|2010 Trends Poster|
Here’s what I am seeing so far this year . . .
Finally, thanks in no small part to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, contemporary fiction is returning in popularity. Some of the hot titles include In Honor by Jessi Kirby, The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson and Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams. Dying, especially death by cancer, seems to be a prevalent theme in the current crop of titles that I have been reading. Keep your eye out for Ask the Passengers by A. S. King (October 2012). What are your favorite contemporary titles for 2012?
Darkness Ruled the Land
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock presents a world where werewolves are known to exist. In the Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, perhaps the darkest book I have ever read (but in a good way), the threat of plague looms over the land. Even some of today’s contemporary titles have a darkness about them. Take, for example, The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison; this is an excellent read to be sure, but it is also a dark read about a young woman struggling with loss and OCD.
I’ve Got the Power
Today’s teens have amazing super powers! Well, at least in the current crop of paranormal fiction. SPOILER ALERT! Some of the current crop of titles, including Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and Hourglass and Timepiece by Myra McEntire present a world in which teens find they exhibit extraordinary powers to do things like travel through time. In Slide by Jill Hathaway our main character has the ability to slide into another person’s body and see things from their point of view.
Under the Sea
Under the sea is where it is happening! Of Poseiden by Anna Banks, The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova, Fathomless by Jackson Pearce. This trend started in 2011, and it has not lost its momentum.
Coming Soon to a Library Near You: Sequels
Without a doubt the sequel reigns supreme right now in ya lit. With releases such as Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Thumped by Megan McCafferty – we see that all of us seem to be reading or waiting for some kind of sequel. This year Lissa Price released Starters and the companion novel, not exactly a sequel, Enders will be released later in the fall. In fact, with the exception of the contemporaries listed above, almost all the titles in this post either are a sequel or will leave you waiting for one.
Steampunk Still has Steam
Steampunk has been on the trends poster since the beginning, and it definitely has some steam left. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross, epically good, is hitting shelves asap. Running Press Teens has a series of Steampunk version of classics out or coming out including Poe, Frankenstein and H.G. Wells. Steampunk also makes an appearance in Masque of the Red Death and The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry.
Stranded in a (mall/store/school)
In a twist on the popular dystopian tale, this year we see an explosion of titles where teens are somehow stranded in a small space. In Quarantine by Lex Thomas, all the adults drop dead of a plague and the teens find themselves fighting in gangs over the occassional food supply as they are quarantined in their high school. No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz has everyone trapped in a mall. And Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne finds everyone trapped in a super store.
The Boys are Back in Town
Guys have always been present in teen fic; I mean, we did need to have 2 guys to lust after our main character after all. But this year, strong male characters are making a comeback in teen lit. From Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars to Jazz in I Hunt Killers (Barry Lyga), we are seeing complex male role models for our teen readers. Even Timepiece, the sequel to Hourglass, is told from a male character pov.
Suddenly, everything old is new again and the 80s and 90s are making a comeback in teen fiction. The main character in The Catastrophic History of You and Me is obsessed with everything 80s. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler takes place before Facebook was invented.
3 is the Magic Number
Whether it be trilogies, the most popular book series format of today, or love triangles, which aren’t going away any time soon – the number 3 reigns supreme in teen lit land.