Last week, I discussed trends in sci-fi/dystopian YA. This week, it's historical (although some of the books mentioned involve fantasy/sci-fi elements).
- Spies, secret agents, and detectives seem to be up-and-coming. This holds true for a variety of time periods and settings, from 1500s England to 1940s America. Books like Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley, Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Traitor in the Tunnel by Y. S. Lee, The Girl is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines, Secret Letters by Leah Scheier, and Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan fall into this category.
- The '20s might soon be roaring. There are two similar 1920s-America series on the go right now: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen and the Flappers by Jillian Larkin. Libba Bray is also coming out with The Diviners this year. I think if these books do well there might be more on the way.
- Georgian and Victorian England are still in fashion. These have to be a couple of the most popular eras for YA historical novels, full of Seasons and social graces and romance. (And I must own here that I have a soft spot for these!) Recent and upcoming releases include Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury, Velvet by Mary Hooper, Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey, Courtship & Curses by Marissa Doyle, The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber, and Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves.
- Renaissance Italy appears to be a favourite. I'd like to see more stories set in other countries during the Renaissance, not just the birthplace, Italy. But right now Italy, and particularly Venice, in the 16th-century seems to be the trend. 2012 releases that fit the bill are Venom by Fiona Paul, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris, Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill, and Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould.
- Steampunk is making a name for itself. This sub-genre was already starting to hammer out a niche for itself in 2011, and it looks like it's only going to expand in the next few years. Upcoming titles include: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross, Ironskin by Tina Connolly, Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear, The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent, The Clockwork Key by Kristin Welker, and The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer.
Have you spotted the trends mentioned here? Have I overlooked any? What do you think the future holds for historical YA? :D