Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Ten Trends I'd Like to See More or Less Of

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is "Top Ten Trends I'd Like to See More/Less Of".

Trends I'd like to see less of in YA fiction:

1. Love Triangles

I hate love triangles. Even before Edward-Bella-Jacob or Peeta-Katniss-Gale, there was Stefan-Elena-Damon. Now everywhere you look in YA fiction there is a love triangle. You'd think every teen girl in America has two boys vying for her affections. This trend is not just found in paranormal fiction though that is where it is most popular. The love triangle is the kind of theme often found in soap operas-and that is where it should stay. It is overdone in YA fiction and has lost any impact it may have had. Now when I pick up a new YA paranormal romance there is a 9 in 10 chance that the heroine is going to fall in love with two boys or have two boys in love with her. Even Sadie Kane from Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles is in a love triangle-and she is 12! Please make it stop!

2. Vampire Romance

Are mosquitoes sexy? Chances are that most people would answer that question in the negative.Vampires may not be quite the same as mosquitoes but they both bite people and drink blood to survive. They also happen to be "undead"-like well preserved reanimated corpses. Vampires have gone from being blood thirsty monsters to tortured brooding handsome heroes with women willingly baring their necks for a bite. While I have read my share of vampire romance (and even enjoyed some of it like Vampire Academy) I have now become tired of the genre. I do not think vampires (or mosquitoes) are sexy and it is time for them to go. I especially hate the vampire/human love story. If two vampires love each other, that is their business but when an immortal (and possibly ancient) blood drinking creature falls in love with a human teen, that is kind of creepy!

3. Angels and Demons

This is a trend I was never a fan of. Maybe because I grew up in a devout Christian family, I do not like reading books with demons as protagonists or love interests. I also don't see angels (especially fallen angels) in that light. While I did like Unearthly, that is the exception to the rule because she is not a fallen angel but someone trying to fulfill her purpose/calling. There are two YA series with main characters that turn out to be demons. I was not happy with that development but chose to continue reading the books because I already liked the characters by that point. Still, a spade is a spade. I cannot see demons as anything other than evil creatures of darkness. I really wish this trend would fall out of popularity.

4. The Neverending Story

While I liked the movie as a child, I am not a fan of series that don't know when to quit. One prime example of this is the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. While it has many fans (I used to be one of them), the series has gone down hill in quality and the lack of any kind of ending in sight has made me give up. It is not the only series that has this problem. While the story of Harry Potter was perfectly stretched out over 7 books, this does not work for everything. I used to like Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series but it is just too long to keep my attention and the characters became really annoying. I wish authors would tell their stories without rambling on and on. Sometimes seven books are not needed.

5. The Plot Poaching Plague

I've seen this happen many times in YA fiction. There will be one or two excellent YA novels and suddenly there will be a rash of them with similar plots because of the success of the other books. For example the success of The Hunger Games has spawned so many dystopian novels (some of which are also excellent like Divergent) but now there are tons of dystopian novels coming out of the woodwork. I hate this trend of oversaturation. It might make some people reluctant to try a book because they think it will be just like everything else they've already read. I'd rather see some more originality. 

Trends I'd like to see more of in YA fiction:

1. The Novel Stands Alone

Sometimes it is good to just read a book without a sequel or trilogy. The character's story is wrapped up nicely in a single novel. While I do like series, now it seems that every YA book is part of a trilogy or series. Even books that don't need a sequel are getting one. Some good YA books that don't have sequels: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Sea by Heidi Kling, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce, and The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott.

2. POC Fiction

I am glad to see more POC YA fiction being published but I'd certainly like to see this trend grow. When I was a teen there wasn't much diversity in YA fiction. I don't think I read any books with Indian or South Asian protagonists. I recently finished Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger and thought "I wish this book was around when I was in high school". It would be nice to see YA fiction with POC characters that aren't going through cultural identity issues too. We are also underrepresented in genres like fantasy though that is changing due to the likes of amazing authors like Cindy Pon and Sarwat Chadda.


