August 2, 2011
This fabulous meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week it's book trends we'd like to see more or less of. Love this topic so of course I had to join in! I'm limiting my trends to YA, since that's what I read most often.
Trends I would like to see flourish:
1.) Contemporary reads set in places other than the U.S. Think Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins or Sea by Heidi R. Kling. Let me travel the world vicariously!
2.) Retellings of less well-known classics. I'm always wary of these, I'll admit, because I'm a purist when it comes to classics, but I do think retellings are a great way to introduce teen readers to the classics. But please, retell something other than Pride & Prejudice. I haven't read any of these, so I can't vouch for how good they are, but I'm glad to see books available like Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler, Jane by April Lindner, and Dracula in Love by Karen Essex.
3.) Contemporary books with a college-aged protagonist. I don't care if they're in college or taking a gap year or getting their first job or what, just give me something other than high school. I'm sure teen readers would like to have some idea what's in store for them when they graduate, and readers in their early twenties probably don't want to be continually reminded of what high school was like! (In fact if they're anything like me they want to forget it.) Think An Off Year by Claire Zulkey, Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern (summer before college), and Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott.
4.) Books that mix genres skilfully. Worldbuilding is critical if you're going to mash genres together, but if the author can pull it off believably it can be very cool. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is a great example of a combination of paranormal, fantasy and dystopian.
5.) Time travel. I'm liking this trend (I've read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, and the upcoming Tempest by Julie Cross looks awesome) and I think it'll take quite a while to get old, just because there are so many possibilities of eras the characters can visit!
Trends I would like to see die:
1.) Werewolves and vampires. SO DONE.
2.) Love triangles drawn out over a whole series, where it's obvious the love triangle is just there to generate some angst for the protagonist and get readers to choose a "Team" to be on.
3.) Dystopian societies with a very poor, scientifically invalid or implausible explanation for how the society developed (or worse, no explanation at all.)
4.) Series that are arguably only series because the publisher wanted to produce more books, when it seems like the whole story could have fit into one book and made readers much more satisfied when they got to the last page. A book with only half a story arc that relies on the sequels to finish it gets me very frustrated. Obviously, I don't require that all the ends be tied up, or the overarching conflict resolved, but please, make each book in the series feel like it has a beginning, middle and end!
5.) Variations on the social-climber-in-high-school theme. Outsider/geek/loner/etc. wants to become popular. Usually there's a mean cheerleader and/or popular jock involved. These kinds of books just don't tend to stand out in my mind, because they all seem so similar.
Agree? Disagree? What trends do you love/hate?