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Monday, October 19, 2009

YA LIT: What's Hot, What's Not, What We Wish Would Go Away

Inspired by the spate of Fall Fashion Features in various female-targeted magazines (which I never read, by the way, as they only leave me feeling bitterly insecure about not being able to buy a $4,000 fur-trimmed-Vanessa-Bruno-skirt in a size OO and then fit it with ease) trumpeting articles about What's New This Season, I decided to do a little twitter round-up of all the things in YA lit we wish we could see more of, and all of the things we wish would be DONE. Basically, I just asked what subjects/genres people would like to see better represented in the YA world. I got some very interesting answers, and will share them below. (For the record, if you do not follow any of these peeps, you really should.)

@Wavekeeper likes standalone novels, and also dystopias, alternative histories, and post-apocalyptic novels. Ed note: This made me giggle with glee, as my book 2 is a stand-alone dystopian alternative history of the United States, coming out in March 2011!

@LovesSam rightly points out that angels seem to be the next big thing, and wishes someone would draw inspiration from Paradise Lost. Ed note: I love the idea of taking inspiration from great literary works, and as Paradise Lost is one of my faves, can only wish I had the smarts to have come up with this myself.

@suzanne_young wants to see more REALISTIC teen romance, and @EmilyJGriffin agrees. She is sick of stories in which people meet and within two days have vowed their eternal devotion to one another, and suggests a cross between Laurie Halse Anderson-style realism and romance.

@sharonlovescats is tired of paranormal, and extremely tired of books in which boys pine after girls who treat them like dirt, just because those boys are smolderingly good-looking. Ed note: I couldn't agree more. I know this is a convention that extends way beyond YA literature (girl pines for asshole), but I just find it horrifying that it continues to perpetuate a very unhealthy and unfulfilling view of romantic relationships, and about how girls should be treated.

@susan_adrian posted a whole fascinating article about this here.

and lastly...Sophie Jordan, who is on facebook but not twitter (c'mon, Sophie--you know you want to join!) is tired of seeing paranormals that only feature vampires, and would also like to see more male protagonists. Ed note: I've been mulling the problem of male protagonists over for a long time. The issue is, would you/could you target girl readers with a male protagonists? Or boys? Or both? Are the sexes so divided by high school about what kind of books they like to read that you could not find a book/theme of universal resonance? I doubt it, but it might be tricky...

So there it is, folks. Feel free to comment back with your own Wishlist/Blacklist of YA trends.


Lenore Appelhans said...

OMG! Can you send me the manuscript to your second book like NOW? ;) That's exactly the type of thing I love to read.

Lauren said...

Okay, first, I'm *loving* the sound of your next novel. (I'm @Wavekeeper).

Secondly, I'm not sure about the male protagonist thing. I tend to prefer books with female protagonists, and no matter how much I tell myself to read outside my comfort zone, I'm always going to prefer girl protags on some level.

Carla said...

First off, I feel like such a fan girl because you used my tweet!! Thanks, I have a big grin on my face.

I do like male protags, I recently read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl which has a male protag and I loved it.

Congrats on your second book, another book to lust after me thinks!! I love dystopian novels and cant wait to see your version. Yippee


I agree with a lot of these. I'd love to see more books with male protags (with a girl-type appeal), and I'm burning out a little on paranormal. I need more books like Wintergirls. Bring on the Laurie Halse Anderson romance-type books of the world!

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