3. Elves, Dwarves, and Heroes

While I wasn't a huge fan of The Hobbit, I am super excited about the movie (though I don't think it will have the same magic as The Lord of the Rings films it does have Richard Armitage playing one of the main characters) so I have been thinking lately about how much I enjoy reading fanasy, especially epics. I have always liked reading about the battle between good and evil and the hero/heroine who faces overwhelming odds but triumphs in the end. The Harry Potter series and Percy Jackson and the Olympians were a phenomenal success yet unlike the vampire trend, there haven't been as many fantasy novels/series published after them. There are a few but not many. For those who want their fantasy fix, we are left to turn to classics like Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, etc. These are great books but we could do with some new material. The movies prove that people like this kind of story. Why aren't the publishers paying attention?

4. Pilgrims, Pirates, and Pioneers

Historical fiction was an incredibly popular genre in my teen years, especially for girls. We had books that told us what life was like during the Civil War, pioneer days, and the American Revolution. I loved history and historical fiction. While it isn't as popular with teens these days, I hope that there will be a resurgence of historical fiction. There have been some great historical novels like Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Pirates by Celia Rees, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak as well as historical hybrid novels like The Agency series by Y.S. Lee, The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. With the popularity of the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen and Ingenue by Jillian Larkin, I hope that more readers and authors will turn to historical fiction.

5. To Catch a Thief or a Killer...

I love a good mystery. It is one genre that I have consistently enjoyed from my childhood with Encylopedia Brown, Mandie, and Nancy Drew to Hercule Poirot as a teen and adult. I enjoyed the recent historical mysteries A Spy in the House and The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee as well as Clarity by Kim Harrington and The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting which combined mystery with a touch of the paranormal in the tradition of Lois Duncan. I've also enjoyed books like Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls spy series and Heist Society. I would love to see more mystery and suspense novels for teens. I think it would do very well.  


  1. So with you on your first 1 & 2!

    I like your list of what you would like to see more of too :)

  2. Great list!! I agree on all trends, especially the vamp romance. I'm over it. lol

  3. I completely agree with you more list. I want something original and new instead of things that have been over-done. I'm also a little tired of the never-ending series. Sometimes I want to read a book and have everything wrapped up in one sitting.

  4. Yes to POC and pioneers! I haven't seen many people mention those yet. I don't think I've ever read a proper pirate book so I wish more YA authors took the chance.

    Here's my Top Ten: http://bit.ly/qlepOJ

  5. I would love more YA mysteries; all of the ones you mentioned, I have enjoyed. I also second more POC and less love triangles, vampires, and fallen angels and demons. So over love triangles!

  6. "The Plot Poaching Plague" made me crack up! It's so true though, and I'd love to see it go away someday soon.

    I love so many of the books you mentioned positively - especially A Curse as Dark as Gold and Ally Carter's books. We need more like them for sure!

    Here's my Top Ten List

  7. rofl at plot poaching plague but yeah it's so so true. I agree I'd like more mysteries for teens. I agree about the neverending series' too. I've totally gone off the morganville and the blue bloods books cus I'm just fed up of them.

    The Cait Files

  8. I was never a fan of love triangles so I'd be happy to see them go! And I'm with you on stand-alone novels--I need some more of those!

  9. I absolutely agree with oversaturation of paranormals/vampire books in YA. When you go into the YA section of a bookstore that is all there is. I too remember that there were a lot of historical fiction books when I was a teen - I remember loving Ann Rinaldi, the Dear America Diaries, Little House (entire series) etc. But I guess everything ebbs and flows. Great list.

  10. I really enjoy historical fiction, and I agree that there's a dearth of it recently. I remember reading the "journals" of girls during various eras of time, and being absolutely fascinated. I need to add more of that kind of thing to my TBR list. Thanks for jogging my memory!

    I've been busy this week, so I couldn't check out peoples' lists until tonight. Here's my TTT for the week. Happy reading!


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