because historically angels have been a lot more mysterious so there is more room for experimentation.
Trends I’d Like to See Less Of
1. Paranormal Romance–Kinda self-explanatory. Although this one also has a lot to do with the fact that paranormal romance covers all look the same (i. e., lame)
2. Vampires–Oh god, does anything really need to be said? I swear, if I see another vampire series, I’m gonna…
3. Dystopian–I’m not gonna lie, there are some great, unique dystopian stories out there. But more and more I’m seeing the same ideas recycled again and again, when I want to taste some fresh new blood.
4. Weak female protagonists–Can we please have a female protagonist who’s motivations aren’t solely based around a boy, please? What are YA authors teaching young girls about what they should value when all they talk about is how
5. Love stories in general–It seems to me like all YA books today are about love, love, love. I’d like to see less of writers writing in romances in an attempt to move the story along or attract a wider audience, or whatever reason they write them. Not all stories I read today seem to need a romance, and in fact some books with romance seem like the author just tacked them on for entertainment value when the story was already interesting and well-written. So, less unnecessary love stories, please?