Friday, March 14, 2014

One Window, Two Views {2014 Trends in YA}

One Window, Two Views will be a weekly meme where we will discuss a topic from each of our points of view.  Please join the discussion! 

 Arianne: Sci-fi is going to be huge this year. Huge. And it’s not just any old sci-fi, either. There are two big trends to watch out for in young adult science fiction for 2014: aliens, particularly aliens really wanting to inhabit the Earth, and technology, particularly scary technology from the not-too-distant future. Some of the alien adventures, like Alienated by Melissa Landers and Avalon by Mindee Arnett, involve romance. Some of the technology-based titles, like Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam, involve romance, too. Others, like Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke and Starbreak by Phoebe North, involve entirely different worlds. But there’s also an emerging focus on adventure over insta-love, and this is where novels like Scan by Sarah Fine and Vitro by Jessica Khoury come in. Because sci-fi’s always been a place where relationship conflicts and ass-kicking adventure can co-exist, and that’s one thing that I hope doesn’t change this year.

As dystopian and paranormal lose their publishing appeal, contemporary is making a comeback. For a genre that’s always been pretty strong, it’s outdone itself in 2014. First, there are books like #Scandal by Sarah Ockler and #16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler that take the emphasis on social media last seen in books like Adorkable by Sarra Manning and bring it to a whole new level. I for one did not foresee the arrival of hashtags in book titles! Male narrators are coming into their own this year – who said there weren’t enough guy characters in YA?! The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson, High and Dry by Sarah Skilton, More Than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell and Road Rash by Mark Parsons set out to prove that contemporary is just as much a guy’s terrain as a girl’s. There’s also been an increase in books that take advantage of teenagers’ desire to get out and see the world. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae, Royally Lost by Angie Stanton, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins and The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith are just some of the books in this trend that I can’t wait to get my hands on. In fact, I think contemporary is going to be my favourite genre of all in 2014! What about you, Liza?

Liza: Arianne, I think some of the new trends also include Thriller / Mystery / Horror (I’m grouping them together to make it easier on myself!)  These are genres that I’m usually very selective about, especially with horror, because I’m a wimp when it comes to that.  It seems that publishers are looking for the next “Gone Girl” equivalent in YA. Nevertheless, I’ve spotted some books that fall in these categories and that I would love to read (and I even own some of them already).  Let’s start with Jennifer Armentrout’s Don’t Look Back which sounds like an amazing mystery, the same as The Body in the Woods by April Henry. I’m currently reading a unique combination of horror, mystery and graphic novel, In the Shadows by Kierten White and Jim Di Bartolo.  Other books in this category are The Vanishing Season by Lynn Anderson, The Fall by Bethany Griffin, Say Her Name by James Dawson, and Feral by Holly Schinder.  Now that I think about it, I’ve had more of these as my WOW in the past several weeks!

Also big this year is Fantasy.  After the sound successes of series like the Throne of Glass by Sara Maas, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, publishers are looking for more of the good stuff; after all it’s been proven that the YA reader loves fantasy.  This year brings some pretty amazing reads that aim to transport us to new worlds.  Let’s start with The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski and Death Sworn by Leah Cypess, two of my recent reads and already favorites.  The first about the conquest, conquerors and love against all odds, and the second about a world where the Empire, Magic and Assassins rule the world.  Another awaited title is The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Peason, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raash, and Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. You might notice that most of these books might also include some type of paranormal element, such as magic, as well.  Oh, and it seems that it’s a requisite to have a gorgeous cover too.

I don’t believe that we’ve seen the last of dystopian and paranormal, but rather that the market it’s been saturated in the last few years and YA readers are being more selective of what they read.  Another trend seems to be the emergence of the stand-alone books, probably brought by the resounding success of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.  Books such as Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg (loved it!), This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready and On the Fence by Kasie West seem to be pretty popular.

Let’s talk: What do you think is the next big trend in YA?  Which one of these is your favorite genre? Do you agree with us?  Do you disagree?  Have you read any of these?  Are you eagerly waiting for some of these books?

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  1. I really hope standalones get more popular! I'm so sick of ridiculous cliffhangers and having to read three books to complete a story! I'm also excited for science fiction. :)

    1. It's a funny thing about stand alone books with me. I often like them so much that I wish that the book was longer or for another book (it seems there's not way to make me happy :)


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